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Thrifty Organizing Solutions

01 Apr 2017 12:12 PM | Olive Wagar (Administrator)

Thrifty Organizing Solutions

It doesn’t have to be expensive to be organized! I enjoy looking through books and magazines for clever and practical organizing ideas. However, I hardly ever go with the most expensive option. Seeing those pictures helps me to visualize new possibilities. Then I challenge myself to create a similar effect with a thrifty alternative.

My all-time favorite book of ideas is Country Living’s The Little Book of Big Decorating Ideas: 287 Clever Tips, Tricks, and Solutions. Each page is a full color photo of simple ideas that make a big difference! I even managed to find a used copy of the book after I had checked it out of the library multiple times.

Some of their great ideas include:

#16—skateboards used as wall shelves

#33—old ladder used as a towel rack

#47—metal tray used as a message board

#51—stepstool used as a side table

#62—stack of vintage suitcases used for storage

#85—fruit crates used as wall shelves

#264—shadowbox filled with prize ribbons

Sometimes I simply notice what items are available at less expensive stores. It gives me the opportunity to try out an organizing solution without making a major investment. Sometimes I upgrade to a better version, but often the cheaper item solves the problem.

Here are just a few of the useful items I have discovered:


drawer dividers; plastic dish pans; cubical bins


clear shoe, sweater, or file boxes; decorated storage boxes


wreath storage box; wire baskets; 10 drawer file cart


12 pocket vertical organizer; 24 pocket door shoe organizer;

cubical shelves; free standing clothing racks

I do enjoy browsing at The Container Store! It would be quite easy to spend a lot here.  However, I can say without hesitation that my favorite lower priced item is their crystal clear drawer dividers made by Inter-Design. They instantly upgrade any drawer to fabulous and add a simple touch of luxury. I have used them in my kitchen for utensils and in my vanity for jewelry.

I was helping my brother organize a small bedroom closet a few weeks ago. The closet rod was simply too high and rather awkward to use. We found a free standing clothing rack at Wal-Mart that was perfect. It even included 4 shelves on the side and a shelf across the top. The bonus was the note on the box that mentioned no tools required for assembly! And less than $40! It actually transformed his closet. He can enjoy this simple solution every single day. As he put it, “I actually like using this!”

Don’t rush out to get the most expensive “must have” organizing item. Take time to reuse or recycle items you already have. Be willing to try a different solution. Enjoy the challenge of thrifty organizing!

Olive Wagar

The Compassionate Organizer


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