When the back-to-school madness was over, a local discount store was left with way too many plastic, interlocking crates. The crates remaining were in bright green and fuschia, but they were marked down from $3.47 to $1 each, so I bought a few green ones, thinking I could find something to do with them. Not only did I find a use for them, but adding a few thrift store bargains made them much more functional.
My bathroom storage problem solved
I rent a private bedroom with an attached bath. The bathroom had been remodeled, and the double sink and cabinets had been removed. There is only one tiny medicine cabinet and one small cabinet under the sink. Being one who has tons of toiletries, I needed somewhere to store them. The first 5 green crates solved that problem beautifully, but needed a little tweaking.
The crates had large holes all over them which made it hard to keep my bottle and jars upright. I first put cardboard in the bottoms -- unsightly but functional
Thrift store baskets to the rescue!
I love thrift stores and have a favorite bargain barn I frequent. I use a lot of plastic organizing baskets, so I'm always picking them up there for 10 to 25 cents apiece. I had happened to also pick up a couple of the collapsible cloth box/baskets there the week before.
One of the cloth baskets was the perfect size for holding my shampoos and conditioners, and it fit well into a crate I had stacked vertically. Another larger cloth basket was just right for holding a few rolled towels.
I pulled out all of my plastic baskets and started sorting things into them. One holds makeup and face creams and body lotions. One holds peroxide, alcohol, witch hazel, mineral oil and petroleum jelly. Another smaller basket holds first-aid supplies.
The holes even came in handy. Using some decorative shower curtain hooks, I hung my dryer and brushes on the side by the sink.
More crates for more storage
The five crates in the bathroom came in handy, but I still had things to store, so I returned bought 6 more green crates. I added two in the bathroom, one which holds bathroom tissue, while the bottom vertical crate is the perfect size for my cat litter bag.
In the bedroom, I had a narrow space between my bedside table and the door where I stacked 4 crates vertically. I'm still working on putting things in them, but they are filling up nicely.
Frugal savings win the day
All tolled, I spent $11.77 on the crates and $2.39 on the baskets, for a total of $14.16. I couldn't have even bought a decent shelf for the bathroom for that price, and I got storage for two rooms.
Is it pretty? No, but no one sees it but me, and it serves its purpose. Plus, when I move, those crates will be useful for packing. When you have little money, sometimes you have to give up style for function.
More Shine! by Deborah Aldridge
Turn old sheets into something useful and beautiful