Organizing on a Budget

posted by Andrea | 11/29/2010

Are you in the process of getting organized or thinking about your next organizing project?


First things first, you need a plan — and a budget. And from my experience, the plan comes quite easily; it’s the budget that can sometimes hold me back! Can you relate?

Recently, I’ve received several emails asking for simple ways to get organized on a budget — it looks like you CAN relate! So fortunately, I’m not only organized but also very frugal and have a few tricks up my sleeve for big-time organizing on a small-scale budget.

Keep reading!

1. Use storage containers you already have:

Total Cost = $0.00

Maybe you don’t have any extra containers right now, but once you start clearing some of your clutter, you will inevitably free up a few storage containers that can be re-purposed for your new organizing projects. How many plastic bins, laundry baskets, shoe boxes, crates, and storage bags do you think you can come up with?


2. Re-purpose items you have lying around:

Total Cost = $0.00

If you can’t come up with any storage containers around your home and still don’t want to spend the money, you can easily improvise with items commonly found in most homes.

Here are some of my favorites…

3. Trade Services with a Friend:

Total Cost = $0.00

If you hate organizing but love folding laundry, baking, or scrap-booking; consider trading your skills with a friend who loves to organize but dislikes one of these other activities.

You will both be happier and probably more productive — plus it’s FREE!

4. Find Inspiration from the Internet:

Total Cost = $0.00

Since you are here, reading this article at, I assume you have access to the Internet in one form or another.

Make use of this valuable resource by scouring sites that focus one organization, time management, organizing projects, home renovations, etc etc.

Here are just a few of my favorite websites {and there are THOUSANDS more!}:

5. Use The Library:

Total Cost = $0.00

I have yet to find a library that charges a fee for information — have you? Instead of subscribing to magazines that offer tips and tricks to get organized, head to your local library and check out two — or 20!

Our library has oodles of great magazines that I check out frequently. I get so many inspirational ideas for my home, garden, kitchen, and organizing projects — all for free!

6. Find Free Printables:

Total Cost = $0.00

I am in love with FREE printable documents, forms, spreadsheets, craft ideas, holiday items, etc. etc. They are ALL over the Internet and totally free for the taking {or printing!}

These documents have helped me, and I know they will help you to get more organized.

  • I have over 16 free printable documents to help you organize your shopping, meal planning, gift giving, and more!
  • Mandi has loads of free printables over at Life…YourWay
  • I love all the fun children’s printables from 1+1+1=1

7. Shop Freecylcle:

Total Cost = $0.00 plus a little gas money is a place where you can find nearly anything for free! Have you ever used it??

It can be hit-or-miss and you’ll need to have enough time to run out and pick up your items, but you might just be surprised at what you find.

And not to overstate the obvious, but is a great way to get rid of your unwanted items and reduce the clutter in your home!!

8. Sell some of your things to purchase others:

Total Cost = as low as $0.00 plus your time

If you are in a bind and can’t find free organizing tools, then why not sell some of your clutter and use that cash to pay for your new treasures?

Over the last 3 years, I have become a pro at selling unused, unneeded items on Craigslist! I sell my own stuff, I sell things for others, I just love Craigslist — and did I mention it’s totally FREE to buy and sell on Craigslist!!!

Obviously, you shouldn’t waste your time selling junk, but if you have anything that might be useful to someone else, I would encourage you to follow my tips and see how much money you can make. Then use that money to fund your next organizing project. {I just had to answer the door for the women who was purchasing 2 items from my Craigslist ad!}

9. Pen, Paper, and Calendar:

Total Cost = $0.00

I’ll take my old-fashion paper calendar over fancy-smancy electronic devices any day. Partially because I can usually find some type of calendar or day planner for free, but also because it’s the easiest method for me to keep track of my life.

And I always have a stack of free paper pads lying around just waiting for my next grocery or to-do list!

10. What are your ideas?

I still have a few more frugal organizing ideas, but I want to know what YOUR tips, tricks, tools, and ideas are for organizing on a budget.

Share them with us! Pretty please!

Getting organized does NOT have to be an expensive ordeal — and in my experience, it can actually save you money! When you’re organized, you know what you have so you avoid overspending on items you don’t need. Plus, by using a few of the suggestions above, your projects won’t require the upfront investment you might think.

Happy Organizing!


Filed under: OrganizingPurgingResources

Leave a comment


  1. Lacy


    What store is in the top picture with all of the storage containers????


  2. samantha


    i have spent a ton of money on organizing items. and believe it or not im still not organized :(. i have a very hard situation so organizing for me is a challange. so i dont have many tips. i guess i have one. if you eat tv dinners, wash the trays out and put a couple in a drawer to organize office items. but if you do buy something, use the dollar stores. and rite aid even has a dollar section. and buy things that have more than one purpose so if u no longer need it for the intention that you had then you can reuse it for something else. also, keep all important information in a folder, such as doctors numbers, etc. just in case your cell phone doesn’t work or is dead. i dont know how many times i had to buy tweezers or nail clippers or baby items because my son (3 years old) has miss placed them. so being disorganized is also how many people send more money.


  3. CharmingJes


    How do i get a car loan when im on disability?


  4. Danielle


    This may sound weird, but I love using those thin plastic baggie boxes as drawer organizers. I cut the top off and use them in my kitchen drawers for utensils and dividers. They are thin enough you don’t really notice the cardboard box, they are made to fit in such drawers, so they are perfectly tall enough, and it is a quick and easy way to keep things tidy. I did it originally as a ‘brainstorming’ idea to know what dividers to purchase. But these have worked so well I can’t bring myself to go and buy the real thing. 🙂


    Andrea Reply:

    What a great idea! I have re-purposed many containers over the years, but I never thought to use the “baggie” boxes. Those just might be perfect for a project I have on my list right now.

    Thanks for the tip Danielle!


  5. Dawn Hild


    I can’t believe I it took me so long for this idea to click. My husband and I love to jar candles, especially the one with airtight lids. We always recycled those when the candles were gone… but now are saving the jar and the lid for re-purposing as containers around the house. Double duh… how silly it took us so long for that to click!!!


  6. Melissa@SimplyMel


    Wonderful ideas!! I love Freecycle. We’ve started trying to sell stuff more on Craiglist instead of just giving it away.

    Thanks for this list. Stopping by from TTT


  7. Amy


    Love this! Especially love the library idea. My mom was just saying the other day she went there after some time and had forgotten what a great resource it is!


    Andrea Reply:

    I know, I’m always surprised by how many FREE recourses the library has!


  8. Kim Monaco


    Awesome list – full of great ideas that I can use today. Thank you!!


  9. Tweets that mention Organizing on a Budget « Simple Organized Living --


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  10. Betsy (Eco-novice)


    I like to get rid of stuff (or not buy/acquire it in the first place). Of course, when you can sell your stuff and get money for it, that’s even more fun but a bit more effort. I also like to use shoe boxes and other re-purposed containers.