Get Organized the Frugal Way: Reuse Things You Already Have

OK, we’ll we all know that cooking at home as a major money-saver.  However, as much as I like to cook, trying to work in a cluttered, disorganized kitchen sends me scurrying to my computer to look up deals on take-out pizza.

Though the new year is a time when organizational supplies go on sale, since Hubby works for a nonprofit organization (and thus had a lot of time off over the holidays), I wasn’t too keen to spend what little money we had on Tupperware totes.  Instead, I found ways to repurpose some of the items that were just lying around my home and bring some order to my universe. 

Curtain Bags as Scrub Brush and Dishwasher Soap Holders

Have you noticed that whenever you buy curtains or sheets, they always come in these cute little bags with zippers on the top?  Funny how I used to toss them in the trash, never thinking they could be useful for storage.  I used some extra Command-style stickies (the kind you use to keep hooks on your walls) to attach them to the front of my dishwasher.

This turned out to be a great place to store the dishwasher soap packets and my scrub brushes. Not only did it save me from rooting around under the sink, my husband (who has back problems) no longer had to bend down so far. The zippers keep things from falling out when the dishwasher is opened.

Dish Drainer Pot Lid Storage

There are reasons I love my galley-style kitchen (such as the fact they can’t see the after-dinner mess  from the living room if I just don’t want a deal it!), one thing I do not love is a lack of counter space.  Since my mother got me a stand mixer for my birthday (thanks mom!) there is nowhere to put my dish drainer.

One day, while trying for the fifth time to locate a pot lid I needed, it occurred to me that the dish drainer is designed to store things upright.  A few minutes of rearranging and I had the perfect slide-out pot lid storage.  That freed up a lot of room on the other shelves.

Suction Cups For Hanging Utensils

I probably don’t have to explain the value of having commonly-used tools close at hand.  My way of achieving that, however, is a bit unusual.  I think these suction cups were originally used to hang holiday decorations in our old apartment (where the landlord hated holes in the walls with an intensity most people reserve for war criminals).  They absolutely refused to stick to the glossy paint used in our new place, but they work just fine on our stove hood.  Now I don’t have to hunt for my mitts.

7-11 Cup For Small Container Storage

All right, this one is not as a blindingly brilliant (ahem!) but it did turn out to make a big difference.  Due to some health issues, (the gory details of which I won’t go into here),  I do not handle stress well right now.  Trying to find an herb or spice while a pot is boiling over can send me until meltdown that makes Chernobyl look like a minor incident.  Therefore, I always measure everything before I start cooking, just like the fancy chefs on Food Network do.

My fondness for little containers, none of which will stack together properly no matter how hard I try, meant they were constantly falling out of the cupboard (and onto my head!).  So I just gave up and stuck them in a Big Gulp cup.  They fit, and the cup’s small footprint meant it didn’t take up much room, which meant I could avoid Condition Red.