My Strange Organizing Tip
I have a very strange organizing habit: I keep totally empty bins on my shelves!
Want to find out why? Click the video below to learn more:
Yes, it’s true, I keep totally empty bins on my shelves. Not only that, I even label some of my bins as “empty”!
When it comes to organizing there are two key components. The first is setting up all the systems and finding a home for each item. The second is keeping up with the system on a day to day basis, and the truth is that that second piece is much harder than the first.
But, having some empty bins worked into your space actually helps tremendously with keeping up with your newly organized space.
You see, it’s very rare to have a situation where nothing new ever comes in. I mean, even if you have a bin for post it notes, what if there’s a sale and you buy more than fit into your one bin? Or what if you take up a new craft and need to purchase some new supplies?
Having empty bins mean you have room to grow when new items come in.
Personally, I like to label my empty bins primarily for aesthetic reasons. I just think that all the containers being labeled looks better than having some that are missing labels. The other thing is that it can be helpful to make the conscious decision that, “Yes. This is an empty bin.” It’s not missing something. It’s not waiting for me to go out and buy something. I’ve purposefully kept it empty for the time being.
When you have extra space and empty bins it can be a temptation to just keep bringing more stuff into your space and to stop editing and pairing down what you have. After all – if it all fits, why get rid of any of it!? But I want to caution you against keeping things just because you technically can. Make sure you’re only holding onto things that you actually use and that bring you joy.
And here’s one last bonus tip: in addition to having empty bins, I also have a lot of “inbox” bins in my house. These bins are a place for me to put new things that are coming into the space before I’ve decided where their official home is. Sometimes I don’t have time to put all my purchases away right away, and that inbox bin makes a great halfway house for me to store items until I have a few minutes to get them totally put away.
Well, now that you’ve learned my strange organizing trick, do you think you’d like to give it a try? Next time you organize a space, leave yourself room to grow and see if that helps you to maintain the space for longer!
Carol Comer Says
Thank you for this neat tip. I am putting together a craft room and am looking for tips like this.
Claire Fanger Says
This is a fabulous tip!! I often do exactly what you said, in terms of there is a sale, and I get more than the bin for the item I have can hold, and then I have a dilemma!! Thanks for the tip!! And having multiple “In-Boxes” throughout the house is also a terrific idea that would make my house a great deal neater!! Why didn’t I think of that. It would then be so easy to just pick up the items from one In-Box, deal with it, then go to the next, deal with those items, etc.
I tend to lay items in specific places in my Dining Room, Bedroom, Office, my Addition, etc. as I am going through cleaning, or organizing, and this will be a more efficient way to manage items because I usually have a cleaning basket, so can’t handle the items as well. Thanks, as usual for your great tips. I thoroughly enjoy your 3 Things you are loving, as well as your tips.
Since I began to keep empty space when I tidy a place, I see how that tip is great! It works so well for me too.
I love the inbox bin concept. Currently, I have more or less a dump zone near the front door, which isn’t often clean. I’ll give the inbox bin a try as soon as I find a nice container to do this job. Thank you!
I like the idea of the inbox bins. Can you talk more about those?
This is brilliant!! Totally the key that I have been missing. I love what you do and the helpful tips you provide. Keep it up! You are amazing! Thank you!
Heather Earle Says
This makes total sense to me.
Stacey Posey Says
Oh my! I LOVE this idea ❤❤❤❤❤ Why have I never thought of that???!! This will be incredibly helpful. Thanks for the tip.
What a wonderful idea! I have invented something called a “bus stop” in an area at the front of my barn and also in front of my front and sliding glass doors. The bus stop is where something sits waiting to take a trip home (to where it belongs}! It is also a place where my help know there will be a note or a gift or something they needed… and vice versa. Today, my helpers (they rent free in exchange for helping me on the farm) placed a bag of cucumbers, squash and tomatoes at the bus stop! I found it when I went to put the chickens up at night. People think we are weird when we say “the hoof rasp is in the bus stop,” but we all know exactly where that is!