As a Pro Organizer, This Is the One Product I Recommend More than Any Other

published Dec 3, 2023
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Credit: Sarita Relis Photography

As a professional organizer for the last six years, I’ve had the opportunity to organize hundreds of spaces of varying sizes, shapes, and levels of stuff inside them. I’ve also tried almost as many products to corral my clients’ things to keep them tidy and minimize visual clutter. And there’s one in particular that will always stand out as my favorite.

Because so many retailers have been getting into the home organization game, I’ve found myself relying less and less on The Container Store as my main source of supplies. However, they’re exactly who I go to for this product, as it’s sold exclusively there. The item I’m referring to is the plastic storage bins with handles. I know, plastic is totally taboo these days. But hear me out before dismissing the idea — especially if you’re looking to get organized on a budget.

The bins are made of polypropylene, a material that’s considered the safest and most environmentally conscious option among all other types of plastic. It’s free of BPA, meaning it doesn’t release toxins, and it’s fully recyclable. Plus, you can’t beat the price point.

There are currently four sizes available ranging from extra small at $2.99 a bin to large at $6.99 a bin. The Container Store also offers seven different colors to choose from, with white and light gray being my personal preference. I have dozens of them around my apartment being used for different purposes. 

Credit: Mary Cornetta

I lined a slew of large bins across the top shelf in my closet to store the stuff I don’t reach for regularly, such as off-season clothing and shapewear. Since they’re rectangular, they’re ideal for file-folding items like sweaters, and the handles make it easy to pull them down and put them back. A few sit on the shelf in my laundry closet to separate things like tools and Swiffer refills. And I stuck a couple of small bins towards the back of the cabinet under my kitchen sink for backstock cleaning supplies.

The reason I like these so much (in addition to how inexpensive they are) is because of their versatility. I’ve moved many times over the past few years and I’ve repurposed the same bins over and over each time. Their open tops make for a fuss-free way to reach what you need out of them, and spills are simple to clean up. So, go ahead and use them to sort your kid’s craft supplies or bottles of sticky syrups and honey in the pantry without worry.

One more way to use these bins? They’re great to have on hand when decluttering small items. Grab a handful and use them to sort toys in the playroom or toiletries in the bathroom. When you’re done, stack the bins in one another and tuck them out of the way until your next session.

Buy: Large Plastic Storage Bin with Handles White, $6.99