We’ve all been there. Your living space is a cluttered mess, so you go out and buy an expensive organizer from the store. Then you realize that your items won’t fit quite right with the organizer you just bought.

Before you go and spend money on yet another thing you don’t need, take a look around.  Chances are you’ve got some things lying around that can be cleverly re-purposed to organize drawers, cabinets, closets and more.

Here are a handful of my favorite ideas for turning “junk” into free storage solutions that will help you organize your home like a boss—without spending a dime:

Food wrap organizer – If you recycled all your magazines, maybe you have an empty magazine file that you can repurpose to store food wraps in a cabinet or under the sink.

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Pot lid organizer – Repurpose an old dish rack to store pot lids in a kitchen cabinet.

Camisole/tank top organizer – Clip circular shower curtain rings along the bottom edge of a clothes hanger. Hang the straps of your tank tops and camisoles on the rings and then clip the rings to lock them in place. You can also use this trick to hang belts (clip buckle on ring) and scarves (thread through the closed rings).

Jewelry organizer – Never again will you have to search for a matching set of earrings! Store one pair of earrings in each cube of a plastic ice cube tray. Arrange trays side by side or stacked in a drawer. Cube storage will also keep fine-chain necklaces from getting tangled with others.

Dresser drawer organizer – Insert cardboard shoe boxes in a dresser drawer to separate and organize socks and underwear. (By the way, I don’t bother folding them and you don’t have to either. I’m of the opinion that life’s too short to fold socks and underwear!)

Seasonal clothing storage – Re-use the zippered plastic packaging from new comforters, linens and pillows as storage bags for off-season linens and clothing.

Purse organizer – Donate your old eyeglasses to the Kiwanis Club for distribution to third-world countries, but keep the case to organize lipsticks (or other small, like items) in your purse.

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Large gift bag – Place a large, sturdy gift or shopping bag on the floor of your closet to collect articles of clothing that you decide not to wear—for the umpteenth time. When the bag gets full, donate the items to your favorite local charity.

Mail cubby – Put a decorative bread box to work as a place to stash incoming mail, sunglasses, car keys, etc. at one end of your kitchen counter or on a table just inside the door.

Desk drawer organizers – A checkbook box is the perfect size for storing pens and markers in a desk drawer. Use an egg carton to organize paper clips, rubber bands and other doodads in a desk drawer. Or use aerosol can tops!

Bathroom towel rack – Repurpose a an unwanted wine rack for storing clean bathroom towels at the ready. Simply roll towels and place them on racks.

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Medicine cabinet storage – Canning jars can be used as containers in your medicine for storing toothbrushes and toothpaste, cotton swabs and small like items like nail clippers and tweezers.

Makeup brush caddy – Fill a clear vase with pebbles and use to store makeup brushes on your vanity or in a cabinet.

Garden tool caddy/organizer – Use an old golf bag as a caddy for long-handled yard and garden tools such as rakes and hoes. Store smaller items in the outside pockets.

Holiday ornaments storage – A partitioned wine box is the perfect solution for storing Christmas tree ornaments. Wrap each one in tissue paper and tuck into the partitioned spaces. Store the wine box inside a larger cardboard or plastic storage box with a lid.

Donna Smallin Kuper is a best-selling author and organization expert. In her free time, she writes for eBay on ways to unclutter electronics and other items around the house.

Donna Smallin Kuper