Organizing, why not repurpose an item instead of buying something new

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In my travels, I have seen some great organizing ideas and products.  Most of them can be created using items you already own. Save money, have fun and create a solution to an organizing problem.

Re-purpose an  item and use it in a new way

On my trip to Vancouver, I learned about this idea. Here is a silver chest.

Re-purpose an old silver chest and make it into a make-up organizer

It now holds makeup.  My daughter-in-law invented this creative solution.

The brushes nicely fit where the cutlery used to be stored.

Stack 2 tables to create a great look 

I traveled to Iceland with my 92 year old Father.  A coffee shop had these versatile coffee tables.

Stacking coffee tables

They can be easily separated to give more tables, slide overtop of each other to leave more floor space and provide 2 different height tables at the same seating space. Imagine how you could create this look at your home with 2 tables.

Use stacking bins for laundry

When I was in Yellowknife I saw these great stacking laundry bins

Any stacking bins could be used for your laundry

They use vertical space so take up less floor space and can easily be separated to take to the laundry room.  The thing I liked is that you can put items into the bottom bin without removing the top bin.  If you have some bins around the house try using them for your laundry.  You may need to set one across the other in an X pattern to be able to stack them.

1 in 4 garbage can

While staying in a hotel in Ontario I noticed this great recycling idea.

Each section of the garbage can holds a different type of trash

It made recycling very easy.  It was all in one place, the corners were labeled so you knew where to put your cans, paper, garbage and glass. You can easily make dividers for the garbage cans for bedrooms. It would make collecting the garbage easy, only one container, and it would be sorted and ready to add to the larger containers going out to the curb.

Shoe Organizers are Versatile

When I was in Bermuda I saw one in a bookstore used to organize maps.  The pockets are large and the organizer can be hung over a door, mounted on a hanger and put in a closet or fastened to a wall.

Shoe organizers can be used to organizer lots of things, hats, mitts, first aid supplies,cleaning supplies and maps

Re-purpose a piece of furniture

Using furniture in a new way can be fun. Use old furniture as storage and save money not buying bins.  Back at home, this used to be a buffet.

Use old furniture to store items.

It holds our CD collection perfectly. I knew I would not have room to use it in the eating area but by the entertainment equipment it keeps CDs and gaming equipment neat and organized.

I went to the Canadian National Home Show, check out this blog post for more creative organizing ideas. What’ new at the home show?

Share your creative organizing solutions in the comments below.

Julie Stobbe, professional organizerJulie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

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  1. Seana Turner on June 26, 2017 at 10:05 am

    I think you can make some very useful tools if you think creatively. I’ve seen an old dresser turned into a variety of great storage tools. The only caution is not to keep an item because you think you will “find a way to use it.” That often results in a pileup of pieces that never actually get used.

    • Julie Stobbe on June 26, 2017 at 12:31 pm

      I agree with you. Don’t keep furniture just in case you can use it. Sometimes you can rearrange things and use something in a new way to solve and organizing dilemma.

  2. Sabrina Quairoli on June 26, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    Great tips. I totally agree. If you want to be organized, you don’t need to necessarily spend money. Be creative and look at the other items in your home in different ways to see if the item is really being utilized.

    I would tell my clients, they hire me to help them organize, not to buy them more stuff to organize.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Julie Stobbe on June 26, 2017 at 12:33 pm

      I agree the key is to have less and not buy more. Then being organized becomes very easy.

  3. Janet Barclay on July 24, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    You’d be proud of the number of repurposed items I’m using to organize, especially on my desk. A favourite mug with a cracked handle is now a pen cup. A wooden chest that came with miniature jars of jam holds tape, USB drives, and other small items. And so on…

    • Julie Stobbe on August 8, 2017 at 11:20 am

      It is really amazing how many objects we own can be repurposed and that saves money not purchasing more things. It also saves the environment since you are putting less items into landfill. Not to mention it is fun and you can be creative.

  4. Olive Wagar on July 27, 2017 at 9:44 am

    It is so much fun to repurpose furniture! And those over-the-door shoe organizers can be used in just about every room of your house. Thanks for including the pictures!

    • Julie Stobbe on August 8, 2017 at 11:16 am

      Next to moving furniture around in a room to make better use of space, repurposing items is my next favourite thing. It allows me to use my creativity in an organizing job.

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