Budget Friendly Ways to Organize Your Home

Shop Goodwill for double-duty (and budget friendly) organizing ideas for your home.  Think outside the box!  

Shopping for new boxes, bins, baskets, and Lazy Susan’s is expensive.  However, a budget friendly way to organize your home is through creative Goodwill finds.  Wander around your local Goodwill Store to shop for creative solutions.  Here are 10 double-duty organizing ideas. 

1.  Goodwill is a great place to find used furniture. You might find a beautiful piece but don’t have room for it in your home.  Consider re-purposing the drawers as under-the-bed storage.  Just add wheels for easy access.

2.  My trip to Goodwill in search of storage items turned up mason jars in all shapes and sizes.  Jars are fantastic for storage of dry ingredients and non-perishable items for your pantry.  For instance, use the jars for tea bags or spice packets.  You can also use jars to organize office supplies like paperclips and push pins.

3.  Eyeglass cases serve as a creative way to store things while traveling. Use a vintage case for holding jewelry or earbuds and your phone charger.

4.  With summer being the time for travel, organization is important to make your trip less stressful.  For instance, pill holders can be used for earrings, rings and so on.

5. Many times I see bags of craft supplies at Goodwill, and in those bags are dozens of mismatched buttons.  Try putting your earrings through the holes of the buttons to store them  This will help keep them together.

6.  Cookie jars of all shapes and sizes can be used to store things like nail polish or kids crayons.

7.  When you find a beautiful frame at Goodwill but don’t love the art contained in the frame, consider using the frame for something creative. First, it can easily be painted.  And then, attach several rows of string or ribbon on the back, and use clothes pins to display photos or greeting cards. This could also make a creative family chore / reward chart!

8.  Find an old shutter from a home?  Use it to display cards or mementos.

9.  Is your kids bathroom a place that is in need of serious organization?  A tiered mesh basket (usually used for fruit in a kitchen) makes bath toy organization a breeze.  Hang from the curtain rod.  It keeps toys contained and allows them to dry.

10.  Two-drawer metal file cabinets are a regular find at Goodwill.  These gems have so many uses for organization in your home. Toss a pretty throw, scarf or table cloth over the top and you have an instant end table with hidden storage.  You can also paint it and apply a stencil to give the storage unit a new look   Do a Pinterest search on re-purposing metal cabinets and you will be shocked at all the ideas!

This months guest blogger is Cathy Fairchild from Say Yes to Less.

Get in touch with Cathy at:  http://www.sayyestoless.guru  


Tips for Traveling With Kids

I am so excited that summer is finally upon us and with the summer months ahead, family vacations are on the horizon. In honor of this season of travel, I wanted to share some fun tips for traveling with kids to help prepare you for this fun time. Those hours to and from your destinations don’t need to be painful ones though thanks to these great ideas we have gathered up for you for your next trip!

BINGO, anyone?

If there is one thing our family loves, it is BINGO and making a fun game set couldn’t be easier thanks to these beautiful watercolor Travel Bingo cards you can print out from say yes. Simply spray paint some wooden pieces and gather them in a small bag for a great game to take on the go. The best part about these cards is that they are not only gorgeous, but they also are a FREE printable. Yay!

Why Have One Activity When You Can Have Many?

Little hands need to keep busy especially on long flights so head to Goodwill to pick up a simple binder that you can fill with a variety of activities for your kids from shape matching games to craft stick building to creating rainbows from pom poms and snakes from buttons. This activities booklet from Mama Papa Bubba offers a great gathering of activities to keep your little ones busy your entire trip! 

How About I Spy?

One of my favorite games to play growing up was I Spy! The best part about it for parents is that this is a fun and affordable game that your kids can help you create. Have your child gather small objects from Goodwill and at home and fill a plastic container with these small trinkets and rice to cover them. Print out a small picture of all of the goodies they can find and hand it to your kids in the backseat to see how many objects they can find. To get the full instructions on this easy (and affordable) travel activity check out say yes!

Eating is Entertaining, Right?

Raise your hand if you count eating as entertainment in the car? Of course it is! The balancing act of activities and food can be a tricky one though, especially in the backseat of your car. Take a tip from Lookie What I Did and utilize a basket with holders to create the perfect spot for holding all of your road trip food and to cut down on messes and spills created from the balancing act of trying to balance food in your lap. This would even be quite handy for the messy adults in the front seat, wouldn’t it?

What’s More Entertaining Than Magnets & Chalk?

In case you didn’t know, I am obsessed with chalkboard paint and one of our activities for my kids is still our outdoor chalkboard door that keeps my kids entertained for hours outside. To keep kids entertained on the go, a simple cookie sheet from the housewares section of Goodwill makes the perfect base to a travel chalk and magnet board for the kids. Check out this simple craft tutorial from Sunny With a Chance of Sprinkles for keeping your kids busy for hours with this adorable activity tray! 

Have a Builder on Your Hands?

LEGO blocks will always be a family favorite activity for the kids and adults in our house. Of course, transporting LEGO blocks can be a bit complicated especially when looking for somewhere to build with them. Consider creating a travel kit of LEGO blocks out of a donated tin lunchbox from Goodwill. This portable LEGO kit from Mama Papa Bubba is a great way to get your kids building on their road trip and even has a place where you can build right in the box. 
My kids love LEGO Quest for inspiring their builds and this would be a fun one to take ideas from for a future road trip together! 

What are some fun ways you keep kids entertained when traveling? Leave your ideas here and inspire others!  Happy Trails, from Goodwill! 


I love to get out of town; even if it is only for a night or just the weekend.  Every time I travel, I tell myself I will pack sensibly and not over-pack.  And, every time I get to the airport, my heart starts beating fast when my baggage is weighed…wondering if I’ve hit the weight requirement.

Inevitably, when I get to my destination, something amazing happens…I tend to wear the same kind of outfits I wear at home.  I don’t bring out the ‘once in a lifetime’ outfit that I take with me everywhere, and have never worn; and my 20-minute shoes always stay in the suitcase.  Now, why in the world would I bring a pair of shoes that I know I can only wear without severe pain for 20 minutes?  Makes no sense!

Well, my years of over-packing came to a screeching halt when my husband and I began to travel overseas in our quest to adopt a child from Russia.  We needed room in our suitcases for food (in Siberia, there is no Martin’s Supermarkets!), gifts, toys, clothes for our little girl and souvenirs.   Maybe it was my maternal instincts that kicked in, but it became more important that I travel with new clothes for the little girl we hoped to adopt than how stylish I appeared to people ½ way around the world.

The smartest packer should create a capsule wardrobe for their vacation.  A capsule wardrobe takes the ‘less is more’ philosophy into action.  To create a wardrobe capsule, first choose 3 complimentary colors – for example, red, white and blue (or blue, khaki and red).  Then choose 9-12 pieces of clothing.  One rule-of-thumb says 2 + 2 + 5 = 30.  2 jackets/sweaters, 2 bottoms (shorts, pants or skirts) and 5 tops.  If you take into account each of these items falls within your color scheme, you can create at least 30 different outfits using these pieces.  Adding in pieces might include a dress, bathing suit, caftan or tunic (that can be worn as a bathing suit cover up or a dress) or other specific wardrobe item.  Add in 2 bags (small handbag and a larger tote), 3 shoes (heels, something comfortable for walking and a sandal for the beach or pool) and key accessories – and you are packed!

As you put everything together, if you need an item or two to complete your capsule wardrobe, you can then browse Goodwill for the specific colors and pieces you need.  The best part is, you’ll look good and pack efficiently… all without ruining your vacation budget!

If this all seems a little overwhelming, chart it out.  Yes, I actually use this tool when I am packing – and it really helps me plan what I am going to wear, and leaves me confident I haven’t forgotten anything.  Here are the steps to take when planning your vacation wardrobe:
  1. Chart what days you are going to be gone
  2. Remember travel days count on your vacation packing plan.  You can re-wear what you travel in!
  3. Determine what clothing you will need on your trip.  Create a color palate to your travel wardrobe so that you can create different outfits from a few pieces.
  4. Don’t forget a Tide stick or some kind of easy packable stain remover.
  5. Pack this list in your carry on bag.  It will remind you of what you planned on wearing, and if your bag gets lost by the airline, you will have an excellent record of what you had in the bag.

 Good luck, have a great trip…and happy packing!