These Are the 21 Best Storage Bins to Buy, According to Pros

updated Feb 8, 2021
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Staying organized takes strategy. And a big part of that strategy is investing in the right storage bin.

For example, a lazy Susan organizer for the pantry is a totally different caliber than a zippered bin for seasonal clothes. The right storage bin depends on the space and objects you’re attempting to keep tidy, but no matter which ones you use, don’t just consider them as another empty spot to toss rogue cords or extra linens. They can be an integral part of your home’s organization strategy and, in some cases, it’s aesthetic.

Need a storage bin, but not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered. Here are the best organizing bins at every price (starting at free!), according to professional organizers.

The Best Storage Bins at Every Price

The Best Free Storage Bins

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Cereal boxes

Michelle Vig, owner of Neat Little Nest and author of The Holistic Guide to Decluttering, suggests repurposing cereal boxes around your home. For example, cut one on the diagonal and you’ve got a magazine holder. Or, put three of the diagonal boxes on their side, tape them together, and you have a mail sorter. Or, cut the box down to 2.5 inches keeping the bottom intact and duct tape it together with other pieces and you’ve got drawer dividing inserts.

Credit: Christian Delbert/Shutterstock

Wine boxes

If you drink alcohol, hit up the wine or liquor store to see if you can grab a free box. Most have removable inserts, which you can keep, or take a cue from Shannon Krause, co-founder of Tidy Nest, who suggests transforming it into a basket by cutting off the flaps, wrapping it in twine, and adding a fabric liner. It’ll be the perfect size for shoes, linens, or small kids’ toys.

Credit: Sarah Crowley/Apartment Therapy

Shipping boxes

Tanisha Porter, owner of Natural Born Organizers, likes to reuse shipping boxes of all sizes throughout the home, adding adhesive wallpaper liners for a pop of personality. Just avoid using them in the kitchen because you’ll likely be storing consumables.

The Best Storage Bins Under $5

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Our projects editor is a fan of these super-simple bins. They’re made for storing (and easily transporting) bathroom toiletries, but you can use them anywhere from your pantry to your bedroom closet. They come in two sizes and colors.

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Janelle Cohen, founder of Straighten Up By Janelle, swears by these sleek and sturdy IKEA boxes for organizing clients’ pantries, kitchen cabinets, under-sink storage, playrooms, and closets. “The high-gloss white makes them appear far more expensive than their modest price tag,” she says. The bin is also available in a few different sizes so you can customize your storage.

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The Container Store

Another pick from Cohen: these simple shoe boxes from The Container Store. “I use them under bathroom sinks, playrooms, for accessories in closets, and as drawer dividers,” she says. Not only are the boxes inexpensive and versatile; they’re also clear with a clear lid so nothing can get lost or hidden.

The Best Storage Bins Under $15

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The Container Store

These inexpensive multipurpose bins are exactly as their name suggests: they're great for so many purposes! Sue Duval, founder of Organized Hive, reaches for these bins to store everything, including papers and folders in an office, unwieldy water bottles in a kitchen cabinet, beauty products or cleaning products under a sink, and grab-and-go snacks in the pantry.

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Whether or not you have a cube shelf, a sturdy fabric cube always looks really clean and streamlined — even if it's hiding a ton inside. “I love using them in playrooms in cube organizers, but they are also great in all sorts of closets,” Cohen says.

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Linda Chu, founder of Out of Chaos, is a fan of these felt storage bins that collapse for easy storage when they’re not in use. Thanks to the handles, they’re also easy for little hands or adults to move from place to place!

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Home Depot

A stylish bin has its place and time, but for sturdier, waterproof storage, it’s best to choose a sealable bin like this one. Porter especially appreciates the ability to use a lock, as well as the inset area in the lid that ensures a secure stack.

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Porter also likes this woven storage basket, which is easy to label with a tag and has offers a great solution for deep cabinets or drawers. “Key for making sure your precious items don’t get lost in the black hole,” she says.

The Best Storage Bins Under $30

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Open Spaces

If you have the budget for something more aesthetic, our lifestyle director loves these Open Spaces bins. They're perfect for containing snacks in the pantry or toiletries in a bathroom or linen closet. Choose between two neutral colors, and add on some lids if you'd like, too.

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The Container Store

Baskets are a nice way to elevate your storage, but the interior can be difficult to clean. Nip that problem in the bud with a versatile, easy-to-wipe-down basket. If the inner lining gets dirty, just toss it in the wash. “It’s a great size for most shelves and holds a significant amount. Worth every single penny!” says Cohen.

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Jen Breitegan, founder of Organizenvy, swears by these clear, handled organizers for pantry shelves, under the sink, or in the fridge. “I use a clear-handled bin in my own pantry to group like items that are used together, like common baking ingredients, oils and vinegars, or my ‘popcorn station’ with bags, seasonings, and a scoop,” she says. “What I love most: these bins can easily be labeled, quickly grabbed off the shelf (and replaced), and minimize mess from spills or leaks. Organizing perfection!”

The Best Storage Bins Under $50

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This modern Yamazaki basket (which has near perfect ratings on Amazon) is one of Krause’s go-to products. It’s simple, so it’ll go with almost any aesthetic, and it’s easy to transport thanks to its handles. “While this product works in almost any space, we specifically love this basket for pantries, which in general have the most volume of items,” she says.

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Pottery Barn

What’s better than a storage bin that also happens to be super cute? According to Porter, nothing! “Although they show this box in a bathroom setting, I would use it on any shelf,” she says. “Can you imagine using it to store your office or craft supplies on your bookshelf? Classy!”

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Crate & Barrel

According to Porter, these stackable bins from Crate & Barrel are strong, sturdy, and classic. They’re technically meant for kids’ spaces, but you can add them to any space you want to double down on storage with a pop of color. The bins come in a handful of hues to complement any space.

The Best Organizing Bins Over $50

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Design Within Reach

This Design Within Reach basket, which is made from recycled PET bottles, isn’t exactly easy on the wallet, but it’s certainly easy on the eyes, so you won’t want to hide it in a closet. Sandberg loves it for storing anything from linens and clothes to kids’ toys. It comes in multiple sizes and colors.

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West Elm

West Elm's beautiful, natural wood baskets, which come in several sizes and colors, are perfect for gathering throw blankets in the living room, giving soft toys a home in the playroom, or even acting as design-forward laundry baskets. “Their soft material won’t damage surfaces, the handles make carrying convenient, and they're made here in the USA,” Duval says. “A beautiful, functional, worthy splurge!”

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NEAT Method

For a more structured storage bin, look no further than this cane basket from Neat Method, crafted with an acacia wood frame and light rattan panels. The bottom is covered with thin felt, so it won’t scratch surfaces. “The cane basket is a perfect splurge piece. It’s just as beautiful as it is functional,” Cohen says. “Perfect for a high-traffic space that needs a show-stopper storage piece.”

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Serena & Lily

Not only is Serena & Lily's La Jolla basket a winner in our inaugural Organization Awards, Krause also likes the lidded basket for storing anything you might want to conceal, like laundry, stuffed animals, or extra blankets. “The lids are essential to making everything look tidy and the recycled plastic wrapping around the coils make it extra sturdy,” she says. For a more cohesive look, Krause suggests grouping the three different basket sizes together.