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7 Easy Organizing Ideas That Cost $15 Or Less

Little problems solved.

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1. Before your cookout on the Fourth, use an onion instead of a grill brush to clean off any crusty bits.


Heat up the grill first (someone in this discussion says that a really dirty grill will need to be very hot, but if yours isn't too bad, you can probably heat to your cooking temp). Then, impale the end of an onion on your long-handled grilling fork so it's cut-side down, like in the picture above. And get to scraping!

2. Float a tennis ball in your swimming pool to help skim off the oily sheen floating on the surface.

The felted surface absorbs the oils (rinsed off of people's hair and skin), even when wet. Just toss a few balls in the water and let them float for a while. Get more uses for tennis balls in this Instructable.


4. Try this prep-once, pack-as-you-go system to spend less than an hour making lunches for your whole week (or your kid's week, or everyone's week).

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You don't have to use fancy clear fancy bins — plastic baskets from the dollar store would work just as well. And choose whatever food you like best!

Get the full tutorial on Tasty Junior.

5. Set up a password manager to make all of your logins more secure — and so you never have to actually remember any of them.

LastPass and Dashlane are two excellent free options. You have to pay for 1Password, but it has a great option for families.

For more on all things password protection, check out this guide.

6. Turn the corner by your backdoor into a mini-mudroom with three repurposed crates.

Everyone can have their own shelf and basket for stashing their bag or their keys. The key thing is to have a few crates or a shelf unit mounted off the floor, so the shoes you wear the most can stash beneath. Everything in corner only cost about $15 — learn how on Aimee Weaver Designs.

7. Try tracking your budget and expenses by hand for a month — either in a journal or on a sheet of paper posted somewhere you'll see it. / eat.sleep.stayweird

If you're like me and never check that spreadsheet you set up at the beginning of the month, tracking your expenses and income by hand might keep you more honest. I'm taping my July tracker to the inside of one of my kitchen cabinet doors, so I see it when I go to grab dinner plates.

Want more organizing ideas? See last week's tricks (plus more!) here.