11 Cheap (or Free) Home Organization Ideas

Recycle, Reuse and Get Organized!

Tired of living among clutter? Fight back without spending a lot of money! In fact, you may be able to do it for free.

Your home is filled with useful items that can be recycled and reused to keep you organized. Do you use toilet paper or eat cereal? Is there an empty soda box in your kitchen? What you may think of as trash can be given a new life as storage for common items around the house.

All you need is a little imagination and a few ideas to get you started.

Control Your Cords

How to Organize Cords. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Have a big jumble of cords? Wrap each cord up and tuck it inside an empty toilet paper roll to keep it tangle free.

Tip: What the cord goes to on the outside of the tube. This is a perfect way to organize computer and entertainment center cords.

You may not realize it, but empty toilet paper rolls are one of the most useful things in your home. These cardboard tubes can be used for everything from seed pots to pet toys. The best part? You have an endless supply!

Stash Canned Goods

How to Organize Canned Goods. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Use empty soda cans boxes to organize canned foods in your pantry. This is particularly helpful if you stock up on multiple cans of the same food.

For example, you may find a great deal on your favorite cream soup and be able to fill a soda box during one shopping trip. When you're getting low, you will be able to tell with a quick glance. There's no more guessing if you have the staples in stock!

Tip: Wrap the soda box with old wrapping paper to make them more attractive. 

Free Drawer Organizers

Use Cardboard to Create Dividers. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Create free dividers for your drawers and storage bins by cutting up cardboard boxes or cereal boxes. Unlike those store-bought dividers, these can be customized to fit your needs and your style. Just wrap them to make them any color you'd like.

Another Idea: Use a spare silverware organizer to corral loose items in your drawers.

Wrangle Those Hair Bands

How to Organize Hair Bands. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Hair bands seem to end up everywhere. The solution? Store them on an empty toilet paper roll. You'll know right where they are – and more importantly, where they aren't.

Tip: Have each family member who uses hair bands decorate their own roll with markers. This can keep things separate while allowing each girl to show off her personal style.

DIY Magazine Storage

How to Make Magazine Storage Boxes. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Are piles of magazines taking over your house? Then, make your own magazine storage boxes out of cereal boxes and bring them under control once and for all.

Tip: Wrap the box with old paper or fabric so it looks neater on the bookshelf.

Easy Jewelry Trays

How to Organize Jewelry. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Corral all of your jewelry in muffin tins or ice cube trays. Then, just grab what you want and go – no more tangled piles in the jewelry box or digging for a matching pair of earrings.

Tip: The standard ice cube tray is perfect for holding one set of earrings.

Organize Office Supplies

Use Jars to Organize Office Supplies. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Jars are perfect for organizing most office supplies.

  • Use baby food jars for paper clips, rubber bands, push pins and other small items.
  • Use canning jars for pens, pencils and other large items.

Another Idea: Empty coffee cans work perfectly for larger collections like the kids' markers and crayons or your craft ribbons.

Reduce Hall Closet Clutter

How to Organize a Hall Closet. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Hats, gloves, scarves and umbrellas have a way of taking over the hall closet in a hurry. Fight back by hanging an empty shoe organizer on the inside of the door. It’s perfect for storing all those odds and ends in plain sight and much cheaper than closet organizers.

Another Idea: Small baskets - one per person - can be stored on the floor or hung on the wall or door to keep everyone's winter stash separate.

Tame the Grocery Bags

Uses for Plastic Bags. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Do you have plastic grocery bags spilling out of your cabinets and drawers? Bring them under control by storing them in an empty tissue or wipe box.

Better Yet: Invest in a few canvas tote bags, and forgo the bag clutter all together.

Use plastic bags as liners for small garbage cans, taking out the cat litter or other small trash needs.

Free Wrapping Supply Storage

How to Organize Wrapping Supplies. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Those fancy wrapping paper storage containers are great, but they can be expensive! There is a cheaper solution.

Simply scrub out a spare wastebasket, 5-gallon bucket or other tall-sided container and stick your wrapper paper rolls inside. Easy and practical.

Do you save gift bags for reuse? Store them inside an empty computer paper box – it's the perfect size.

Organize Craft Supplies

Use Strawberry Boxes to Organize Craft Supplies. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Has your craft stash gotten out of control? Restore the order by dividing your craft supplies by type (paint, thread, stamps, etc.) and store each grouping in its own wipe box or strawberry box.

Other storage containers to try: pretzel barrels, large peanut butter jars, coffee cans and empty spice bottles (perfect for storing beads).

Tip: Look for fun and funky containers at yard sales and flea markets. Vintage recipe card boxes, pottery and candy dishes can double as eclectic room decor and they're often very cheap.