But I Can’t Afford those Pretty Organizational Containers! Me neither!
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Can’t afford those pretty organizational baskets and containers? Me either! Focus on one main area that you are in desperate need of organization, and save a little money throughout the year to purchase something to help out. For us, it was our living room. There were toys and books EVERYWHERE!! I had always wanted one of those large beautiful cubed bookshelves from IKEA, and it took me almost 2 years, but I saved the money to finally buy it last year. It has made a world of difference!
To start, we just purchased the bookshelf. Later, when I had saved a little more, I bought 5 fabric drawers to “hide” toys on the bottom row. I also bought some magazine holders to put my piano music in up in the top row. They also make (VERY expensive) doors you can add on to each cube so someday if we had the money I could make it a very fancy piece of furniture.
So what do you do in the meantime while you’re saving for that special purchase you would just love to have? Organizational storage containers come in MANY shapes, colors, styles, and forms. It could be a stack of cardboard shoe boxes, it could be fancy baskets. I’ve included some pictures below with ideas on how find them inexpensively.
Looking for brightly colored kid-friendly organizers? Check thrift stores and specifically yard sales. I ALWAYS find kids buckets at yard sales!! I bought the above drawer set FULL of toys for $5.
Don’t have time to go to yard sales? Enlist the help of your kids! You can really get creative with this one. Above you see that we made a traffic light holder out of a milk carton. You can have your kids decorate large boxes instead of buying plastic storage totes. Decorate shoe boxes for art supplies. Decorate plastic milk or juice jugs for piggy banks.
Organizational storage can be creative – it doesn’t have to be a plastic container from a store or even a homemade cardboard box! I bought 10 apple baskets like you see above for less than $1 each at a craft store when it was closing. We use this as a quick toy bucket, storing stuffed animals, making gift baskets, and a whole slew of other ideas.
The Dollar Tree has a lot of decorational baskets as well. However, I am personally not a fan of cutesy see-through containers like the daisy wired basket you see above. Why? Because you can’t “hide” stuff in, it’s too small, and stuff can fall out. This is really more a decorational item than a functional item.
Once again, here is our large storage tote. We use these to store sheets, beach stuff and towels, toys, books, and baby clothes just to name a few.
These blue buckets in general are my favorite type of storage containers. They are not see through – they are plain yet stylish, and inexpensive ($1 at the Dollar Tree). We use these particular buckets on our computer desk to hold our picture CD’s and electronic cords.
The last type of storage containers I will mention are the stackable ones. I have fairly mixed emotions about these to be honest. I love the idea and everything is easy access, but you can’t put a ton in each one because it will simply fall out the front. For right now, we have these also on our computer desk to help organize extra office supplies. These also come in all sorts of colors and sizes.
So focus on making one large purchase such as my bookshelf that will give you the maximum organizational benefit and save for it – even if it takes two years! You can also ask for pretty organizational baskets and bins as birthday and Christmas presents as well. Get creative – there are an endless amount of ideas for which you can use to keep things organized. It doesn’t have to have an expensive price tag for it to be useable.
Have you tried Craigslist for free storage? I got two bookcases from people that otherwise would have thrown them out. They really help for storage in the classroom. A little repainting and they'd be good for a house.
When people are moving or remodeling they need to get rid of stuff that the garbage services won't take.
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