I am an organized person. I love nothing better than to have a place for everything and everything in it's place. For one thing, it helps me to remember where something is. If a certain item is found in a certain spot every single time, I never have to go hunting for it.
I would love nothing better than to spend all my time in one of those sorts of stores that has every organizational aide known to woman or man for closets and cupboards. I don't want to pay big prices though for clever organization and since most of those stores are located in big cities, no desire to travel to find items, either. So how do I stay organized? It's a combination of using what I have and making the most of what I have on hand. Here are some of my most recent organizational tools. You might be surprised.
First I am a saver of things: boxes, containers, jars, jugs, etc.
In the top kitchen drawer I keep my baggies. I store washed and dried cereal bags in a bread sack. I fold them tight and press the excess air out of them. I like to store meat in the cereal bags. It's something I don't mind tossing in the trash after, I can tape them shut and mark directly on the bag what is in them. I can put like cuts of meat together (say all breasts) and tuck those bags into a large zippered bag to keep them together. Easy organization, a nice reuse of something that typically is thrown away once empty, and if needed I can even cut on bag into squares to put between pieces of meat or homemade unbaked piecrusts and prevent them sticking together.
I also have a small mustard jar in use keeping my rubber bands all together.
Cottage cheese and sour cream containers are nice for storing leftovers, but I tend to forget items I can't see, so I rely more heavily on glass jars and glass containers. I'm slowly collecting those glass rectangular pieces with snap on plastic lids. Love them! I pick up one or two at a time when I'm in Ross or Marshalls where they are cheapest. I do save the lids off the sour cream and cottage cheese containers to put between homemade burgers. Makes taking out one or two from the freezer a cinch and because I can pat the burger out to fit the lid, I have a controlled portion as well. And individual ice cream cartons or yogurt lids make great slider burger portions as well as keeping them separated.
Not my photo but what I do in my big deep freezer...
I used milk jugs to store frozen loose vegetables like green peas, butter beans and mixed vegetables and even peppers. Aldi now has a squared off gallon jug that is super for this use. I wrote on the sides and tops what is in each jug so I can grab the very one I want right away. Half gallon jugs are nice for those things I keep in small quantities, like the peppers or chopped diced onions, etc. If the ingredients inside do clump up it takes only a light tap to loosen them once more. I plan to store blueberries this way this year and cranberries, too.
I use baskets in the fridge and freezer. In the freezer, I can put all my chicken or beef or corn etc into one basket. It makes digging into the deep freeze easy. I can lift out a filled basket to get to the baskets underneath without having frozen food skittering across the kitchen floor. I lose a little space to the baskets but not enough to fret over and boy has this bit of organization been life changing! Now I know just where my beef is, just where the peppers are, etc.
This photo shows one of my baskets in the refrigerator although it wasn't the focus shot at the time...
In the fridge, the baskets hold cheeses and corral leftovers, or lunch items. I find the baskets very handy and it's so much easier to slide out a basket and look for an item than it is to move too many items to try and find something, knocking over half and spilling something. That's the second happy thing about storing in baskets: spills are contained to the basket. No dripping down shelves and into the bottom of the fridge under the crisper drawers.
I use these corner plate shelf organizers in my fridge. This one holds water bottles currently which is a blessing because they never stand upright on the door or the racks as they are meant to do. I was done with their constant falling over. Originally I was using the rack on another shelf. The spaces between are just right for storing casserole dishes which meant I could use the vertical space that is often wasted in my fridge. I plan to buy another of these to use on the lower shelf.
This is my plastics drawer. I saw a clever idea online last night to use one of those soft sided containers to store the lids. I don't have one of those on hand. I did have a cardboard cup holder package. This fit neatly into the corner of my drawer and in went all those plastic lids. The drawer look soo much neater and this cost me nothing.
It's just an old detergent box that I originally used as a magazine file. Now? It holds cans of soup quite neatly.
This next bit of organization isn't for the kitchen but I plan to put it in the car...
This little container is a gum container. I can fit three grocery bags in it. I like to have a trash bag handy when it's needed while we're traveling. This lid slides back and the bags come up out of the center.
So that's just a few of my organizational things done over the past couple of months. Maybe there's an idea here you can use in your home.