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Cheap tools for an organized home

I have a few resolutions, but number one on my list is getting organized. I started on this resolution the week before January 1st because in this vida loca of mine, getting organized is the only way to stay sane.

I used to be a pretty organized person before the kids came along. Now, I have to make a conscious effort to stay neat, tidy and have everything in its place. When the good folks from Simon Malls approached me about doing a post on organization – well, let’s just say I was all over it because just a few weeks into the new year and I’m already running on fumes.

organized refrigerator

We have a big fridge. Food is easily lost in there, which usually ends up costing us money because we end up throwing away so much of it. I went the extra mile here and after organizing the foods into categories (beverages, coffees, baby food, spreads, condiments, “meats”, cheese and yogurts, eggs, toppings, leftovers), I labeled them using my Dymo label maker. This ensures that I consistently take the time to put food away where it belongs and allows for the Hubster to find food easily too.


Now that the baby is at the 7 month mark I’m ready to start distancing myself from my JJ Cole Swag diaper bag (which I completely adore but can get pretty heavy). However, there are two things that absolutely need to go with me wherever I go – besides my phone and diapers that is – and that’s the hand sanitizer and the baby’s feeding utensils. I purchased these two items at Tokyo Japanese Lifestyle (my new favorite store at Westminster Mall). The Hello Kitty container was $2.69 and the utensils was $2.99.

I tackled my disastrous cabinets with a vengeance and organized it as best I could given the limited amount of space. I honestly wish I had taken before pictures because I can assure you – it was a complete mess.

I decided to use materials that I had in our home to help with this pantry by cutting up cereal boxes and using them to organize mixes and all those spices that come in those cello bags.



Top shelf // Crackers and Sterilite dry goods containers (16 cups) from Target ($5.99) for cereal
Middle shelf // Re Organize helper shelf ($3.99) from Target holds pasta and snacks. Bread and rice underneath. Soups and broths on the side.
Bottom shelf // mixes, pasta sauce, peanut butters, jars on 3 tier shelf ($.99) and vitamins

Every room in my home could do with some organizing… including my restroom. How happy was I when I found just the thing that would do this! This uber-cute Hello Kitty toilet paper cover ($4.99) was purchased at Tokyo Japanese Lifestyle and it has a place to stash an extra toilet paper roll. I am especially in love with this product because the Hubster now has zero reason for not replacing the roll.

Hello Kitty toilet paper cover and organizer

When I purchased the toilet paper cover I noticed that it said, “For Sale in Japan Only”. I couldn’t figure out why it would say this until I got home… turns out you need a special type of toilet paper holder for the cover to be displayed as it was intended. It was way too cute to return so I just wrapped the band around the entire holder.

By the way, the light in the room makes everything look yellow, but it’s actually a light beige.


And finally, this shoe rack which I originally purchased to go in the closet for $3.49 from Target now sits by our front door. Though I had thoughts of putting a large basket there for shoes, I find that this fits our needs much better because it keeps the shoes from getting dirty, squished and mistreated. I’m thinking of painting it black.

My organizational shopping trip also gave me a dry-erase board which is hung in our kitchen and lets us know at a glance our to-do list. I also purchased these little plastic boxes for my son’s underwear and sock drawer. He loves to have things in their place and the boxes make it much easier to keep them separated.

This week we’re working on my son’s room and getting all of his toys organized while simultaneously creating more room and hacking an IKEA toddler bed and making it a trundle bed that will go underneath the baby’s crib. Busy, busy, busy…

So while I’m on this organization trip, I invite you to come with me and we’ll keep ourselves motivated to stay organized the entire year. I’ve started a couple of boards on Pinterest which I’m constantly adding ideas to. If you have any cheap, easy and effective organizing ideas, I would love to hear them!

Originally published on January 20, 2012. Last Updated on August 14, 2016 by Pattie Cordova



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