I mentioned yesterday that one of the items we saved from the dumpster was a mattress, in the struggle to pull this out I never thought to get a picture, but knowing I share photos of what I save with you I received a picture from my daughter-in-law. Here’s the mattress we found.
Today I will share with you ways to store and organize your belongings without spending a dime, using items you would recycle or possibly find in the trash.
Even in a small home, such as mine, there are items that we own which need to be organized. While I have shopped at Ikea, I have never stepped inside of the Container Store or any other business which caters to organization. My beginnings at organizing things in my first home were very simple. Pocket folders for my paperwork, with sections for bills needing to be paid, those paid and even a pocket for instructions manuals or warranties. Nice and tidy all in one area. Then as my belongings grew baskets were my go-to resource. I could find them for pennies at yard sales and thrift shops. Not anymore, when I need to organize something I look first at what is in my recycling before I take it out.
Here are a few ideas I hope will help you look at your trash differently.
Have you priced charging stations lately? These can range from $20 on up to $100. I don’t know about you, but I am not going to spend money to contain my chargers, no matter how many I could have. Here’s a free idea, use a shoe box. You can cover it in fabric, decorative papers or even paint, the ideas are limitless, all you need to do is look around your house to see what you have available. Labeling each cord makes this the ultimate in organization.
Now, if you have extension cords, Christmas lights or any other cords try this idea. All you need is another shoe box and toilet paper rolls.
Do you have several pairs of scissors, or sharp knives. Did you ever think of using a block of cardboard? Again you could cover the cardboard with fabric to disguise the fact you are using cardboard.
Are you in need of a memo board? Cord boards are nice, but hard to find free in good condition. It isn’t hard to find an old cookie sheet, simply spray paint the tray and add a few magnets.
Not sure a magnetic memo board is what you need. An old drawer would make an attractive way to display your notes.
We still have a bit of summer left and that means a few more days at the beach. Why buy a bag for carrying your beach gear, make one from mesh screen. Screens are damaged all the time, when replacing your old screening stop and see what other use it might have.
If you are having trouble finding the right sized baskets for storage, have you considered a simple cardboard box and adding rope handles? These boxes are covered in contrasting fabric to match the decor of the home.
If needing storage ideas for small items this box made from cigar boxes, old soda crates and wooden spools for handles could be just the thing.
Would you like to have an attractive way to store toilet paper rolls and keep them dust-free? This is a simple oatmeal container which holds 2 rolls.
Still on the subject of bathrooms, This idea isn’t free, but it is inexpensive. ikea spice racks would nicely corral your hygiene products.
Did you ever think about using a washcloth to organize your toothbrush, combs and other hygiene products when traveling.
An inexpensive way to have a nightstand or end table that also serves as bookcase is to use an old drawer. If have culled down your book collection you may not need more storage than this.
Don’t buy a plastic laundry basket, look for an old TV tray and use the stand to make your own. By tying your fabric bag it would be easy to toss this in the laundry when soiled and replace when clean.
I think this would make a lovely pantry or linen closet, but it could have so many more uses. All you need are some old shutters and windows.
Where do you store your gloves and small garden tools? Why not use an old mailbox?
This idea would be so cute in a classroom, but you could use the same idea to hold so many things, screwdrivers, utensils for a picnic, crafting supplies. Just cut open a plastic jug.
This would make a cute pencil holder for back-to-school or to store items when traveling. Saving all your old zippers and sewing them together is simple and cheap. Speaking of traveling if you created pockets behind each of the zippers you could neatly carry jewelry with you taking up very little space in your luggage.
While this idea is cute for children’s Legos make it a little more grown up and you could store beads, small crafting supplies and so much more. All you need are baby food jars.
While this idea has nothing to do with organization, I previously wrote a post on lighting which you can see here, but this is too good to not share. So this one is a bonus for those of you who are ready to take upcycling to the next level.
Today on Ecology is not a Dirty Word the subject was shoes. I almost didn’t read it as I have no shoe addiction,nor do I care much about fashion, but the article wasn’t about today’s fashions, instead it was about the history of shoes. Prior to the industrial revolution shoes were made to either last a life-time or to decompose back to the earth when they were worn out. Shoes were made to protect the feet, not to make a statement. Today it would be very hard to live without leaving an environmental impact but we can try to use what we have in new ways to keep them from piling up as waste.
What do you think future archeologists will think about us when they look at our artifacts we leave behind? What story will those items tell?