My Number One Organizing Secret! (and 25+ Ideas for Using Bins and Baskets in YOUR Home!)

It’s no secret that I love to organize. It’s something I honestly could do every single day. I love the feeling of taking on a room, closet, drawer (whatever!) and emptying it out item by item and then slowly and methodically putting everything back together in a logical and functional manner. In my very own home (and in every friends’, clients’, or family members’ home that I’ve worked in), I time and time again rely on one tried and true organizing secret: put it, whatever it is, in its own designated bin, basket or container.

As I look around my house, it’s almost alarming how many bins, baskets and containers we own. But the reason I keep scooping these organizing essentials up is because they work. They work for adults and kids; they work for everything from office supplies to tools; and they work in every single room of the house. Today, we’re going room by room, and I’m going to show you over 25 ways (eeeek!) I use baskets and bins to keep our house tidy!

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This post is mostly filled with a ton of pictures and links. But before I get to all the organizing goodness, I wanted to chat about why I love using bins and baskets so much and why they work so well!

  • Variety – You can buy bins/baskets in almost any finish, size and style that you can think of. With sufficient research, you can find the perfect container for any shelf, nook, cubby or spot in your home! Always keep shelf/cubby measurements in your purse, you never know when you might stumble upon the perfect-fitting solution!
  • Versatile – Almost anything can be tossed into a container. From small things such as craft supplies to legos, to big things like shoes and toy trucks…bins are something that can be moved from room to room and used in endless ways.
  • User friendly – Anyone can throw things into a basket…even my 4 year old. Some sort of label system ensures the right things end up in the right bins!
  • Increase usable space – Large open shelves and/or cabinets not only look cluttered and disorderly when books, toys, cleaning supplies etc are just piled up, but it’s difficult to use up all the space you have if things are falling all over the place. Using baskets, even on open shelving, allows you to use up every inch there is. You’ll increase how much you can store in a particular space and make everything look much more tidy if you just throw it all in baskets.
  • Simple clean up – I like a tidy home…it’s just who I am. But I don’t like to spend forever cleaning up. With designated bins and baskets for most loose items in our house, not only does everything have a home, but putting everything away takes minutes. You better bet that inside all of our bins and baskets is controlled chaos, but at least like things are corralled and easy to find!
  • Reduce bulk – I get rid of bulky or flimsy packaging whenever I can. Cardboard food boxes, game boxes, craft supply packaging…it all gets thrown out and the items get loaded into permanent, designated containers. Especially with food, this allows our cereals/chips and other snacks to stay fresh, and it makes finding whatever I need a cinch. Getting rid of cardboard packaging keeps things looking less cluttered and makes more room for storing everything you need!
  • A place for junk! Not everything that comes into your home will have a perfect and logical home. There are just some things that need to get stuffed somewhere just to get it off the kitchen table. We have designated junk baskets and drawers in various spots throughout the home. If we can’t find what we’re looking for, chances are high it was tucked into one of our junk landing zones!

Okay – you ready to see all the different ways we use bins and baskets in our home? Because there are so many ideas here, I tried to keep the words to a minimum (for all of our sakes!) Follow the links under each picture to find more details for each of these systems! And…yep, every single of one these images if from our home – and I actually didn’t include every single basket system we’ve employed. Not sure if I’m proud or embarrassed 😉 #justcallmeabasketjunkie



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Command Center Storage (here and here)

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Remote controls in a decorative box

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Movies in open totes with paper dividers


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Video game supplies in decorative boxes

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Mini toys in wooden boxes


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Large toys in canvas bins


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Mini cars and planes in a metal breadbox

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Tiny toys in fabric sacks

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Trains and track in a rolling drawer

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Extra toys and seasonal gear in canvas totes


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Linens, toiletries and first aid supplies in plastic baskets

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Tupperware, kid cups and spices in plastic baskets


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Utensils in open jars


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Herbs, cut veggies and kid snacks in the refrigerator caddies

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Dry goods in lock-tight clear containers

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Cleaning supplies and rags in decorative boxes under the sink

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Gift bags, sewing machine supplies, yarn and more in plastic baskets on open shelves


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Small craft supplies and notions in lidded plastic boxes


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Paper scraps in flat, locking plastic boxes

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Glitter and tape in decorative glass canisters

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Toiletries and hygiene products in clear, stackable bins


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Toilet paper and lotions/potions in wires baskets and trays

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Frequently used soaps and cleaners in a countertop caddy

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Extra cleaning supplies, paper products, lightbulbs etc tucked into numbered bins on high shelving

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Paints, solvents, top-coats, garden supplies, car supplies in plastic crates


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Outdoor toys in a large, washable, durable plastic bin

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Diapers, wipes, hygiene supplies, socks and shoes in mini, labeled totes

Phew! I’m exhausted! I could actually keep going – there’s a few good ones I didn’t get to…like the countertop box we use to catch coupons and receipts…a basket right inside the door for Henry to put all his shoes in as he walks in the door….the plastic shoe boxes I use to organize my shoes in my closet…the snap-tight boxes we use for all our snacks and cereals! My husband says I’ve never met a basket I didn’t like – I think I’m starting to see why he teases me!

So…are you a basket/bin/container user? If you are, I’d love to hear your favorite bin/basket uses. If  you’re not, I hope I gave you 25+ reasons for giving them a try and/or 25+ ideas for using them more effectively! I promise, they are worth the investment and will make your home a tidier place indeed!

I am wrapping up a really fun project that I’m super excited about. I hope to have the reveal for you up on here on Friday. If you’re curious, you can always check Instagram for sneak peeks!

See you soon!


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7 Responses to My Number One Organizing Secret! (and 25+ Ideas for Using Bins and Baskets in YOUR Home!)

  1. I loved seeing all your organizing bins! I too am a basket case. (You see what I did there?) Anyway, my house isn't nearly as organized as I would like, but I'm getting there. I took our "junk cabinet" that was a danger to open and in about 20 minutes with 5 Rubbermaid bins, I was able to get it all under control. I would even go visit my newly organized cabinet a couple of times a day just to bask in its loveliness. Thanks for sharing all your tips, and I can't wait to sew up some see-thru fabric sacks of my very own.

  2. You are so right with this one, baskets/bins are the best way to organize! I must admit that I´m a basket-lover too :). I try to search for non plastic ones, because I like natural elements. I just hope we would have a better selection here in Finland.

    Thanks for sharing

  3. Great organisation! I wish I could say I am as organised but I can’t… I hope to be one day, if only I could get my darling husband to put things back in there place. Instead he likes to “keep things handy”. Great inspiration, thanks. Where did you get you fabric sacks for tiny toys? I could use a few of those!

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