Green BowlsContrary to popular belief, getting organized doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg. As nifty as all those amazing storage containers and closet shelving units are (truly!), you don’t necessarily need to invest in those contraptions to have an organized home. If you seek a calm space with everything in its right place, that’s practically at your fingertips at this moment (regardless of what your basement looks like right now!). How is this possible?! Read on!

Catalogs and the snazzy websites for Crate&Barrel, Sur La Table, Williams-Sonoma, and similar stores are often quite a (logistical) sight to behold, in my humble opinion. And with good reason. The marketing professionals behind these glossy (or online) pages do an amazing job of making all of their products look coordinated and scrumptious so that we’ll spend, spend, spend. Yet, the frugal gal within is wise to their ways. Accordingly, rather than perusing these catalogs or websites with a shopper’s eye, I regard them as portfolios filled with free organizational bliss “how to’s”  that I might wish to implement in our house. Did I mention that these beautifully photographed tips are all free?!

This concept was reinforced for me during a  recent snow day when our trusty mail carrier delivered a springtime Crate&Barrel catalog. As I thumbed through this catalog and watched the snow globe effect swirling outside our kitchen window, the pages of this glossy portfolio seemed to burst forth with a variety of photographic wonders that tickled my organization fancy: pristine food storage containers stacked neatly on top of one another, nested mixing bowls (that happened to be in an array of bright springtime hues), crisp bedroom linens – all beautifully folded, books of varying sizes stacked in an interesting manner on a coffee table, and the list goes on.

And while reveling in some unexpected moments of free time that snow day, I looked at the photos that most appealed to me and considered what I liked most about the set-ups displayed in the images. Of course, I also considered what ideas would be effective and – this is key! – realistic in our humble abode. And then I did a brief walk around our house and made a few changes here and there that helped neaten things up a bit and get things more organized in almost no time at all.

So next time you get an armload of catalogs in the mail (to which you did not subscribe) – or the next time you’re meandering along online, consider whether you’re looking at free organization tips that mesh well with your version of organizational bliss. The ideas you discover could help you express logistical joy in a room near you. Happy perusing!

* Photo by Bart Groenhuizen