Creative and Affordable Organizing ideas!!


With this last pregnancy, I felt like I nested in phases.  First it showed up in lots of creative cooking (which my husband was thankful for!), and then it showed up in totally revamping and organizing much of our cluttered areas of our home (which he was also thankful for until I asked him for the check card to pick up organization supplies at the store. Hee hee…).  The last phase was the normal cleaning and cleaning, but this blog is dedicated to the creative ideas I got for organizing on a budget.  I’ll post some photos for you with brief descriptions and if you get inspired, well, yeehaw!!  Oh, and the pre-photos are pretty bad, so, um, don’t judge! 🙂  (I have to apologize for my less-than-exceptional pictures.  It’s taken me so long to get these posted, I forgot I still needed to edit photos.  😉 )

Project #1: Purses!!

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Purses on shelves...

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Purses in piles... almost can't even tell what this mess is!

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Purses forgotten high in the closet...

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And purses behind doors in corners! (Although I think this was the one I used regularly at the time, hence the prime spot on the floor. 🙂 ) This is also my "famous" purse. It was used in the filming of "Entourage". It was part of their wardrobe supply, and when they were done with it, the Producers passed it along to "Its a wrap" resale shop in L.A., and they turn around and resell those items. It was neat, everything in the shop was tagged as to what show it came from so you knew whose stuff you were wearing. Neat little experience, but now my green purse, here, has a little bit of a celebrity complex because of it. 🙂

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The weapon of choice: a baseball cap door hanger from Walmart, approximately $5. Its not super sturdy, the hangers are plastic and not metal, but for my purses, it worked. And the little hooks are adjustable! You can space them out or slide them closer...

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This is what the full length of it on the door looks like. It simply hooks over the top and under the bottom of the door, you can tighten the base strap and slide the hooks up and down. I found it in the home organization area at walmart, near the hangers, and other closet paraphernalia.

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Its amazing the goodies you'll find lurking in purse pockets when you take the time to clean them out. Confession: this bowl of knick-knacks (and lots of lipgloss!!) is still on a shelf in my closet! oops... Anyways, cleaning them out will lighten the purses for hanging on these plastic hangers.

DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!………………..

The AFTER photo: 

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Ta-Da!! The finished product! My purses were finally able to breathe, leave space in my closet for more "stuff", and be fairly out of sight. We usually leave our closet door open so they are invisible most of the time. But even with the closet door closed, they look nice and orderly.

PROJECT #2:  JEWELRY!!

The next “thorn in my side” was that my jewelry was EvErYwHeRe!!  I had some necklaces hanging on scotch brand plastic hooks on the wall in my closet, had earrings in a multi-drawer  organizer, and bracelets and rings everywhere!  So I needed a neat way to have them all organized and in one place.  Below is what I did.  I’ll show you the before and after, and if you want to see HOW I did the board, leave a comment and I’ll make a tutorial for it.  But I will say, if I were to do it again I would make it much simpler.  At least its pretty!  So here are my  before and after photos:

This is where I kept my earrings, some bracelets, and who knows what else. I think this is where I had some hair pieces and stuff too.

This was a little box I got when I bought a BUNCH of cocktail rings in downtown L.A. for super cheap, and it became the gathering place for all my cocktail rings past and present. And some other things as you can see.

At least my necklaces were a "little" more organized, but there were old ones, unused ones, frequently used ones, all in one place, and getting fairly tangled. It was a booby trap just to get to the right necklace without them all jumping and diving into the piles of laundry that sat below. 🙂

What I did was took a Bulletin board, covered it with cheap fabric, painted a stenciled design on it, trimmed the edges with black ribbon, painted thumb tacks for hooks, and hung earrings, necklaces, rings and will hang bracelets from it.  The whole project probably cost me around $20, but it could have been done for cheaper.  If I were to do it again, I’d keep it simpler and skip the fabric and ribbon steps (as those were quite time consuming and not quite necessary.  Instead, I would spray paint the entire thing one dark color, stencil on a design if desired, and use thumb tacks again.  I’m just not sure how painting directly on a bulletin board would last, so if you know, let me know if that’s a good idea or a bad one. 😉  So, with all that said,

Here is the AFTER PHOTO

This works out really well for hook earrings, which is mostly what I wear. But I do have a couple pair of earrings that are large hoops and use earring posts instead hooks. Still figuring out what to do with those. I might get a piece of lace and just hang it long ways down one of the sides of the board and hook the post-earrings in that.

I staggered my necklaces and hung about 2 necklaces give or take, per tack. I also weeded down my collection and gave my older ones to my best friend's little girl. 🙂 She loved them!

So now all my jewelry is in one place and I’ve been able to actually use more of it since I’m aware of what I actually have!  (HEllo!!)

This was a great learning project and is definitely helpful and useful.

I think the Bulletin board cost me around $8,the tacks were a couple bucks, paint and stencils were under $5, Fabric was clearanced at Jo-Ann’s for $2 or so, and the ribbon trimming was $2 or so.  Overall I think this thing cost under $20, but you could totally do it cheaper if you didn’t add all the “frills”.  Ok, onto the next project…

PROJECT #3:  MY office Closet!  (Brace yourself…)

Ok, so this project was my longest process and biggest transformation.  Before I organized it, I think my blood pressure went up every time I looked at it!!  Who KNOWS what I pulled out of there when cleaning… it took days.  Well, plus I was tired and pregnant and moved slower, so a normal person wouldn’t have taken so long.  Anyways, I am LOVING this little closet now that I cleaned it out… You’d have to see it to understand, so here you go…

Woah. That's all I can say is woah.

Wow. How did it ever get this bad? See why I asked you not to judge? 🙂

At least this part wasn't too bad, but still, unusable, and no sense of what the heck is up there.

I got all inspired and did a little at a time.

First I went through all my videos (especially VHS) and got rid of a huge box.  I wanted to get rid of ALL my VHS but had to keep some special ones.

With the DVD’s, I ordered two sets of DVD albums (on www.abcdistributing.com)  to hold our DVD’s and got rid of all but 5 cases.  I kept 5 slim cases for if we lent out any movies.  The rest got thrown away!  (Although now I’m sure there are some great uses for those, but whatever… too late.)

All the kid’s DVD’s, however, hung on to their cases so the kids could just grab one movie at a time and not destroy them all at the same time. 🙂  I purchased a clear-sided shoe hanger from Walmart (?) and hung it in the gap of space that remained at the end of the book shelf and hung it from the clothes bar.  Perfect!!  The kids can get to their movies, the more special ones I store toward the top so they can’t reach them, but it worked out great and was WAY cheaper than getting an actual DVD rack.  (I think I paid about $9 at home depot- although its cheaper at walmart- as compared to $35 for a media rack.)

Magazines I wanted to keep went in Magazine files that I also ordered off abcdistributing.com.

Then I just went through all the books and memory boxes and all that jazz and just plain chunked what needed to be chunked, moved to other bookshelves what needed to be moved, moved baby stuff to bedrooms, etc.  Basically I was not afraid to THROW AWAY stuff!!

Ta-Da!! Its done! Finally all organized and cleaned up, and now we can actually USE what's in there!!

see, the top shelves have a better sense of purpose and organization here. You can see next to the magazine files, a stack of DVD's behind the DVD album. That was while waiting for the second DVD album to arrive in the mail. All those cases are gone now and its cleaner looking.

This pink organizing beauty i bought in the dollar section at Target months ago for $2.50. sure wish they had had more! I use it for knick knacks, batteries, pens, paint brushes, scissors, small glue gun, etc.

Hanging shoe organizer: $9 at Home Depot, may be cheaper at Walmart.  Get the clear sided kind!

Hanging door organizer: $2.50 at Target in the “Dollar Spot” section.

Some other small organizers in the closet were also found in the Target Dollar Spot section.

Magazine files and DVD albums were ordered at http://www.abcdistributing.com for around $4 or $5 a piece.  The Magazine files came as a set.

So there you have it!  Three finished projects that brought a lot more convenience, order, and peace to my life.  I hope this was helpful, or at least entertaining how messy a house can get! ha!  I love order, so I’m glad we’ve managed to get some more. 🙂    Have a good weekend!!

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