Have you ever made a special trip to a shop that specializes in containers and storage, gotten overwhelmed in the storage aisle at your home improvement store, or caught yourself piling your cart with racks, bins, or baskets? Storage items can be very te
Have you ever made a special trip to a shop that specializes in containers and storage, gotten overwhelmed in the storage aisle at your home improvement store, or caught yourself piling your cart with racks, bins, or baskets?
Storage items can be very tempting. They look neat and hold the promise of a clean, organized home. It's no wonder the storage market is booming nationwide. But these organizing items and closet systems can be extremely expensive.
Is there a frugal solution?
The first thing to do is to purge your stash. Yes, your stuff can be organized, stacked, and made to look tidy, but most people keep far more than they use. Their belongings spread from house to backyard shed to storage unit and beyond. It doesn't make financial sense to save items for "someday" if it costs more than the replacement cost to continue storing it, month after month. If you can't find it when the time comes, it's a total waste. Before deciding on a frugal storage project, pare down your stuff with a firm hand.
Once you're ready, here are some frugal and DIY storage ideas:
Buy lattice at the garden store for around $5. Add a little paint and some S-hooks and you've created hanging storage. Attach to a wall or even a ceiling.
Shoe boxes (cut down if too tall, or use the lids) keep lingerie drawers organized — and they're free.
Cover an oatmeal cylinder with scrapbook paper for a classy container that takes only two minutes to make.
Canning jars are cheap and make great see-through storage.
Hanging shoe organizers are cheap and can be used for much more than shoes: men's ties, mittens and hats, craft items, office supplies, belts, scarves, or tights, and more.
If you have room on your closet rod, purses and boots can be clipped to hangers with clothespins, freeing up closet floor space. Boots stay in better shape this way, too.
Old pallets can be taken apart to build rustic storage shelves. Cost = possibly free.
Food storage containers can easily be made from things you buy at the store. For example, mayo or spaghetti sauce jars can be washed and reused. Cottage cheese and sour cream containers work, too. Keep a Sharpie marker by the fridge to label them.
Bakeries and delis will sometimes give you their empties for larger food storage: gallon jars and five gallon buckets can be yours, if you ask.
Plastic zipped bedding packaging can find new uses. One favorite is to store a knitting project inside, keeping yarn and needles clean and together.
Dishwashing tubs can be purchased for $1 for corralling a host of items.