Dollar Tree Organization

My favorite products 🙂

If you feel like just breathing the air at another store costs you money, you might want to look at the Dollar Tree. While many products are unique or worth paying more for, sometimes a bin is just a bin and you could find something less expensive to get the job done.

So if you’re worried that it will be too expensive to organize your home, take a look at these finds from the Dollar Tree– where EVERYTHING actually is $1! There are more great products to be found here, but I want to list only what I’ve tried and favor.

Drawer Organization

Click here to find them

These come in a few sizes and you can mix and match in any drawer to make some custom organization. It’s better to see if you can find these in store to get exactly what you need. Click the pic 🙂
It might seem a little strange, but ice cube trays make good organizers for sewing drawer embellishments, jewelry and any other small trinkets. They’ll cost you more elsewhere, so snag them 2/$1 at Dollar Tree.

Pantry and Closet Organization

Get a set of these in matching colors or complimentary and create a cohesive look. Wrangle all of those little granola bars in a pantry, or travel sized toiletries in a linen closet.
They also come in white, primary colors, and metallics!
These handled baskets are great and they’d cost you a lot more elsewhere. I can’t wait until they come out with new colors! Handy for closets, cabinets, or even your refrigerator!
I can think of endless uses for these and they’ll nest inside each other when not in use. They also come in a taller, more narrow version.
How about labels for your containers of dry goods? They have regular….
….or dry erase!

Office and School Organization

I love these magnetic tins. You can put paperclips in them to hang on your filing cabinet or in a locker. You can put spices in them for your kitchen, or findings in your craft room too!
These pouches with snaps are great! They are better for items you’ll only need to access once a week or so, otherwise you may want to upgrade a little
With so many sticky notes to choose from (there’s more than these!), why would you pay more than $1?!

Everywhere organization– please!

Something I often find everywhere in a home (especially with kids!) is TRASH! Often there’s not a waste basket close by and so garbage winds up in weird places. These come in black and white and for $1 you can put one everywhere you might need one.

A final note: most of these are sold in bulk from the site so unless you need many, try finding them in store first. Different stores carry different items so you can try more than one. If they don’t carry it in store you can always as the manager about ordering. If you need to order online, technically all sales are final but I’ve been told by my local store that they would exchange unused product one-for-one in store for something else.

Happy shopping!

Ikea Hack: More Than Just a Magnetic Knife Rack

Ikea’s Kungsfors knife rack is loosely translated from Swedish to English as: “Magically Attractive Organizing Strip of Wonder”
At least, that what I made up heard.

Don’t box in this great organizing tool…it can do much more than look pretty and hold knives and scissors. Grab yourself a plate of Köttbullar (Swedish meatballs), pull up a chair, and read on!

This suggestion from Shelterness is genius! Use several magnetic strips for an easy way to help kids put away Hot Wheels and other toy cars.

Next up: how about a handy way to store hair barrettes, nail clippers and other personal care items?

And how about a magnetic key rack in your hallway next to the door?

And Houzz had a great idea to store paintbrushes and other small tools this way

And this idea came right from Ikea: Use it for meal planning to hold recipes! (This could be used in an office for kids’ art too!)

And a final few words, this magnetic strip has also been known as “Grundtal” and “Fintorp”. Also, you can find similar magnetic racks at places like Target or Amazon. What would you use them for?

Dollar Tree Ikea Hack!

FIND OF THE DAY!

Containers

Today at Dollar Tree, I found some great round magnetic containers in a couple of sizes made by Jot. If you’ve been on Pinterest, you’re likely familiar with these handy little things. Dollar Tree has made them more affordable! The larger are a $1 each and the smaller come in a two pack for your same dollar. If you can’t find them in store, order them here. Instead of telling you what you can do with them– let me show you!

Save

Day Twelve: Squeaky Clean Bathroom!

bathroom-1206932-640x480Since you use your bathroom to get clean, doesn’t it make sense to get your bathroom clean? Bathrooms often get cluttered with half used products, so head in there to clear it out!

Get under your sink, into the drawers, or into the bathroom closet if you have one and asses your items. Anything that’s not being used, anything that’s half empty (or is it half full) and has been shoved in there needs to go. Sometimes, this is a hard one because some products may have been costly and you might feel guilty throwing them away. But if they’re not being used, now both your money AND your space is being wasted. Not to mention the fact that it makes things difficult to find. If you’d like, see if a friend’s daughter or someone would like to try your expensive platinum shampoo. One exception would be makeup. If you haven’t used it in awhile, chances are it’s growing bacteria and it’s not healthy for anyone to use. Toss it and don’t look back!

Now here are some ideas for organizing what you have left:

makeup-1195895-639x719For makeup, consider getting a cute toolbox to put it in that can be tucked into a closet or cabinet when not in use. Or, if you have enough drawer space for this purpose, get a handy organizer.

If your sink is near to the bathroom door, consider getting a pocket shoe organizer for the HBA items you use regularly (brushes, gel, nail polish remover). I’ve done this in my master bath, and not only does it utilize vertical space and free up cabinets, but everything is right on hand when I need it, and I’m more likely to return things to their home so the counter doesn’t stay cluttered.

For products under your sink, get a wire shelf so you’ll have room for two layers of products, or get a pull out organizer to make things easy to access. Check out this video to see one great way of setting up your bathroom cupboard or this video to see how to accomplish the same thing on a budget.

Even if you don’t purchase any additional products, your bathroom will be a lot easier to use now that you’ve cleared out the clutter.

Day Twelve: DONE!

Day Four: Pots, Pans & Utensils

There’s that one huge pot you use once a year on Thanksgiving. Should you keep it? Probably. But it shouldn’t be in the way of your everyday cookware. Today, let’s tackle the remainder of your kitchen!

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I recently helped a family of eight members move out of their home. The mother is very much a homemaker who is devoted to clean eating. As you can imagine they had a TON of cookware–NOT! Really she had a handful of really great pots and pans (some iron) and that was it. If she can feed that huge family that way, surely most of us can pare down our cabinets.

First, pull your pots and pans out of the cabinet and set aside the ones you use on a regular basis. Those are keepers! Now everything else is called into question one by one. As mentioned above, sometimes you have a couple of items that you use only around the holidays. Ask yourself if you have another piece that can do the same job. If not, find a place to put those that they won’t interfere with your everyday life. Maybe a basement shelf, a deep dark corner of the pantry you just cleaned out (if your following this challenge!), or a high cupboard you never use. Ask yourself if you are keeping any of the other things just because you feel obligated, or if they’re just getting in the way. Whatever falls in these categories needs to be sent to a good home where someone will use them.

Now, do the same with your kitchen utensils. Usually we have a lot of random inventions that we don’t use. Someone once gave me a nifty melon baller, but I’m not a big fan of melon and when I serve it, I just cut it up. It was used only once. It was an expensive thing from maybe Pampered Chef or Tupperware. However, it went to a melon-loving friend who actually used it. Now, somethings you might have multiples of. Large spoons and spatulas are something I have several of, but with the way I cook, I do wind up using most or all that are in my stash many times. If you use it regularly keep it, if you don’t, it goes.

Finally, consider the best way to organize these now that you’ve made some great space for yourself. It’s good to get a pan organizer so your pans aren’t nesting and scratching each other (this also makes them easier to access). Utensils can be hung on a wall, or a drawer organizer or dividers purchased. Consider hanging up measuring cups and spoons (as seen below) on the inside of a cabinet with command hooks. Get cabinet organizers for your dishes and bowls to help sort out those cabinets. You don’t even have to buy these new–many can be found at the thrift shop as I highlighted here. Search Pinterest and have a ball!

Day Four: DONE!

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Container Store Visit

Yesterday I covered some different options for inexpensive organizing. This led to a chat about storage options with an out-of-state relative in which I mentioned The Container Store. The reply came, “What’s The Container Store?” GASP! So today, I thought I’d pay a visit to the popular retailer where there is a place for every thing! What do they have? Closet systems, storage drawers, baskets, bins, drawer dividers, and do-hickies! You can take a peek at some of the most interesting things I found there today. Enjoy the slideshow!

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Finally, if you’d like a more extensive tour of The Container Store, you can follow one of my favorite organizers, Alejandra Costello, as she does a three part video series highlighting this fun place! Start here and enjoy!

Budget Finds- Organizing doesn’t have to be expensive

While it can be easy to get carried away and spend big bucks on organizing items, it’s not a requirement. Let me give you a few options that will be easy on your pocketbook. Read on!

The leaves will be turning soon, the days are getting shorter, the s’mores aroma is in the air, and the kids are going back to school. But don’t miss the most exciting thing about this season: when school supplies come out, so do organizing options. Notably, the Dollar Tree brings out some pretty great things in the fall. Bins, buckets, baskets– all $1! Also remember that things like pencil cases can be used to corral any small objects, not just pencils. Silverware organizers can also be handy in a junk drawer to sort pencils, random membership cards and the like. I trekked down to my local Dollar Tree yesterday to see what they had. Check out this sampling, then continue below for more tips:

 

Another great place to find organizing items is the thrift store. Many people cast off these items (I can’t imagine why?!) and their loss is your gain. This one takes a bit if patience as you might not find what you want right away, but it can pay off big in the long run. For instance, I found a couple of pot/pan organizers which cost me only a couple of dollars at the thrift store, while they are usually around $15 give or take at places like Amazon. As a sample:

TS1

It may not look like much but it’s an amazing product that keeps you from having to pull pans out of a stack each time you need one. Can also be used horizontally. Here’s how they look at work in my cabinets (the white metal shelf came from the thrift store as well):

TS2TS3

And last but definitely not least, if you have a Big Lots close by, I’d recommend swinging by there. They sometimes have some neat organizing items in their home/kitchen area. Some of the things are similar to what you might find at the dollar store, but for a few cents more you’ll get nicer quality. Many of the items are somewhat unique compared to what you’ll find at other discount type stores. I found these handled baskets (below) there for $1.50 each if I remember right. Since my spices are up higher, I like to be able to pull them down so I can get a good look at them. This system of organizing spices won’t work for everyone, but it is perfect for me! The metal shelves were snatched from the thrift store.

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So, as you can see, you don’t need to break the bank to tidy up your space. Once you purge your excess “stuff”, get out there and pick up a few of these budget friendly options to tame your items!

Using Unconventional Systems (a before and after story)

Contrary to popular belief, organizing doesn’t have to be expensive. Let’s use a recent closet project for a budget-friendly example. Here before you is a teenager’s closet fresh from a recent move.

JoshClosetBefore1

Unfortunately, the balance of the closet was almost equally as full. There were books covering the bottom of the floor, and boxes still packed up on the top shelf. The biggest issue on this side was that there was no room for the shoes which were among the pile, and hard to find. Sometimes, when you first move, it’s hard to figure out how to fit things into your new space.

After finding a place on a nearby bookshelf for the aforementioned books,  and arranging things more efficiently, there was more room overall in the closet.  We were able to give the shoes their own little home, and repurposed some unused milk crates and the previously packed boxes turned on their sides for a makeshift shoe organizer. If desired, a “legit” organizer can be purchased later, or these boxes could even be wrapped in some cool paper or duct tape for the young occupant’s use.

JoshClosetAfter

Using milk crates or boxes is a good way to create an extra shelf on an existing closet shelf as well so that double the shoes, purses, or whatever, can fit up there. So, forget that cliche saying. Think “inside the box”instead.

An Organizer’s Secret Weapon

Wanna know a secret? My favorite tool for organizing isn’t necessarily made for organizing at all. Handier than a pocket on a shirt, the one thing I can’t do without is a dry erase marker…..or 20. I actually have them pretty much everywhere, and in every color.

One marker sits on the counter ledge in my bathroom, because–did you know?– you can actually write on mirrors in dry-erase. I regularly scribble my new favorite quote, people and things I need to remember, and most importantly a few priority goals I want to accomplish the next day. This is a great way to organize your time and make sure your priorities are at the forefront of your mind in the morning.

Another marker is attached with Velcro alongside the door frame in my laundry room next to the washer. Sometimes I put something into the wash that could turn inmarkerto a size 3T in the dryer, but I’m very bad about remembering to pull it out between the two. I’ll use my marker to note the item on the washer lid to make sure I don’t forget it. (While I’ve never had a problem, you might test it somewhere hidden first.)

An additional Expo is velcroed out of sight on the side of my microwave by the fridge. I can easily write on (and wipe off) my storage containers so I know what leftovers are hanging out in the cold. (It’s a good idea to keep a sharpie there too, so you can write names and dates on bags that go into the freezer–just don’t get them mixed up!)

I also use these handy implements to keep track of which shoes are in which storage boxes in my closet. In fact, these can be used to write on almost any kind of smooth surface. (Again, you might want to test them first. I have found that there are a few plastics that just don’t want to let go)

And now that you’ve been enlightened about the necessity of dry-erase markers, go forth and organize your life like a pro! If you find more uses for these handy little things–leave me a note in the comments!