The Best Storage Bins at Every Price Point (Starting at Free!)

updated Feb 8, 2021
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Staying organized takes strategy. But a big part of that strategy is investing in the right organizing solution — which all depends on which space and what objects you’re attempting to keep tidy.  For example, an organizing bin you buy for the pantry will be a totally different caliber than, say, a bin you plan to pack with seasonal clothes and stick in the basement or garage. Either way, whatever you buy, remember your bins aren’t just an empty spot to toss rogue cords or extra kitchen gadgets. Organizing bins 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 point, according to professional organizers.

The Best Storage Bins at Every Price Point:

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 for home organizing. For example, cut one on the diagonal and you’ve got a magazine holder. Put three of the diagonal boxes on their side and 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

After your next liquor store haul, save your wine box. Shannon Krause, co-founder of Tidy Nest, 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 these repurposed organizers in the kitchen because you’ll be storing consumables.

The Best Storage Bins Under $5

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Everybody has papers and documents to store, but not everybody has a file cabinet. This Staples file box is Porter’s secret weapon for sorting and categorizing while decluttering and storing paper documents when a client doesn’t have an actual cabinet. “I’ve even draped them in fabric to create a designer look,” she says.

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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 for anything from your pantry to your bedroom closet. They come in two sizes and two colors, clear and black.

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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. As a bonus, the box is also available in a coordinating smaller size for just $2.79.

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The Container Store

Another pick from Cohen: these simple-but-functional shoe boxes with lids. “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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Jen Breitegan, founder of Organizenvy, swears by these clear, handled organizers for pantry shelves, beneath 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!”

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The Container Store

These inexpensive multipurpose bins are exactly as their name suggests: 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 bin is a great way to store clutter in a way that coordinates with your home’s aesthetic. “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 neutral, felt fabric storage bins that collapse for easy storage when they’re not in use. Thanks to their handles, they’re also easy for little hands or adults to move from place to place!

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It may technically be a recycling bin, but don’t let that stop you from using it to tame clutter. Porter puts these simple, sturdy boxes to work in her clients’ pantries, laundry rooms, bedroom closets, and offices.

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Home Depot

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

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Porter also likes this storage tote, which is easy to label with a tag and has perfect dimensions for shelves with a bit of depth. “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 feel like splurging on something more aesthetic, our lifestyle director loves these Open Spaces bins – perfect for containing snacks in the pantry or toiletries in a bathroom or linen closet. Choose between two neutral colors, and add wooden lids for $12 a pop.

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The Container Store
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Baskets are a nice way to elevate your storage, but they can also 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.

The Best Storage Bins Under $50

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This modern, functional YAMAKAZI 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 dual 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 bin with a lid that also happens to be aesthetically on-point? 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 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 three hues: navy, mint, and silver.

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 three sizes and several different colors.

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West Elm

These beautiful, natural wood baskets, which come in several sizes and colors, are perfect for gathering up 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 are made here in the USA,” Duval says. “A beautiful, functional, worthy splurge!”

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NEAT Method

For a more structured storage bin option, look no further than this cane basket, crafted with an acacia wood frame and visually light raftan panels. It’s covered in a thin felt bottom, so it won’t scratch or mar 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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The Basket Room

Hand-crafted by artisans in Ghana, this pink basket is the perfect way to sort accessories, toys, toiletries, or office supplies. “The bright colors are a refreshing change to the standard neutrals we see in stores,” Krause says.

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Serena & Lily

It’s rare for a storage bin with a lid to look this elegant. Krause likes the La Jolla 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 basket sizes together.