The Art of Organizing Using Free (and nearly free) Containers

One obstacle that many readers have mentioned over the years is that organizing advice often starts with buying something!

While it can be fun to browse through organizing eye candy, it’s hard on the wallet and it’s certainly not necessary.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money for useful and attractive containers to organize your home. In fact, you probably already have suitable containers at home.

In this video, I’m sharing some of my favorite free and recycled containers with you.

Key tips for finding and using free containers for organizing:

  • Sturdy food containers in a variety of sizes like coffee cans and large screw-top glass jars make great recycled containers.
  • Baskets and mason jars are easily found at thrift stores and yard sales and add a nice touch.
  • Tote bags and drawstring backpacks make great containers as well.
  • Your first organizing goal should be convenience; if there’s time to make it look pretty, go for it, but don’t let that bog you down or keep you from organizing in the first place.

free containers for organizing - do you think organizing means buying new containers?

Looking for more decluttering and organizing tips on a budget?


The more you declutter your home first, the easier it will be to organize and fewer organizing containers will be needed.

We can help with the clutter!

Request a free copy of our physical print book, Step-by-Step Decluttering. We’ll rush it to your door, and you only pay shipping and handling. Learn more here.

I hope you enjoyed this video tutorial – I had a lot of fun making it! Would you like to see more videos on organizing?


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4 thoughts on “The Art of Organizing Using Free (and nearly free) Containers”

  1. Hiya Sarah!
    Love the convenient and functional ideas in your video. I use many of the same vessels that you displayed, but what I especially appreciate about you is not so much what you showed, but you emphasized functionality and convenience over …vanity. Let’s be real – everybody likes a pretty home, but quite honestly, if you (we, …I!) have a busy family, WHO needs to be stressed about how cute something looks (esp behind a cabinet door!). It defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? Show me function, show me convenience, remind me that it’s OK to simply use what we have…and you said it simply.
    Well, so I had an epiphany while viewing. I personally tend to stop before starting due solely to the stress of making things look “just so”. (Yes, readers, you know it can get that stressful.) I’m done with that!! Ahh, liberation. Thank you for inadvertently telling me that it’s OK. It’s as if you’re speaking to my thoughts.

    Thanks for listening. As a new reader, I’m Loving your posts! xo

  2. Hi Sarah, I love this video and all of your creative ideas! Isn’t it amazing what a difference a cute label can make on a plain ol’ jar? My favorite free containers are shoe boxes. I save all of ours and then cover them in colorful wrapping paper to make them cute. I have them all over my house and you would never know they are shoe boxes!


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Welcome. I’m Sarah!


I’m the creator of Decluttering School (formerly known as Early Bird Mom), lover of organized spaces, encourager to women and mom to four boys. Click here to read more!

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