Goodwill organizers

rubber bands, free with Goodwill purchases

So, yes, I recently moved. And I didn't do much culling this time because a) my mind is already permanently set on the cull dial and b) I wasn't technically downsizing. Other than wanting to trade in the hand-me-down purple futon for a smaller upholstered piece with actual legs, I like the stuff I have, for the most part—even though I do still have fantasies about living with almost nothing, which of course could only ever be a fantasy as long as it's a choice. I like knowing I can put together a cozy, comfortable, quirky space for not much money, giving used things a second chance with a fresh perspective. But even though I'm mainly using what I already have to style this hundred-year-old apartment, certain things are still needed to increase efficiency and organization since the space is configured differently from the previous one. So of course I turn to Goodwill and other thrift stores to fill gaps.

over-the-door hook via Goodwill, 50 cents

It's not a large apartment, and anyone who's ever read anything about small-space decorating (though this is not technically a small-space apartment, though it's smallish) or stepped foot into any IKEA knows to use the walls to get things up off the floor. As a lifelong renter, I've never fully explored the topic of wall use because of just how many holes that would entail for patching. It's much easier to commit to your walls when you own the place and can create your own built-ins and floor-to-ceiling shelving without having to ask permission. But in this place I'm planning to expand my use of wall space (at least in the closets) more than I've done before, maybe because I really like the apartment's layout and can see myself here for a while. It already feels like home—and I'm still unpacking.

golden pothos start, free

But not everything has a place yet, and I'm also waiting on three furniture pieces a friend is helping refinish. So I've been thrifting for certain types of bins and hooks: storage pieces. Goodwill is the poor person's Container Store. (Yard sales are even cheaper but take even more time and are especially hard to navigate without a car for getting into the 'burbs.) In the last couple weeks, I've found various wall hooks, more baskets, a dish drainboard (aka rectangular glass microwave tray), and a colorful vintage plastic silverware tray.

vintage orange plastic Rubbermaid silverware tray via Goodwill, $2

Like dental schools that offer a discount on services because of sucking up more of your time, thrifting for containers and organizers takes far more time and repeat visits than popping into, say, West Elm or Target. But when money is less available than time, you either do without or spend precious weekend hours sifting through thrift stores to collect what you need over time, knowing it all won't match but being okay with that because who wants everything to match? Yuck. Matchy-matchy d├ęcor is for the unimaginative. Yet somehow, many of these recent purchases have been either bright orange or white, little pops of tangerine creamsicle hanging out in my drawers and closets to brighten up the dark spaces.

orange cardboard bin via Goodwill, $3

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