Want to organize your home and garage, but on a budget? Well, we love finding ways to build something or use what we already have, so we’ve rounded up our tips and DIY organization ideas all in one place.
At one point or another throughout the year, I get an urge to start cleaning and organizing. I’ve done my fair share of organizing so I know that organizing everything in your home can seem like an intimidating goal. I always find that taking on a little bit at a time works best!
You can also do this without going out and purchasing a ton of “organization” items. Budgets are tight as prices of basics keep rising and our culture overconsumes. So a great way to spend and buy less is by DIYing when it comes to home and garage organization.
Check out our home and garage organization ideas you can DIY below.
Create An Organization Game Plan
Before tackling a big organizing project and completely overwhelming yourself, try making a game plan first. There are two types of people: list makers and non-list makers. If you’re a list maker, make a list of areas you want to organize, so that you have a clear checklist. If you’re not a list maker, try discussing it with another household member, so it’s not all in your head.
Then take it one area at a time! I highly suggest not trying to do it all at once. Organizing always leads to a mess at first when you take everything out before you put it back together. If I took everything out everywhere, I’d go a bit crazy!
Moreover, set a goal for each day. If you have the capacity to do a full room, then do it! Otherwise, it can be as small as setting aside 30 minutes to organize just one drawer in the kitchen. Take it a little at a time and you’ll be amazed at how much can be accomplished. For example, I dedicated a few hours one morning, and organized my closet!
Simple DIY Tips To Organize A Home or Garage
If you’re like us, we like to keep costs down and reduce our consumption in an effort to live more sustainably. DIY is a great way to do that and still organize/declutter your home and garage. Here are some simple DIY tips we use to organize our home and garage.
Use Any Decor Items You Already Have
You’ll be amazed at what you likely already have in your home! So try shopping your home first to find items to help you organize a space. Decor items like bins and baskets are always an obvious choice, but consider trays, crocks, and vases as well. Simple cloth cubes work great for toy storage like on our playroom storage shelves.
Using decor items can be super budget-friendly as well. You can often find decor at thrift stores or garage sales that can look beautiful, but double as storage. Furthermore, it’s sometimes a better price than buying new, and it gives secondhand items a longer lifespan, further reducing the overconsumption that’s impacting our environment.
Use Vertical Space & Get Items Off Surfaces
Wall space can be a game-changer for organizing your home or garage. Having every item sit on the floor or in a drawer doesn’t usually maximize the space. A simple DIY task like adding wall-mounted shelves, a hanging system, or even just screws/nails to hang items in an organized way on a wall can clear up space.
Moreover, getting items off surfaces makes those surfaces easier to clean. You don’t have to pick up a basket to dust around or pick up jars to blow away sawdust. Organization is great, but if it makes cleaning take longer later, then I try to find a better solution and get items off surfaces.
One of the easiest DIY organization tips is just create some labels. When you’re organizing and cleaning, how you do it will probably make sense at the time and you’ll think you will always remember it. I don’t know about others, but I’ve found if I give it a couple of months, I’ll forget where something goes or what’s in a bin. Simple DIY labels keep my brain in order and help the other members of my household find/put items back in the designated location.
I find the easiest way to DIY labels is use a digital download from a small Etsy business. There are hundreds of label options out there in different styles. I personally prefer to find label designs where I can edit the text to meet my exact needs. You can also get un-editable label downloads and use just the ones you need. Spice labels are a good example of this! Either way, it’s a quick instant download that then you can simply print at home on label sheets.
A label maker is another simple way to make custom DIY labels, if you have one.
Don’t get me wrong, not everything has to be labeled! Just items that make sense and usually hold more than one item. I’m looking at you, mysterious 50-gallon storage bin!
DIY Organization Ideas in the Home
DIY Jewelry Holder with a Found Item
A branch can be a beautiful found item used as decor, but with a little DIY it can also function as a jewelry holder. Simply pre-drill some holes along the branch, add small hooks, and then attach it to the wall utilizing a screw and some wire.
Drawer Organizers From Scrap Wood/Chipboard
Purchasing a lot of drawer organizers can be expensive, and they might not always perfectly fit your drawer. A quick DIY utilizing some scrap wood or chipboard can create a custom drawer organizer.
First, empty the drawer and purge unused items. Then strategize and layout how each item can best fit in the drawer to maximize space. Measure, cut, and assemble the wood or chipboard pieces to finish the custom drawer organizer.
Organize Water Bottles With A Wine Rack
Shopping your home for useful organization items, may mean you have to think a little out of the box. An old wine rack not being used to hold wine makes a great holder for reusable water bottles. It also allows them to stack vertically so you can easily see and access each one. We had an unused wine rack that happened to fit perfectly under one cabinet shelf, so it holds all of our reusable water bottles nicely inside a kitchen cabinet. It’s a beautiful mix of using an item we already had and utilizing vertical space.
Use One Plywood Sheet To Make Simple Playroom Shelves
Some DIY playroom storage shelves are an easy project that instantly helps organize all the toys a kid collects over the years. We designed simple shelves that only use one 4’x8’ plywood board, a jigsaw, and screws and can be built in an afternoon. With a few added cloth bins, the playroom shelves are a sturdy simple solution to help keep all the kid toys visible and accessible, but organized.
We try to minimize the amount of toys we receive as gifts, so that these shelves don’t become a disaster over time and stay organized.
Make A Pull-out Spice Rack To Maximize Cabinet Space
Okay, this DIY may only be for nerds like us who have a 3D printer. We created a spice rack design that slides out of a cabinet and then rotates, so you can see all the spice at the same time. Then printed out a couple of sets on our home 3D printer. A quick install later, and we had some DIY pull-out spice racks in our kitchen cabinet!
You can look for secondhand spice rack organizers on places like eBay or FB Marketplace. Or purchase a new one online.
Reuse Food Jars For Storage
Emptied food jars make a great way to store dried herbs from our terraced vegetable garden or dividing out some baking goods from our bulk stash.
Simply wash and remove the label on the jar. I found that every adhesive used on jars is different, making some easier to remove than others. Some can be removed by soaking the jars, but my favorite trick is slathering it with peanut butter, letting it sit overnight, and then wash it off. Almost every time this has worked with no sticky residue.
Also, if the lid on the jar is an ugly color or has text all over it, then try a little spray paint to make all the lids match. Use a little sandpaper to rough up the surface of the outside of the lid and then spray it. I would recommend not spraying the inside of the lid, so there’s no paint potentially touching food items.
We love the look of this easy DIY and jars on our live edge wood floating shelves in our kitchen.
Build Open Shelving Or Use Existing Shelving
DIYing some shelving can help you organize by stacking and using vertical space. Add shelving to a pantry, a hall closet, or a laundry room to get items off surfaces while still keeping them accessible.
Or if you have existing shelving, but it’s not exactly the height or spacing you need to have it organized the way you want, then don’t be afraid to change it. We had a closet with some homemade shelves it, but when we got our electric composter, we changed the shelves to fit and reorganized the closet to function with new items.
DIYs to Organize Your Garage or Workshop
Build Custom Storage Shelves
Going vertical can gain you so much more space and organization capacity. Even though we try to live without a bunch of unnecessary stuff, we still have items that need storing like baby stuff, seasonal decorations, and gardening supplies. DIY storage shelves can be customized and built fairly easily to fit your space, which is the best part. Also, customizing them to fit the size of bins or large items you have makes sure you maximize that storage space.
Check out our Hubby How To on building some simple customized DIY storage shelves that work great for storage totes or large items.
Bins From Scrap Wood
There always seems to be some wood scraps laying around a garage or workshop, so put them to good use! Make some easy DIY bins from scrap wood to hold loose items on a shelf and keep them organized with other similar items.
- Measure out the depth of the shelf where the box will sit
- Measure the width of the widest item
- Cut scrap wood pieces to size
- Assemble and glue up
We made several storage bins from leftover 1/4“ plywood to hold our glue and measuring tools on our open shelf in our workshop. It keeps everything together and looks nicer too. Adding labels gives it a nice finishing touch and helps you/others remember where to put it back!
Attach Food Jars To Shelving
Another way to organize with emptied food jars can be using them to hold miscellaneous pieces in a garage like nuts, bolts, drywall anchors, and random screws. To keep your surfaces clear and make it easier to clear sawdust off a workbench, hang these jars from the underside of a shelf or cabinet.
- Layout the number of jars needed
- Use a framing square to draw a straight line, which acts as guide
- Use short screws to screw the lid into the surface. Always use two so the lid doesn’t rotate.
- Repeat until done and then screw on all the jars
Build French Cleat System To Hang Large or Frequently Used Tools
French cleats are one of the simplest DIY ways to hang tools on the wall and create a flexible organization system.
- Measure the selected wall for the length of the french cleat
- Cut a 1×3 or 2×4 to length
- Then cut the piece in half at a 45-degree angle.
- The top part of the cleat is attached to the tool or object, while the bottom cleat is attached to the wall.
- Add a vertical block where necessary to keep the top cleat hanging straight and not tip out.
- Then just hang the tool/object with the top cleat onto the one attached to the wall!
You can create little boxes or jigs to hold odd items and then attach the cleat to the back of that. The best part is it’s super easy to rearrange or add items to this organization system.
Add Screws Into Studs Or Screw A Board To The Wall
Another budget-friendly way to organize is simply using a screw and/or a wood board.
- Inventory similar items that could hang on a wall together
- Find the studs with a stud finder
- Drill screws by themselves for individual items to hang on or use a board with strategically placed screws.
- Hang up all the items
Don’t forget to pre-drill holes and remember to angle your screws down a bit to help items hang on the screw better.
Staple Cords to Walls Or Hang From The Ceiling
Dangling cords can be hazardous in a garage or workshop, so try organizing them on a wall using a staple gun where possible. Make sure the staple is wider than the cord so as not to accidentally puncture the cord!
It can even be in a fun linear pattern like we did for our battery chargers.
Another way to organize cords is by using small hooks and hanging it from the ceiling. We do this with our fan cord to ensure no one gets tangled up when walking by.
More DIY Projects & Sustainable Living
We hope these DIY organization ideas for your home and garage help spark some inspiration and get you started. We’re serial DIYers here, so check out these 15 DIY projects at home you can do or our DIY project archives. Whether you’re looking to DIY furniture like a hanging daybed or for the perfect balance of DIY and sustainable living with a stacked rain barrel system, we’ve got a ton of resources for you.
Hope this roundup of DIY organization ideas gets you motivated to start organizing your life! Let us know what you think of the in the comments below and if you’ve used any of these!
Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I’ve linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust. There is no additional cost to you.