Month of Storage: Budget-Friendly Storage Solutions

January 17, 2014

One thing I hear over and over is, “Organizing is expensive!”  And although storage can be costly, the act of organizing is free!

Nothing is more rewarding than taking time to sort down your belongings and donate them to a good cause.  That act does not cost a dime, in fact, you may find that you save money or even find money during the organizing process.  You will spend less money at the grocery store if you are organized in the kitchen with storage and a meal plan, you will save more money in your budget by organizing paper piles and paying your bills on time, and you might even find gift cards and birthday money at the bottom of those junk drawers!  Less truly is more.

So once you have sorted down your items, how do you store them in an inexpensive way?  Here are my five favorite DIY storage solutions, many which are versatile enough to be used in many different areas around your new Chicago home.

DIY Drawer Dividers:


Drawer organizers keep your drawers neat and tidy and ensure you don’t add more than you have space to store.  Save a few of those empty cereal boxes, cover them in pretty patterned paper or drawer liner and you have yourself some organizers that will bring a smile to your face every time you open the drawer.


DIY Canvas Bins:


Save your empty boxes, as they can become a very inexpensive way to create canvas bins to store everything from linens to baby gear.  Some pretty fabric paired with spray adhesive and you have yourself a storage bin that looks like it came straight off of the shelves of your favorite home goods store.


DIY Roll Out Drawers: 


I always recommend adding drawers and roll out storage whenever possible, as it allows you to easily access items in the back of a pantry or cabinet.  Pairing some inexpensive brackets to DIY wooden boxes and you just put some pennies back into the bank.

DIY Storage Ottoman:


Storage ottomans work wonders for tucking away toys in the living room or linens in the bedroom.  However, they can also be quite costly, especially for one that is upholstered in decorative fabric and has added details such as nailheads or tufts.  If you are a little handy, an ottoman can be a fairly basic build.  Frame it out with some inexpensive wood, add some batting and fabric along with some casters or furniture legs, and you could build yourselves two ottomans for the price of one at any furniture store.


DIY Storage Crate:


I love adding crates around the home to hold extra blankets and pillows, magazines and even your child’s favorite play things.  Pair them with casters and now they are mobile storage or pull out drawers.  You can either purchase unfinished crates from craft stores or build them with a few simple supplies, and finish them off with wood stain or paint.


Here are a few more ways to make the most of your storage:

  • Select items that will be versatile for years to come and can easily be transferred from space to space as your storage needs evolve.
  • Search Craigslist for inexpensive furniture.  Bookcases, dressers and credenzas all work in almost any room in the home, and can look shiny and new with a fresh coat of paint and updated hardware.
  • Search for storage inspiration first, and then check out big box stores for less expensive pieces, which mimic the high-end look.

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  • Use paint or fabric to refinish mismatched storage containers to give them a streamlined, unified appearance.
  • Save packaging from everyday essentials and food products.  Frosting tubs, yogurt cups, soup cans, baby wipe bins, spaghetti sauce jars, cracker boxes and dishwasher tab containers can be washed and reused as up-cycled storage items.
  • Think outside of the storage box.  Just because something was designed to function a specific way, doesn’t mean it can’t rock as storage in a form other than intended.
  • Scour thrift stores for decorative bowls and mugs as they double as beautiful accessory storage around the home.


Check out my wallet-friendly product picks now!


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