3 Reasons To Think Outside the Box {or Bin or Container…}

The first thing you should do when you want to get organized is go shopping for containers, right? WRONG!!
If you begin with this step, you are definitely not alone. However, it is most certainly one of the least effective methods for beginning an organizing project.

1. Most of the time you simply purchase large opaque tubs available in just about any store. I guess the urge is to be able to dump your stuff into the big bin, throw on the lid and you instantly feel better because you don’t have to look at the clutter anymore. OK, sounds good in theory. But it certainly isn’t organized and many people often still FEEL cluttered and chaotic even though the stuff is contained.

  1. Until you know the quantity, volume and dimensions of the stuff you need to contain you are unlikely to purchase the right size or type of container.

  2. They often compound the challenge because not only did they not solve your problem, now you have to find a place to store them and you will often spend more time digging through them trying to find what you need. And, you’re more convinced that you can’t get organized.

Bonus tip about using large plastic tubs: They are useful for larger items in places like the basement, garage or attic. They are great for seasonal supplies and decorations- as long as you separate smaller items in their own smaller container inside. Make sure to store like with like, dumping lots of stuff is just containing not organizing. Avoid purchasing opaque containers, clear containers will improve the storage and retrieval process. And, finally, (I’m sure you are sick of hearing me say this) don’t forget to label clearly!!

How often do you start organizing by going shopping? Have you been successful doing so? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

2 Responses to 3 Reasons To Think Outside the Box {or Bin or Container…}

  1. I have a shed behind my house, and I have one rule for storage: Only plastic bins with tight lids (no cardboard boxes)! So my boyfriend, wanting to comply with my storage facility rules, went shopping for big bins. He bought ugly gray and green opaque ones. That was about three years ago. Most of the clutter that needed to be organized is still sitting in the cardboard boxes in my garage, taking up valuable gardening tools space.

    Next time, I will not let him go shopping. Instead, I will park my recycling bin and a straight chair (no cushion) next to his stack of boxes, and say, “Reduce, recycle, re-pack.” And I’ll add, “Be sure to clearly label your bins.” For good measure, I’ll make him create a list and print a copy to put inside the bin also.

    This weekend seems like a perfect “Next time.”

    • Hi Beth,
      Have you been able to make any progress with the shed? You may want to check out Days 18-20, specifically steps 4 & 5 here which may help with the empty, sort & shed (letting go not storage shed ;) steps. Let me know if you have any questions!

      Happy Organizing!

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