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  • Katy Winter

Organizing doesn't have to Break the Bank

Walking down the aisles of Container Store, Bed Bath & Beyond, or Target, one is mesmerized by the array of organizing products. There are containers for items you didn't even know needed organizing. These beautifully designed items often seduce people. Those attractive products quickly add up at checkout, and, unfortunately, most of them are made of plastic. Take it from a pro; organizing does not have to break the bank (or the environment).

Stick with these four main principles for organizing, and you will save a lot of money and headache.

START: Carve out the appropriate time to work on an organizing project. Now you are committed to working on that project. I am not suggesting 15 minutes; an organizing session usually takes 4 hours. Whether it's a pantry or closet, block out a time without distractions.

SORT: Take everything out of the desired space and sort it into categories. You are not rearranging; you are organizing. To reimagine the area, it must be empty.

SIMPLIFY: Take inventory of each category and make those tough decisions to purge. Eyeing twenty pairs of scissors makes it easier to donate or let go. That is why you spent the time separating each item into categories.

STYLE & CONTAIN: Now we are back to where we started; however, we are mindful of what we need and can get accurate measurements of the space instead of blindly shopping.

But before purchasing supplies to style your new space, look around the house. Do you have bins that will work? Do you have mason or food jars or old glass candles? These are valuable holders for pens, kids' art supplies, or makeup brushes. Using a hairdryer to apply heat to the jar label will release it easily. If you are using a candle, pour boiling water into the container and let it sit for a minute. The wax at the bottom will come right out. There are endless possibilities for empty jars. Do you have old shoe boxes? They work great as drawer dividers. The shoe box tops work in shallow drawers. Toilet paper holders are helpful to separate all those messy cords. And don't forget to LABEL!

Remember when you are shopping for organizing items, resist impulse and shop with purpose.

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