9 Tips to Organize on a Budget

When most people talk about getting organized, they dread the idea of doing it simply because they think it will break the bank. There are so many other things to spend our money on other than straightening the house, right? I could name a list of things I would rather spend money on than baskets and closet systems.

What’s important about your organizing systems is that you realize two things: 1.) If it’s a permanent fixture that you can’t change or move with you to a new house, rethink it. A lot of closet systems fall into this category. Make sure that if you splurge on a closet system, that it is still customizable in the event that you move into a new house. 2.) Realize that your needs and the ways you live are constantly changing. You will realize once you have completely organized a space that maintaining the organization begins with its functionality. If it is not practical to the way you live, it will not work. It is okay to re-organize areas, re-evaluate your needs, and change things around.

With that said, organizing does not have to be expensive! In fact, in my experience, it is cheaper than decorating!

Here are a few helpful tips:

1.) Use containers you already have. This is a great place to start, and sometimes I’ve been happier with these containers than any I have purchased.

2.) Re-purpose old boxes! Such as: appliance boxes, shoe boxes, or diaper boxes. I do this ALL THE TIME! You can see in my pantry organization post that I reused a diaper box to store my daughter’s food. Shoe boxes are great for this as well.

There are also so many ways to dress up a box! You can cut it to size and wrap it in fabric, wrapping paper, or scrapbook paper. The options are endless! I just hate throwing away a box now without thinking, “Wait, can I use this for anything?”

3.) Make your own labels with paper and tape. You can also print your own labels offline. I have done both of these different ways, and both turn out great. You can add a piece of scrapbook paper, construction paper, or create your own design and write on it with a contrasting color. Using different font styles really makes a statement as well.

My favorite do-it-yourself way to laminate is by using tape. There are so many ways to make fun, eye-catching labels without splurging.

4.) Give everything a home! This does not have to cost anything. The easiest part of organizing is simply finding things a home. This helps my husband tremendously, and it helps me when I am in a rush! Everything should have a home, making clean-up easier, and your home less cluttered.

5.) Shop dollar stores, such as Family Dollar, Dollar General, and Dollar Tree. If you need to buy a bin or basket, shop cheap! My favorite places are dollar stores. I always find what I am looking for, and when you are on a budget, you will love your space that much more knowing it did not break the bank.

6.) Clip or print coupons! I do not personally coupon, but I would love to learn one day. I have many friends who are coupon experts and I love hearing about their savings! This is a great way to organize for less.

7.) Mix coupons with sales. I love doing this at Michael’s. These craft stores are notorious for putting coupons in their ads and having great sales on top of it. Matching a sale with a coupon means big savings.

8.) Shop garage sales. Hidden gems can always be found at garage sales, and there is usually room for negotiation. Especially if you are the eclectic sort, you can find a random assortment of organizing products at garage sales. Garage sales are always “hit-or-miss”, but the savings are definitely worth the wait.

9.) Think of a product for a different use than what it was made for. I love doing this! If you have a stacked spice rack, make it a wall shelf! There are millions of containers out there that were designed for specific purposes… However, if you could take that same product and use it creatively for something else, you can find really good deals!

Sometimes when I see a sale, (for example, on a hanging coat cover), I think, “Oh I don’t need a place to keep our nice jackets.” What I really should be thinking is, “What else can I use that for?” And then I realize that it would be a great place to store my wrapping paper.

The options are endless. With just a little creativity and bargain hunting, organizing can actually be fun instead of a stress on your wallet. I hope you enjoyed these tips, and that they help you as much as they have helped me!

Copyright © Rachel Criner, Moms of Faith®, All Rights Reserved


  1. Julie V. on April 26, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    I recently organized my garage. Good tips. We have an extra dog dish that’s just been hanging around forever, since the dog only needs 1 dish.
    I ended up using it to hold my husband’s collection of old keys and locks. We both laughed about the dog dish full of keys, but it really does look nicer than having a big Ziplock bag.
    I’m not a great organizer, but I try to learn, so thank you.

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