How I Save Money by Getting Organized

organizedIt’s Saturday morning and today is the day I am going to get sh*t done. Then I realize I need some random item that I’m confident is in the house somewhere, probably stuffed in the back of a junk drawer or in a closet just waiting to be organized. I search every logical place it could be to no avail. So off to the store I go to purchase a new one. It’s not an expensive item, but it takes time to go to the store and I only need this item once or twice a year, so I certainly don’t need two of them. Sound familiar? I bet it does. If it doesn’t, please, please, please share your ninja finding skills with me. It would save me a lot of time, money and most of all, frustration.

This has happened to me more times than I can count, but I would say it happens most in two particular areas; small home improvement projects and minor medical ailments. Whenever I decide it’s time to hang a new picture or fix that cabinet door that’s off kilter, I always seem to think I have the right hook or screw for the job, but somehow I just can’t seem to find it. Just yesterday, my husband came back in the house from being out in the yard and had gotten some kind of bite that was super itchy. I would have sworn to you that we had calamine lotion somewhere in this house, but do you think I could locate it? Nope.

I have been aware of this problem for most of my adult life and do my best to find organization strategies to minimize these instances, and yet these two areas continue to escape my organizational prowess.

Group Items for Storing

One strategy I have implemented in my own life to reduce these frustrations is to group like items together for storing. I have a bin for spare electronic cords and devices, a cabinet where all the spare light bulbs go, and a whole set of drawers that organize my collection of pens, markers, paperclips, post-it notes, you name it. In these areas of my life, I know if the item isn’t in their designated spot, then I don’t have it.

A piece of advice that I will share from experience is to alert your family members of the systems you create. When my husband and I first moved in together, in the process of tidying, I would grab pens laying around and put them in the pen drawer. He was not aware of my pen drawer for almost a year and just thought his pens were disappearing and couldn’t figure out what was happening. Finally, he saw me grab a pen from the drawer, at which time he learned that, in fact, I was the pen thief all along.

Use Small Boxes to Organize Junk Drawers

Another strategy I have implemented is to add small boxes into any drawers where random or small items gets put. Use the boxes to sort similar items within your junk drawers. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on boxes either, I use old jewelry boxes and they work just fine. This way, when you are searching for that one tiny item, you can just pull the box of like items out and search there, rather than having to search the entire drawer. One place I particularly appreciate this strategy is in my makeup drawer. I have lots of samples of different products, and this allows me to group similar items together. When I think to myself, ‘I wonder if I have a pore refining mask…’ I know just which box to look in to find out.

Store Items Where You Use Them

The last thing that I do is to store items as close to the place where I am likely to use them as possible. If I can’t remember which drawer I put something in, then I at least know to start looking through drawers in the room where the item might be used. This of course isn’t a perfect system because many items could be used in multiple places, but it at least narrows down the number of places I need to look.

If you have your own strategies for keeping organized, share them with us! We’d love to share them with our community.