Idea#1: Old shoe boxes can be covered with shelf/liner paper and can be used as
Idea#2: Bank/check boxes can be separated, placed side by side and used as drawer dividers in a desk, junk drawer or jewelry drawer.
Idea#3: Putting a new coat of paint on an old bookcase can spruce up any closet or bedroom and can be used for stacking sweaters, gym clothes, tennis shoes or whatever item you would like to put on the shelves.
If you aren't crafty and don't want to put liner paper on the shoe boxes, just make sure you label the outside in a way that is recognizable to you. If you don't have the patience for paint buckets and brushes, there are some great colors that come in spray cans, just make sure you prime the bookcase first.
Check out Second Hand stores in your area for baskets and or storage boxes. This is a great way to keep your costs down and to stay within your budget. I found some great baskets for 50¢ ea. that looked like any new basket you would buy at Michael's. I used this idea with a client who wanted to keep all of her medications on top of her bathroom counter. She hated how unsightly all the medication bottles looked on her counter, but wanted to keep them there so she didn't forget to take them. The basket worked perfectly! It doesn't matter how they look in the basket, they are all in one kempt place. It also makes for easy clean up for the counters. All you have to do is pick up the whole basket and wipe under it!
Live in a small apartment or studio with limited storage space? This idea also works for other items like toothpaste, mouthwash, hairspray & deodorant for small living spaces that don't have much storage. In my studio I have a basket under my sink that houses all my hair products, brushes and hair clips. When I need an item, all I have to do is pull out the basket and grab it. This cuts down on me knocking over items under the sink like bowling pins, which just drives me crazy.