How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe

Save more, spend smarter, and make your money go further

There are so many fashion trends that come and go; but what does that mean for your pockets? You’re left overspending, making impulse decisions, or buying items because others are doing the same thing. Remember, fashion is a personal experience. It’s unique to each one of us as we all express our personal style in different ways. The cost of living along with everyday essentials are on the rise; what are a few ways to remain stylish while making sure it’s budget friendly? Use the following tips to build a classic wardrobe that’s always on trend – no matter the occasion.

What is a capsule wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe consists of a set of tops, bottoms, outerwear, shoes, and various accessories that are versatile and can be mixed based on occasion to create a multitude of looks. The focal point of a capsule wardrobe is to own more on quality pieces that can transcend through the various seasons.

Ranging from between 25 – 75 pieces (or more; just depends on your preference) the key is to be able to identify all your clothing items easily and severely cut down on the time it takes to decide what you’re going to wear from day-to-day. Your new wardrobe should be able to reflect you personally while also remaining super functional.

Step 1: Take an assessment of your closet

Before we get started with hitting our favorite stores or buying everything online; take note of what’s currently in your closet. Begin to create a few mounds of clothes – keep, purge, and repurpose piles. What are the items that no longer fit? What items don’t necessarily fit your personal style anymore?

Be honest with yourself during this exercise. For example, if the clothes fit but you haven’t worn them within the past six months, chances are you may not be in love with them like you thought during the initial purchase. Also consider gently used clothes that are still in good shape to donate or sell to a consignment shop. The funds made from items already in your closet can go toward new pieces for your capsule wardrobe! Consider your current lifestyle as well – are you self-employed, working a 9-5 or a stay-at-home parent? All of this will impact your personal decisions as it relates to clothing.

To streamline this process even further, take pictures of the items you’re going to keep and have them all in one album on your phone. This way, you’re able to track each piece you have before making any new purchases. We often believe we have nothing to wear when it’s time to get dressed – when we really are just unsure of what we have. Reprogram your mind to utilize what you already have versus spending out of impatience and frustration.

Step 2: Identify your personal style and experiment

Social media exposes us to so many people, their personal styles and fashion inspirations. When you take a step back from everyone else’s thoughts and opinions; who inspires you? Create a mood board with outfits that pique your interest, that are classic in nature and are flattering to your body type. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are these pieces something I’m going to love years from now?
  • Will I feel confident no matter the occasion?
  • Does this fit my work and personal lifestyle?
  • Am I committed to investing in quality items?

Answering these truthfully are a great baseline to tailoring your wardrobe for you – regardless of what’s ever changing on social media. Next is the fun part; begin experimenting with what’s in your closet! Make sure all your items are in one area in your closet or buy a fashion rack so you’re able to easily identify your growing capsule wardrobe. Using either of these methods should not only cut down your decision time when getting dressed, it gives you the opportunity to create multiple looks with the same pieces. The main goal is functionality – make sure it’s adaptable to your lifestyle and its’ demands.

Step 3: Spend wisely and fight the urge against fast fashion

Quality over quantity is the mantra to live by when wanting to build a capsule wardrobe. Think about it in this way – how can you remain timeless while also having a distinct personal style?

When you’re looking for items to add to your capsule, focus on durability and quality. There’s no point in buying a lot of clothes that can’t withstand a few cycles in the washing machine (lack of quality) or shopping for one specific event (non-functional pieces). Refer to the pictures that’ve been taken of your current items so they’re handy during any shopping trip. Don’t forget to leverage consignment shops or thrift stores during this process. Bulkier, yet timeless items such as trench coats or vests with neutral colors can often be found. If you find that shopping for each season initially is too difficult, begin offseason shopping. During the summer, fall and winter clothes can be reduced heavily in price; use these opportunities as a cost savings.

Step 4: Take your time and have fun!

Transitioning from your current wardrobe to a fully functional one isn’t easy. Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to finalize each piece in your closet over a designated amount of time. Not only is that not realistic, but it’s also expensive (which partly defeats the purpose) and stressful. This should be a fun, experimental, yet intentional time.

Take note of the outfits you enjoy the most. What about them makes you confident? You’ll discover you love every item in your closet versus simply dealing with pieces to complete an outfit. Take a note of items that may be currently missing from your wardrobe that can be worn at least three ways.

Taking this into account, you’ll be able to add those items into your rotation easily. Every purchase should be strategic and purposeful. While others are chasing trends that change every season, you’ll be peaceful and empowered with a wardrobe distinctly curated by you and your wants.

Save more, spend smarter, and make your money go further

Marsha Barnes

Marsha Barnes is a finance guru with over 20 years of experience dedicates her efforts to empower women worldwide to become financially thriving. Financial competency and literacy are a passion of Marsha’s, providing practical information for clients increasing their overall confidence in their personal finances. More from Marsha Barnes


7 Things to Know Before You Start Biking to Work

When I learned that the cost of my monthly parking garage pass was more than doubling to $75 a month, I balked. Seventy-five dollars a month just to babysit my car while I’m at work?

So one muggy morning, I decided to give bike commuting a shot. I didn’t plan my route. Or my outfit. Or take my bike for a test ride, even though I hadn’t ridden it in months. Hey, what could go wrong in 2 miles?

I took my usual route to work — a busy street with no bike lanes and a rickety sidewalk where cyclists aren’t exactly welcome in the traffic lanes. Funny what you don’t notice from your car.

My dark jeans and black tunic were drenched in sweat less than a mile into my ride. Not a great choice of biking attire for mid-90s temperatures.

But it wasn’t just the end-of-summer heat that was making me sweat. I felt like I was biking uphill — and I live in Florida. I asked myself: Was biking always this hard? Have my leg muscles atrophied?

Then a guy standing at a bus stop pointed out the obvious: My tires needed air.

7 Tips for Anyone Who Wants to Start Biking to Work

I survived the 2-mile ride to work. Then I Ubered home that afternoon.

A few days later, temperatures dropped slightly, and a helpful co-worker put air in my tires. I decided to give bike commuting another try — if only to get my bike home. This time, I planned my route and took a street with bike lanes.

Since then, I’ve become an avid bike commuter. I love that I get to exercise during my commute, and I’m also saving money. Since I live close to work, my savings on gas are minimal, but I have been able to ditch the $75-a-month parking pass. Plus, I’m less prone to after-work impulse buys. If I stop at the grocery store after work, I’m limited to what I can fit in my bike basket.

Want to try biking to work? Here are a few tips I wish I had known before I tried bike commuting.

1. Do a Weekend Test Run

It’s great when you can figure out things — like that your route of choice doesn’t have bike lanes or your tires need air — when you’re not pedaling furiously to a meeting at rush hour.

Test out your commute by doing a practice run during the weekend. You may be surprised by just how bike-unfriendly your normal route is.

Make sure to wear your work attire if you plan to ride in the same clothing you wear during the day. Seeing just how much you sweat could change your mind.

2. Dry Shampoo Is Your Friend

Wearing a helmet is nonnegotiable whenever you ride your bike, OK? So that means helmet hair is something you’re going to have to deal with.

Dry shampoo comes in handy when you need to freshen up to make yourself presentable for the office.

A woman waits to ride a cross a busy road while bike commuting.
Robin waits her turn to cross a busy road on her way to work. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

3. Plan Your Outfit Around Your Commute

Riding your bike to work is a lot easier when you don’t have to do a complete change of costume when you get to the office. Opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton or linen to minimize sweat during your ride. If you wear skirts or dresses, throw on a pair of bicycle shorts or leggings underneath. (Long skirts and dresses are best avoided, though.)

Keep a spare shirt handy in your backpack in case you sweat more than usual or you ride through dirt or dust. (It happens.)

Pro Tip

If you need to pack your clothes and change at the office, a travel-size bottle of wrinkle spray comes in handy. No, your outfit won’t look freshly pressed, but it will smooth things out a bit.

4. Lighten Your Load Already

You’re saving money by bike commuting. But unless you want to fork over that money and then some to your chiropractor, keep your backpack as light as possible. Investing in saddlebags or a bike crate will be well worth it if you have lots of stuff to cart to and from work.

5. Ask Your Employer for Storage Space

Bikes are best stored indoors, where they’re less likely to get stolen. Plus, they’re more likely to rust when exposed to rain or snow.

Here at The Penny Hoarder’s headquarters in St. Petersburg, Florida, we’re lucky to have a passcode-protected bike closet. If your workplace doesn’t have a designated space for bikes, ask your employer to create one — or at least if there’s an acceptable place that you can stash your bike.

If that’s not possible, keep your bike locked up in a busy area with two different types of locks.

Pro Tip

Your car isn’t the only thing that needs a tune-up: Your bike should get a tune-up anywhere from every few months to once a year, depending on how much you ride. Expect to pay $30 to $80.

6. Be Prepared for Bad Weather

Here in Florida, storms are a bit unpredictable. I keep a kid-size poncho in my backpack that I can pop out if it starts to drizzle. The kid-size part is key because it’s short enough that it doesn’t get in the way of pedaling.

Obviously, when there’s lightning or extreme weather, you shouldn’t be biking. So have a backup plan for the days that you aren’t able to bike to work.

Make sure you know of a parking option that doesn’t require a monthly pass, a bus route that’s close to your office or a co-worker who can give you a ride. Otherwise, you’ll need to work the occasional Uber or Lyft into your budget.

7. Don’t Give up Your Parking Pass… Yet

So you’ve had your first successful bike commute? Congrats!

Still, hang onto your parking pass for at least a couple weeks. It’s great when bike commuting happens without a hitch. But what happens when you’re running late, you have a doctor’s appointment before work or you need to run home at lunchtime?

Once you’ve experienced a few disruptions to your regular routine, you can better assess whether giving up parking is feasible.

Is Bike Commuting for You?

This isn’t really an if-I-can-do-it-anyone-can type of thing. There are a lot of reasons bicycle commuting has worked for me:

I have a flexible schedule. I only work daylight hours. My workplace is casual. I live and work in a bike-friendly pocket of St. Petersburg, Florida, which means I don’t have to deal with snowstorms and subzero temperatures. I don’t have kids to shuttle to and from school or day care. Most importantly, I feel safe bike commuting.

If you want to try it, commit to doing it three or four times over the next months. Take it from me: Your first try may not go perfectly. But after three or four times, you’ll get the hang of it.

What if you hate it? Then it’s probably not worth whatever money you save. Your ideal commute is one that doesn’t leave you frazzled before you’ve even gotten to work.

But don’t be surprised if you get hooked. I find my workdays a lot more enjoyable when they start and end with a bike ride instead of circling a dusty parking garage. And the $75 I’m saving is a pretty sweet bonus.

Robin Hartill is a certified financial planner and a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.  She writes the Dear Penny personal finance advice column. Send your tricky money questions to [email protected] or chat with her in The Penny Hoarder Community

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Not Bad! ‘Cash me Outside’ girl Bhad Bhabie is the proud new owner of this $6.1M Florida mansion

For Danielle Bregoli, a.k.a. Bhad Bhabie, her fifteen minutes of fame have proven to be extremely lucrative.  

When the Florida native appeared on an episode of Dr. Phil as a ‘difficult’ teen daughter, she became a viral sensation — and she’s been laughing all the way to the bank ever since.

Six years after her television debut, she’s a recording artist and social media influencer with an estimated net worth of $20 million.

close-up of Bhad Bhabie
 American social media star and rapper Danielle Bregoli aka Bhad Bhabie. Photo credit: Carlos Darder courtesy of the star’s publicist.

And she’s been investing some of her fortune in the Florida real estate market. 

Here’s the full scoop on the ‘cash me outside’ girl’s budding real estate portfolio — recently grown by the addition of a stunning $6.1 million Florida mansion.

Who exactly is Bhad Bhabie? And what did she say?

In 2016, Bhad’s mother Barbara Ann pleaded to her daughter on Dr. Phil in a segment titled, “I Want to Give Up My Car-Stealing, Knife-Wielding, Twerking 13-Year-Old Daughter Who Tried to Frame Me for a Crime.” 

Then named Danielle, the 13-year-old grew irritated by the audience laughing at her teenage antics, and she addressed them with a saying that would make her millions: “Cash me ousside, how bout dah.”

Translation: “Catch me outside, how about that,” meaning let’s take this outside the studio and engage in a physical fight.

Soon after the segment, “Cash me ousside, how bout dah” became a viral meme, and Danielle became known as the “‘Cash Me Outside’ Girl.”

As the catchphrase grew, the clip was recorded by DJ Suede The Remix God and entered in the Billboard Hot 100, Streaming Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts.

From there, the song led to a series of dance videos that were uploaded onto YouTube and she was nominated for the 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards in the “Trending” category based on the catchphrase. 

Living the American dream

It pays off to be a teen with attitude (and poor pronunciation).

That trending catchphrase was the start of a multi-million dollar online career for the now 19-year-old.

Bhad Bhabie in front of her new house with her luxurious car, a Bentley Flying Spur worth over $200k.
Bhad Bhabie in front of her new house with her luxurious ride, a Bentley Flying Spur worth over $200k. Photo courtesy of the star’s publicist.

In early 2017, Danielle was signed by music manager Adam Kluger and she released her first single These Heaux (pronounced hoes) in August.

Reaching number 77 on the Billboard Hot 100, the single made her the youngest female rap artist to debut on the music chart.

From the success of These Heaux, Atlantic Records signed Danielle to a multi-album recording contract. 

Meanwhile, she changed her name and her social media presence was increasing at a rapid rate.

From her Snapchat reality show Bringing up Bhabie, to her extremely successful OnlyFans account, to launching her own record label, Bhad Bhabie has earned millions in brand deals with online retailers such as Fashion Nova and CopyCat Beauty.

And worldwide, her music has been streamed over 1.5 billion times. 

Not bad, Bhad Bhabie!

Bhad Bhabie’s new house & budding real estate portfolio

Bhad Bhabie is proving to be much more than the ‘cash me outside’ girl.

As it turns out, she’s pretty good at managing (and investing) her money.

Exterior of Bhad Bhabie's house in Boca Raton, Florida
Bhad Bhabie’s house in Boca Raton, Florida. Photo courtesy of her publicist.

While she leases a mansion in Los Angeles, she is the owner of two homes in Boca Raton, Fla.

Currently, she owns a five-bedroom, seven-bathroom estate that is on the market for $3.67 million, New York Post reports.

And in March 2022, she coughed up some serious cash for her latest luxurious home in the same upscale Florida neighborhood.

the living room inside Bhad Bhabie's house
The living area in Bhad Bhabie’s house in Boca Raton, Florida. Photo courtesy of her publicist.
Dining area of Bhad Bhabie's house in Boca Raton, Florida.
Dining area of Bhad Bhabie’s house in Boca Raton, Florida. Photo courtesy of her publicist.
The ultra-luxurious kitchen inside Bhad Bhabie's house in Boca Raton, Florida.
The ultra-luxurious kitchen inside Bhad Bhabie’s house in Boca Raton, Florida. Photo courtesy of her publicist.
Every successful self-made woman needs a perfectly appointed home office, and Bhad Bhabie's is flawless.
Every successful self-made woman needs a perfectly appointed home office, and Bhad Bhabie’s is flawless. Photo courtesy of her publicist.

Shelling out a whopping $6.1 million in cash, the 19-year-old internet sensation is the mortgage-free owner of an ultra luxe mansion in one of the swankiest ‘hoods in the sunshine state.

Spanning 9,288 square feet, the dope digs include seven bedrooms and seven bathrooms.

The primary bedroom inside Bhad Bhabie's house in Boca Raton, Florida.
The primary bedroom inside Bhad Bhabie’s house in Boca Raton, Florida. Photo courtesy of her publicist.
Elegant bathroom with seating area and walk-in shower.
Elegant bathroom with seating area and walk-in shower. Photo courtesy of the star’s publicist.
The generous walk-in closet inside Bhad Bhabie's house in Boca Raton, Florida.
The generous walk-in closet inside Bhad Bhabie’s house in Boca Raton, Florida. Photo courtesy of her publicist.

Built in 1983, the “modern 2020 completely redone estate” is located in a gated Palm Beach County community on an acre of land,  New York Post reports.

Bhad Bhabie’s house features a two-story guest house, hurricane impact windows and porcelain tiles throughout.

The eat-in chef’s kitchen offers a walk-in pantry and top-of-the-line appliances, and the primary bedroom boasts three large walk-in closets and an outside Jacuzzi area.

Some of  the other luxurious amenities in the smart home include a billiard/club room, a dry sauna, a wine storage space, a stunning outdoor pool and a five-car garage.

The pool area of Bhad Bhabie's new house.
The pool area of Bhad Bhabie’s new house. Photo courtesy of her publicist.

How Bhad Bhabie customized her house to suit her perfectly

And the rising young star has truly made it her own.

When decorating her new million-dollar abode, Bhad Bhabie put her love of luxury brand Channel on full display, draping her massive bed in fashionable bedding, and stocking her ultra-generous closet space with bags and luxury accessories from the same leading brand.

Inside Bhad Bhabie's ultra-stylish Chanel-branded bedroom.
Inside Bhad Bhabie’s ultra-stylish Chanel-branded bedroom. Photo courtesy of her publicist.
Inside Bhad Bhabie's ultra-stylish Chanel-branded bedroom.
Inside Bhad Bhabie’s ultra-stylish Chanel-branded bedroom. Photo courtesy of her publicist.
bhad bhabie's closet full of chanel bags
The social media star/rapper has lined up her impressive luxury bag collection in the generous walk-in closet of her new mansion. Photo courtesy of the star’s publicist.

Taking advantage of the many parking spaces on the premises, she lined up her collection of luxury cars in front of her newly purchased manse.

The Sun reports that Bhad Bhabie has an impressive $450,000 car collection including a Bentley Flying Spur and luxury Jeep Grand Cherokee. She started collecting luxury cars since she was 14 years old, with the first upscale piece — a white Porsche Panamera 4S Hybrid — costing her a cool $90,000.

A photo of Bhad Bhabie and her impressive luxury car collection.
A photo of Bhad Bhabie and her impressive luxury car collection. Photo courtesy of the star’s publicist.

Now, if the budding star will be growing her real estate portfolio in the same way she’s been adding to her car collection, we expect to continue writing about her new purchases for years to come. And we’re here for it!

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17 Home Upgrades That Rarely Help Close a Sale

A real estate agent posts a for sale sign in front of a brick house that is under construction
Sean Locke Photography /

We all like to think that making positive changes to a home can make it more attractive to buyers. However, some renovations that might make you feel more comfortable, actually might not help you sell your home in the long run.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released its latest Remodeling Impact Report, finding that some renovations are less effective than others in convincing buyers to move forward.

Surveying real estate agents, NAR looked at 20 types of projects and asked agents which they’d suggested homeowners do before selling a home. The survey also asked agents whether completed projects had helped close a sale.

Following are the renovations this survey identified as least likely to close a home sale. Specifically, fewer than 10% of real estate agents said these projects helped close a sale.

17. HVAC replacement

New Africa /

Surveyed real estate agents who said this project helped close a home sale: 7%

Agents who have suggested that homeowners do this project before selling: 20%

According to the National Association of Realtors report, the estimated cost of completing an HVAC replacement is about $8,200, and the cost recovered in a home sale is about $7,000. So, even though you might be able to recover much of the cost of doing the project, it’s not one that is likely to help you close the sale.

16. New wood flooring

Halfpoint /

Surveyed real estate agents who said this project helped close a home sale: 5%

Agents who have suggested that homeowners do this project before selling: 16%

The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University reported earlier this year that indoor flooring replacement is the most common upgrade, as we detail in “The 15 Most Popular Home Upgrades – and What They Cost.”

And yet, real estate agents indicate that this project is unlikely to add much to a home’s appeal to buyers.

15. Hardwood flooring refinish

Jo Ann Snover /

Surveyed real estate agents who said this project helped close a home sale: 5%

Agents who have suggested that homeowners do this project before selling: 27%

New flooring isn’t recommended by as many real estate agents as refinishing the wood flooring that’s already there, according to the NAR report.

Even though it doesn’t help much to close a home sale, the report indicates that those who invest in the project see a recovery of 100% of their investment.

14. Bathroom renovation

Susan Schmitz /

Surveyed real estate agents who said this project helped close a home sale: 4%

Agents who have suggested that homeowners do this project before selling: 33%

A third of real estate agents suggest homeowners make this change before they sell, even though this project doesn’t usually help close a sale.

Additionally, you might only see a 57% return on value when you complete a bathroom renovation, according to the NAR report.

13. New vinyl windows


Surveyed real estate agents who said this project helped close a home sale: 4%

Agents who have suggested that homeowners do this project before selling: 12%

With new vinyl windows, homeowners can expect to retain about 73.4% of the cost when they sell the home, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2019 Cost vs. Value Report. Believe it or not, that’s a relatively good cost recouping.

12. Basement conversion into living area

Artazum /

Surveyed real estate agents who said this project helped close a home sale: 2%

Agents who have suggested that homeowners do this project before selling: 5%

Only 5% of real estate agents suggested this renovation to homeowners looking to sell, and for good reason, since it doesn’t contribute much to the ability to close a home sale. However, it does offer homeowners relatively high satisfaction, as we recently reported in “19 Home Renovations That Give Owners the Most Joy.”

11. New garage door

Luxury home
karamysh /

Surveyed real estate agents who said this project helped close a home sale: 2%

Agents who have suggested that homeowners do this project before selling: 16%

While this home improvement project might not do much to help close a home sale, it can return nearly all of the cost when reselling your home.

Remodeling magazine’s 2019 Cost vs. Value Report shows that a garage door replacement retains 97.5% of its value upon resale of the home, as we report in “These 10 Home Improvements Offer the Highest Returns.”

10. Add a new bathroom

Monkey Business Images /

Surveyed real estate agents who said this project helped close a home sale: 1%

Agents who have suggested that homeowners do this project before selling: 5%

Very few real estate agents suggest this renovation, and even fewer find that it helps with closing a home sale.

It might be best to skip this one since it can cost as much as $60,000 — and only return about 50% of its cost, according to the NAR report.

9. New steel front door

Monkey Business Images /

Surveyed real estate agents who said this project helped close a home sale: 1%

Agents who have suggested that homeowners do this project before selling: 4%

While replacing your front door isn’t something that closes a home sale, it can help boost the value of your home — especially if you paint it black, as we report in “Painting With This Color Can Boost Your Home’s Sale Price by $6,000.”

Additionally, this project is likely to bring homeowners joy. The NAR report gave the project what it calls a “Joy Score” of 9.7 out of 10.

8. New vinyl siding

Red and black house
Lindasj22 /

Surveyed real estate agents who said this project helped close a home sale: 1%

Agents who have suggested that homeowners do this project before selling: 4%

While it’s not a project much-recommended ahead of selling, new vinyl siding is one of those renovations that offer a relatively high return on value. According to Remodeling magazine’s 2019 Cost vs. Value Report, the replacement of siding retains 75.6% of its value when the home is sold.

7. New wood windows

Woman with dog in house
Ahmet Naim /

Surveyed real estate agents who said this project helped close a home sale: 1%

Agents who have suggested that homeowners do this project before selling: 2%

The NAR report gave new wood windows a “Joy Score” of 9.6 out of 10, as we detail in “19 Home Renovations That Give Owners the Most Joy.” But these windows aren’t likely to help close a home sale and agents aren’t likely to recommend them as a pre-sale renovation.

6. New master suite

Nenad Aksic /

Surveyed real estate agents who said this project helped close a home sale: Less than 1%

Agents who have suggested that homeowners do this project before selling: 3%

Not only is this project unlikely to help close a home sale, it’s also unlikely to pay for itself.

Both a midrange master suite addition and an upscale master suite addition made the list in our article “The 10 Worst Home Renovations for Your Money.”

5. Attic conversion to living area

Attic bedroom /

Surveyed real estate agents who said this project helped close a home sale: None

Agents who have suggested that homeowners do this project before selling: 2%

This project costs up to $80,000 to complete, and it returns only about 56% of the investment, the National Associations of Realtors report states.

4. Insulation upgrade

Worker insulating an attic
Bilanol /

Surveyed real estate agents who said this project helped close a home sale: None

Agents who have suggested that homeowners do this project before selling: 4%

Even though this project isn’t one that agents say could help close home sales, the NAR reports that it offers homeowners a relatively good recovery (83%) on the money spent.

3. Closet renovation

A woman picks clothes out of her closet
New Africa /

Surveyed real estate agents who said this project helped close a home sale: None

Agents who have suggested that homeowners do this project before selling: 4%

A closet renovation earned the highest Joy Score possible — a 10 out of 10 — in the NAR’s study.

Even if it won’t help you sell your home, you might enjoy this renovation while you still live in the home.

2. New fiberglass front door

Woman opening a door
Monkey Business Images /

Surveyed real estate agents who said this project helped close a home sale: None

Agents who have suggested that homeowners do this project before selling: 4%

Even if you don’t close a home sale by replacing the front door, choosing the right color for that front door may add to your home’s sale price.

Plus, as with a new steel front door, a new fiberglass front door is likely to bring homeowners joy. The NAR report gave both projects a Joy Score of 9.7 out of 10.

1. New fiber-cement siding

Artazum /

Surveyed real estate agents who said this project helped close a home sale: None

Agents who have suggested that homeowners do this project before selling: 2%

While fiber cement siding can return 76% of the cost and give homeowners satisfaction, it’s not a project that real estate agents say they find helps close a home sale.

What home renovations have you been considering? Share your thoughts in a comment below or over on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.


Mom Knows Best: 11 Moms Share Their Best Apartment Advice

Mom knows best — so take her apartment advice!

Whether you’re moving across the country for college or just across town into your own apartment, moving out on your own is a huge step towards adulthood. To help you prepare for living on your own, we asked Moms to share their best apartment advice. Here’s what 11 real moms had to share:

1. Think ahead

apartment knick knacks.

apartment knick knacks.

“Start picking up new decor items before you move, especially if you can find things on sale,” says Chelsy at Motherhood+Mayhem. “This way, you won’t spend a ton of money furnishing your apartment and making it feel like home. Plus, you’ll already have some amazing items as soon as you move in!”

2. Add personal touches wherever you can

Wall decor in an apartment.

Wall decor in an apartment.

“My best apartment advice for a first apartment is to hang up your favorite photos and artwork,” says Amy Smith from Amy & Rose. “The quickest way to make a space feel like yours is to decorate it with your favorite things. Hang up your best photos and add some personal touches, such as artwork you’ve created or knick-knacks you’ve collected over the years — they’ll add personality without even trying very hard at all.”

3. Prioritize your closet organization

Clean, organized closet.

Clean, organized closet.

“My apartment advice is to make sure that you invest in ways to organize your closets,” says owner and editor of Teach Workout Love, Jennifer O’Shea. “Closets are key in apartments for storage so having baskets, shelving, containers, etc. would be helpful in saving space. Anywhere that you can maximize storage whether it’s under the bed, in the closet or organizing drawers — use it!”

4. Add some greenery

Flowers and plants in a small apartment space.

Flowers and plants in a small apartment space.

“Purchase some easy-care plants such as bamboo stalks or cactuses and spread them throughout your apartment to add a fresh, homey feel to your first place,” says Whitney Fleming, “You can even add a few artificial plants or succulents. Also, splurge on a few fresh flowers every once in a while to perk up your kitchen counter and add some color.”

5. Opt for multi-purpose furniture

Dining room area in a first apartment.

Dining room area in a first apartment.

“Choose your furniture wisely — in addition to looking good, make sure that it’s comfortable and easy to maintain!” says Lauren Webber of Dainty Mom. “If your apartment is small, go for space-saving and multipurpose pieces.”

6. Identify a purpose for your space

Plants and a couch in a small apartment.

Plants and a couch in a small apartment.

“Think about the place where you spend the most time,” says Ingrid Read, the founder of Working Momkind. “Is it the couch, where you binge-watch your favorite shows or the bed, where you find yourself hitting snooze too many times to stay in there a little longer? Maybe it’s the kitchen where you enjoy making every meal from scratch? Once you’ve identified your space, you can comfortably splurge on that and whatever is within reachable distance of it. If it’s the couch, get the one you think about sinking into all day, an ottoman or coffee table and a nice end table for your favorite book, remotes and phone charger. Once that space is complete, everything else will fall into place, becoming your home.”

7. Don’t be afraid to incorporate pops of color

Colorful apartment with pops of color.

Colorful apartment with pops of color.

“I am no interior designer by any means, but I am very good at rooting and uprooting and making places homes,” says Domiana, retired pro athlete turned 2x bestselling author coach and healer.

“My biggest tip is to add pops of color. For example, my color is yellow, which is the color that I embody. So, find something that expresses your personality and makes you feel comfortable in order to really make your place feel like a home. Those pops of color can come from throw blankets. You can never go wrong with those. Therefore, finding cool colors that make you feel comfortable and cozy in your new space is so important. Lastly, plants make everything better. Just that greenery around you.”

8. Prioritize the essentials

Kitchen with essentials like a coffee maker and coffee.

Kitchen with essentials like a coffee maker and coffee.

“My best apartment advice is to prioritize your essentials before moving,” says Mommy Sigrid of Lovingly Mama. “For me, having a bed and mattress (with pillows), clean sheets, towels, bath products and coffee with a coffee maker are moving day essentials. These are the things I would need to take a good bath after moving in, a good night’s rest after unpacking, cleaning and arranging. Plus, the coffee will help you face the new day in your new apartment. All three: bath, sleep and coffee are my necessities for sanity.”

9. Choose your roommates wisely



“My motherly apartment advice is to interview potential roommates thoroughly,” says Jacqueline Pinchuk. “Make sure you’re a good fit for each other. Find out how clean they are, how often their significant other spends the night, preference for communal food vs. individual, division of shared bills and household responsibilities. Small things, like not having toilet paper when it’s your roommate’s turn to buy, become an important part of enjoying your new home.”

10. Work with your walls

Artwork in a dining room area.

Artwork in a dining room area.

“In order for your apartment to feel like your own — you need the walls to reflect you,” says Kathleen Tomasewski from Mom on the Go in Holy Toledo. “This doesn’t mean that you have to go spend a lot of money on expensive wall coverings. Get creative with it. Take some of your favorite book covers, book jackets, magazine covers and/or pages from calendars and frame them in white or black inexpensive frames. This will provide for a cohesive collection of some of your favorite things that reflect you and make you feel more at home in your new apartment.”

“You could always take it a step further and only include covers or images that contain a particular color scheme, say red, pink and white or navy and black. But again — remember the covers or images you choose need to reflect you, your interest and your personality. It is your space, after all!”

11. Nourish yourself

Cooking in an apartment.

Cooking in an apartment.

“My go-to apartment advice for when you’re ready to move out on your own is to make sure you have a decent set of pots and pans,” says Heather Wells, founder of The Single Mom Blog & Podcast. “Eating out is great but being able to cook a nice meal will not only make it feel more like home but it will help you save money.”

Because Mom said so

Whether you follow some of this motherly apartment advice or you follow all of it, just know these mom-approved recommendations will help your first apartment feel like home in no time!


4 Questions to Ask Before Buying New Clothes

Save more, spend smarter, and make your money go further

Clothes shopping can be a fun way to spend an afternoon. And in many cases, whether it be for work, school or a special occasion, buying clothes can be a necessity. But for many people, buying clothes is part of a larger pattern of overspending. In fact, clothing items are the number one purchase category for people with shopping addictions

Curbing that habit can be difficult, but there are some strategies you can use to make it a little easier. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

4 Questions to Ask Before Buying Clothes

How Often Will I Wear It?

Before I buy a clothing item, I try to think about how often I’ll wear it. This helps me determine what the cost-per-use might be, and therefore how cost-effective an item actually is. The more often you can wear a garment, the lower the cost-per-use is. 

Here’s how to calculate cost-per-use. Let’s say I want to buy $150 rain boots that I plan to wear three times a week for four months, which comes out to 48 days a year. That’s a cost-per-use of $3.12 per year. The cost-per-use is relatively low, so even though $150 may seem like a lot to drop on rain boots, it would still be a worthy purchase.

But let’s say I want to spend $150 on a cocktail dress that I can only really wear twice a year or so. That comes out to a $75 cost-per-use annually, which is much higher than the rain boots. 

By using cost-per-use as a benchmark, you can spend more on items you’ll wear frequently, like jeans, and less on items you wear infrequently, like a pair of gold heels you only bust out for weddings.

Does It Match My Other Clothes?

One of the biggest shopping mistakes I’ve made is buying something, coming home and realizing it doesn’t work with anything else I own. If I’m lucky, I can return the item. Otherwise, it sits in my closet for years until I donate it.

Now when I go shopping and find something I like, I imagine what else I can wear it with. For example, if I spot a pair of olive green jeans, I think about the black turtleneck, chambray shirt and red plaid shirt I can wear with them. My rule of thumb is that I have to think of at least three other items that match what I want to buy. If I can’t do that, I put the item back.

The same rule applies to accessories like jewelry and shoes. Don’t buy a pair of earrings or shoes unless you can visualize wearing them with multiple things you already own. 

Would I Buy This if It Weren’t On Sale?

How often have you bought something just because it was a good deal? Don’t feel bad – I’m also guilty of buying a garment not because I love it, but because it’s on sale.

If you see something on sale that you weren’t looking for, ask yourself if you would pay full price for the item. If not, then it’s probably not something you really need. This question helps me avoid buying something solely because it feels like too much of a steal to pass up.

Will This Cost Me More Money?

Before you buy clothes or accessories, read the care instructions to see how you need to wash and dry the item. Doing this ahead of time can save you from buying dry-clean-only garments, which inherently cost more to care for.

Also, if you like something that needs to be tailored, factor in that cost before you buy it. A basic hem costs about $10, but more complicated tailoring jobs can cost between $20 and $60. Add that amount to the sale price so you have an accurate estimate of the item’s real cost. 

How to Stop Impulse Clothing Purchases

Shop by yourself

Shopping with friends can be fun, but it can also be draining to your budget. Your friends are likely to encourage you to treat yourself, and if you see them buying clothes without caring about the cost, you might feel tempted to do the same.

If you do want to bring someone along for advice on colors or styles, tell them what your budget is beforehand and ask them to hold you accountable. If you make it clear that you’re on a strict budget, they should be less likely to lead you astray.

Limit shopping days

As a financial coach, I help people pay off debt by sticking to a budget. One of the best coping strategies I’ve found for my clients is telling them to limit shopping for non-essential items to two days a week. 

For example, let’s say your shopping days are Mondays and Thursdays. If you see a cute skirt on a Friday, you have to wait until Monday to buy it. 

By the time Monday rolls around, you’ll likely have forgotten about the skirt. If you haven’t forgotten about it, that probably means you really want it. This strategy works because it gives you time to consider if you actually need the item. 

Pick shopping days that aren’t on the weekends, when you’re most likely to spend money. I like Mondays and Thursdays, but you can choose any two days. If impulse shopping is a major problem for you, consider picking one day a week instead of two.

Save for later

I have a “to buy” folder on my Google Chrome browser where I drop links to stuff I want to buy. Saving those links for later relieves the shopping itch for me. And if you’re sticking to the rule of only shopping during pre-approved days, that’s also a good place to keep items you’re waiting to buy.

Many retailers also have wish lists where you can add an item to buy later, and sometimes you’ll be notified if the item goes on sale. If you really struggle with impulse purchases, I would avoid using the retailer’s wish list and use your own. That way, you won’t be tempted to buy something just because it went on sale.

Save more, spend smarter, and make your money go further

Zina Kumok

Zina Kumok is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance. A former reporter, she has covered murder trials, the Final Four and everything in between. She has been featured in Lifehacker, DailyWorth and Time. Read about how she paid off $28,000 worth of student loans in three years at Conscious Coins. More from Zina Kumok


Dear Penny: My Live-in Partner Owns a Home. Does He Owe Me Half for Bills?

Dear Penny,
Ready to stop worrying about money?
Repairs should mostly fall into this category. If you’d need to replace the roof, that’s an expense you’d have even if your partner wasn’t cohabitating with you. But if he accidentally breaks your garbage disposal, he should foot the bill.
Perhaps it made sense for you to do tasks like grocery shopping back when COVID cases were exploding. But are your partner’s health issues so severe that he can’t cook a meal or organize a closet?
It gets tricky with the variable expenses. I think it makes sense for your partner to contribute toward utilities and cable, since these are things you’re both consuming when you’re living together full time.
There’s no way to do a perfect 50/50 split of expenses here. But make sure your partner is matching your effort if you continue to share space with him. Otherwise, it’s time to send him home already.

I say all this assuming your partner isn’t renting out his home. In that scenario, I’d expect him to contribute toward these costs since living with you would allow him to earn a profit. But I’m guessing one of the good things about this arrangement is that you could ask your partner to leave tomorrow and he’d have a place to go.
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My partner and I have been together for 15 years, but not really living together. We both own our own homes, mortgage-free. Our financial situation is similar in terms of net worth. 

Because of my partner’s health issues, at the outset of COVID we decided to have him move in with me, as he could avoid grocery shopping, etc. We thought COVID would be a short-term issue. 
My partner and I split all grocery costs and meals out, along with the costs for a biweekly cleaning woman (floors only) and our cat’s expenses. I pay for everything else: cable, utilities, repairs that come up, association fees. 
The pandemic forced millions of people to rapidly change their living and working situations overnight. But fortunately after two years, a sense of normalcy is returning. Many people, even those with health issues, have been able to resume routine activities like grocery shopping. So perhaps it’s time to revisit whether you want to continue this living arrangement with your partner.
If I lived with someone who did the bulk of the chores, I’d go out of my way to treat them. Perhaps I’d pay the tab for any restaurant bill and also chip in extra for groceries. Even if we’d technically agreed to split these costs evenly, it would be a small show of gratitude.
Robin Hartill is a certified financial planner and a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. Send your tricky money questions to [email protected].
But let’s focus on the bills for a moment. If you were roommates renting an apartment, it would make sense to split everything down the middle. No one has an investment in that space. The money you pay buys you a place to live, and that’s that.
It sounds like you allowed your partner to move in solely for his benefit. Hopefully, you’ve benefited as well from the 24/7 companionship you’ve gotten over the past two years. But his comment about you paying half of the expenses for his home seems dismissive.
You’ve paid off your mortgage, which is the biggest expense related to your investment. I’d also put property taxes, homeowner’s insurance and association fees in this category. None of these would change if you told your partner to move out tomorrow. Your partner is still paying these expenses for his home, even though he’s living with you.
Dear P.,
Splitting costs for groceries, cleaning and the cat 50/50 would also seem logical if you were each contributing roughly equal effort. And that, of course, is where I think your partner could do better.
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This is a topic that reasonable people can certainly disagree about. But I think it makes sense for you to be solely responsible for the fixed costs of homeownership.

It becomes trickier when you share space and you each own homes. The homes you bought aren’t just living spaces. If you sold your home tomorrow for three times what you paid, presumably, your partner wouldn’t be entitled to a dime.



Is this really about the money? Or is it about the unequal amount of effort you’re investing?

5 of the Biggest Celebrities Living in Calabasas, One of LA’s Most Affluent Neighborhoods

Located in the southwest corner of the San Fernando Valley, Calabasas is one of the most affluent neighborhoods in Los Angeles, Calif.

Including a portion of the Santa Monica mountains, Calabasas is located just over 30 miles from the downtown core.

The swanky suburb is bordered by Woodland Hills to the northeast, Topanga to the east, Malibu to the south, Agoura Hills to the west and Hiddens Hills to the north.

And the pretty people love it there! In recent years, the city of Calabasas has upgraded its amenities to cater to the luxurious lifestyles of the rich and the famous.

The exclusive Los Angeles neighborhood offers a variety of attractions such as the popular retail and entertainment complex Commons at Calabasas, the Malibu Creek State Park and the Pet Memorial Park, to name a few.

Entrance to The Commons, an upscale shopping center in Calabasas, California.
Entrance to The Commons, an upscale shopping center in Calabasas, California. Photo credit: Lux Blue / Shutterstock

Not to mention the swanky gated communities with spectacular mountain views and large lots for multi-million dollar mansions.

And that’s why a growing number of famous folks have set up residence in this upscale Los Angeles neighborhood. On that note, here’s a breakdown of some of the biggest celebrities who currently live in Calabasas.

1. Kourtney Kardashian

In 2014, reality star Kourtney Kardashian purchased a Calabasas compound with her former partner Scott Disick.

Spanning 12,000 square feet, the stunning Tuscan-style estate cost $8.5 million and had previously been home to NFL star Keyshawn Johnson.

Kourtney Kardashian house in Calabasas
Kourtney Kardashian’s house in Calabasas. Image credit: property – Architectural Digest; Kourtney Kardashian – Toglenn, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Featuring 6 bedrooms, 9 baths, a state-of-the-art kitchen, a massage room and gym, the Calabasas compound was designed by lauded architect Richard Landry.

The celebrity house was built in 2011 and sits on a nearly 2-acre lot that offers plenty of room for a huge backyard — that includes covered patios with outdoor fireplaces, a cabana and gazebo, sunken basketball court, pool, spa, fruit and shade trees and a barbeque center.

Buying a house nearby is completely out of reach to those that don’t have a million dollar paycheck; mansions on the same street as Kourtney’s house cost between $20 to $30 million.

Most of Kourtney’s famous family lives nearby in the neighboring city of Hidden Hills.

2. Will Smith & Jada Pinkett Smith

Power couple Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have one of the most luxurious homes in Calabasas. So much so, it has its own zip code!

The sprawling ranch nestled in the Santa Monica mountains has a man-made lake with views of Saddle Peak.

Jada and Will Smith’s house in Calabasas draws inspiration from Persian, Moroccan, Spanish, and Southwest American cultures.
Jada and Will Smith’s house in Calabasas draws inspiration from Persian, Moroccan, Spanish, and Southwest American cultures. Image credit: Roger Davies for Architectural Digest, inset DFree /

The couple purchased the 150-acre lot in 2003, and the 25,00-square-foot home — designed specifically for the Smiths by architect Stephen Samuelson — was completed seven years later, in 2010.

Now worth an estimated $42 million, the highly customized Calabasas compound boasts 9 bedrooms, a home theater, meditation lounge, 8-car garage, tennis court, basketball court and outdoor pool, to name a few of the fabulous features.

To read all about it, head on to our dedicated article on Jada and Will Smith’s many houses.

3. Rebecca Romijn & Jerry O’Connell

Joined by their twin daughters, longtime couple Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell live in a secluded home in Calabasas.

Celebrity couple Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell live in a 1939-built Calabasas house. Photo credit: Google Maps, inset Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

Originally purchased for $1.3 million in November 2000 with her ex-husband, Full House star John Stamos, Romijn kept the Calabasas home that was built in 1939.

In an older interview, the model-actress said cowboy star Randolph Scott was one of the former owners. She also shared an interesting tidbit about the private property.

“[The house] used to be a whorehouse!” Romijn said. “When I found it, two old hippies were living here, and they were like, ‘There’s a lotta sexual energy here.’”

Together since 2004, Romijn and O’Connell were wed at their Calabasas home in 2007.

4. Nas

In 2021, rap star Nasir ‘Nas’ Jones joined the ranks of Calabasas celebrities by purchasing a sprawling estate for $3.5 million.

Rapper Nas' 6,500-square-foot Calabasas mansion he bought in 2021 for $3.5 million.
Rapper Nas lives in a 6,500-square-foot Calabasas mansion he bought in 2021 for $3.5 million. Photo credit: Redfin, inset DFree / Shutterstock

Built in 2007, the 6,500 square foot home features 4 bedrooms, 5.5 baths and 10.5+ acres of land with majestic mountain views.

The newly acquired Calabasas compound also boasts a gourmet kitchen, fireside family room, formal dining room, office, wine cellar, billiards room, wet bar, pool, waterslide and beautiful roof deck with views for days.

And it seems to be a perfect fit for Nas; the rapper, whose debut album Illmatic (1994) is considered to be one of the greatest hip hop albums of all-time, has an estimated net worth of $70 million.

5. John Travolta

Legendary actor John Travolta lives with his two children in a Mediterranean-style mansion in Calabasas.

Built in 1993, John Travolta's house is a Spanish-style home
Built in 1993, John Travolta’s house is a Spanish-style house that features an ultra-generous 7,500 square feet of living space. Photo credit: MLS, inset Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

Tragically, the Pulp Fiction star lost his beloved wife, and the kids’ mother, actress Kelly Preston, to cancer in 2020.

Just before her untimely passing, the couple purchased a stunning estate for $2.65 million in the celebrity-filled suburb of L.A.

Spanning 7,500 square feet, the mansion boasts 6 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, 4 fireplaces, a library, wine closet, dining room, home office, chef’s kitchen, pool, spa and spectacular mountain views.

The romantic Spanish-style home has plenty of outdoor amenities that make the most of the picture-perfect location. It comes with an extensive patio space with a fireplace, a detached pergola lounge, a pool and spa, and gardens with meticulous landscaping.

More stories you might like

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Serving Up Naomi Osaka’s Budding Real Estate Portfolio: A Look at Her Two Beautiful Los Angeles Houses
Where Does Tina Turner Live Now? Her Swiss House and $76 Million ‘Weekend Retreat’
Inside Ellen Pompeo’s House and Multi-Million Dollar Real Estate Portfolio


30 Cheap Organization Ideas to Get Your Home in Order

After you’ve done all this prep work, it’s time to find the best ways to store and display your stuff — without going over budget.
Portable shower caddies may be reminiscent of college dorm life, but they’re also a fitting storage solution for arts and craft supplies or office supplies. They can easily be carried around for household members to use in multiple rooms.
Cut these rolls to size to hold various power cords for all your electronics that aren’t in use.

Before Tackling a Home Organization Project

Reuse sturdy takeout containers to store similar items together. Use one as a makeshift first-aid kit and another for crafting supplies.
Glass jars can be used for multiple purposes, depending on their size. Old pasta sauce or jelly jars can be turned into a piggy bank. Empty baby food jars can hold paper clips or push pins.
Whether you’re trying to tame your junk drawer or straighten out your bedroom closet, having good organizational tools is key. If you’re doing a whole home organization, break the work down into individual rooms so you don’t get overwhelmed trying to tackle everything at once. You may even want to focus on one problem area at a time — such as the kitchen pantry or the hallway closet.
Place a cheap magazine rack on the kitchen counter to store your aluminum foil, plastic wrap and parchment paper. Or use it in the living room for its intended use — organizing magazines or coffee table books.
Before worrying about the perfect bins, jars or storage systems, go through your stuff and determine what you really want to keep. If there are things in good condition that you no longer want, consider donating them or selling them for extra cash. Toss or recycle the stuff that’s truly junk.

30 Cheap Organization Ideas

Use these hooks in your closets to hang items like belts, scarves or purses.
You want your belongings to look nice and orderly. You want to know where everything is so you stop buying extra packs of batteries or Band-aids when you already have them … somewhere. But a trip to the Container Store or Crate and Barrel for home organization supplies could end up getting pricey.

Organization Solutions That Are Budget-Friendly Buys

Keeping a master list of the items you’re keeping is helpful in two ways: You’ll know what you’ll need organizers for and you’ll clearly see which things you have duplicates of.

1. Plastic Bins or Crates

Don’t empty out your recycling bin just yet. There are tons of ways you can reuse items you already have lying around at home. A few coats of paint, some colorful washi tape, scrapbook paper or wrapping paper can help you turn drab boxes or containers into attractive storage solutions.

2. Canvas Storage Bins

The following two lists will highlight store-bought home organization solutions plus other ideas that you can DIY. If your DIY attempts don’t turn out Instagram-worthy, don’t worry. You can always use them for items tucked away on a back shelf.

3. Pill Organizers

Separate and store small items like jewelry or ponytail holders.

A spice rack using magnetic strips hang on the side of a fridge with spices inside the rack.
Spice racks with magnetic strips attached are used to organize spices on the side of a refrigerator. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

4. Adhesive Magnetic Strips

Tea boxes divided into multiple sections are good options to organize jewelry or small knick knacks.

5. Ice Cube Trays

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6. File Box

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7. Pop-up Hampers

For cheap home organization products, shop at your local dollar store or other discount chains like Walmart, Target, Ikea, HomeGoods or Big Lots. Thrift stores, flea markets and garage sales are other good options. Online neighborhood buy-nothing groups could be a source to score items for free.

Two Lazy Susans are on display on a table. They are holding various types of oils for cooking.
Lazy Susans can be used to group items together when organizing your food pantry. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

8. Lazy Susan

Cardboard boxes are very versatile DIY storage solutions. You can use larger boxes to store extra throw pillows in the living room or to round up toys in a kids’ room, while smaller boxes can be used to organize mail, important papers or magazines. Be sure to decorate the outside so they look more appealing.

9. Three-Ring Binders

If you have old book bags or luggage lying around, use them to store out-of-season clothing so your closet and drawers are less crowded. You could also use them to store hand-me-down clothing that your younger child is waiting to grow into.

10. Shower Caddies

These multi-pocketed organizational tools are great for many items, not just shoes. Use them to store toys, art supplies, toiletries or cleaning supplies.

11. Drawer Organizer

Purchase extra ice cube trays to organize small office supplies and knick-knacks in your desk drawers, such as paper clips or rubber bands.

12. Pegboard

For all the parents tired of stuffed animals taking over everywhere: Buy a couple of cheap, wire-and-mesh pop-up hampers to use as designated homes for all your little ones’ stuffies.

13. “S” Hooks or Shower Curtain Rings

Stick one of these rotating turntables in any cabinet as a way to group similar items together and make sure you don’t neglect what’s stored in the back. They come in various sizes and styles. Consider one in the kitchen cabinet or pantry for food items and another under the bathroom sink for cleaning supplies.

An over the door shoe organizer is shown in a person's home.
Over the door shoe organizers can hold more than just shoes. They can be used to store toys, art supplies, toiletries or cleaning supplies.

14. Over-the-Door Shoe Organizer

Tear the labels off tin cans and use them to hold pencils, pens or paint brushes. A repurposed can could also store beauty supplies like mascara, eyeliner, lipgloss or foundation brushes.

15. Carabiner Clip

Display items you frequently use or want to easily access. Attach a pencil holder, scissors and tape to a pegboard in your office, or use one to hold tools in the garage.

16. Travel Soap Containers

Comforters and bedding sets often come in sturdy plastic packaging with a zippered enclosure. You can reuse these to store out-of-season clothes or bulky winter jackets.

17. Tension Rods

Bundle up power cords and store them in plastic cups to keep them organized. Cups also work well to hold crayons, markers or paint supplies in a kids’ room. Smaller plastic cups — like former yogurt or pudding cups — can contain batteries or other knick knacks in a junk drawer.

18. Magazine Racks

Use the bottom half of an egg carton as a drawer organizer for small items like paper clips, rubber bands or twist-ties.

DIY Home Organization Solutions

Use a tension rod in your under-sink cabinets to hang spray bottles of various household cleaners. Or you could add an extra rod along the inner wall of your shower to hang little baskets with body wash, shampoo or tub toys.

Old cans are used to store pencils and markers.
Recycled cans to hold art supplies or office supplies. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

19. Recycled Cans

As you make your toss, sell and keep piles, you’ll get a better idea of what organization tools you’ll actually need. For example, if you’re giving away half of your books, you’ll need less shelving space than you may have originally thought.

20. Plastic Takeout Containers

A file box is the perfect place to store important paperwork. If you have kids, you can use these boxes to collect artwork, essays, report cards and other mementos.

21. Cardboard Boxes


22. Old Backpacks or Suitcases

Wrangle rubber bands in a junk drawer or ponytail holders in a bathroom drawer by grouping them together using a carabiner.

23. Paper Towel or Toilet Paper Rolls

Ready to stop worrying about money?

24. Ribbon

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25. Comforter Bags

Tame a junk drawer with a low-cost drawer organizer that will separate items into their own compartments.

26. Plastic Cups

Instead, there are free and low-cost ways to get organized at home without spending a bunch of money. Here are 30 cheap organization ideas that’ll give you some inspiration to tame your chaotic mess at home.

27. Glass Beer or Soda Bottles

Attach a ribbon to your wall using nails or push pins. Hung horizontally, use it to hold sunglasses, bracelets, necklaces, scarves or belts. Hung vertically, use clothespins to display hats or photos.

28. Glass Jars

An important thing to know before starting a home organization project: You don’t want to organize junk.

29. Tea Boxes

These are good options for lightweight items, such as extra throw blankets in the living room or the dog’s various chew toys. You can use them in a bedroom closet to keep items like scarves or belts together.

A styrofoam tray is used to organize crafts such as needle and thread.
The bottom of an egg carton can be used to store loose items in a drawer. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

30. Old Egg Cartons

These small storage solutions are the perfect size for crayons, business cards or clipped coupons.

Attach peel-and-stick magnet strips to the wall over your kitchen counter to display knives or inside your bathroom cabinet to hold manicure tools or stray bobby pins. You can also attach small pieces of magnet to the back of important papers or photos to display on your fridge or on a magnetic dry-erase board in your home office.



Use these to separate and store items by category. In a linen closet, you can use multiple bins for bathroom supplies, washcloths, hand towels and extra rolls of toilet paper. In a kids’ room, you can use colorful plastic crates to store toys and books.

Hey Mr. DJ Put A Record On: 11 Experts Share How To Display Vinyl Records Like A Pro

Just for the record — vinyl is back!

With vinyl record sales reaching $1 billion for the first time since 1986, it’s clear — vinyl is back and people can’t get enough. Whether you’ve just started collecting or you’ve been collecting your favorite artists on vinyl for years, it’s important to know how to display vinyl records in your apartment.

First things first, no need to hire a professional — figuring out how to display vinyl records is a perfect DIY project. And all you need is a vision and your record collection to get started. Just get creative and crafty with these 11 expert tips on how to display vinyl records.

1. Take over an entire wall

Woman playing a guitar in front of vinyl records.

Woman playing a guitar in front of vinyl records.

“Covering an entire wall in vinyl records is a great way for a music lover to make a bold statement in their space, but it’s important to do it right so that you don’t damage the records or the wall,” says DIY’er Angela Rathbun of Blue i Style.

By just using Command Picture Hanging Strips, Rathbun turned the closet under her basement stairs into a fun and funky music-themed playroom for her two young sons and she covered the slanted ceiling in more than 100 vintage 45s. With the hanging strips, Rathbun was able to create her vinyl feature wall in record time — while ensuring that when the time comes to update the space, she’ll be able to remove all of the records completely damage-free.

To see the step-by-step tutorial, check out her blog.

2. Get your records off the ground

Pulling out a Pearl Jam vinyl record from a vinyl record display case.

Pulling out a Pearl Jam vinyl record from a vinyl record display case.

When figuring out how to display your vinyl, opt to keep your records off the ground. By hanging or having your record collections on shelves, you’ll keep your records safe from potential water damage and wear and tear from pets or kids. Since vinyl is more expensive than buying a CD or simply just relying on a streaming music service, keeping your collection off the ground will preserve it longer.

3. Decide between frames or stands

Vinyl records hanging on a wall.

Vinyl records hanging on a wall.

“A collage wall of framed album covers is a unique and interesting way to display your favorite album art. Ion Acrylics’ modern floating frames are specifically made to size to house a 12″ standard LP. Pick your favorites or focus on a theme such as a particular artist, year or art style,” says Ionacrylics.

“Or, if you are going for a modern look, Ion Acrylics’ crystal clear tabletop stand is practically an art piece in itself and a place to proudly display your collection. Part of the fun of albums is perusing through a stack and admiring the cover art. The stand can hold up to 50 albums and provides ample room to flip through your collection.”

4. Showcase your favorite musicians

Wilco vinyl record playing.

Wilco vinyl record playing.

“One of the best things about buying vinyl is not only are you getting great music, but you are also investing in a piece of art,” says Bill from Record Head. “Instead of spending money on wall décor, pick up some album frames and display your records instead. Not only are you saving the artwork from being lost on the shelf, but you can also showcase some of your favorite artists.”

5. Pick up record album wall mounts

Vinyl record collection being displayed.

Vinyl record collection being displayed.

“My favorite tip for displaying vinyl records in your home is to use record album wall mounts,” says Bill Gibstat from the Man Cave Expert. “Wall mounts allow you to display the album art while also giving you easy access to the record when you want to listen. Rotate your favorite album covers to continuously update the look of your room.”

6. Hit up secondhand storesSecondhand vinyl record store.Secondhand vinyl record store.

“Curating a themed selection of records is an affordable way to add a personalized high-impact design element to your space. Hunt for secondhand records at thrift stores, garage sales, or online to create a collection of album art based on your personal style or design theme,” says Megan Housekeeper from Mid-century Millennial. “If you love classic films, you can display your favorite film soundtracks, if you are creating a monochrome space you can display records with album art in your color scheme or even feature a selection of local artists from your home city.”

7. Evoke emotion with musical memories

Woman smiling at a vinyl record.

Woman smiling at a vinyl record.

“Building an art wall is about evoking emotion. There is no better way to connect with memories than displaying your favorite LP albums as art,” says Hudson Hi-Fi. “Our displays feature different variations and materials to meet all interior aesthetics. Use any of the shelves by Hudson Hi-Fi to create custom art installations around your living space or workspace.”

8. Get creative on your wallsVinyl records. Vinyl records.

“Creatively use your wall space to see your collection (or some of it). Whether you want to show off a few records or your entire collection, Record Roots recommends opting for a tabletop display system or a record display frame. If your collection has hundreds or thousands of records you might not want to display them all. You could choose to display your latest purchases. Or the ones on your current listening rotation. Or you can change on a weekly basis to update the decor!” says Felix Kenchington of Record Roots.

9. Remember that vinyl is an experience

Photo courtesy of Well Made

“Vinyl is a tactile experience, which is why we recommend the ‘manual playlist.’ In other words — place your album sleeve on display for all to see, so the artwork can add to the listening experience,” says Well Made framing in Chicago.

10. Let your vinyl cover art face forward

Vinyl record collection on the floor and on a shelf. Vinyl record collection on the floor and on a shelf.

“The WAXRAX motto is, ‘live with your vinyl records, don’t hide them in boxes.’ In our audio console, album cover art faces forward like a record store — adding personal style to the room with every disc you spin,” says David Stanavich, owner and designer of WAXRAX inc.

11. Keep your vinyl records accessible

woman listening to a vinyl record

woman listening to a vinyl record

“There are a number of ways to display your vinyl records. The biggest factor when selecting what works best for your space is accessibility. Displaying your albums is part of the experience but you still want listen to them. Hanging an album holder above your turntable is a great way to display what is playing while you enjoy,” says Coty, the owner of GOOD TASTE Records.

Hey Mr. DJ, put a record on!

No matter your vinyl collection size or your musical preference, how to display vinyl records in your apartment entirely relies on your own specific tastes. May these apartment-friendly decor tips help you create new music memories!