Shopping Your Home and Thrifting Items to Organize and Simplify Your Home

This year I am committing to simplifying, decluttering, and organizing my home. I have two kids and I feel like over the years we continue to accumulate “stuff” and before I know it closets, rooms and spaces become cluttered and a mess.

I work part-time for a home organization business. I love the satisfaction of going into a cluttered, unorganized space and leaving that space with it, color-coordinated, labeled, organized, beautiful, clean, and functional. I do however feel that when people think of organizing, simplifying, or decluttering their space, they get overwhelmed thinking of the time, money, and materials needed to make their space more functional.

I found myself in this very situation a few months ago when I decided we needed to have spaces in our home simplified, and organized to make the mornings less hectic and for each of us to know what we have and where it is when we need it. I did not want to spend hundreds of dollars on clear plastic containers and matching wicker baskets for clothing and closets and building a drop zone from scratch for bookbags and coats.

I first shopped my home for items that I already had that I could repurpose, reuse, or move around.

I started with my linen closet which was a mess beforehand. I took all the sheets, pillowcases, towels, washcloths, and hand towels out of the closet, cleaned the shelves and floor of the closet, and did an inventory of what we use and need and what I could donate to Goodwill.

I ended up donating a garbage bag full of things we had not used in years and utilized baskets that I already had in my basement, kid’s playroom, or other areas in my home that I could put in my closet instead. I was so pleased with the results and now it is easy to grab a set of sheets or a towel and washcloth that are easy to find and so much more functional. Do all the baskets match and have labels like a curated Pinterest board? No, but I am OK with it for now and if in the future I want to splurge and buy the matching clear or pretty wicker baskets I can easily transfer my items into those if I choose, but I am happy with the organization I have now, and it did not cost me a dime!

The second area of my home that I organized was my shoes in my closet. I have seen some extravagant shoe organization systems in closets, but again, I do not want to spend money on those things right now. I had an old bookshelf that I was going to donate that we no longer use in the kid’s playroom, but I decided to use that in my closet to organize my shoes. It was a simple way to grab what I need for the day and see what I have and again it cost me nothing to organize this space. Bookshelves are easy to find when thrifting at Goodwill and are not expensive when you buy second-hand. I also like to utilize bookshelves for kids’ toys and put some canvas totes on the shelves, you can use them to organize craft supplies and office supplies as well.

The last project that I worked on this month was to thrift something to organize coats, hats, bookbags, and workbags right inside our kitchen from our garage. We do not have a foyer or drop zone for these items, and I was frustrated with everyone coming in and dropping things on the floor in my kitchen. I searched for ideas online and loved the beautiful DIY drop zones, but my space is small, and we do not have the time to design something like this and make it from scratch. I had hooks but those got cluttered fast and were not practical for this space. One day I was at the Medina Goodwill, and I saw a metal mug rack from Magnolia Homes (that retails for $98 on their website) and knew the size and the hooks were perfect for my space to hang all the items that drive me crazy being thrown on the floor. It was $5.50 and I was so excited to finally find something I had been on the hunt for. My husband hung it up and it has been a game changer for that area that often felt cluttered and not functional.

Home organization does not have to cost a fortune, your baskets and containers do not have to all match, and they do not have to come from big fancy retail stores to make your home function better for you and those who live in your home. I encourage you to look at the spaces that cause you to stress, that you are overwhelmed by and that need to be decluttered. Take those spaces one at a time, make a list of what would make that space more functional and shop your home, take that list to Goodwill, and thrift those items instead of paying retail. Organize, simplify, declutter, and donate what no longer serves you, and see how much better you feel in your space.

Happy Thrifting and Organizing!