Repeat after me: My life isn’t chaos. It’s beautiful.
During my journey to becoming debt free, I’v learned that if you are not at least these two things there is no way your wallet will feel full and your debt will disappear. Organized and financially savvy. Luckily, I’ve got the financially savvy down, but my organization needed some work. I needed to organize my kitchen and the rest of my home with pocket change since that’s all I had.
I may seem like I have it all together, but I don’t. One look at my kitchen cabinet, and you’ll see it’s true. My cabinet looks like it will explode any minute. I’ve got tea bags tossed in wherever I can find them, containers shoved into corners and a guaranteed avalanche guaranteed every time you open the cabinet.
I know that my finances will never be in order if my house isn’t in order so it was time to get to work.
Yes, we’ve identified that my mess of a kitchen was the problem. When I can’t find the things I need, I end up buying the same item twice which is a total waste of money. However, there was another problem. Reorganizing that cabinet on a budget.
I’m a sucker for organization porn. You know what I’m talking about. Photos on pinterest with alphabetized jars, Color coded spices. Of course, all those fancy jars and pretty containers come at a price – a price I just can’t justify spending when I’m still elbow deep in student loan debt.
I wish I could say I had a budget in mind for organizing my cabinet, but I really didn’t. I just knew I couldn’t justify spending $15 dollars on a Lazy Susan or 10.99 on a single pasta container. So I guess you could say the goal was to simply keep the price as reasonable as possible. In a perfect world I needed to organize my kitchen with pocket change. When cute acrylic containers and clear boxes are typically $10 – $15 a pop, I guess my main goal was to purchase pieces for $5 each or less.
After WEEKS of countless visits to The Container Store, Target and more of not finding what I wanted at the price I wanted, I was starting to get discouraged. And then I made it to the Dollar Tree. In case you didn’t know, The Dollar Tree is where all your budget organization and craft dreams come true. Mine certainly came true.
Right there in the kitchen and craft aisle were baking pans and a bag of marbles ready to solve my kitchen problems. What do two baking pans and a bag of marbles have in common? Absolutely nothing until you put them together to create a knockoff lazy susan or turntable.
My pocket change purchase went from this:
to this in a matter seconds:
I can’t get my finances in order if my house isn’t in order. So I took it upon myself to start with one of my kitchen cabinets. I made this lazy Susan myself for next to nothing and my cabinet looks so much clearer. It may not be #organizationporn but it gets the job done, is inexpensive and is putting me on the right track to get my finances and house in order. New post on the subject going up on the blog today.
My little baking pan experiment went so well that I had to get another one.
For just $6 I was able to create two lazy suzanne knockoffs that helped clear up so much space in my kitchen cabinet.
Next I had to tackle my son’t baby food. I scored these trays from the Dollar Tree for just $1!
Finally, I wanted to find a way to store my rice and pasta without cluttering my cabinets with cardboard boxes. And so remember, how long to cook the rice for, I just cut out the back panel of the box and tape it to the container.
After seeing how well it worked, I bought another one of these to store another package of dried goods. I will note that these are much smaller than typical containers like this so you might not be able to fit a whole box of cereal in this. But it’s perfect for smaller packages of dried goods like my rice. Buying two of the above container cost me $2.
No, it’s not exactly organization porn. It’s not the cutest, it’s not color coordinating and it doesn’t make me drool. But it’s organized and that’s all that matters. Not only does having an organized cabinet save me time, but it saves money. The best part is I only spent $15 in total. I’m no longer going through cleaning supplies to wipe up products that spilled because it wasn’t stored properly and I’m not purchasing items I already have but can’t find. I only wish I took a before picture of my cabinet so you could truly see the difference.
What is your favorite kitchen organization hack? Are you house and finances in order?