While our house isn't exactly small, I still have a hard time finding a place to put everything. The old saying, "A place for everything and everything in its place" is a great mantra. But finding that magic "place" always seemed to elude me. The following are some great, low-cost ways to organize all that stuff that could slowly take over your home and your sanity!
Under bed/couch storage: The beds in our house have a very low profile, some with a clearance of only 5 ½ inches. I found that cat litter pans are the perfect size to fit under the bed, and they even come in decorative colors. Can’t beat the average price of $3 per pan: inexpensive and functional!
Perfume bottle/hair products: While I'm lucky to have some solid-surface shelving in my closet, my perfume and hair care bottles were still always falling over, and I couldn't see what I had. I used two turn-tables, intended for kitchen use, to keep my bottles separated and organized. They’re much easier to see and access without knocking everything else over.
Ponytail elastics: If your house is anything like mine, you have ponytail elastics all over the place! A great way to keep them organized and in one spot is by putting them all on loose-leaf binder rings. You can purchase these at any office supply store. Since they come in a wide variety of sizes, you can put as many or as few as you like on each ring.
Utilizing empty suitcases: Most people really only use a suitcase once or twice a year, so why not put it to good use when you're not jet-setting around the world? Fill empty suitcases with things you rarely use or need such as: seasonal clothing, other smaller suitcase, handbags, birthday and holiday gifts, etc.
Stuffed animal storage: Stuffed animals are house guests that never move out and seem to multiply overnight. To solve this problem I found child-sized bean bag covers for about $15 each and filled them with the stuffed animals. They make great squishy seating, and the kids still have easy access to their favorite animals.
Small toys makin' you crazy?: Dress-up shoes, dolls, doll clothes, McDonald's toys…they make every mother crazy! We had the same problem at our house until I hung a cloth shoe organizer on the inside of the closet doors. I even found one that's pink! It's a great and accessible place to keep all the little toys that would otherwise get lost in a large toy box. Because they can get heavy, you might have to mount it to the door.
Baseball hat storage: My husband has tons of baseball hats and visors, and he insists on keeping every single one. There are specialty hangers for storing hats, but I didn't have the space in my closet for one. I found that all of his hats fit perfectly in the compartments of his hanging shoe organizer, so now he has hats on the top and shoes on the bottom.
Greeting Cards: I like to keep the greeting cards that my children receive, but there simply isn't room in their baby books for all of them. I purchased several tabbed divider file boxes from an office supply store and each child keeps his or her cards in a personal, self-decorated box.
Cosmetics: Confession: I am a hoarder…a makeup hoarder. Our bathroom only has one drawer, and since I have a lot of makeup, I had to get organizationally creative. I mounted square locker pencil cups inside my cabinet doors. They came with a magnet on them but I attached some Command Velcro strips on the back that hold them perfectly. They’re filled with lip liners, eyeliners and lip glosses. Easily accessible without taking up any drawer space.
Cleaning rags: They never seem to be handy when you need them, especially if you have a multi-level house like we do. I found a mesh lingerie bag at Walmart for .97 that hangs perfectly in my master bathroom closet. Now I have cleaning rags upstairs at my disposal. Even better, if you purchase some of the microfiber cloths that are various colors, designate a set of a certain color for each level of your home so when you do laundry it's easier make sure that those rags get taken back to the appropriate floor.
School & artwork: I like to keep every drawing and school paper my kids have. I know I shouldn't, but I can't help myself. I purchase poly expandable string envelopes from an office supply store labeled with each child’s name and age. Since they expand, they hold quite a bit.
When organizing, it's imperative to make use of every surface or space. Remember to think vertically, not just horizontally. There are so many practical and affordable ways to organize your home if you think "outside the box." Almost anything can be repurposed and used in a hundred different ways.
This has been a guest post by Becky from Lexington, KY
Find out more about the KCL Contributor Network!