3 ways to stay organized without breaking the bank

Nov 10, 2017

The holidays are almost here, and with them, for many, comes a steady stream of visitors, a lot of cooking and cleaning and gifts that fill (and occasionally clutter) the home.

Organization can make all of that easier. Julie Carlson, the author of "Remodelista: The Organized Home" and one of the co-founders of the Remodelista website, said that organization is the foundation of good design. Her new book contains 100 tips for how to stay organized and maximize what you have to keep things structured at home. 

Marketplace Weekend spoke with Carlson about her organization best practices, and we're sharing three of her space beautifying tips. 

1. Ditch the plastic

To make your home feel cleaner and more organized, Carlson recommends eschewing plastic containers and branded boxes. Put pasta, grains, tea, coffee, flour and sugar into glass jars or canisters for compact, easy to see storage. Decant liquid soap from bulk-size plastic bottles into glass or ceramic dispensers — this also works well for olive oil, honey, and other liquids. The same goes for all your bathroom essentials — instead of storing Q-tips, cotton balls, mouthwash, and other bathroom products in their plastic packaging, you can keep them (and even display them) in glass. Replacing packaging with more permanent glass or ceramic containers not only makes your space more organized, it also makes it more beautiful. 

2. Hide your clutter

Keeping clutter tucked away can come with a high price tag — many architects or designers built in pull out drawers for trashcans and recycling, or even for cat litter. But hiding everyday messes or making them easier to clean can also be pretty cheap. Carlson recommends finding a pretty basket to store children's toys or pet supplies, and using it to hide those things in plain sight. A nice basket can sit in the living room, allowing easy access and cleanup, and can be moved if necessary.  

3. Put your favorite items on display

Carlson is an advocate for shopping your own house. If you have a favorite cast iron braiser or a gorgeous cutting board, take it out of the cupboard and put it on display. Use a pitcher to hold wooden spoons and spatulas within arms reach of the stove-top. This makes your space look nicely designed, but it also frees up room in the cabinets and drawers for things that can't go elsewhere.  

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