Here’s a simple solution I use with clients when we’re trying a new organizing idea or system in their home. Instead of buying a storage solution and then discovering it doesn’t work well or they don’t like it, we try it out first. With one client, we set up a comings and goings area in her sun room using shoe boxes and other small boxes (which handily she had on hand due to a recent move.) We used Dixie cups to store rubber bands, paper clips and other small office supplies. We used a box to simulate a file basket. We labeled everything with post-it notes. After living with (and loving!) the solutions for a few weeks, my client invested in storage baskets, glass votives and a wicker basket to replace our make-shift solution. If you have an abundance of tried-it-but-it-didn’t-work storage containers around your home — give the “try before you buy” idea a go next time you organize!

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Aby Garvey is a creative organizing expert and simplify 101’s founder. She has created 14 online organizing classes, which she has been teaching since 2007, helping thousands of people around the world get organized. Aby loves to help people create positive change in their lives through her online classes and organizing eBooks.

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