150 Dollar Store Organizing Ideas

dollar store organizing

Organize your home on a budget!

DIY & Crafts has rounded up 150 dollar store organizing ideas and projects for the entire house!  What are your favourite things from the dollar store that you use for organizing?

14 Free Home Management Printables

Family-Management-Binder-Collage

Check out this great freebie!  Perfect for those that want to get more organized at home!

Amy from MomAdvice.com is offering 14 FREE Home Management Binder Printables when you sign up for her email newsletter!

Cozi: Free Family Organizer App

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Are you looking to get your family a bit more organized?  You should check out the Cozi app!  It’s FREE to sign up for!

Cozi is a free calendar app and website (that was named a must-have app by The Today Show!) that helps families stay organized and manage it all:

  • Everything in one place: calendar, shopping lists, to-do lists and more
  • One account the whole family can share
  • Accessible on any device (iPhone/iPad, Android, PC and Mac), at home and on the go

Sign up for Cozi today and you’ll finally have one place to manage school schedules, sports activities, meal plans, chores and more.

What do you use or do for family organization?

The Benefits of Being Intentional

Benefits of Being Intentional

I’m sharing a bit of my life with you today.  I hope to do this more often, because Simply Frugal is my “voice” and behind my voice there is more than coupons, freebies and sales! :)

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately.  About life in general but also about being intentional.  Intentionality is something that has been lacking in my life to some degree for some time now.  Since becoming a mother just over two years ago, I’ve really noticed my need to be more intentional.  It’s taken me getting to some of my lowest points in my life to come to the realization that things aren’t just going to get better without some work and intentionality. Whining won’t fix it either ;)

Relationships, the website and other areas of my life have taken a hit.  I’m sad, because those things are important to me!  But I guess I needed the lesson of hitting bottom in order to wake up with a new zest for life.  While I’ll always be a work in progress, I feel as though I know some of the steps I need to take at this moment in order to gain traction.

Being intentional has many benefits:

  • Better relationships
  • Better grip on finances
  • Better time management
  • The creation of things that have impact
  • More rest
  • More happiness

Here’s how, I intend on implementing more intentionality into some areas of my life:

Relationships:  Speak kind and encouraging words to friends and family, especially my husband.  Less whining (especially in front of my husband.)

Finances: Create a budget and keep track of all spending and income, thus creating more intentional spending habits.

Time: Make to-do lists every day.  I flounder without a list and I’ve too often gone without a list and felt discouraged at the end of the day because I “didn’t get anything done”.

Menu planning: I plan on revamping my menu plan system to create something really easy to follow.  Stay tuned for details

Simply Frugal:  Along with the daily coupons, deals and freebies, I want to create helpful products for you that will help you be more intentional in your life.  I’ll roll out more details as they become clearer to me.

Myself: Take time to read Take naps on Sunday afternoon if I feel like it.  Take time away from the website to enjoy a morning out and not feel guilty “a certain number of posts” aren’t up.  Because it’s only me behind Simply Frugal, I feel a lot of pressure to do all.the.things. all.the.time.

Mothering: Take the time to talk and snuggle with Sienna.  Also take the time needed to implement some discipline even if it isn’t “convenient” for me at the time. (Does unruly behaviour ever come at a convenient time?)

Friends, how are you doing?  Are you struggling with any areas in your life?  Do you need to implement more intentionality into your life? How can I help?

5 Inventive Ideas for Mason Jars

5 Inventive Ideas for Mason Jars

Mason jars can be found in almost any store these days.  They even make plastic containers that look like mason jars!
While they are easy to find brand new, thrift stores and garage sales are great places to find older mason jars.

If you happen to have some empty mason jars around your house, here are 5 inventive ideas for mason jars:

Pantry Storage

Mason jars are great for pantry storage solutions.  Make your own labels and use them to organize your pantry. (I love these printable Chalkboard ones from World Label)  The larger mason jars are great for items like pasta or rice.  Mason jars are generally  a great solution because they’re decorative and because they’re made of glass, you can see exactly what’s in them.

Bathroom Storage

Mason jars are also great for storing bathroom supplies like cotton balls, cotton swabs, makeup sponges and even little soaps.  You can also store bobby pins.  I have found they are especially great to hold makeup brushes or toothbrushes.

Sewing Kit in a Jar

All you need to create a sewing kit in a jar is fabric, batting, spray paint and of course the mason jars.  Here is how to make them:

  1. Spray the lid whatever color you want it to be.
  2. Then, use the lid of the mason jar to draw a circle on the fabric; you want the circle to be about an inch wider then the jar.
  3.  Cut the fabric circle out.
  4. Turn the lid upside down and place it on the fabric circle.  Using a hot glue gun put a line of hot glue almost all the way around the lid and start folding the fabric over onto the lid bunching it as you go.   When you are about 3/4 of the way around the lid, take the batting and stuff it into the opening of the fabric so it is on the top of the lid.  You want it to be even and poofy.  Now glue the last section of the fabric to the lid.
  5. Now on the outer piece (the rim) you will need to make a line of hot glue.  Press the fabric covered section of the lid into the outer piece and let it dry.

Now you can fill the inside of your jar with sewing essentials like thread, thimbles, sewing needles, mini scissors etc.  Once you’ve filled it, screw the lid onto the jar.  Because of the fabric the lid will be a little difficult to screw on.  Now you have a beautiful little sewing kit with a pin cushion lid!  These make great little gifts for teachers, moms or really anyone.  They’re handy to keep in the car incase you have a little fashion emergency that requires a little sewing, such as a fallen off button. (or a broken soccer shin pad in my husband’s case!)

Cookie or Soup Gift Jar

This is a simple gift idea that can look beautiful when everything is carefully put layered in a mason jar.  The best way to layer the ingredients for chocolate chip cookies, for example, is to start with an ingredient like flour and add the other white ingredients like baking soda, baking powder and salt which will mix in with the flour.  Next, add the quick oats or M&Ms or chocolate chips.  Finally, add the brown sugar and/or white sugar.  Tie a ribbon around the top of the jar and add a tag with the directions on what wet ingredients they will need and directions on how to bake the cookies.

For the soups you can add different beans or noodles and other spices and dry ingredients the soup calls for.  Again, layer the ingredients in a way that it looks visually appealing. Don’t instructions on how to cook the soup.

Gift containers

Mason jars make great little gift containers for things like a DIY manicure kit.  Just get all the manicure must-haves like a few
different shades of nail polish and some nail art supplies.  You can find some super cute nail art supplies at dollar stores. Take everything out of the packages so it will fit into the jar better.  Then, to fancy it up a bit, wrap some of the smaller items
in tissue paper and tie it shut with a little thin ribbon or twine.  Add a few cotton swabs and cotton balls and you have your manicure in a jar all ready to give as a wonderful gift!

How have you put mason jars to use in your life?

Creative Ways to Use Ordinary Objects for Organizing

30 creative ways to use ordinary objects for organizing!

Last year I compiled a series of posts featuring creative ways to use ordinary objects for organizing.  The objects featured, are ones that I’m sure you’ve got on hand right now! The ideas are also quite brilliant so I thought I’d bring attention to the posts again to help get your creative organizing ideas rolling!

What’s your favourite idea?

25 Brilliant Organizing Tips

brilliant organizing tips

Isn’t it time to get a little more organized? You keep putting it off, but now’s the time to buckle down and really get to it. These 25 organizing tips will help you get organized in no time.

#1. Use old snack containers - If you’re strapped for cash, then using old containers is an excellent way to get a little more organized in your junk drawers or in your computer desk.

#2. Use a chalkboard – People forget to use their calendars, so write your important to-dos on a chalkboard. Place it somewhere you can see it on a daily basis.

#3. Keep like items in one spot – Instead of storing like items in various spots around the house, keep them all in one spot.  Finding magazines everywhere?  Store them all in a magazine file on a shelf.

#4. Create a charging station – Don’t play the “find your charger” game. Create your very own charging station within your home. I like this DIY Charging Station from Four Generation,s One Roof.

#5. Use a Magnetic strip – Place magnetic strips throughout your home to hang items like: knives, spice jars, and even nail clippers.

#6. Use old suitcases for storage – Using old suitcases as decor for your walls will give you a vintage feel, but you can still store items within the suitcase.  Double purpose!

#7. Use ice cube trays to store small items – Whether you have smaller toys or office supplies, consider using ice cube trays to store these items in.

#8. Use wine boxes to store your shoes – Maybe this organizational idea isn’t so conventional, but it sure is brilliant.  Here’s a picture for your reference.

#9. Leave reminders on or in your fridge – One place you know you’re heading today is to the fridge, so leave your most important reminders in there.

#10. Use an organizer for the shower – Instead of having items fall everywhere as you use the shower, buy a shower organizer.

#11. Start recycling – If you’re trying to clear out some of the trash, you can get a little more organized by recycling some of your items.

#12. Clear out the clutter daily – Some people only clear out clutter once a year, stay organized by getting rid of clutter on a daily basis.

#13. Only keep a couple of your kids papers – School papers can really add up. Keep just a few of your child’s papers and put them on display on a cork board or a mini clothesline.

#14. Utilize hidden storage – Put your items into a hidden storage bench in the mud room, living room, and make a few benches for outside.

#15. Put a grocery bag in your car for garbage - If you are tired of having garbage in your vehicle, then keep a grocery bag in there to collect garbage as you finish with it.

#16. Organize by color – Make your house a little more fun by organizing everything by color. You might take your family and guests by surprise!

#17. Use mesh bags around your home – Instead of trying to put socks and undergarments in the laundry basket, have your family put them in mesh bags.  If they’re all together in a mesh bag, there’s less chance to losing some.

#18. Use a shoe organizer for multiple purposes in your home – A shoe organizer can be used for bathroom items, little kid’s clothing, or even crafting items. Let your imagination run wild with this one.

#19. Organize your priorities – Everyone says organize your time a little better, but organizing your priorities makes more time for the things that matter.

#20. Ban clutter in your house – If you are tired of seeing clutter all over the house, then make a rule that no one can bring clutter into the house. If you bring something in, you have to get rid of something else.

#21. Sell your unneeded items and give to charity – If you buy items with the thought process “I can sell this later” then don’t buy it. Put some of your items up for sale and then donate that money to charity.

#22. Utilize under the bed space - A lot of storage can be found underneath beds. You can buy bed risers to raise your bed if you need more room underneath it.

#23. Donate your magazines – You may have a lot of magazines lying around the house. Instead of throwing them away, keep the pages you want and donate the rest.

#24. Utilize hallway space – If you have a long hallway; utilize the wall space as much as you can. Try to hang storage items up high.

#25. Use one basket per person for laundry – Mixing everyone’s laundry together can make more work for you. Make it easier on yourself using one basket per person.

I hope these brilliant organizing tips help you get a little more organized this year. What tips would you add to this list?

7 Ways to Pare Down Your Closet

7 ways to pare down your clothing once and for all!

I find paring down my clothing one of the hardest decluttering tasks to do.  I get this weird attachment to certain pieces. Like the ones I remember wearing on a golf date with my husband 10 years ago. Or the ones I think I’ll fit into again one day.  Or even the ones that I spent a pretty penny on but hate the way they fit.  It’s silly really, to hang on to clothing that doesn’t fit properly, you don’t like, or is outdated.  It’s easy to replace those things on a budget with items you actually love!

I was talking with my mom the other day about how I was going to be ruthless during my upcoming purge.  In a sense, I want to start over.  Keep the pieces that I love and that fit me well, but finally say goodbye to the things that make me feel frumpy and unbeautiful.  It just doesn’t do my postpartum body and ego any favours by hoping certain pieces will fit me well again.

So in a new effort to add only pieces that I LOVE here are 7 questions I ask myself when I purge clothing:

1.  Does it fit?

If the shirt pulls in entirely the wrong areas, it doesn’t fit.  If I can’t do up the zipper on my jeans easily, they don’t fit.

2.  Have I worn this in the last 12 months?

Chances are, if you haven’t worn a piece of clothing in a year or more, you’re not going to wear it again.  Or you might be like me, and feel sorry for that piece of clothing and wear it again out of sympathy, but it really isn’t flattering.  In order to determine if you’ve worn something in the last 12 months, you could try the backwards hanger trick.  When you’re hanging up your clothes, flip the hanger around so it hangs (with the clothing on it) backwards on the rack.  Every time you pull something out and wear it, hang it back up with the hangers facing the proper way.  That way at the end of 12 months, you can see if there’s anything you didn’t wear because the hangers are still hanging backwards!

3.  Will I ever wear this again?

Maybe you bought something for a special occasion you were attending, but don’t have much, or any, opportunities to wear it again.  It might be time to consider selling it in a consignment shop or even on Kijiji/Craigslist.

4.  Is it currently in style/does it represent my style?

I’m sure we’ve all got those sentimental pieces in our wardrobe that we wore in the “good ‘ol days”.  Well, new “good ‘ol days” are upon us and it’s time to get with the times by getting rid of those outdated pieces.  If it’s just too hard, put them in the dress up box for the kids to enjoy!

5.  Do I feel good when I wear it?

This is becoming one of the most important questions I ask myself.  If I just don’t feel confident when I put something on, it’s time to really consider putting it in the purge pile.  As I mentioned above, it’s doesn’t do my postpartum body and ego any favours if I’m just wearing something for the sake of getting dressed.  Even the hoodies I purchase have to make me feel “cute”!

6.  If it’s damaged, will I actually find time to fix it?

Enough said.  If you don’t have time to fix something, whether you want to fix it yourself or go out of your way to take it to a professional, it’s time to part ways.  That piece of clothing will just nag on you anyways as it taunts you from the depths of your closet!

7.  If I were shopping right now, would I buy it?

Often times, I’ve looked at a piece of clothing and wondered what I was thinking when I bought it.  (Most likely it was cheap!)  So, if you look at your current clothes and see things you wouldn’t buy today, maybe it’s time to say goodbye.

I sure hope these questions will help you to determine what you should keep and what you shouldn’t.  Starting now, I’m deciding to buy only what I love and makes me feel like a million bucks.  Sometimes, that might mean I have to spend more to get something that truly fits well.  I’m okay with that, because I’ll probably be buying less in the long run ($5 here and there adds up!) and I’ll feel like a million bucks!

Do you have any other ways to pare down your closet you can share with us in the comments?  What sort of outrageous clothing are you storing in your closet?

Click on the image below to have a 5×7 to print and enjoy!

7 questions to ask to help you purge clothing once and for all!

How to Clean Your Fridge…and Keep it Organized

How to clean your fridge...and keep it organized!

Having a clean and tidy fridge can save you some big money on your grocery bill.  After all, if you know what you have stored in there, you won’t be buying doubles or letting it go to waste!

Here are some tips on how to clean your fridge and keep it organized:

What You will Need to clean with:

  • A cloth or a sponge
  • A sink full of soapy water
  • A dish towel
  • Glass cleaner (optional)
  • Counter space or table space for organizing food
  • A garbage can

How to Clean your Fridge:

Take everything out of the fridge

First of all, you’ll want to take everything out of the fridge and throw out any expired or rotten food.  I found this guide for how long to keep food in the refrigerator on Good Housekeeping that you may find useful!  (Also, I have to take things out one shelf at a time because we don’t have much counter space.)

Deep clean everything

Take out the shelves and drawers and give them a good wash in your sink with soapy water.  Dry them well. Before you put the shelves and drawers back, be sure to wipe down every surface inside the fridge.  Don’t forget to do the shelves in the door, the outside and the top of the fridge!  We have a smaller fridge with no coils, but if you have a fridge with coils, be sure to vacuum them!

Wipe down any sticky jars/containers

Before you put your food back, wipe down any sticky jars or containers.  Don’t forget to clean inside the lids of ketchup bottles and the like!

Now that you’re ready to put everything back, here are some tips to help you organize your fridge and keep it that way:

Make zones

Arrange everything by zones.  Meaning, all meats should go on a bottom shelf so that they don’t spoil other foods if they drip.  If you find yourself always reaching for the eggs and butter every morning, for example, be sure to place them together for your convenience.  Salad dressings are always together in the top door shelf in our fridge.  Likewise, I like to keep all bottled goods together in the door.  Cheeses are also together in the cheese compartment in the door.

Use baskets

You may find that using baskets will help to keep you organized.  Especially if you find you’re always shuffling small items around on the shelves to get the one item you need in the back.  I recommend picking up some baskets from the dollar store if you think the basket system would work for you.  No need for them to be expensive!

Use clear containers

This is one of my favourite tips that my Mom has thought me.  Use clear containers to store any leftovers so you know exactly what you have on hand.  If you can actually see what’s inside a particular container, you’re more likely to use it up!

Sort by date

When you get home from the grocery store, make sure to put items in according to the date if you have doubles.  For example, say you brought home a second container of sour cream knowing that you’ll need it in a few days time.  Make sure you put the new container behind the old/already opened container to ensure the old container won’t go bad before it’s used up.

Not everything belongs

Not all grocery items belong in the fridge.  While a freezer is more efficient if it’s jam packed, a fridge will keep things longer if there’s space between the items.  Here are some items that you may be keeping in the fridge but don’t necessarily belong there:

  • Potatoes (these should never be kept in the fridge, but in a cool dry place)
  • Tomatoes (their flavour is enhanced by sitting in a sunny window)
  • Onions
  • Apples (give off gases that will make other things ripen quickly)
  • Eggs (if you use them quickly and buy them quite fresh, they can be left on the counter)
  • Butter (store it in a butter keeper to keep it soft)
  • Herbs (can be placed in a jar or vase, just like flowers!)

Did you learn anything new?  Do you have any tips or systems that work well for you that you could share in the comments?

Entryway and Stair Landing Organizing Tips

Entryway and Stair Landing Organizing Tips

Entryway and Stair Landing Organizing Tips

Getting and keeping the house organized is a challenge for most families.  Two areas that tend to fall victim to the accumulation of stuff after only a week (or day!) of living life, are the front entryway and the stair landing.   To help keep these areas organized, you’ll need to develop some good habits and have suitable storage solutions.

Here are some entryway and stair landing organizing tips that are sure to help keep you more organized.

Put Things Away Right Away

There is one habit to apply when you’re battling to keep your entryway neat and tidy; put things away immediately upon arriving home. We tend not to return to hang up a coat or put away shoes once we’ve settled into being home. By forcing yourself, and creating a habit at the same time, by putting your things away immediately will restore order to the entryway.  Just make sure each item has a proper place!

Use that Closet

Coats, shoes, backpacks, and purses tend to collect in piles in the front entryway. If there is a closet, use it!  If there isn’t a closet, or the closet is too small, then a coat rack or a set of hooks is the next best thing.  Hang a set of hooks on the wall or purchase a free standing coat rack, if the budget will allow.  Backpacks and purses should go in the closet as well, or straight to the owner’s bedroom.

Shoes, boots, hats, scarves, and the like need to go in the closet right away, unless they’re wet.  Then they can be set aside to dry.  Another tool for footwear is a covered bench, baskets, or storage cubes. Storage cubes are handy because each family member can be assigned his or her own.  Pick up some of those storage cubes that have cushioned seats; they can double as a bench!

One Item per Trip

Habits and tools can also help keep the stair landing clear.  Most people will go up and down the stairs more than once during the day, so picking up and bringing one item each trip is a great habit to get into.  That was a rule my Mom liked to enforce.  If we were headed upstairs and there was something that belonged to us waiting on the stairs, we had to bring it up.

Use a Basket

Since the stair landing is a common catch-all for toys and other items, a large basket can be used. You can then assign one family member to take on the chore of bringing the basket upstairs each day.  Everyone just needs to return his or her things to the proper place at the end of the day.

It takes a few tools and habits to keep the entryway and stair landing clutter-free, but it can be done!

What are your tips for keeping the entryway and stairs tidy?