Hi, my name’s Claire and I’m a messy person. Yes, I know this sounds like a declaration of addiction, but I feel like if I admit this flaw I might be better able to organize our home. Don’t misunderstand, it’s not like I’m going to be featured on one of those TV shows about hoarders, but while our house is usually relatively clean (it’s not like it’s super grimy or dirty), it can be pretty messy!
Periodically, I will do a major clean and purge and though the house always seems to stay in order for a while, the mess always creeps back in. Sooooo, I’m always looking for ways to try and better organize our house so that it stays clean and tidy, and this time I’ve found some absolute gems! What’s even better is that, barring a few cheap craft supplies, which you’ll likely already have on hand, they’re completely free!
1) Organize Your Dresser Drawers With Cardboard
My dresser really needs a purge and reorganization, but I wasn’t sure how I was going to corral all my socks and undies until I came across this idea from Megan at The Homes I Have Made. I’m definitely planning to try this one out myself!
2) Re-Purpose Creamer Containers As Storage
I love this idea to repurpose coffee creamer containers from the gals over at FrugElegance. We can’t really get creamer here but thinking that this would be a great way to repurpose juice bottles or the containers we get Unstoppables in (obviously making sure to clean them out really REALLY well as they’re not intended for food).
3) Organize Your Desk Drawers With Cereal Boxes
How cute are these drawer organizers from Jen at iHeart Organizing!?! As someone who always has a few drawers that are just full of miscellaneous “stuff”, I’m really digging this idea as it’s such a practical way to organize your drawers, and all you need is cereal boxes scrap paper and tape – you can see the full tutorial here!
4) Use Bread Tags As Cord Identifiers
Like most people, we have one of those big multi-socket extensions in our living room. In this one extension strip, we have plugged in our TV, XBox, DVD Player, large external hard drive, side lamp, CD player/ iPod Dock and multiple charging cords for phones, tablets, laptop etc. Any time I need to plug something in (like the vacuum cleaner, so seriously this is a common occurrence), it’s a game of “guess the cord”, so that I don’t turn off the tunes or movie I’m using to motivate myself to clean.
I also have a whole section of my silverware drawer full of those plastic tabs used to seal bread & bagels so I don’t know why I never thought of using them to label the cords! Thanks to Reuse Grow Enjoy for helping me to figure out a free way to never accidentally shut off my tunes again!
5) Adjustable Toilet Roll Cord Holders
And while we’re talking about cord clutter, I’ve seen lots of people use toilet or paper rolls to tidily store their spare power cords, but I love this idea from Apartment 528 as they take it up a notch by adding velcro and funky scrap paper for this cute yet practical way to keep your cords in order.
6) Use Binder Clips As Cable Catchers
I also love this idea from Lifehacker to use binder clips as cable catchers – no more crawling under the desk to locate your internet cable!
7) Toilet Roll Pencil Organizer
Last year, just before I started a new job, I had a friend out with me when I was running errands. When I stopped to get some office supplies for my new job she started laughing. To quote “the new place will provide office supplies – only you would go out of your way to get new supplies just in case they don’t provide ones you like”.
Moral of this story; I’m VERY particular about my office supplies and thus need a good way to store them. This is why I really like this idea from Hani over at Craftionary, because you can personalize it to your own taste.
8) Store Grocery Bags In A Lysol Container
I absolutely love this idea from Tatertots and Jello! It’s such a clever way to organize those leftover plastic grocery bags and to reuse those plastic containers you get with wet wipes.
9) Make Decorative Storage From Old Tissue Boxes
Sometimes decorative storage boxes are really useful as somewhere where you can dump your jewelry, keys or (in the case of my husband) the entire contents of his pockets including; his wallet, his headphones and his security pass for work. The problem is that some of those boxes can get mighty pricey, so I’m super-excited about this idea from the ladies over at Sustain My Craft Habit, to make decorative storage boxes out of Kleenex boxes.
10) Make A Phone Charging Station From A Lotion Bottle
Like most people, my husband and I both have cell phones, which also need to be charged at least once a day. This means there’s usually a mess of cords near the outlets we use for charging. I just came across this idea from Make It & Love It to make a charging station from an old lotion bottle and now really want to try it!
11) Make Magazine Holders From Cereal Boxes
Trashy magazines are one of my guilty pleasures, but I often don’t get around to reading them straight away or find there are some I want to keep because there’s a certain recipe or article I want for later. This means we often have piles of magazines cluttering our living room (and dresser and bathroom – looking around the house they’ve crept into a lot of rooms). This idea from Cheryl at Everyday Dishes looks like an awesome, stylish yet free way to corral all of our magazines!
12) Make A Magnetic Paper Bin From A Cereal Box
Again looking at ways to corral paper clutter, I love this idea for a magnetic paper bin from Soho Sonnet. Thinking this would be an awesome way to store coupons and/or take out menus on the side of the fridge!
13) Use Glass Jars For Makeup & Toiletry Storage
I would love to be able to buy some of those acrylic storage containers you see all over Instagram in order to tidy my bathroom vanity and drawers, but it can be difficult to find them in the right size and the cost seriously adds up. So this idea from Beautylish for decorating glass jars, to turn them into stylish bathroom storage is an excellent way to create cute storage at no cost.
14) Use A Tic Tac Box To Store Bobby Pins
While we’re on the subject of tidying your bathroom vanity, I love the idea of adding a magnetic strip to hold bobby pins but our bathroom is tiny so I don’t have suitable drawers and as we’re in a rental, I don’t want to stick anything to the walls so this idea from Chelsea over at Lovely Indeed is a really handy alternative for organizing your bobby pins. And bonus, you could make as many of these as you need – one for your bathroom, one for your dresser, one for your purse – you get the idea!
15) Make Cardboard Clothing Organizers
We do a lot of shopping at Lidl/Aldi and usually pack our groceries in their cardboard produce/ product containers. But when we get home, we then have to try and break them down for recycling which is tough as those boxes are often pretty sturdy! This is why I’m stoked about this idea from Mary at the Boondocks Blog for repurposing those boxes as closet storage. I’m probably going to try contact paper rather than wrapping paper, as I feel like it would hold up to more wear and tear, but still excited to try this!
16) Re-Purpose An Old Cookie Sheet For Makeup Storage
Our ensuite bathroom is tiny and has a small pedestal sink and pretty much zero storage. I managed to cram a slim storage tower into the space, but never have enough space for all of our toiletries and my make-up. This idea from Megan at Fresh.Cut.Grass looks like a super solution – all you need is an old cookie sheet and a big packet of magnets!
17) DIY Jewellery Organizer
I go through phases of how much “styling” I do. Sometimes I go for weeks in just plain-old “jeans and t-shirt” outfits and then there are times, I can’t leave the house for days without some bracelets, a cool necklace, a nice pair of earrings and a jazzy hair clip. When I’m in the frame of mind for the latter, those accessories get piled on my nightstand creating such a mess it’s super frustrating. This idea from Maria via Hometalk looks like a great budget-friendly way to keep that mess in check!
18) Use Egg Cartons To Store Jewellery
I also love this idea from Liz at Very Fond Of, to use egg cartons to organize smaller items like rings and earrings. This would also be a great way to organize small office supplies like paper clips and tacks or crafting supplies like beads!
19) Cereal Box Lint Holder
Seriously I dream of having a separate laundry/ utility room. They’re not a standard feature in all Irish homes and our current tiny house definitely does not have the room for one, but as we house hunt, I can dream…. For now, I’ll just have to cope with our combo washer-dryer which lives in the kitchen (trust me, it’s a very normal place for your laundry machines in the UK & Ireland). Currently, our dryer lint just gets thrown in an ugly plastic bag, but I love this idea to create a fab lint holder out of an old cereal box from Erin over at Lemons & Lavender.
20) Use A Hanger And Shower Curtain Hooks To Hang Scarves
When I’m in an accessorizing mood, I love decorative scarves but they usually end up stuffed in a bag or hanging over our banister. This idea from Sarah at From The Desk is such a clever way to organize scarves (or ties) and could be done so easily with a Hanger and some old shower curtain hooks (you could get some very cheap at the dollar store if you’ve none on-hand).
Trying to get our house in order is definitely a process, but I’m excited to try some of these great free organizing ideas. Let me know if you have any other tips or tricks to organize your home for free in the comments below!