Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Frugal storage solutions

To me, January is the easiest month to celebrate abundance. Look how much new stuff we've added to our homes! Quick, everyone run out and buy organizational products before we have a plastic shortage!

I'm not immune. After all, thoughtful organizing can help us see what we already have, so we're less tempted to buy what we already own.

But organizing to save money shouldn't break the bank.

Recycled containers might not look as crisp, but they'll tide us over until the perfect yard sale solution! A few example from around our home:

Instead of buying new towels at January white sales, install an extra towel hook.

Make your existing towels stretch twice as long between washes. An extra hook can save wear, water, time and energy!

No hook? Do what our grandmothers did. You can't get much cheaper than a nail!
Did you receive a new purse for Christmas? Before giving the old one to Goodwill, try using it as a storage container.

From left to right, mine contain story tapes for car trips, pantyhose and tights, and the all-in-one overnight travel kit.

This vintage bed's rails prevent me from using under-bed storage boxes. I found this huge Ziploc at a yard sale (holding blocks, which I bought for $1).

I think the new Ziplocs are much more versatile than hard storage containers.

Before investing in a new plastic garage shelving system, see if you can claim the space between the studs first.
Extra wrapping paper? Use it to line drawers.

Why buy a dish pan to catch drips when this clay saucer is currently plant-less?


Monica Wilkinson said...

Wonderful ideas! I've been doing some organizing myself and have not spent a penny thus far. It is so nice to re-use items that we already have!

Patricia said...

Hi Meredith! Thanks for commenting on my "abundance post." Your comment: "organizing to save money shouldn't break the bank" cracked me up. I can't tell you how many times my "money-saving" projects have ended up costing more than if I had just not tried to do anything at all! You have great ideas, here. I agree with you about the zip-lock bags....especially for food storage after very large meals (Thanksgiving, etc.)when there are too many leftovers to store in had containers.

I also reuse my purses/bags for storage, especially for items we rarely use. Just recently I stored the men's hunting vests (which had been gathering dust in the garage) in one of the bags,(protected from the dust), labeled the bag with masking tape so I don't forget what I have stored in it, and hung the bag on a clothes hanger.

Blessings - in abundance!

Carrie J said...

I suppose that there is some form of organizing going on in almost every home this time of year. I've been working on my craft room and have posted pics on my blog of progress. I like a uniform look so I've been covering boxes and painting containers. So far I've managed to spend almost nothing. I like the idea of using purses for storage.

Anonymous said...

I like to use the zippered vinyl bags that new comforters, mattress pads, even sheets come in. They are not 100% air tight but keep items dust free.

Amy said...

Great ideas! I also use a lot of dish tubs from the dollar store to organize things. My bathroom organizing system is a series of dish tubs that I have put a label on to divide our things. I love these ideas too. Never thought to use my old purses for things like this! Thanks so much!

DonnaB said...

I've reused items like wipe containers and swiffer wet cloth containers. My grandma's favorites were cool whip tubs and butter containers for little items. I currently have my needles in an aspirin tin that was my grandma's.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you all the way! I've been reorganzing using empty lego containers and old dishpans (both in the linen cabinet) and by rethinking the use of almost every storage container I already possessed. $0 spent so far.

Anonymous said...

I love the money saving tips you share! I consider myself pretty frugal, but you have definately showed me many ways I could be saving even more.

I've seen those huge ziplock bags but haven't bought any. I'm hoping to find some at a yard sale some day. They look like they'd really come in handy.


Anonymous said...

I love the purse idea! You are so smart.

Mama Squirrel said...

Is anyone else having trouble accessing Sallie's posts? I tried linking to both of you today, but I haven't been able to get back to A Gracious Home since then.

Someone Beautiful said...

Thanks for sharing this! :0) Before Christmas I got some Hefty one zip bags to organize small toys (the ones I hide and switch). One of them is already broken. I am going to look for more things I already have around for storage. I use cheap dishpans too. :)

Becky said...

New to your blog - love it! I also love the idea of using old purses. In my case, I have a plethora of old diaper bags that I have either purchased, received as gifts, or gotten free from formula companies. I only need to save one for the new baby, and instead of hauling them off to Goodwill, I'll check and see which ones I can use for other things, especially in the car (extra clothes, toys, books, etc).