The 12 Cheap Organizing Essentials Every Home Needs

Organizing your home doesn’t have to cost a bundle. Check out our top picks for arranging your household stuff on a budget.

There is something almost magical about opening a dresser drawer or cabinet or closet to reveal everything neatly in its place, preferably sorted by color, size and season. While you can enlist the help of a professional organizer to assist with containing the clutter in your home, or getting rid of it altogether, there are cheaper ways to tame the trouble spots for less than you might think.

Anyone who has ever lived with the chaos that clutter brings knows it can come with another price. When you can’t find what you need exactly when you need it, you sometimes have to spend more of your hard-earned money to buy the thing you already own but can’t find. Ultimately, clearing out the clutter from your home and becoming more organized will help you feel less stress and be more productive. (That, we are here to tell you, is a feeling worth its weight in gold.)

Here are some of our favorite budget-friendly essentials to help organize almost any space in your home.  

Hanging shoe organizers

Years ago, I read a magazine article singing the praises of the modest over-the-door plastic shoe organizer. It introduced me to the idea that they aren’t just for footwear. Besides neatly storing shoes vertically on the inside of our closet doors, there’s now one with clear plastic pockets on the pantry door in our kitchen that holds everything from matches and reusable water bottles to grocery bags and small packages of snacks for school lunches. In the bathroom, another shoe organizer hangs inside the linen closet door to keep soap, shaving cream, hair care products, makeup, extra razors and toothpaste easy to access. When my children were babies, we used a hanging shoe organizer on the nursery door to store diaper changing supplies, extra diapers, packaged wipes, bibs, socks, pacifiers and all the other things parents need to take care of newborns.  

 This one from Room Essentials is $10 at Target and features four metal hangers and reinforced tabs. If you are going to use it for shoes, you can spend $18 for a canvas and mesh version also available at Target.com. 

Lazy Susans reborn as turntables 

In the early months of the pandemic in 2020, The Home Edit inspired me, and likely countless others, to rediscover the usefulness of what my mom and grandmother called a lazy susan. Traditionally, these round turntables were used in the kitchen to allow easier access to spices and canned goods in deep cabinets. Thanks to modern day home organization gurus, the hardworking gadgets have been reimagined for use in almost every room of the house AND inside other appliances. Turntables in the refrigerator can hold various juices or jams, that might otherwise get lost in the back. The turntables that spin also are a wonder in bathroom cabinets, and can be used to hold hair care essentials and other beauty supplies, or even cleaning products. In the pantry, lazy susans ensure we don’t forget about the black beans tucked behind jars of spaghetti sauce and chicken noodle soup. Some people proudly display their turntables on kitchen counters to neatly contain the spices they use most often. We like this Copco non-skid pantry lazy susan available on Amazon for $9.99. 

 Clear shoe storage with lids

These stackable containers would work great under a bed or at eye level on a closet shelf to keep your shoes top of mind and free from dust. Bed, Bath and Beyond sells a six-pack from Simply Essential for $25 These containers also would be great in a child’s room to corral Pokemon or baseball cards, LEGOS or even art supplies such as markers and paint pens. Those on a serious budget can find less expensive shoe storage containers with lids for $1-$3 each at discount retailers including DollarTree, Walmart and Target. 

Under the bed storage containers 

Sometimes, you need to stow your stuff out of sight. A cool thing about these PARKLA storage cases from IKEA is they can be used under beds, in closets or even on garage shelves to hold blankets, seasonal clothing, holiday decor, sports gear or even garden hoses. And it’s hard to beat the price at $1.99 per 22x19x7-inch container. Other retailers sell the same bag for three times as much, so shop around before making your final purchase. 

Hanging mesh shower organizers

Not everyone has one of those cool inset spaces in their tile shower to hold shampoos and soap. My mom has used similar mesh organizers for years to keep her bath products from cluttering the inside of her shower. A bonus? The lightweight products, when stored over the shower curtain rod, don’t interfere with shower heads the way some metal hanging caddies do. This pocket shower storage bag available at Walmart uses your shower curtain hooks to keep everything high and (mostly) dry and off the bathtub floor.   

Recycled glass food jars

Finding new life for everyday items – like the glass jars marinara sauce comes in – can be an economical way to help organize your stuff. There’s a cheeseball I usually make during the holidays that requires dried beef. The ingredient comes in a small glass container that’s about the same size as an ice cream push-up. My sister-in-law began collecting the small glass jars to organize different items around her house. In the bathroom, she has half a dozen or so that hold small makeup brushes, eyeliners, lip liners and toothbrushes all stored on an easy to access shelf near her medicine cabinet.

Kitchen drawer organizers 

Confession: I still have a junk drawer in my kitchen that is home to aging grocery receipts, random Sharpies, take-out menus and plastic-wrapped appliance manuals. Every other drawer, though, has been outfitted with utensil organizers. Over the years, I have added dividers specifically for larger kitchen knives to keep them all in one place and off the counter. When choosing new drawer organizers, it’s important to make sure your flatware will fit in the product you choose, and that there are enough spots for your soup spoons and salad forks. Find dividers that are easy to clean and that will hold up to years of use. Discount stores offer sets and separate pieces you can use together to create slots for nearly every slotted spoon and spatula you own. Target sells a bamboo flatware organizer for $12 with matching rectangular organizers in bamboo available for $7 each. Plastic versions sell for as little as $2 at the national retailer.   

Over-the-door coat hooks

For the moms and wives and caregivers who dutifully pick up towels from the bathroom floor, or scarves and hats from the front foyer, these over-the-door hooks are for you. Point them out to your children and spouses as often as needed, and feel free to demonstrate how easy it is to hang a fleece pullover or wet towel up. (In two seconds flat!) This space-saving version, with eight nickel-finished hooks for hanging scarves, purses, hats and more, is available at the Home Depot for $14.48. 

Narrow rolling carts 

When space is at a premium in your kitchen, bath, laundry or mud room, a narrow rolling cart is a perfect way to store cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, canned goods or even toilet paper, and keep it out of sight until you need it. This three-tiered Spacekeeper cart sold on Amazon has four out of five stars and is priced at $18.67. 

Nylon wardrobe boxes and drawer organizers 

We love the SKUBB storage series of wardrobe boxes from IKEA. They are super affordable and durable. We own several sets of this six-pack of soft drawer organizers that will keep socks, underwear, belts and scarves accessible and in their place. Made from polyester, they are collapsible and come in packages of six in a variety of colors for $4.99 from IKEA. 

White wire cabinet shelves

While we aren’t fans of wire coat hangers, unless you need to make s’mores in the fireplace, we do really appreciate a wire cabinet shelf. When space is at a premium, place these in a kitchen cabinet to store coffee cups, saucers and bowls above other dishes. They also work for stacking extra items in a kitchen pantry, freezer or fridge. I have a version of these in my closet to easily see folded sweaters and scarves. DollarTree sells them for $1 each in stores, with packs of four sold online for $4. 

Gift wrap storage solution 

Whether you prefer gift bags or wrapping paper, you need a place to keep it all organized, including the long tubes, tissue paper, tape, scissors, ribbons and cards. This gift wrap storage container from Amazon, priced at $13.99, also features two large pockets for bows and gift tags. Tuck it under your bed or slide it into a closet upright so it’s ready the next time you need to wrap up a present.

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