Save Money And Declutter Your Home With This Simple Trick

Extra bins and baskets? Don't get rid of them. Save time and money on your next decluttering project by setting up an organization center.

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Decluttering is on everyone’s mind this time of year. Organizing our homes, offices and garages relieves stress and makes us more productive. It’s time-consuming, though, and buying all those bins and canisters can be expensive. No wonder people get overwhelmed before they even start.

Even if you’re an expert organizer, you probably have a few bins and boxes laying around. Sure, you could recycle them and start fresh every time you start a new project. But Melissa Gugni of Melissa Gugni Organizing says you don’t have to.

“I encourage my clients to put all of those unused bins and baskets in one space, creating a little ‘Container Store’ in their own home,” Gugni says. “There’s no shame in having a collection. Even the best of us have chosen an organizing solution that works great until it doesn’t.”

So rather than buy new the next time you feel the urge to declutter, why not create an organization center? We’ll show you how to set one up so you can “shop” your house instead of going to the store.

What Is An Organization Center?

An organization center is a dedicated place to store bins, boxes and other supplies for future projects. It can be a pantry, shelf, closet or any reasonably-sized area that works for you.

What should you keep in your organization center? Besides a few styles and sizes of containers, Gugni likes to stock blue painter’s tape for labeling, removable hooks, rolls of stick-on Velcro and cable ties.

How To Set Up An Organization Center

The first rule: Don’t go to the store and buy a bunch of bins. Gugni says to start by keeping things you already have. This can include old gift and shoe boxes, which can be repurposed into cord organizers and drawer dividers, and small glass jars for items like cotton swabs or hair ties.

Still, be discerning. Damaged or stained items should be recycled. You also shouldn’t save so much that you can’t find what you need when you need it.

Where you put the organization center matters, too. “It’s important that this stash gets a home that is easy to access and see, or it is likely to be forgotten the next time the organizing itch needs scratching,” Gugni says.

And consider downsizing if you start to feel overwhelmed by the number of things in your center. Even organizing supplies can become too much of a good thing, Gugni says.

How To Use An Organization Center

It’s simple. When you start a new project, make your organization center your first stop. Use your supplies as you sort and pare down, then your container stash to create the neat, useful space you envision.

“It’s such a good reminder to declutter, measure and assess what you have before heading to the store for more,” Gugni says. “The majority of my clients already have most of the supplies that they need, once we declutter and repurpose them.”

One more pro tip: Share the wealth! Gugni encourages friends to shop each other’s organizing stash, as well as their own, before heading to the store. Look into Buy Nothing groups, too. These communities offer hyper-local “sharing circles” where members give, share and lend without buying new.

“Buy Nothing groups can be a gold mine for canisters and other organizing goods that haven’t worked for others,” Gugni says.

Ally Childress
Ally Childress is a licensed electrician and freelance writer living in Dallas, Texas.