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Creating Space with Storage Bins; Decluttering and Organizing

Updated on January 22, 2012

"Honey, where are my socks?"

If you are one of many that believe in the dryer sock monster, I have a simple solution that millions already use. It is efficient, inexpensive, and will help create much-needed space. It will also help organize highly-trafficked areas that need it most...

Storage bins! Yes, a box made of fabric or plastic. I told you that it is simple! Single storage bins are typically under $10, even for larger ones. If you are particularly crafty, making your own can easily cut that cost in half.

His and Hers undies bins! (Notice that there is still space on that shelf?)
His and Hers undies bins! (Notice that there is still space on that shelf?) | Source
Socks and more socks!
Socks and more socks! | Source

Mom Bins!

As a busy mother (or roommate), we often find ourselves following others around the house, picking up after them. No more! Put a "mom bin" somewhere handy (but out of view for visitors) so that when you (or anyone else) find something lying around, but do not have time to find it's proper place, throw it in the bin. Come back to the bin every so often and carry it with you as you tidy up. Or, assign someone to the bin daily or weekly, as a way to help around the house! (Thank you, Cagsil & Sholland10, for the brilliant idea!)

How I Created Space and Reorganized

I needed more space. Who knew that having clothes to spare could be such a burden? I decided to go through closets and narrow down a more appropriate and accurate wardrobe (of who I am now). I used one of my decluttering mottos, "If you haven't used it (worn it) in the past year, you don't need it." I donated bags and bags of clothes, scarves, gloves, hats, belts, purses, and shoes. I thought to myself, "If I lose the weight needed to be able to fit into those pants, I would have to buy a shirt to match," and "Realistically, when will I ever wear that again?" Be honest with yourself. Could someone else get more use of it?

It was time, then, to organize. Previously, I had hung almost all of my shirts in the closet, which left little room for dresses and sweaters. I had to do this because my drawers were full of undies, tanks, and socks. I made the decision to take back reign of my drawers, and kicked out the aforementioned necessities. (enter storage bins here)

I used two large-sized open top storage bins for undies - one "his" and one "hers". I used another of the same size for socks (if you have an abundance of socks, try doing the his and her thing with them, too - or bins for different types/colors of socks). By doing so, I cleared up space in my drawers for normal, every day shirts, which then created space in the closet for sweaters and coats.

Going a step further, I decided to use storage bins (aka storage boxes) in the bathroom. I stockpile. Meaning, I buy in bulk when items are on sale and I have coupons. That way, I save money, and have what I need when I need it. For excess products in the bathroom, I store them in bins. Razors, shaving cream, soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotions, and more fit easily into storage bins. By using bins for those things, I keep room on shelves and in drawers for things currently in use.

I also use storage bins as a way to keep blankets, sheets, and pillow cases organized while securing space in the closet for towels and other (less bulky) items. I hide them under the bed! Storage bins come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including long, rectangular ones for storing items easily under the bed. Hideaway bins could be used for seasonal clothes, books or magazines, holiday decorations, excess purses, or just about anything else!

I highly suggest that if you are looking for a simple way to organize clutter and create space, to try storage bins. They can be purchased at any home improvement or major retail store, like Target and Walmart, and may even be available at your local dollar store!

Uses for Storage Bins

Storage bins can be used for a variety of reasons and in a variety of settings, such as for:

  • toys in the kids' rooms
  • toiletries in the bathroom
  • office supplies
  • purses, scarves, hats, gloves, etc.
  • pictures and small keepsakes
  • camera equipment
  • art supplies
  • nail polishes
  • perfumes and lotions
  • pet leashes, toys, and treats
  • recipes
  • books
  • hair accessories
  • belts
  • ties
  • small electronics
  • cords
  • light bulbs
  • cleaning supplies

Pet food in a storage bin.
Pet food in a storage bin. | Source
Ferret supplies in a storage box... easily accessible.
Ferret supplies in a storage box... easily accessible. | Source

Using stacked bins in childrens' rooms seems to work well. With three little boys in the house, they each get their own row of bins. They have to keep their bins organized. Not only does it make it easier for cleaning up after playtime, but gives each of them their own space. Plus, it helps to foster responsibility.

I also use bins for pet food and supplies, as suggested in the list above. By keeping food in a sealed, air-tight container, food stays fresher longer, and is less likely to attract any unwanted pests. Keeping toys, leashes, and extra pet-related items in a box creates space and keeps things organized in a place that is easily accessible.

Whatever the use, storage bins can help declutter a space and organize belongings easily and inexpensively.


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    • Tams R profile image

      Tams R 5 years ago from Missouri

      I think you did well. I was seeking options for my clutter and someone suggested bins, baskets and pretty boxes to me and my life functions so much better now. Throwing away old clothes is scary for me tho. I always fear I'll want it when it's gone. But you made me consider it again, so who knows. Good hub!

    • VeronicaFarkas profile image

      Veronica Roberts 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

      I understand! Gaining weight after a surgery last year made it much easier. lol Still, we work hard for what we have, and letting go of even an old rarely-worn shirt is difficult.

      Thank you for your comment! =]

    • carol3san profile image

      Carolyn Sands 5 years ago from Hollywood Florida

      Hi Veronica, nice hub. You didn't fall flat on your face at all. I think you gave a lot of good info. Thanks a bunch. Voted up.

    • sholland10 profile image

      Susan Holland 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Veronica, this is great! I use storage bins for our pet food, hair scrunchies and bows, and wash clothes. Funny I should read this hub today. I TRIED to clean out my closet, but I kept thinking, "No, I'll wear that..." Uh huh. I need a push when it comes to that type of cleaning out. After reading your hub, I need to go back in and try it again and buy a storage bin for under the bed. :-)

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • profile image

      Arlene V. Poma 5 years ago

      I use storage bins, and I'm getting good at being ruthless when it comes to things I don't use, want or need. I envy those people in the magazines who live like "minimalists." The storage bins that work for me are the clear ones. Makes it even easier to find and grab what I need. Voted up and everything else. Don't wait until you retire when it comes to what you have. Retirement is meant for the fun stuff--not purging your garage and closets.

    • Cagsil profile image

      Cagsil 5 years ago from USA or America

      Hey Veronica, awesome hub and extremely well written. Nice and organized. :P LOL! :) I have bins all over my apartment and it most certainly does help and saves a bunch of space. Now, if I could only get my mother to put things back where they go. LOL! (j/k) Sometimes she is absent-minded and forgets to put things away, so I'll end up doing it. Great Hub! :) Voted up and awesome! :)

    • VeronicaFarkas profile image

      Veronica Roberts 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Carol - Thank you for taking the time to read the hub, for the vote, and THANK YOU for the reassurance!! =]

      Sholland - I cannot believe that I forgot to mention that! I have storage bins under my bed, too! I have two of them full of blankets, sheets, and pillow cases. Wash cloths is another great one. I hadn't thought of that. I may need to get back in the bathroom while you get back in that closet!! hehe =] Thank you for the votes!

      Arlene - Hello! It's been a while! I need to stop by to visit your hubs! =] That's very good advice. I strive to simplify, but I have a long way to go!! I'm taking baby steps. lol Thank you so much for stopping by! =]

      Cagsil - Welcome back! ;) Maybe you need a "mom bin" where she can put stuff when she forgets where it goes!! That'll make it easier for you, too! LOL Thanks for the comment & votes!

    • sholland10 profile image

      Susan Holland 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Veronica, I'm out of the closet... LOL Go back and edit your hub and add the bins under the bed. They are important because they are big and can be hid well under the bed. :D

      Ray, I need a MOM BIN!! I wonder if they come in 20'X20' sizes. LOL Veronica, add a capsule about MOM BINs... LOL

    • VeronicaFarkas profile image

      Veronica Roberts 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Great idea! I didn't want to steal your thunder. =] I'm on it!

    • sholland10 profile image

      Susan Holland 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Yay, I am glad you liked the idea, and I am happy to help! :-)

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Super hub, Veronica! I love tips on organization with 4 kids and a dog and cat. :) We have used storage bins in our garage, but could definitely tackle our laundry room, kids rooms and pantry with some bin re-organization. Excellent and rated up - Best, Steph

    • VeronicaFarkas profile image

      Veronica Roberts 5 years ago from Ohio, USA


      I've been meaning to stop by and read a few more of your hubs. You always have such great ideas and information! Thank you for the reminder! lol =]

      Thank you for your comment and votes!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Veronica....My favorite thing to do...Really! I love de-cluttering and organizing. This is a GOOD thing, because in 46 years of Home-owning & maintaining...I have YET to run out of things to DE-CLUTTER AND ORGANIZE....OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER...I believe there is no end until I arrive at that TOTALLY ORGANIZED CASTLE IN THE SKY!!!!!!!!!! LOL

    • VeronicaFarkas profile image

      Veronica Roberts 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

      46 years? I think there may be a typo there. You couldn't possibly have owned a home for that long! Aren't you in your thirties? ;)

      Oh, it is very true that it's a never ending thing. It gets easier and more fun, though, right??

      Thanks for stopping by to comment!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Oh, you cute little sweetie. I love you. Yes, I liked being in my thirties so much, I did it again!! My 1st born son is 44, Veronica. I "sound" young in my hubs...because I refuse to grow up!! lmao

    • VeronicaFarkas profile image

      Veronica Roberts 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

      You do! You must be such a fun Gram!!! =D Who wants to grow up, anyway!? lol =]

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      I think my grandchildren find me "funny" but I'm afraid to ask how they mean that!! ...I don't know who wants to "grow up"....I refuse to hang with Grown-ups!! hahahah

    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 5 years ago from UK

      Lots of very useful ideas here Veronica. We also have storage containers under the beds (I hesitate to call them bins as in the UK bins are where we store our trash!) We’ve even used the under-bed bins for storing kids’ toys. I love your idea of the ‘mom bin’ and think that could be one to adopt - our house is littered with things waiting to go somewhere else!

      Thanks for the hub.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      I feel totally inspired to go out and get some storage bins of my own, now! I really am getting sick of the clutter that's collecting in my apartment. Thanks for getting me thinking!

    • VeronicaFarkas profile image

      Veronica Roberts 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Thank you, Melovy! I do not blame you for not referring to them as "bins"! I honestly did not know that! I appreciate you still reading this, especially since the title is "Creating Space with Storage Bins"! LOL =] Thank your for your comment!

      Simone - I remember the days of apartment living (well, it was only a few years ago lol). Organization and space are vital in an apartment! Good luck, and thank you for taking the time to read the hub and comment! =]

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Very well thought out hub Veronica! I admit, I am a "bin girl" and I don't mean UK trash, ha! Not just for the organization part of it all, but for keeping things clean. Most of my bins have lids, even the garbage ones :)

    • VeronicaFarkas profile image

      Veronica Roberts 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Thanks, Sharyn!

      I use lids when I'm not in & out of the bins often, or when I need to more properly preserve something. It's great advice!

      LOL I am happy for your neighbors that you use a lid on your garbage bin! hehe Possums and raccoons are no fun! ;)

      Thanks for your comment!!

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 5 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      This is great Veronica, I too love the idea of storage containers. I use then big and small.

      Votes Up.

    • VeronicaFarkas profile image

      Veronica Roberts 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Thank you, Curiad! Yes, storage bins/containers are great! Thank you for your comment, vote, and for stopping by! =]

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 5 years ago from Canada

      Veronica, this hub is very timely for me! Just today, I finally found a place to put all of the extra blankets we have laying around our bedroom. I had been bemoaning the fact that we have no closet for said blankets but today, I just decided to put all the extra blankets and pillows in two storage bins and store them downstairs.

      Great hub with some great ideas!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      Great ideas, very useful. Storage bins are very useful to store many small items.The eternal search for socks will be over!!

    • VeronicaFarkas profile image

      Veronica Roberts 4 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Prairieprincess, I am so glad that you found this helpful! I have been using storage bins more than ever lately. I just moved last week and am expecting a baby (with 3 step sons already). They are life savers! =] Thank you for your comment!

      Vellur, Thank you very much! Oh yes, socks are in a storage bin! It is much easier, as I can toss them in after folding, and can easily see them when I need a pair! =]

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