How to organize: Don’t buy that container!

Simply put, having containers to store items in does not make you more organized. Before you go out and purchase more containers, set some “ground rules” for:

  • What goes in and what does not
  • What gets purged, and how often
  • What type of container is needed
  • Where the container is stored

What goes in and what does not? Thinking about the container as a place for specific types of items will guide you in making the decision. If it is not related, it doesn’t belong in the container. You will also want to consider why you are keeping the item. That includes whether or not you will use it and if it is in good condition. If it’s paperwork, ask yourself why do you need to keep it, can you find the information elsewhere if you need it?

What gets purged, and how often? Before you transfer a pile of “stuff” into a container go through the items and let go of what you no longer need. Discard, donate, sell, or keep. Only store what you know you will need and use. That will help you determine the type and size of container you will need.

What type of container do I need? There are more choices than ever…clear, colored, patterned, plastic, fabric, basket, metal, lidded or open, yikes! If the container is going to be in an area where you and visitors will see it, you may want to consider the aesthetics. If the container is stored in an area where it isn’t often seen aesthetics is less important. Do you want to spend time labeling containers? Clear containers allow you to see what is inside without the need to label. My advice is to use or re-purpose containers that you already have before you go out to purchase new ones.

Where do I keep this container? Rather than spend time and energy retrieving, lifting, or reaching for the container you want to consider several things. How often will you need the items in the container? Where will you use the items that are stored? Who else will need access to the contents? Will I need to grab it in an emergency, if so, how heavy or large is the container?

You can see that there is some decision-making to be done before you go out and buy those pretty containers. In fact, you may need less than you imagined if you work through this process. Remember, you can work with an Organizer to help you through the process. It may be more cost effective!

clear storage bins

Wait before you purchase!