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The (Affordable) Home Edit

By Jaclyn Lupo

I’ve cleaned more in 2020 than I have my entire life. Seriously. I organized, then reorganized my clothes an average of once every two weeks. I then tackled all those random closets and storage spaces, just to simply do something other than sit in front of a screen. With everything turning virtual, it seems as if our lives are spent connected to the internet. Cleaning, however, is one of those few pastimes that allow us to truly disconnect, and feel like we have some control.

Oh, and let’s not forget that Netflix show “The Home Edit” that motivated even more cleaning. If you’re anything like me, quarantine taught you how to binge-watch shows in a record amount of time. After watching Joanna and Clea make Reese Witherspoon’s Legally Blonde wardrobe look nearly perfect and turn Khloé Kardashian’s garage into paradise, I was ready to re-do my spaces once again. I found myself googling The Container Store to purchase those cute clear acrylic draws and labels.

Let’s just say all was good until I looked at the price of the items used on the show. Thirty dollars for one drawer!? I would need at least ten to organize my art supplies, and I didn’t even want to think about how many I’d need for my accessories. I was discouraged. I so desperately wanted to achieve that contemporary chic organization that’s promoted in the show, however, I’m a college student. Spending a few hundred to tidy up is just not practical! So, after an hour of self-pity, I decided to embark on a new quest. My goal: to edit my home, affordably. Here are some simple ways to spruce up your space, and be more organized than ever that your wallet will approve of!

1. Don’t be afraid to declutter

I’m guilty of holding on to clothes and shoes that no longer fit. The problem with this is that you’re wasting essential space on items that no longer serve you, which is a big no-no. Grab a bag and fill it for goodwill, or make some extra bucks by opening a Depop shop. It’s amazing how refreshing it is to open a closet that’s not jammed packed. You can buy all the store systems, but you’ll never be organized if you keep buying clothes and never let go of anything. Although I’ll never consider myself a minimalist (I love clothing too much) I can’t deny there’s so much joy in owning items that you truly love. Check out The Conscious Closet Elizabeth Cline for additional decluttering advice. The best part? This is a free, no-fail way to instantly become cleaner.

2. Reuse and recycle... it’s time to DIY!

Like I said before, organizational items are not cheap! That’s why it’s time to get crafty. I don’t know if you’ve ever paid close attention to the packaging of food items, but as brands are becoming more environmentally conscious, lots of foods are now being sold in pretty glass jars. After you finish the food contents, it’s time to remove the label from the jar so you can use it to organize. Have no fear, follow these instructions for a hassle-free time. Fill your sink with hot water, then add a few squirts of dish soap and a few cups of white vinegar. Make sure there’s enough water to completely submerge your jar. Let that jar soak in the mixture for about 30 minutes and wah-lah! You’ll be able to peel away the label without any nasty residue left behind. Even better, this hack ensures that the jar won’t end up in a landfill since you’re giving it a second life! I love using these recycled jars to organize my desk supplies and hair ties!

For even more inexpensive DIY ideas, check out Lone Fox on youtube! He is a great resource for tips on how to create beautiful decor and storage systems using materials that will probably cost you less than $10! Hermione Chantel is also an amazing DIY channel to follow! The ideas are endless, and honestly so easy to do. Plus, considering we’re still amid a pandemic, DIYing is a great socially distant activity to pass the time! Tik Tok and Pinterest are filled with so many ideas as well.

3. Shop your space!

Believe it or not, you’d be surprised by all the things you already have. My, advice? Go around your house with an open mind. You can swap items from other parts of your home as well. It’s a simple way to refresh a space without spending a penny. Oh, and remember you can always change the color of absolutely anything thanks to paint.

4. Invest in some spray paint

Don’t like the color? Don’t worry, spray paint is near! My go-to spray paint is matte black for a modern stylish vibe, but choose a color that fits your home. It’s a great way to dramatically change any decor you may already have but don’t necessarily fit your color scheme. I find that having a monochromatic storage system is more visually appealing for my taste, which is why you’d find me repainting almost any basket that goes into my closet.

5. Create labels

On The Home Edit, they proved that labeling is not only cute but serves a purpose in making sure your area stays organized for years to come. Using packing tape and printer paper, you can make labels that are Instagram worthy. Simply find a font you love and print the words you want to use as labels no bigger than the width of the packing tape. Cut out the words, and place the tape on top of it evenly. Make sure the tape is securely on the paper. Place the taped word in water, then peel away the paper from the back. Tada, there’s your new label! Stick to your desired surface, and have your camera ready because your space is going to look so impressive!

See, it’s possible to refresh your space breaking the bank! It may not look exactly like The Home Edit, but curating an organized space feels amazing! With all the chaos of 2020, it’s nice to your space in order. It’s therapeutic, to say the least, and a very productive use of time. Organizing is a fantastic way to fill up a lazy afternoon! I’m a true believer that a tidy place leads to a tidy mind. Who else is cleaning today?

Jaclyn Lupo is an editorial writer passionate about fashion, sustainability and culture.

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