Updated: Mar 30, 2021
The power that a few bins, dividers and baskets can have to transform a cupboard, closet or a drawer is undeniable, however to fully organize a space you often need to buy multiples of those items which can add up. If you are looking to declutter + organize, but have less money in your budget to invest on bins and baskets, there are many ways to get the job done with budget-friendly options.
Below are Neat Little Nest's top twenty budget-friendly finds.
Often we find that our clients have organizing bins aplenty, but they lack shelving to create a lasting functional system. When you shop for shelving, consider what you will be putting on it before you buy. Many of the cheapest choices have shallow shelves and zero ability to adjust. Budget-friendly is getting the best shelving you can for your money rather than just the cheapest in price that you can find.
Here are some shelving systems we recommend:
#1 - Kallax from IKEA - the Kallax units from IKEA are some of our favorites to use when organizing because they are easy to assemble, they are sturdy and the customization is incredible since you can add baskets, drawers and other inserts. You can get an 8-slot tower for under $70 and baskets for as low as $4 a piece.
#2 - Muscle racks - metal muscle racks are a great option when organizing storage rooms and garages because they are strong and can handle heavy loads, the shelves are adjustable and they are deep enough to hold large storage totes. At the time of this writing, the Edsal unit is almost 50% off placing it under $70 for a 5-shelf unit.
#3 - Wire racks - wire racks can be used in kitchens, pantries, storage rooms, garages and elsewhere. They are versatile as they come in a variety of sizes, are adjustable, are durable and you can add more shelves if you need to. For garages and storage rooms, we like to get deeper shelves, so our pick is SafeRacks 18 x 48 x 72 inch version which is priced at $120. SafeRacks has many other sizes available starting at $65.
#4 - DIY shelves - the most budget-friendly option is using DIY shelving from your local home improvement store in some combination with shelving brackets you secure to the wall. We recommend finding the longest piece of shelving you can buy (wood, MDF or melamine) and have the store cut the shelving down to the lengths and specifications that your space requires. In some closets that Neat Little Nest has designed we can get 6 shelves for one piece for under $20.
budget-friendly drawer organizers
#5-7 - Clear plastic drawer organizers - we have experimented with a variety of clear plastic drawer organizers and we like different ones for different reasons. For best bang-for-your-buck, the 32-piece set from Kootek is a winner because you can use multiple drawers in your home for about $1 per organizer. For makeup, we like to use the 10-piece set from STORI combined with their 12 x 6 larger organizer for color palettes and larger beauty items.
#8 - Bamboo drawer organizers - for those of you who prefer a more eco-friendly drawer organizer, bamboo is a wonderful alternative. It is pricier than plastic, but there are some good value options available. Our favorite is the Kootek 6-piece set because the two larger pieces can be divided up into smaller pieces.
#9-10 - Drawer dividers - there are many times when simply dividing a drawer into a couple of sections is all you need to improve its overall organization. Our top pick plastic drawer divide is the 4-pack from SJEhome, while our favorite bamboo divider is the 4-pack from Lawei.
budget-friendly fabric bins and baskets
#11 - Extra large rope bin - rope bins have so many uses from storing blankets and stuffed animals as well as toys, yet so often people are shopping at local stores and buying baskets that are too small. One way to get a bigger bang for your buck is to buy extra large sizes allowing you to hold so much more in one bin. A budget-friendly option is the 3-pack from Little Hippo that includes one extra large size at 21 inches in diameter plus two smaller size bins for just $30.
#12 - Fabric cube bin - our favorite budget-friendly fabric cube bin is the Dronas bin from IKEA. It is a larger size than most cube bins and it's under $4 a piece.
budget-friendly plastic bins
#13 - Y-weave baskets - there are a variety of manufacturers that make the ultra versatile Y-weave basket. You can find them at your local Target or craft store. The best value can be found on Amazon with the 6-piece set from EudokkyNA at $3 per bin, however the widest selection in sizes is at Target and they do go on sale from time to time.
#14-15 - Plastic storage bin with a handle - our fav is the multi-purpose plastic bin with handles from The Container Store. They have an inventory of sizes under $5, they go on sale ever so often and you can buy them in bulk for an even greater discount. Another great value are the locker bins from The Dollar Store.
reuse ideas for the most budget-conscious
For many, even a few dollars on an organizer is not going to fit within their budget, but that doesn't mean you need to sacrifice organization. Below are Neat Little Nest's top 5 free or nearly free ideas for organizing.
#16 - Peanut butter jar turned pantry organizer - the price of organizers to decant your pasta, rice, sugar, granola and more can add up. One option is to repurpose a 26 oz. peanut butter jar or something similar. You simply wash it out and decant to your heart's content.
#17 - Food box bottom turned drawer divider - once you're finished with a box of cereal or a soda can sleeve, you can cut the box down and use as drawer dividers. For extra support and even design, you can add decorative duct tape (as duct tape comes in many colors and patterns) to the cardboard.
#18 - Shoe box turned drawer organizer - an empty shoe box has so many uses. You can use it in the pantry to hold decanted to-go foods or you can place it into a dresser drawer and fold your underwear or socks in it to keep them tidy. The sky really is the limit on how many uses a shoe box can have to help you organize your home.
#19 - Baby food jars turned into small-item organizers - baby food jars are a great size to hold small items like spices, nails, screws, paper clips and the like. Even better, if you are in a kitchen, craft space or workshop, you can screw or glue the top of the baby food jar (or another glass jar with metal lid!) into the underneath part of a shelf and you get instant use of underutilized space. An example of this can be found here.
#20 - Cereal box turned into a magazine holder - if you cut a cereal box on the diagonal, you are able to create, voila, a magazine holder. You can spray paint it or decoupage the box for added design.
If you have a cluttered space you have been itching to tackle it is easy it is to take it from drab to fab on a budget using any of these twenty organizational suggestions.
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