My FAVORITE Organizing Product | Multi-Purpose Bins
If you could only have ONE organizing product, what would it be?
This question may sound impossible to answer, especially if you’re like me and slightly obsessed with organization hacks. But what if I told you I had an answer?
I’ve been saying for years that if I was only allowed one organizing product, my answer would be the multi-purpose bins from the Container Store, hands down. If you haven’t heard me talk about them before, multi-purpose bins are plastic storage boxes that come in a couple different sizes to fit any of your organization needs.
I use these little bins everywhere – the pantry, under my sink, my office, the craft closet, you name it! In fact, check out the video below to hear how I rave about these little bins!
Seriously, I can’t stop talking about these bins! I’ve mentioned them in so many blog posts that I don’t know how I’ve managed to go this long without writing one all about them! So let’s get to it!
The best thing about these bins? There is one for everything! They come in a couple different sizes so that you can organize anything.
Multi-purpose bins come in 4 sizes – small, medium, large, and extra large. The small, medium, and large bins are all the same dimensions in terms of height and depth, but the width changes according to the size. Each size is roughly an inch wider than the previous size. As for the extra large bin, it is significantly wider and deeper than the other bins.
When I originally got my bins I thought the extra large bin sizing difference was a disadvantage. However, I’ve since learned that the extra large bins are longer so that they can hold hanging files, standard 8 ½ x 11 paper, and, my favorite, they can fit poly envelopes for easy paper organization!
If you’re like me and want all your bins to line up perfectly, I cheat this size difference by either turning my extra large bin sideways or lining the bins up so the side facing the front is even along the shelf. Either of those solutions is a great way to make sure the bins look flawless even when mixing and matching sizes!
As you may know if you’ve pursued the aisles of the Container Store, some of the items can get a little pricey – but not these bins! How great is it that my favorite product is also one of the most affordable?! The multi-purpose bins range from $4-7.00, depending on the size.
And you know I am all for a good bargain! There are many other products out there that will get the job done without breaking your wallet. But some products are just worth the investment and, honestly, the multi-purpose bins are worth every penny. Sometimes it’s good to find a cheap alternative, but some times the best thing you can do is invest in your organization! If you’d like to know more about items I’m all for using the cheaper option, check out my blog post where I dive into the differences between Dollar Tree and Container Store products! (The multi purpose bins are second on that list and, spoiler alert, they are definitely worth the investment!)
- Handles: The bins all have handles on the ends for easy bin access. And, since the bins are all the same height, they all line up!
- Fits Any Room: No matter what color scheme or decorating style, there’s a place for the multi-purpose bins! Since they’re colorless, they’re a great addition to any room.
- Sturdy and Flexible: The plastic the bins are made from is extremely sturdy, yet flexible. These bins won't break from an accidental drop which is a plus for any household with kids. And the flexibility is a real game changer. If you’re trying to put the bin on a shelf and you need just a smidge more room, the flexibility of the bins makes it so that you can make it work!
- Versatile: My family uses the multi-purpose bins all over the place, so I figured I’d leave you a list of places I’ve used multi-purpose bins to get your brain thinking of how you could use them in your own home!
- Office shelves
- Laundry room
- Linen closet
- Pantry (here's a little tip: the medium size bin fits a canned good almost perfectly!)
- Narrow bottom: Most bins you see narrow a little at the bottom. This is so that the bins can nest perfectly inside of each other for easy storage and shipping. Depending on what you want to use the bins for, this can be perfect! But it is definitely frustrating to me to think about the shelf space I’m losing.
- Not easy to label: The surface that is smooth and good for labeling is pretty small on the multi-purpose bins. I have found some pretty creative work-arounds such as using double sided vinyl or attaching labels to the bins in other creative ways, but it’s not as easy to label as I would like.
- Price tag stickers: Unfortunately, almost every item you buy may have annoying stickers that don’t come off easily. These are no exception. While the stickers are not completely terrible to take off, they’re also not as easy as I would like. (The sticker will also have the size information so you know what bin you’re purchasing so I guess it’s a small price to pay for how great these bins are!)
- Price: While the price isn’t a deal breaker or outrageous, it can cost a pretty penny if you’re going to use a lot of bins.
For me, the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to the multi-purpose bins! I can’t stress enough just how I could (and do!) use them in just about every room in my house. These bins are functional, versatile, and pretty. Nothing beats something that is organized AND pretty! If you have an organizational product you simply can’t get enough of, share them in comments. Who knows, maybe there’s a product out there I’ll love even more than the multi-purpose bins! ?
I love these bins too! We use them for kids coloring books, hanging files, and in the pantry.
Thanks for all the great info! I agree with you about price stickers and labels – they are so awful to get off. My DIL gifted (just about everyone she knows – LOL) with 2 great devices for easily removing labels and stickers. No more Goo Gone, hair dryers, or a ruined manicure. Here’s the link – https://www.amazon.com/Scotty-Peelers-Label-Sticker-Remover/dp/B0068QIQVA/ref=sr_1_7?dchild=1&keywords=label+scraper&qid=1601577831&sr=8-7
They are really amazing. The metal blade is sharp, so I use it carefully and on things I can’t scratch up. The plastic tool has worked on starting the corner of easy to remove labels and removing ones that are really glued on.
Thanks again for your great organizing ideas.
Joy Dollar Says
Laura. I would be interested in the containers(white) that are on your shelves behind you in the video. I like the organization of them and how they are stacked. Could you possibly do a video on them and how you used them? Thank you so much for all you have done to help us organize! I haven’t watched the videos yet but I’ve received my planner, the add on and the cheat sheets, so I’m hoping to really get started with that. I was already de-cluttering(a huge job) but had to stop due to health issues right now…but I’m anxious to get back to it and watch the videos to help me do a better job of that.
Tasha Whitsitt SaysPost author
Check out our Blog Post on How I Organize my Office Shelves. https://www.iheartplanners.com/organize/ That should answer most of uour questions.
Laura Odelius Says
Thank you for pointing me toward affordable bins at Container Store! I love their quality, but the options can be overwhelming. I like the real world photos—helps me visualize how to use them. I’ll share my favorite Container Store find: the White Stackable Laundry Basket with Grey Handles. Handles fold in and line up with slots on the bottom of the basket for stacking; they also fold out for nesting when empty. And they hold exactly one load for my front-loader, so no overstuffing the machine or leftover dirty items.
Amy Crane Says
For crafters, these are perfect for storing 12 x 12 paper vertically. I keep my printed paper in a 12 x 12 hanging file system, but my 12 x 12 solid card stock and 12 x 12 paper pads are in these bins on a shelf in my studio. I recommend the small or medium to keep the weight manageable.