A place for everything and for everything a place.
Sound familiar? It’s a mantra for most organized people that I’ve tried to adapt for myself.
The problem for me is that I’m often baffled by what location I should put things. I tend to be more right brained than left, so there are always multiple options.
Store the party supplies that I use once or twice a year in my cupboard that I use daily? Why not?
Keep my receipts near my desk, or on top of the microwave, or in the filing cabinet? Sure.
It can be a problem. So while at the Dollar Tree the other day, I had some inspiration. Why not create spaces for items using Dollar Store containers and labels? Then I will always know where my receipts are and maybe I’ll find another location for those party supplies, so I can find Customize Balloons.
I returned from the Dollar Store with this:
Can you spot the super
helpful adorable one year old?
I am also incredibly motivated by deadlines. It’s possible I get this from my Mom, along with a lot of other great qualities – I hope. (By the way, find out how my Mom solved her linen organization with just one trip to the Dollar Store.)
So, I decided to give myself ONE HOUR to see how many problem areas I could tackle in the time period. (This, of course, did not include the half an hour that it took for me to find those super cute chalkboard labels that I had put somewhere. True story. Turns out I should have purchased a Chalkboard Label Container while at the Dollar Store.)
Once, I finally found those super cute chalkboard labels, I made a list of problem areas that needed to be addressed:
In hind sight, it would have made more sense to make this list before my visit to the Dollar Tree. Oops.
Then – with the help of my 5 year old – the hour of Project Organization began.
And when the hour was up, this was the result:
Those infamous party supplies now have a place and a label. And I am giving them a new home in my basement.
Time: 5 minutes
My new Under-the-Sink organization. This also resulted in trashing a few cleaners that have been around much longer than their expiration dates recommends. Score!
Time: 10 minutes
Because this is much cuter than any old cardboard box.
This was my favorite solution. My Personal Care products/Free Samples closet had gotten ugly. (I spared you the before pictures.) Locating anything had gotten a little hairy. These containers solved the problem and also motivated me to throw out a few expired products and put together a new donation bag.
Time: 15 minutes
This was my 5 year old’s contribution to the project. He has a few more left brained tendencies than I do and was thrilled to help. And these containers are so much more awesome than the baggies and old wipes container that were previously responsible for storage.
Time: 10 minutes (in 5 year old time)
This random collection of things was taking residence in the bottom of afore-mentioned cupboard in a very haphazard manner. I also discovered a collection of plastic knives the size of China. Because really – who uses plastic knives???
I got rid of 90% of the knives along with a collection of old menu planning resources that are approximately 10 years old – and no longer necessary due to that beautiful thing called Pinterest.
Time: 10 minutes
About those receipts. I now have a location for them. Now to determine where this cute little thing should be kept? Any tips?
Time: 5 minutes
I have always given myself a little grace when it comes to drawers. I mean – the term junk drawer was created for a reason.
But I’m kind of in love with my new system for this drawer. Now I might actually be able to find a paper clip when I need one!
Time: 10 minutes
Time elapsed: 65 minutes
Problem areas solved: 7
Feeling of Accomplishment: Priceless
How about you? Do you like to organize with Dollar Store items? Share your tips in the comments!
Like this? You may also like:
keep your recipes near your meal planner and grocery list, so you can be sure you have all ingredients for your meal plans!
Great tips for organizing!! I am a huge clutter bug and just the thought of tackling anything overwhelms me… (Cleaning my closet is an 8 hour job!) I’m definitely NOT one of those “everything as a place” kind of gal… but these tips are really helpful. I’m gonna try them out! Thank you!
Your link for the free samples, did you like it or is this just a link from an ad company?
I believe that is an ad that you are seeing, Bambi.
I keep my dishwasher tabs in a (recycled) pickle jar under the sink. The big ones that hold the giant pickles. My kids love pickles, so I end up with a lot of these jars. I use them for lots of things (flour/sugar canisters, organizational containers, etc) and technically they are free! Just clean them out, paint the lid and you are set!
OH THE struggle of plastic knives. I work at a restaraunt in the atlanta airport – where you cant have real knives. so somehow i have ended up with twenty thousand stupid plastic knives flaoting around my clsot…bathroom…car…UGH! If anyone knows of any good things to do with them – let me know!
I found some chalkboard labels @ Dollar Tree. They were with the stickers. Yippee!
Oh my goodness. Awesome find, Lynette!!
a suggested home for your recipe file envelope would be to find a magnetic wall file you could attach to the side of your refrigerator. Something similar to this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0006HX17Q/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?qid=1420472280&sr=8-2&pi=AC_SY200_QL40
Great tip! Thanks, Becky.
Just an idea for all those plastic knives…. they make great plant markers in the garden. You can write on them with a permanent marker and the serrated edge helps them slide into the soil easier. Much more cost efficient than buying packaged plant labels.
Love it. Great idea, Edie!
hello another Melissa here (such a popular name huh ladies lol)
I’m a dollar tree addict, I should probably form a support group lol. And for the knives throw a few in with the playdoh too! That’s what my kids use them for (im also one who uses them to stir my coffee).
The BIG plastic bags (2/$1) are awesome for games with larger boards or bulkier parts, I also use them when we go camping to pack outfits in for the kids who tend to empty their bags and mix with the wet sandy muddy dirty stuff.
I have 3 junk drawers, sad I know but one is my personal junk drawer, then the kid junk drawer and a household junk drawer.
Receipts I tried those file things, awesome in theory pain to use. I now have one of the bins with the 2 part fold over lids that sits on my dresser, hubs and I toss in our recipts when we clean out pockets and wallets. I go through them before we do our taxes and toss un-needed ones like groceries and kids clothes and keep any that pertain to our business and file ones for large purchases.
I use the 3 stacking bins that are open (small ones) under cupboards for things like extra dish sponges, sos pads, and Magic erasers, and hair ties, hair bruses combs, hair products (we rarely use these so I only buy travel size when I can get them free) I have one for nail stuff, one for common used meds and first aid, they also work good for kids bathroom for each of their “bath stuff” things.
The shoe box bins organize soooo much stuff. I used to keep one per kid in my mini van with an extra change of clothes (pjs usually) and anything that kid needed frequently (one who lost socks EVERY time we left the house!) i slid them under each child’s seat. Ah I miss my mini van now we have an SUV we NO space to stuff things.
The round basket type bins are awesome for bath toys to set by the tub, also to store potatoes, onions and apples. If you have a place to put them (love the bookcase I put in my kitchen). I also use them to hold my canning stuff like my jar lifter, lids and extra bands.
I keep one on top my cabinets for power outages with extra flashlights, batteries non scented candles matches and lighters. It’s where I or tall hubs can get it easily even in the dark but the kids can’t and it’s out of plain sight. I also have a few packed as boredom busters with stuff I RARELY let them play with but will pull out when I’m ready to pull my hair out.
Dollar tree can be great especially for organizing but it’s also an easy way to blow a chunk of moola and not know what happened. I now only take $20 into the store with me and leave the rest of my $ in the car. As I said earlier im an addict lol
I like that, surprisingly, so many items are made in the USA. I like to browse and see what I can find that is made in the USA. I hope they continue to make USA products available.
I also love the ideas on this Pinterest site. Yes, their plastic containers are great, and the plastic spray bottles for all of the DIY concoctions that I get the ideas from Pinterest.
I came across your blog, and i just hod to comment on your plastic knives purge. I have 6 kids still at home, and having such a big family, spoons get dirty before i know it. I have a cup of those reject knives next to my coffee maker. I use them to stir my coffee each morning, the kids use them to stir their chocolate milk, or any other thing that might need to be stirred in lieu of a spoon, and my husband uses them to threaten children who don’t wipe up chocolate milk messes. See? It’s a win-win in our family all the way around! =D Also, instead of buying dowels to wrap ribbon around (since ribbon spools are so bulky), you can wrap ribbons around the stupid little knives, cuz we all know the “knife” isn’t going to damage our goods, then secure with a clothes pin, and display like flowers in an upcycled tin can “vase.” Just a thought for your creative mind! =D
Absolutely love this idea. I have the same tendencies,but never knew my problem I love to be organized but I never know where the home should be for certain items. This gave me great insight how to how to organize, the home should be in the baskets and the baskets can be portable.
I WOULD KEEP THE RECEIPTS IN YOUR CAR. That way they are quickly taken care of after each trip.. I do this for my Husband’s business receipts (KEPT BETWEEN THE FRONT SEAT AREA).
BTW – headed to Dollar store a.s.a.p. to do this with my kitchen cupboards 🙂
Thanks for sharing. I will keep these in mind next time the organization bug hits me!
Great ideas, Good motivation to get organized. I use a lot of dollar store storage items for my Sunday school class. It makes the classroom look more organized and the kids like how colorful the room is. I also found really cute stuff at walmart in the back to school setup. Bright colors.
I may have missed it, but where did you find the chalkboard labels! I love those!!! Great organization tips…we love the Dollar store!
I’ve got some serious problem areas in my house! I’m seeing a trip to the Dollar Store in my future. Thanks for the inspiration!
Don’t throw out your old plastic knives! Donate them to a local school. We use them all the time to spread frosting on cupcakes or cookies. We set up “decorate your own cupcake/cookie stations when they have parties. Or believe it or not the teachers are always using them in the break room. Lot of them don’t put on condiments until they actually sit down to eat, or bring leftovers and have forks but no knives!
Carrie Daws says
Some great ideas here! I’m going to be tackling our garage soon–ugh! But, a couple of shelves and some of those plastic containers will be perfect!
(And, BTW — plastic knives are PERFECT for cutting brownies. They slice through without tearing up the edges of the brownies. ;o) )
We have an abundance of kitchen cabinets in our kitchen, so you’ll likely find arts & crafts of all types, candles, cords, misc items and such in certain cabinets. All our arts and crafts are organized and stored in shoe box style plastic containers from Dollar tree. I use the stackable bins for my daughter accessories. Hair ties, bows, sunglasses and jewelry. Then I use their woven baskets on our bookshelves to hold markers/crayons/colored pencils and pens.
They have some really great stuff for organizing, and on the cheap too!