Space Saving Organization
used in more ways than one
For those who long for a "put together" space that fits your style and budget, yet can't quite determine what you need to get there - this is for you.
In our home, we're pretty minimal. I don't mean we never buy things, but over the years, it's become habit to purchase less and re-purpose more. This has especially come in handy when it's time for a little organization refresh.
I've also learned the benefits of intentional organization far outweigh those of just throwing things in a drawer or the corner of the closet. For one, less clutter means less stress (when you're in a rush looking for that one thing in the junk drawer - yeah, not pretty).
I get it - sometimes it's too much of a headache to think about where to store certain things and it seems best to keep it out of the way.
What we're talking about here is specific to the items we use daily or weekly - so we want to keep them in sight, somewhat.
When certain things have their own dedicated space, looking for them later becomes much easier.
And when the dedicated space is located somewhere visible, while not acting as a complete eye sore every time you walk past it, then you've hit organizational gold.
Disclaimer: The goal here is to give you fresh perspective on how to use what you have, or what you can get for a low price, in order to create a space that is tangibly organized.
So, how do you find the right tool to "re-purpose" when most storage items seemingly only work in one way for specific personal or home items?
Here are a few steps to help us get there:
1) Purge before you Purchase
Before grabbing the keys and heading for the store, consider what bins, boxes, baskets or totes you already have. If you come across it, give it a try! If it really is a no-go: donate, trash or sell it. Then go out and buy what you do need (recommended storage options below). Something you have no reason to keep isn't allowed to take up room.
2) Expand Your Expectations
When you've decided what box/bin/wall shelf to use, it's easy to assume it's only good for what it says on the label. For example, when we go out and buy a "toy storage basket", we assume the most sensible way to use this basket is for a child's toys. Let's just consider that a tote of lies, and expand our way of organizational thinking a bit.
3) Place Doubt in the Trunk
You know what I mean, right? Speaking for myself, the thoughts that say "you don't know what you're doing" or "that doesn't look good there, what were you thinking?" often come to mind when I re-assemble things in our home. Those thoughts can take a seat in the trunk, not even the back seat.
Fun fact: I originally bought this weaved basket for our baby shower when I was pregnant with Sequoia to hold the napkins and utensils (it's intended use). Since then, I've used it to carry my makeup and brushes so I can easily carry it with me anywhere, and it currently sits next to Sequoia's changing table as a "diaper caddy" to hold items like diapers, wipes, hair clips/bows, brush, and other miscellaneous items we need to use in that general area. Haven't used it to hold utensils or napkins in two years.
These gray bins I found in Target's dollar section were a steal! I bought them about 1.5 years ago for $3.00 a piece, so the exact item may not be available anymore, but a similar product is linked below. I've used them in so many ways: to organize clothes in the dresser, place different chargers in the office closet, store toys in different rooms, sort towels in the cabinet, and now we use them to store and organize some of Sequoia's toys and books in our entertainment unit (this is a great storage hack, if your unit has space for baskets like this). They keep the clutter out of site when things aren't being used, and we always know where to find what we need (unless it's lost, which happens at least once a week).
I use quotation marks here because we've never used these for the purpose of holding our spices. These are perfect to organize the things you need to keep in plain site - in our home, they act as a bookshelf and a storage unit for bath-time essentials. We bought this set of four birchwood Ikea "spice racks" on Amazon. Easy to assemble, and works great in any space. I'm thinking next I'll use them to hold some of my go to coffee mugs in the kitchen.
The drawer bins we use religiously were purchased from the Dollar Tree - set of 3 for $1 (seriously, can't beat that). We have them in our kitchen "dump drawer" (which, by the way, doesn't look so dumpy now), our bathroom drawers, and will often take a couple to tag-team sort within the cloth bins. You can really find these anywhere (one from Target for $2/piece is linked below), but seriously - check out Dollar Tree first.
When it comes to wired bins and baskets, it's hard to know what you can store in them given how most objects would fall through or become unbalanced. These work really well for storing hand towels in the bathroom or the pantry in the kitchen. Want to guess where these are from? The Dollar Tree, yet again. This is not available on their site, so I've linked something similar for you online shoppers at Target.
Last and certainly not least are these class jars from the Dollar Tree. Each jar comes with a twist off lid, and they are stackable (such a space saver). Great for storing your pastas, seeds, and other pantry staples, small craft supplies, or nails and screws. I love to store my go-to nuts, dried fruits and chocolate for trail mix - quick and simple. If you don't have any luck finding them at your local Dollar Tree (the one's near us sold out fast), they sell them in bulk on their website linked below!