From Kitchens to Closets: Thrifty Organizational Tricks


In my old kitchen, I had some major pet peeves: Searching for matching food storage and drink lids were at that top of that list. Sponges knocked into the sink was another annoyance.

Now I use baskets and food containers to keep everything in place. 

 All I have to do is pull out the basket in the cup cupboard, and I can easily find the lid to keep my coffee from spilling all over me when I'm half asleep and in serious need of caffeine.

Sponges go in a basket. Loose food storage lids go in a basket. I've also invested in the Rubbermaid Easy Find Lids set, which is just plain awesome. The lids snap together and two sizes fit the entire set.

I use food storage containers to group similar items, such as my measuring cups and measuring spoons.

Baking/frosting supplies go together in one container -- no more rifling through the cabinet trying to find that tiny bottle of lemon extract or those candles I know we still have.

My new kitchen is smaller than my old, so some organizational tricks grew from necessity. I added small shelves to a narrow cupboard to hold food storage wrap and lunch bags.

Magnetic hooks on the fridge hold cutting boards, pot holders and my apron.  Grabbing a pot holder off the fridge is just so much more convenient than grabbing it from a drawer.



I hate a mess of shoes and jackets by the front door. I trip over my own feet, so a pile of shoes is an injury waiting to happen. 
Luckily my new house had a small accordion closet near the front door perfect for turning into a mud room closet.

We added a coat rack to hold jackets and hats, individual hooks on the sides for bags, and we turned a freebie shelf into a shoe rack below.

The shelf above has two specifically-purposed baskets from the 99 Cent Store. One holds the things we use on a regular basis: sunglasses, lights for walking the dog at night and packs of gum. The other holds things we sometimes need on our way out the door, such as sunblock, headphones and small notebooks.


Across the hallway, we have a larger closet, in which we keep heavier jackets and those coats not used regularly. Hanging closet drawers hold our large collection of scarves, gloves, warm hats and far too many umbrellas.

In my bedroom closet, I found a wire rack does an excellent job of organizing my belts.


Maybe you are naturally blessed with a clutter-free home. I am not. 

To keep the small clutter contained, I swear by baskets. Baskets everywhere! 

Since I don't have a proper nightstand, and I hate searching through drawers,  I use a decorative basket by my bedside to hold all those little things that would otherwise end up scattered around the room: deodorant, nightly medications, tissue, lip balm, reading light, etc. 
For a clutter-free bathroom counter, we toss the everyday items into a basket. No more toothpaste tubes and hairbrushes on my counters! And my husband does actually put every item back into the basket, right after he uses it. After years of his mess on the counter, I can't believe I didn't use a basket sooner.
At my desk, I have a coupon basket and a "I don't know where to put this paper/I don't want to put it away this second" basket. When the basket is full, I put the papers and random items away.

A basket holds the CDs my husband listens to in the kitchen. When the basket is full, he knows it's time to put some CDs away before pulling out new ones. We use a basket with a lid on the coffee table to hold the remotes and keep pens handy. My husband has his own clutter basket. I don't care what he puts in it; I'm just happy it's in his basket and not scattered across the kitchen table.

I love baskets.

An Easter basket holds the mail and keys.