Gettin' Tidy on a Budget

I'm not going to make a public admittance to my frugal habits, but let's say that I can appreciate a budget. I also pick pennies up off the floor. But that dates back to the ancient Jewish ways rooted within me and my grandmother who told me that "if you don't pick up a penny, you're not worth a penny." Like anything else, getting clean and organized can cost some money especially if you go all out and fall for the well-marketed products (which are often great. But not always great.). But there are some easy ways to spruce up your pad without breaking the bank. Being the math lover that I am, I have devised a formula to get us started...

Get your thinking cap on and figure out how important this mission is to you. On a scale from 1-10, how badly do you want to get clean and organized? I'm not judging (ICan'tBelieveAnyoneWouldChooseLessThan10). Now take that number and multiply it by 10. Surprise! That's how much money we're going to spend to make some changes. No worries though, if you are a cheapass want to spend less, you can multiply it by 5. And if you are a trust fund baby are willing to invest more, you can multiply it by 15! Or 20!

And now, the fun part. LET'S GO SHOPPING!!!!

Here are some items that don't cost much, take minimal effort to employ, but really make a difference. Feel free to pick and choose through the selection depending on the needs of your home.

1) Shower Curtain ($6 @ Your Local Drugstore) - shower curtains get moldy and full of water stains. You'll be pleasantly surprised how much cleaner a new shower curtain can make your bathroom look and feel.

2) Magnetic Knife Strip ($19 @ Target) - knives take up lots of drawer space (or counter space if you have one of those wooden knife blocks), so magnetizing them to the wall can save you lots of drawer storage.

3) Shoe Rack ($18 @ The Container Store) - if your shoes are thrown into the bottom of your closet, they're most probably in a messy mound. A shoe rack is an imperative item here. It'll bring order and serenity to your shoes. Ohm.

4) Ultra Thin Velvet Hangers ($32/50 hangers @ Amazon) - I'm a huge fan of matching hangers. They just give a closet an overall organized look and vibe. Thin hangers are key for saving space and velvet hangers are best to avoid slipping shirts and dresses. That's why these are the ideal for a happy, healthy closet.

5) Sponge ($2 @ The Grocery Store) - a new sponge is a great way to get a new start. Also, sponges get stinky and worn away. Even if you're not on a cleaning mission, you should change your sponge every few weeks.

6) Accordion Folder ($8 @ Duane Reade) - stacks of paper are inexcusable. Throwing all of your papers into a drawer is also inexcusable. Accordion folders are super helpful if you're trying to store and organize mail, bills, and important papers. Divide up the papers by category and put them away accordingly. Now, instead of a messy mound of papers, you have a clean, non-invasive folder. 

7) Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner ($3 @ Duane Reade) - I'll allow you to make this investment if you promise me that you'll still clean your toilet bowl. These are great for day-to-day toilet use ('Up to 2,000 flushes!') and will definitely give your toilet a shine. But again, toilet bowls still need a good scrubbing every so often.

8) Storage Containers (Various @ The Container Store) - I love Mother Earth and I love to recycle, but using old shoeboxes and disintegrating cardboard boxes as storage hubs can look messy. Replacing them with matching plastic containers will bring on a cleaner overall look. Make sure to consider whether a drawer or lidded box will work best in your space.

9) Mason Jars ($15/12 jars @ Amazon) - jars can be a wonderful, aesthetically pleasing storage tool. It's great to keep things like flour or sugar in mason jars since they tend to leak particles if kept in the bag (that's not Anthrax in your cabinet, that's flour - your messy friend). If you're feeling devilish, you can also store rice or beans in jars. Beautiful, eh?

Now take a walk around your house. Consider my bag of tricks and make some simple replacements. Now take a look at your bank account. Still flowing like the Nile, right?? If that's not magic, I don't know what is.

Fun fact: All of those pennies are part of my "Found it on the Ground" collection which currently totals $163.09!! Cha-Ching!