Chances are good that one of your resolutions this year (along with “dry January” and nudging down that pesky body mass index) is to organize your home. Because which of us doesn’t constantly feel as if we’re drowning in clutter?
But first, you need a place to put it all. Before you run out to the store to stock up on specialized bins and storage racks, take heed: It doesn’t have to cost a small fortune to store your stuff in style. Instead, you can grab everyday household items that you need to purge anyway and instead use them to keep your things in order.
So without further ado, we present to you eight DIY storage solutions that cost pennies on the dollar.
1. Plastic shoe holders
Banish the mess under your bathroom sink by hanging a plain ol’ plastic shoe holder over the back of your door. Once you’ve sorted out the products and devices you use most often, store them one per pocket.
“These holders start at $5 at Walmart and can easily hold gardening tools and cleaning supplies, too,” points out Carson Yarbrough, savings expert at Offers.com.
Another pro tip? Use a shoe holder inside your coat closet for corralling hats, mittens, gloves, and the dog’s leash. They look fine and work well: What’s not to love?
2. Empty candleholders and baby food jars
This sweet idea takes advantage of all those little votive candle holders and tiny baby food jars rolling around in the bottom kitchen drawer.
Darla DeMorrow, the home organizing pro behind HeartWork Organizing, put these pretty filigree cut metal cups in her medicine cabinet to hold makeup brushes, bandages, and cotton swabs.
Move on to the garage or your kids’ room to organize tiny items in baby food jars, says Marty Basher, an organizing expert at Modular Closets.
“Store screws, nails, buttons, stickers, and all of those google eyeballs the kids use in craft projects,” she suggests.
3. Wine racks
So you’ve upgraded from a wine rack to a wine fridge? Use your old rack to tuck away small purses and clutches, suggests Julie Coraccio, the organizing guru at Reawaken Your Brilliance.
Don’t stop there, though. You can use wine racks for stylish storage in nearly every part of your home: In the bathroom, store rolled-up towels in a wine rack for a beautiful display. In the kitchen, use a wine rack to store all those water bottles and thermoses piled in your cupboards. And in the bedroom, you can even use a large wine rack for shoe storage. (Extra credit: Organize and preserve high boots by cutting up old polyethylene foam pool noodles to insert into the boots; it’ll help them stay upright and keep their shape.)
4. Empty marinara sauce and peanut butter jars
There’s no need to spring for a specialized set of glass jars for your beans and pasta. Instead, hit your recycling bin for marinara sauce and peanut butter jars, and set up your pantry for greatness.
“Wide-mouth jars can also hold spoons, spatulas, zesters, tongs, and whisks very neatly on your counters,” reports Cynthia O’Hara, aka The Harried Housewife.