The 6 Things You Already Own That Will Help You Get Organized


I don’t know what it is about this time of year, but it always gives me that itch to get more organized. But organizing is a bit of a minefield for me, because I tend to get swept up in the notion that I need to buy a bunch of new bins, organizers, and other products to get the job done. But I know logically that isn’t true, and that anyone can get more organized without spending a dime!

In today’s post, I hope to prove that point to not only myself, but to anyone else who find it hard to resist splurging on expensive organization products. Today’s post is all about getting more organized using common items many of us already have at home!

We’ll be exploring different ways of using 6 common household items to help you get more organized at home. But I want to point out that this list is far from exhaustive! Use this list and the ideas in it to get your creative juices flowing. In no time you’ll be coming up with your own clever ways to repurpose your stuff in the name of organization! :-)

6 Household Items That Make Surprisingly Great Organizers


1. Magazine Files

  • Use a magazine file to store your extra plastic and paper grocery bags. It keeps them corralled and it’s easy to tuck the file in a cupboard or closet to get it out of the way.


  • Hang a magazine file on the inside one of your kitchen cabinet doors. Use it to store plastic wrap, tin foil, parchment paper, and other long boxes.
  • Put a wide magazine file in your pantry and use it to store canned goods!


2. Accordion Folder

  • Keep a small accordion folder in your car’s glove box. Use it to keep your insurance card, car registration documents, and other important papers organized.
  • Use an accordion folder to keep your coupons or recipes organized. For coupons, you could separate them into different slots based on store or item type, and for recipes, you could separate them based on meal or course.


3. Dish Drying Rack

  • Use the slots in a dish drying rack to sort mail or file folders. It will help you keep track of important bills and documents.


  • Use the slots of a dish drying rack to keep the lids to your food storage containers organized. You’ll never have to waste searching for the right lid again!


4. Hanging Fruit Basket

  • A hanging fruit basket can be really useful in your bathroom! Hang one near your mirror as a place to keep hairbrushes and other hair products, or hang one in a corner of your shower to keep track of loofahs, bath toys, and soaps.


  • Hang a fruit basket in your closet for some extra storage space for scarves, accessories, jewelry, socks, or any other small items!
  • Install a hanging fruit basket in your laundry room for a convenient place to store dryer balls, clothespins, detergent tabs, dryer sheets, and more.
  • Use a hanging fruit basket in your office, craft, or project room to store fabric, scissors, yarn, hand tools, and more.


5. Silverware Tray

  • Silverware trays can help keep any drawer more organized! Put one in your nightstand drawer to keep small items organized, like phone cords, ear plugs, lip balm, and lotions.
  • Hang a mesh silverware tray near your front door with a couple of nails, but don’t hammer the nails all the way in. Use the protruding nails to hang up keys, and use the other parts of the tray as shelves for sunglasses, wallets, etc.
  • Keep a silverware tray in a bathroom drawer to organize makeup, makeup brushes, nail polish, hair accessories, and more.
  • Keep one in a desk drawer to keep pens, pencils, and other office supplies organized.


6. Paper Towel Holder

  • Use a paper towel holder as a place to store your ribbon collection! Just stack the spools over the center, then you can pull whatever ribbon you need without having to move the other spools.
  • If your washi tape collection is as extensive as mine, you can keep it organized on a paper towel holder! It makes it easy to see all your options at once.


  • Install a hanging paper towel holder in your bedroom or bathroom to hang bracelets and necklaces. It’s an easy way to keep your jewelry free of tangles!

What’s your best quick and easy tip for getting more organized?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Homekeeping Tips

  • If that silverware sorter is metal, why bother using nails other than to put it up? You could use earth magnet hooks to hang those items and add and adjust as needs change!
    I also use those metal tins that mints come in in my junk drawer…I label them (with a labeler) and “file” them on their sides. They’re perfect for small items like pins, paper clips, eyeglasses kit, etc that end up in there!

  • I’ve used Kleenex boxes as storage in my dressers for things like panties, socks and nylons. I remove the top of the box and put wasabi tape along the edge. Kleenex boxes can be pretty and it’s a shame to throw them away.
    I’ve also used them to organize my junk drawer.

  • I like to save small sturdy boxes from greeting card sets, fancy soaps, jewelry, watches, etc (the pretty boxes that I have a hard time throwing away!) to organize drawers. You can use different sizes to accommodate different shaped items and even glue them together or use double stick tape to keep them in place if they don’t fit tightly. You can also line them if you wish with scraps of contact paper, wallpaper, fabric or whatever you may have on hand, also a good way to use up small pieces that aren’t useful for much else. I used this method to organize drawers in a small chest for chunkier bracelets and necklaces and also one in a top drawer of a chest in our master bathroom for my husband’s personal stuff. I plan to do the same soon in couple of top desk drawers.

  • I’ve had an (almost) unused dish drainer sitting around for ages! What a fantastic idea to use it for organising lids! Thank you again.

    • I hung a plastic Dollar Tree accordian in my closet to hang necklaces. Does the trick and leaves room in the jewelry box for other things.

      • I’m guessing she means this expandable racks with pegs that can be adjusted to different lengths and hung on a wall.

      • These things are so perfect for so many things. I’ve got one on the back of my bedroom door for necklaces since I don’t have room in my little closet. I’ve also got one hanging on the wall in our enclosed back porch to hang my husband’s winter work coveralls and overalls. (especially if they’re damp from rain or snow). In the summer time it’s great for damp umbrella’s, damp wind-breakers etc.

    • I use the command hooks for my necklaces and hang them in my closet as well. I can remove them and move them around without any holes to fill in.

  • just wanted to add another idea for storing plastic food storage lids. I placed a hook inside my cabinet door from which i hung a plastic bag. Inside the bag i place my plastic lids- so easy to grab what i need!

  • i use a magazine organizer to store my plastic food storage lids. Works better than anything else I’ve tried. For my plastic bags – I stuff them inside a large clear plastic jar that originally contained pretzels.

  • Keeping your car insurance and registration as well as other important documents in your car’s glove compartment could be a disaster regarding identity theft if your car is stolen! Better to keep those documents in your purse or wallet. A car thief could also try to sell your car having the car registration and insurance in his/her hands!

    • keeping these items in your wallet is not convenient if others often drive your car. I have my insurance info stored in my phone along with pictures of the documents. Because my husband also frequently drives my car, he also has them stored in his phone.

    • I also keep my car insurance, registration in my purse for the same reason. If someone should steal my car while I am out, they also won’t have access to my home address!!!! I also block my car’s metal serial number that is on the dash near the windshield.

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