Organizing @ Home #03 Organizing Supplies

Organizing @ Home Organizing Supplies[image [image src=”” align=”right” border=”none” link=”” alt=”” title=”” lightbox=”false” ]

Today’s Focus:

– Resourcefulness
– Repurposing
– In-Store Purchases
– Pinspiration

Several of us at Katy Home Organizer have been or still are stay-at-home moms. For many SAHMs that means one income and limits on spending but to get organized you need organizing supplies, they are essential! So when I was a young SAHM I learned to make use of what was around me, and I shopped garage sales too.


With the multitude of organizing supplies available in stores and online, it’s easy for the task to quickly become overwhelming and expensive. Thinking as a professional Organizer reduces the possibility of overbuying and increases your resourcefulness. A simple shift in the way you look at the everyday objects in your home can turn unused items into helpful tools.

Empty Boxes

Why do Organizers love boxes? Because when organizing, containing items is important. [image src=”” align=”right” border=”image_border” link=”#” alt=”” title=”” lightbox=”false” ]

When I look at a space to organize, I think “how can I compartmentalize and/or contain these items?” One of the first things I notice is whether there is adequate use of boxes, bins, or drawer dividers.

What kinds of empty box makes for good organizing supplies? Here are some everyday boxes found in all households to consider:
Tissue boxes: Cut the top off a long box to use in a dresser to hold folded socks or scarves, use square ones as a little trash can on a desk or vanity, and they’re also handy in or on a desk to collect receipts.
Cereal boxes: Cut at an angle like a magazine holder to store notepads, folders, etc., in an office, or cut to be a shallow tray to hold pens, pencils, scissors, etc.
Snack boxes: When cut down they work well a in desk drawer.
Nearly any box: Checkbook boxes, cell phone boxes, jewelry gift boxes, business card boxes, shoe boxes in various sizes meet all kinds of needs. Just imagine the box with all the ends sealed up, look at it from all angles, and think about how it will fit into different spaces or hold different items.


What else do you have around the house that is under-utilized? Plastic shoe-sized boxes are my favorite go-to item. Do you have any that are just holding a random assortment of non-essential items? Could the contents be purged and the box re-purposed?


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Baskets aren’t just for decorations, they can be functional as well. Though they aren’t the best solution for all situations, view them as containers to hold a particular type of item or category of items.

This one holds the dog collar, leash, and pet meds. When it’s time to walk the dog, this client has no trouble remembering remember the leash is in the basket.


Most people only think to use these for books, but they are highly versatile. I have used them to hold towels and washcloths when no linen closet was available, and in closets to hold shoes, purses, or clothing.

Do you have any under-utilized bookshelves in your home that can be re-purposed?

In-Store Purchases

Where an Organizer shops depends on the specific supplies needed for a project. At Katy Home Organizer, I have my trusted products I turn to again and again, which most often are found at the Container Store or Target.

I suggest to first use whatever you have on hand, but if you must buy, choose clear storage whenever possible so that the contents are clearly visible. It’s important to see what you have.

Here is where you can find the best prices for certain go-to items:

Clear is Better!

As an organizer I know clear is better. If you are one of those “out of sight – out of mind” kind of people, clear is preferred. But clear doesn’t have to be ugly. Clear can be calming. It may not be cute and that’s OK. Sometimes cute can be a distraction, it can obscure, and it can be inefficient.

The next section are my tried and true containers that I use over and over and over and over. Most can be found locally, either at the Container Store or Target and for these containers only, I’m including dimensions to help you plan.

For all of the containers I share my opinion about them, what I like and don’t like to help you make an educated choice or re-think about things you might already own. No dimensions are included because there are so many similar styles to choose from.

The first items are from the Container Store. I love ♥ the Container Store and for the record I do not make ANY money by endorsing the Container Store! I just really trust and believe this product. Most people think the Container Store has expensive products, but these boxes are competitively priced and are of superior quality.

[one_half] the Our Clear Storage Boxes™ [/one_half]

[one_half_last] Sterilite Purple Latch [/one_half_last]

What I like about them:
• They have the most vertical sides I’ve found. These are the most rectangular and sturdiest small to mid-sized clear containers you will find, and I’ve looked! Cheap clear boxes at the dollar store are fine if you’ve got them, but once you try these, you’ll never go back. The vertical sides and minimal lip use space efficiently.
• They are super clear! SO easy to see through.
• Several sized boxes available that seem to be just the right size again and again*.
A) Accessory Box™       6 ½  x  7½  x  3 5/8
B) Our Shoe Box™      7 ½  x  13  x  4 ¼
C) Mens’ Shoe Box™     10 1/x  14 ¾  x  5 5/8
D) Our Tall Shoe Box™       7 ½  x  13  x  8 ¼
E) Sweater Box™     13 1/x  15 5/8  x  6 ¾
F) Deep Sweater Box™     13 1/ x  15 5/ x  13 ¼

What I don’t like:
• Nothing, they are perfect for nearly everything!

There are a few dollar store finds I have used, but they are flimsy, the labels are hard to remove and block the view in, and they are not always available. HOWEVER, there are times when their functionality wins me over!

    *Exception: Most built-in upper cabinets and standard bookcases have shelves that are 11”-12” in depth. Nothing I have found fits in this space to my satisfaction – yet.

[/one_half][one_half_last] My next favorite containers are made by Sterilite, and I buy them at my local Target. If you don’t have a Target around, you can order them online.

What I like about them:
• Nice vertical sides and angular corners with little wasted space around the latches
• sturdy clear latching lids stay on
• good for indoor or garage storage

What I don’t like:
• Nothing, they are perfect for 98% of household needs.

Organizers Note:

When deciding between the Sterilite 27qt and the Container Store XL box, I prefer the XL box. Why? The XL box is much clearer, I like the shape better and it’s not as bulky. However, when contents are heavier, need a sturdier box, or require a lid that locks down, I’ll use the 27qt.

Honorable Mention:

The Hefty Storage Bin is an honorable mention. Available at Target and Lowes, I love the latching lids. Because I sometimes have a hard time finding the Sterilite 27qt. purple latch, and I LOVE that size, I will buy the Hefty 32qt gray latch. [/one_half_last]

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When extra storage was needed I’ve added simple bookshelves in many client closets, and I have a few from IKEA  in my own closets.  It always makes me chuckle when I suggest a bookshelf to someone as a solution and they light up like it’s the most brilliant idea ever. Many of the best ideas are the simplest.

Here are a few different shelving units from Target and IKEA that I have bought for a variety of jobs.


TARGET  Room Essentials Brand Tall & Short Bookcases

What I like:
•  Cheap, easy to put together, and readily available at any Target.
• Shelves are adjustable.
What I don’t like:
• It’s cheap, but what do you expect for a $20-$30 price point? Although totally functional for an adult, I would not put this in a kids space. It’s just not as sturdy as I’d like for use in a kids space.
• I generally only nestle these in closets because I feel they less likely to tip over when tucked into a tight space. These are not the strongest, but they are an affordable solution if function is your only concern.


TARGET 6 or 8 cube storage

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What I like:
• Again, easily available at any Target, as are the Closetmaid Brand found at Lowes and Home Depot.
• Low price point ($35-$50).

What I don’t like:
• Finding storage bins that fit that are clear is a challenge. If clients already have them, I will utilize the collapsible canvas bins sold along side the cube storage. Occasionally I can find a clear box at Target that works, but it’s hit and miss. When I find a consistent solution, I will add it to this page.


IKEA Kallax Bookcase

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What I like:
• 15″ cube storage space
• The cubes are the perfect size for the Container Stores’ Our Clear Storage Sweater Box and Deep Sweater Box!
• Position horizontally or vertically
• Sturdy
• Optional drawers or cabinet fronts available.
What I don’t like:
• Nothing, I love them!


IKEA Billy Bookcase Short and Tall

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What I Like:
• Easy to put together
• Sturdy – IKEA is pretty reliable if you put it together correctly. Everything I’ve ever bought has lasted many year and through several moves.
• The shelves in a Billy are 11” deep, 1.6” deeper than the Target bookshelf.
• Shelves are adjustable.

What I don’t like:
• Nothing! It is a predictable and reliable purchase. If only IKEA wasn’t a mad house to shop in!*


Pinterest makes it easy to find ideas for organizing every nook and cranny in your house. In fact, there’s so much creativity and inspiration on Pinterest, I set a timer so I don’t get lost for hours!

Check out solutions for the areas of your home you plan to organize, and pick and choose what you like to fit your personal style and budget constraints.

Did you know? I have a Pinterest page full of creative organizing solutions? If you haven’t already seen it please take a look. But set your timer or you might get lost for a few hours!

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What do you like?

I’d love to see what tickles your fancy! Please share your discoveries in our Facebook Group.
Having trouble linking a pin to the group page? Click the photo for directions on how to post it from a computer.


Follow this quick guide to post your favorite pin in our Facebook Group.

Today’s Assignment

Go on a hunt throughout your home and use the checklist to track what you have that might be repurposed. Look at things with a new perspective.

– Use the checklist to help keep track what you have on hand and what you think you might need.
– Use this worksheet to create Your Action Plan.

If you have any questions, comments or thoughts, reach out on Facebook or join us on our bi-weekly ZOOM video conference calls! Join the Clutter to Clarity Club here!

Until next time…


[horizontal_tab] [menu_tab text=”Member Portal” link=”” active=”true”] [/horizontal_tab] [horizontal_tab] [menu_tab text=”01 the Basics” link=”” active=”true”] [menu_tab text=”02 the Process” link=””] [menu_tab text=”03 Supplies” link=””] [menu_tab text=”04 the Entry” link=”” ] [menu_tab text=”05 the Living Room” link=”” active=”true”] [menu_tab text=”06 Kitchen Supplies” link=””] [menu_tab text=”07 the Pantry” link=””] [menu_tab text=”08 Lower Cabinets” link=”” ] [menu_tab text=”09 Upper Cabinets” link=”” active=”true”] [/horizontal_tab]

[horizontal_tab] [menu_tab text=”10 Drawers and Counters” link=””] [menu_tab text=”11 the Dining Room” link=””] [menu_tab text=”12 the Guest Room” link=”” ] [menu_tab text=”13 the Master Bathroom” link=”” active=”true”] [menu_tab text=”14 the Master Bedroom” link=””] [menu_tab text=”15 the Master Closet” link=””] [menu_tab text=”16 Maintenance” link=””] [/horizontal_tab]