Organize a Room for $10 with No Extra Effort

By Tisha Tolar on 10 September 2010 (Updated 5 September 2011) 8 comments
Photo: Jess Pac

Organization is the bane of many families' existence. Most busy families do not have the time or the energy to constantly battle household clutter because with each new day, there is more. Sure, you can box it up and hide it away, but that is just prolonging the problem and not actually finding a solution. (See also: 25 Easy Organizing Changes You Can Make Today)

There are tubs and totes and professional organizational décor which you can find at any store or online, but purchasing large quantities to handle the initial clutter can get expensive. You have to first cough up the cash to purchase supplies, then find a proper storage place to hide all the totes and tubs. Plus, you still need to come back and tackle what's stored in the box.

Instead of making more work for yourself, here's an idea that can cost less than $10 per room. You don't even have to make any extra time to accomplish your organizational tasks. The idea is simple. Purchase a sturdy hanging shoe organizer — the kind with several sets of pockets designed to hang inside a closet or on the back of a door. Don't go cheap if you want it to last. You can usually find a good one for around $10. If you are really tight on money, buy just one at a time for each room you need to organize.

Once you have your first hanger, decide an area of your home that needs help. It may not be the best idea to think room-to-room; maybe subdividing different household needs would be more helpful. For instance, take your supply of medicines and first-aid materials. Decide on a good location for easy access (a bathroom closet, kitchen pantry), and hang the shoe organizer. Each time you come across an item related to the category you selected, return it to the hanger rather than its original location. When you need a bandage or an aspirin, take it from the shelf and then store it in a pocket of the organizer. Continue doing the same with all related supplies until the rack is full.

Make a list of other things you'd like to organize. Here are some suggestions.

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School and Craft Supplies

Kids are always looking for something they need for school or crafts at home. Storing supplies in an easy-to-access shoe organizer is a great way for little hands to find what they need when they need it. Get really creative by allowing kids to apply stickers or decorate the organizer. By making it more attractive with a personal touch, you can actually display the hanging organizer in public view such as on the bedroom or rec room walls.

Coupons and Samples

Smaller coupon organizers are nice because you can fit them in your purse. However, they are easy to forget or even lose. Use a shoe organizer in an easily accessible place to make it easier to throw in your finds and organize coupons at a later time. It is also a great place to throw free samples that come in the mail which you may not be ready to use right then but will be looking for later. Small items like samples tend to get lost and forgotten just like coupons. Plus, many free sample packs come with a coupon, so you are killing two birds with one organizer.

Beauty Products

You may do your hair in one room and your make up in another and store your perfume in yet another room. It's likely that you have bottles, tubes, cans, and jars all over the house. Use an organizer to keep all your products in a central location, freeing up drawers and cabinets that are overly cluttered. It's also a great way to keep tabs on the items you are running low on and have an abundant supply of so you aren't wasting money on what you think you don't have.

Home Improvement

After a recent move, my husband and I discovered about 26 extension cords and 10 power strips we never knew we had. Keep a hanger in the garage or basement to store little things like electrical cords, plugs, nails, often-used tools, and other items that tend to get lost in the shuffle. You can end up saving a lot of money by not repurchasing what you already own.

Clothing

If you are short on drawer space, you can clear out two drawers with one shoe organizer. Store your underwear, bras, socks, and stockings in the hanger and free up some drawer space in the bedroom.

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Guest

This is a GREAT idea! I can't wait to try it. Thanks for sharing!

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Frugal Guest

If you work at an office, bring home those sturdy computer paper boxes. They are great for storing just about anything, and they are all the same size (unless you mix regular and legal).

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Laurie

Seriously? Who has this many closets that they could spare space for endless shoe organizers of crap? I have a shoe organizer on the back of a closet door -- for shoes! I have one other closet door in my whole place -- it has a rack for the broom, mop, dustpan, brush, duster, etc.

Great idea for people with tons of closets. But here's a thought! If you have this many closets why aren't you already organized?

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Guest

Do you see any problem with choosing one of the options to use? These do not always have to go on a closet door. We keep one by the back door in the winter and use it for hats, mittens, scarves, etc. It hangs directly on the wall.

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Guest

Okaaaay.....

Do you find organizing so hard that you can't do a 5-10 minute sweep and put things in their new home?

I'd rather put in a tiny bit of effort and get an immediate payoff, thanks much.

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Guest

If you have kids or pets, storing medication in a shoe organizer where they could be easily accessed is a BAD idea. Those things need to be kept away from paws and little hands.

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Mrs. $

I love that idea. I have a bunch of those. I've never seen that pretty print though. Where did you get that one in the picture?

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Guest

what about if you don't want your guests looking at all your crap hanging on the back of a door or on a wall? I usually don't like to look at my clutter.