When it comes to upgrading your life for a new year, getting rid of household clutter is a great place to start. Unfortunately, doing that isn't exactly cheap: While companies like the Container Store and Ikea offer hundreds of products to help you put your life in order, their price tags can pack a wallop.
However, it doesn't have to be so costly. If you're looking to face 2013 on a stronger financial and organizational footing, these five products are hard to beat for value.
1. Google Calendar
You may be aware that Google offers a host of free programs that can help you do everything from picture editing to word processing. But when it comes to getting your life in order, it's hard to beat Google Calendar. On the surface, it's a pretty standard personal calendar, but it easily syncs up with your smartphone, which means you can check your agenda -- and add to it -- almost anywhere.
2. Pocket Calendar
If an electronic calendar isn't for you, why not try an old fashioned paper one? Basic weekly planning calendars, like this simple one from Muji, only cost a few dollars, and can be easily tucked into a purse or backpack. In addition to giving you a place to organize your daily events, they also make a handy spot for jotting your thoughts.
3. Pocket Shredder
Along with all the information you want to hold on to, there's certainly some you'll want to dispose of, and safely. Identity theft is a serious threat, which makes getting rid of your bills and other personal correspondence more of a chore. If old mail is crowding the corners of your home, you may want to try Muji's hand-cranked paper shredder. While it's not quite as easy to use as an electric shredder, the $11 price tag is hard to beat.
4. Staples Essentials Value Pack
If you're having trouble organizing your bills and assorted other papers, you may want to check out Staples' Essentials Value Pack. For $4, it has a collection of paper clips, binder clips, rubber bands, and push pins -- all the essentials that you need to get a handle on your unwieldy paperwork. And with an easy to carry plastic case, it fits nicely into a backpack, school desk, locker, or anywhere else where you may find yourself in need of a little quick organizational help.
5. Label Maker
If you've ever found yourself searching through dozens of boxes or files in search of some vital item, you may already know that, when it comes to organizing your life, few things are more useful than a label maker. Dymo's Express label maker costs only $9 and can vastly simplify your life.
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Bruce Watson is a senior features writer for DailyFinance. You can reach him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.