I’ve posted before about being a string-saver and coming up with interesting uses for odd bits of “trash”.  (I may link to the post once I’ve converted my posts from Xanga.) Recently I’ve seen a few products that I think are neat, but that I have made at home with other more frugal resources.  For example, these pen pockets look great, and would have been really handy back in school when I carried lots of different binders and would sometimes show up to class without the “write” tool.  (I couldn’t resist.)  However, last year when our church put together an Easter choir and I was in charge of making sure everyone had matching folders with copies of all the music, I decided that everyone would need pencils, too, and that most people, like me, would probably forget them.  So, after purchasing folders and finding mechanical pencils on sale in bulk, I also bought self-adhesive velcro from the dollar store (less than what one pack of 5 pen pockets would cost) and put a small square of the hook side in the corner of each folder and wrapped the top of each pencil (leaving room for the eraser and to allow for clicking) with a square of the loop side (because if you happen to put your pencil behind your ear, it won’t get stuck in your hair).  Ta-DA!  Everyone had pencils.  As a bonus, if I saw anyone walking away with a velcro-clad pencil, I could say, “Oh, ‘scuse me, I think you’ve got a choir pencil.”

A week or so ago on a trip to Bed Bath and Beyond, I came across some boot hangers that struck my fancy.  However, seeing as how they were over $5 a pair and I have four pairs of cowboy boots alone (not to mention my other boots), I decided to stick with my current system of inserting empty paper towel rolls to keep the tops from falling over and creasing.  I don’t have the closet space to hang ’em anyway.  (Who has that much rod space, really?!)

Organizational accessories are a multi-billion dollar industry, and I love Bed Bath and Beyond and the Container Store more than most people will ever know.  I also, however, have a great fondness for doing things myself and making good use out of things most people discard.  The Frugal Duchess often posts “Tip Tuesdays” entries about uses for things like paper bags that are often helpful.  I think the key is figuring out what you need to accomplish, be it organizing shoes or cleaning out the fridge, and then thinking a bit more creatively about the most cost-effective way to do it.  A little trash goes a long way.  :o)