While this isn't the most difficult thing to declutter (that is definitely sentimental clutter!), bins and containers are undoubtedly the sneakiest type of clutter! The sheer number of them can grow without you even realizing it. These are ironically the very products that are supposed to keep you organized and uncluttered! If you want to see how I declutter my bins and containers, keep reading, or check out the video here!
1. Gather ALL Your Bins in One Place
This is the the top tip of pro organizers. It's easy to think you don't have a problem when your empty bins are all scattered here and there throughout the house. Two or three in a room don't really mean much, but when you put them all together in one place, you can really see if you have an issue!
2. Get Rid of One-Offs and Non-Matching Bins
Do you just have one of something random? Or do you have a few that don't match at all? Toss or donate these. It's really hard to do a cohesive organizing project when you only have one or two of the same bin. When is the last time you only needed one of something when you're organizing into categories? If it's on it's own, or you can't buy more like it, then it really needs to go.
3. Keep the Default Bins
I always think it's good to have a default bin in three cateories:
- Large Bins– These would be your big tubs that you store clothing or holiday decor in. These are usually the largest we have, and you should find one that you really like, and keep them all the same. This makes stacking them up sooooo much easier!
- Medium Multi-Purpose Bin–These are mid-sized, and they can be open bins if you like that. My own default bin in this category is the Multi-Purpose Bin from The Container Store. I use it everywhere in my home, and it's great for so many different needs. I even did a whole video here about my love for the Multi-Purpose Bins!
- Drawer Organizers– I like to have the same drawer organizers because then I can easily move stuff around from one place to another if needs change. It really cuts down on wasted money by having to go out and buy a whole new set of drawer organizers every time I want to change something.
4. Get Rid of Any You Just Don't Like
Bins are kind of like clothes in this sense. Sometimes you just don't like them! It could be that they don't slide right, or they're the wrong height, or the holes let things slip out. Whatever the reason, just like clothing, if you don't like it, you won't use it, no matter how silly the reason seems! In this case, donate them and stick to your default bin styles.
5. Don't Keep Just Because You Got a Good Deal
For anything we own, the money has already been spent. Whether you keep something or not, you will not recover that money. You should base any decision to keep or not on the item itself, no matter the price tag. No one knows what you paid for it, so the “deal” really doesn't matter once you bring it home.
6. Don't Keep Just Because It's Pretty
Coming from someone who has a soft spot for organizing items and an admitted bin addiction, there are sooooo many pretty bins out there! We can't keep them all! If it's in a closet, shoved in a corner, does it matter how pretty it is?
I'm all about making organizing pretty and keeping the inside of your closets beautiful (to YOU!). But just because it's pretty isn't a good enough reason to keep it. Are you using it? Is it functional as well as beautiful?
Also, I always think an organizing project looks the best when the bins match….so if you have a bunch of different “pretty” bins, but none of them match, how does the end result look to you?
7. What if You Might Need it Someday???
Spoiler– this is the #1 reason people keep ALL kinds of clutter! Here's why I try to let it go if this is the only reason I want to keep it:
- Can you even find it if you do need it? I have a storage room stocked with bins that I use for my business. I can't tell you how many times I've repurchased a bin because I couldn't find it…and then I stumbled across four empty ones a few weeks later. If you can't find it when you need it, you'll just repurchase it anyway!
- Can you easily repurchase it? If it's easy to find and relatively cheap, it's better to let it go. I might need my Dollar Tree bins again sometime for a video, but for $1.25 each, I am definitely not going to store them just-in-case! I will happily shell out $2.50 for two more bins in the future if the need comes up.
Remember that the real estate and storage space in your home is valuable, and it takes time to manage your clutter! Time is valuable too. If something is easily replaced, you don't need to have so much anxiety about letting it go!
I have so many bins because I'm always testing out organizing products for you guys. I really try to use them so I can give you an in-depth review. Over the years I've come up with the BEST products for keeping myself organized. You can click here if you want to check out our Best Products Guide!
Organization that actually sticks for busy, happy lives