Get organized this year with easy systems and inexpensive solutions

This post is a request by Donna on Twitter. I use easy systems for keeping my stuff organized and my house clean. As I always mention, Clutterbug changed my life. Her books can help you get organized, keep your stuff and not feel like you’re missing anything. (Take Clutterbug’s test if you’d like to learn what may work for you. I’m a ladybug! You also don’t have to take an entire day each week to keep your house clean. She has all sorts of hacks for cleaning a little here and there and also making your own cleaning products.) For reorganizing your stuff I highly recommend going to Dollar Tree to get drawer organizers and plastic and fabric bins before you start purging. You don’t have to know exactly what you want ahead of time. They’re all a dollar each, obviously, however in many cases you can get better products, or more products in a bundle, on Amazon. (The photo above is a screenshot of Cas from Clutterbug.) Here’s an affiliate post with products that may work for you.

Work with your existing system with small organization solutions
I keep bills, post it notes, pens and miscellaneous stuff on top of my dishwasher. So I bought a small desk organizer for that area. It looks neat and attractive instead of being a pile of stuff. This is the same one I have! I know where to find pens and paper clips and my bills are ready to pay. (I only keep a few behind it and I also have a list of what is due when.) As a system I sort all my mail the minute I come in the house and I do it over the recycling bin and shredder, by the door, so junk mail is thrown out immediately. Here’s a list from Clutterbug of things around the house that usually require a designated place! A small organizer might be a good place to keep your keys too. You may want a charging station organizer as well, so you can keep your devices in one place.

Organize your junk drawer and bathroom drawers
My junk drawer used to be a total mess, but then I got a bunch of plastic bins like these, dumped it out and separated it into categories like batteries, rubber bands, paper clips and pens. There are so many YouTube videos of people doing this that can help you. I even have a junk drawer in my laundry room that is organized now. Here are more bins that can help sort hidden spaces. You can do this for the disaster areas under your kitchen or bathroom sink and there are containers for your pantry too. Do it on a Dime has a video for purging and organizing under your bathroom sink and Clutterbug has one too.

Get fabric bins for sheets, towels, and extra clothing
One of the main tips I learned from Clutterbug and Do it on a Dime was that your house looks so much more organized if you just put things in bins. Go to the Dollar Tree to get fabric bins if you don’t mind them thin or you can get them a little pricier (just a few dollars) from Walmart, Dollar General or Amazon. I’m not really good at folding fitted sheets. I’ve watched the Martha Stewart demonstration video so many times, but I can’t get them tidy. It doesn’t matter how they’re folded if you put them in a bin. Slap a “Queen Sheets” label on there and your linen cabinet looks so nice.

Get a label maker to label bins and even shelves
Early last year I ordered the Epson LabelWorks LW-300 Labelmaker. However I paid less than $30 for it and it’s now over $100 so I can’t recommend it at that price. Here is an affordable alternative that is well reviewed, the Brother P-Touch. I use mine to label little plastic containers, bins and even the shelves in my fridge! My son likes to use it and it helps let us know what goes where. It’s old school with on screen choices and little icons to add and this one is the same. The replacement tape can be expensive, so I order it off eBay.

Organize kids’ stuff with colorful bins
I had this exact organizer for my son’s room. I gave it to the Goodwill when he became a teenager and aged out of his toys. (Now I am thinking of the end of Toy Story 3 and getting choked up!) Clutterbug has a great video where she organizes kids’ toys in her sister’s house, right in the living room where the kids play. You see what kind of toys they have and then organize by subject like “Lego,” “Cars,” “Dolls” etc. This was just a catchall for us though and the best part was that my son could help put the toys away.

Make your fridge look organized with clear bins
My fridge is so clean-looking now thanks to clear plastic containers! I got mine from Dollar General but they stopped carrying them. If you get about 4-5 for little drinks, condiments and sundries you will spend less time digging around for stuff and guests will think you’re organized. I also have the clear egg holder and it looks so cool and is easier to see when you need to buy eggs. This set is a great price for what you get and is about what I paid. I used my label maker to label the shelves in my fridge too. There’s one for condiments, another for sauces, and another for drinks. At Home with Nikki has an aspirational example of fridge organization but she is so perfect I find her a little intimidating.

Get drawer organizers to sort your clothes
It’s incredible what a difference a simple drawer divider makes. I use expandable drawer separators for my workout clothes to sort by tops and bottoms. I also have a diamond drawer divider for my underwear and it’s a game changer. I don’t have to really fold my underwear and can just stuff them in. I use a little fabric divider for my bras. Ooh and something similar to this for my socks! The set above is the best reviewed and is #1 in drawer organizers.

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34 Responses to “Get organized this year with easy systems and inexpensive solutions”

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  1. Ib says:

    Omg I’ve never seen anything like the list organizers in the list. Checking if they fit my hanging shelf dimensions, then ordering if they do

  2. HK9 says:

    Clutterbug is amazing and I love the fact that her suggestions are really affordable. Other Youtubers like At Home/Work with Nikki (Nikki Boyd), A Bowlful of Lemons & Clean My Space are fantastic resources too. I’m starting the Home Organization challenge with A Bowlful of Lemons, she has two great books that are fantastic. Happy organizing everyone. 🙂

    • CheckThatPrivilege says:

      Thanks for the resources. I’ll have to check these out! I’m so organizationally challenged. Maybe there’s hope for me 🙂

  3. LadyMTL says:

    I have drawer organizers for my socks, underwear / bras, and I love them. I even separated my socks into “types” eg the ones that I wear a lot vs the ones that I rarely wear. That said, I find that bins and such are useful only to a certain point. For example, I tried organizing my bedsheets that way and basically all I ended up with was a stack of bins full of sheets….it was the same amount of stuff, just tidier. I suppose I really ought to get cracking and pare down, one of these days.

  4. SJhere says:

    Sure can tell it’s a New Year, diets, organizing, how to get your finances in order, how to get a good nights sleep. 🙂
    My organizing consists of anything I have not used/or craft things I bought and never started, after 6 months or so…donate it.
    I really enjoy having less housework and more space.
    Happy New Year all. 🙂

  5. CheckThatPrivilege says:

    Thanks so much for this post! I struggle with organization, and it’s good to see more of what’s out there in the way of affordable items to help corral things.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      Yes, THANK YOU!!!!

      I did the Clutterbug test, and I learned so much about myself and my organizational preferences. It really helped me understand what my goals should be. I’m a bee!

  6. Millennial says:

    Between this post and the Marie Kondo show on Netflix, I’m super motivated to clean right now!

    • Scylla74 says:

      I just read her book (The life-changing magic of tidying) and I am super motivated, too!

    • My3cents says:

      I just watched the first two episodes of her show, sadly I was a bit underwhelmed. I was hoping I could take more things I could implement into my life but the episodes seem a bit repetitive and not that helpful. I was actually really hoping for a good bing on this.

  7. vava says:

    This is a great post, and timely for me. We had a house fire just before Christmas and are now living in an apartment above our garage while our house is being restored. Everything in our house has been removed. When we move back in, my goal will be to get organized in a big way. Both my husband and I are artists and we have our materials……easy to get cluttered, that’s for sure. I think some of these ideas will be very helpful!! Thanks!

    • Nikki says:

      Vava, so very sorry you suffered a house fire, but glad you are OK. Wishing you a lot of patience while they are working on restoring your house, and lots of happiness when you’re able to move back.

    • Celebitchy says:

      I’m so sorry this happened to you Vava and hope that your house is ready to move back into quickly. That must be awful.

    • lucy2 says:

      I’m so sorry! Hope you didn’t lose too much and everything gets back to normal quickly.

  8. Lady Keller says:

    Thank you for this! I am currently in the process of reorganizing/purging. I’ve been feeling a bit defeated after only a few days of working on it but this has given me some new found motivation. I said I wasn’t going to buy any more storage bins or anything else since it just seemed like more stuff in my house but some of these seem like really good solutions and I can definitely see the value in buying some of these organizers.

  9. Kim says:

    I have those clear refrigerator bins, I love them in the freezer (which currently has four bins), I can’t recommend them highly enough.

    • Esmom says:

      Glad to hear it. When I saw CB’s commentary on fridge organization, it was light a light bulb moment. My fridge is the one place that I feel most disorganized and I never even thought abut getting bins for it. I need to do this stat!

  10. Mego says:

    Thanks for this. I made myself ill cleaning my house in preparation for Christmas and have vowed to keep on top of it this year.

  11. Nikki says:

    I love organizational products so much; we were in the organizer aisle, and my husband whispered, “I bet you’re having an orgasm!” I’m happy for these new suggestions, and am looking forward to trying some, thanks!

  12. Notsoanonymous says:

    Even if you don’t want to go full blown minimal, check out Joshua Becker. His Uncluttered course is FABULOUS and really taught me a lot about decluttering AND organization. I related more to his style than KonMari; that being said, Marie Kondo is lovely on her new show and I’m planning to re-read her two books now with fresh eyes. She’s much more relatable on screen.

    I’ve never heard of Clutterbug! I’ll take a look!

  13. snappledietpeach says:

    I would like to utilize the bottom of my closet better, but the bottom is not as wide as the top (it’s against the slope of the roof or something)
    like it would fit a small chest of drawers
    I have more clothes than I have room for, any suggestions for that space?
    organizers that hang wouldn’t work here

  14. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I’m a basket case… Seriously. They fill closets, pantries and cupboards. I even have over-the-door hangers full of baskets and hooks and all kinds of containers for backs of doors and cabinet doors (inside and out). I super glue magnets to containers for the fridge. It’s not because I’m super organised. I’m lazy, and tossing and hanging things works for me!

  15. IMUCU says:

    Lol, I do/have all these things, except the kid bins, as no kids. Guess I’m more organized than I think! Working on purging right now, feels good to get rid of stuff!

  16. KidV says:

    The less crap you have the less organized you have to be. I love de-cluttering and throwing things out or giving to charity. It’s addictive. I did my house about 10 years ago and I rarely have to straighten up my house, there’s not much to pick up and put away.

    The only clutter I have are my clothes, shoes and handbags, but I have plenty of closet space and armoires for those. Since it’s been 10 years I do need to get rid of old clothes and shoes. I’m looking forward it.

  17. cdnkitty says:

    Also – watched the first 3 episodes of the Marie Kondo series on Netflix and her folding method has changed my life. Slight overstatement, but to be able to see all the shirts in a drawer is AMAZING. (Yes, my life is very small, but i’m good with it. :-P)

    • Fluffy Princess says:

      I can’t believe I binged Marie Kondo’s show, but I finished it in a day and a half. She has such a lovely presence and her way of tackling clutter and items…is almost zen-like.

      I love how everyone on the show was like, “You literally changed my life!” Not just because their homes were organized, but because how Marie Kondo shows you how to view your possessions and your life you see for yourself in the future.

      Everything so orderly is such a nice thing — and it does reduce your stress when everything isn’t piled up, crammed in a drawer, smooshed on hangers. . .so yeah, there’s a new years resolution for me.

      I love the other suggestions for books and other organizational tools–thanks everyone!

    • Sunnyjyl says:

      Same, here. Her folding method is changing things at my house.

  18. Laura Cee says:

    Thanks for sharing this, love organizing articles!!!

  19. Doodle says:

    I started doing the Clutterbug stuff after you mentioned her on here a few weeks ago and s l o w l y my house is getting more organized! My office/art studio is definitely reaping the benefits! I love her approach.

  20. Anon says:

    I can’t believe I’m saying this but I think I love this post. 🙂

  21. Snowflake says:

    I always want to get organized but it costs so much for that stuff. I will check out some of those recommendations.

  22. some other hecate says:

    Loving these posts, CB! Small request, though: could you please make the links open into a new window?
    Happy organizing, all!