My Favorite Bins & Baskets for Organizing Everything In Your Home
It is really no secret around here that my number one strategy for keeping our home picked up and organized is baskets. In fact, Greg would probably say I’ve never met a basket I didn’t like. And while we definitely have our share of storage bins and baskets around our home, there are certain ones I find myself reaching for time and time again. If you’ve gotten on the basket bandwagon but don’t have the time or energy to shop around for just the right ones, I’ve got you covered! Today, I’m sharing my all-time favorite bins and baskets for organizing…these are the ones we use in home after home after home!
Why Use Baskets for Organizing
As I outline here (Why Baskets Are My #1 Storage Solution), baskets are most certainly one of my tried-and-true organization methods. And while I list a lot of reasons in that post, the main one for me is how quickly and easily they make a space look tidy.
These days, (almost) anything can fit into a basket. So instead of clutter sitting out on open shelves, shoved into unreachable corners, or even strewn across the floor, baskets quickly corral items into one tidy place that is both easy to pull out and put away!
What Makes a Good Storage Basket?
There is no shortage of good-quality, versatile bins and baskets on the market these days. In fact, they are now available at almost every home store, in any style, and at every price point.
There are certainly plenty to choose from, but not every basket out there is a good investment. So whether I’m shopping for the living room, bathroom, nursery, laundry room, basement, or closet organization, here are my own personal criteria for finding “good” baskets for organizing.
- It should hold what you need it to. If your collection for a particular basket is too small, you are taking up more space than is necessary. And if your collection is too big for the basket, you’re potentially creating a bigger, messier problem. Your basket size should perfectly match the size of what’s going inside it.
- It should nicely fit where you are going to place it. Similar to the point above, if the basket is too small for a particular spot, you’re wasting more space than you’re saving. But if it’s too tight for said spot, it will be too difficult to get in and out (which means you’ll be reticent to do so). The basket should be able to come out and go back with ease.
- It should be easy to use. If a bin or basket has a lid, layers, latch or other mechanism that makes it too difficult to open and close, then you likely won’t use it. The goal here is easy storage; so eliminate any and all barriers to actually using the bin.
- It should be easy to clean and maintain. By their nature, bins and baskets get tugged in, out, up, down, and around…so they need to be able to withstand all that pushing, pulling, and lifting. Even more so, baskets in kid spaces need to be extra durable since they often double as stools, chairs, cars, or boats (whether you want them to or not!)
- And finally, it should be reasonably priced and easy to replace. Nothing drives me crazier than needing just one or two more baskets that are no longer available. Although I’m a sucker for a great accent basket, if I’m shopping for a basket “collection,” I always pick something that has been around long-term, so I can easily buy more as needed.
Whether you come across plastic baskets or leather baskets, metal baskets or wicker baskets, round baskets or cube baskets, if they meet these criteria, you should have good success using them to organize your home!
Why I Primarily Buy White & Clear Bins
Years ago, when I first got into organizing, I scooped up a bunch of baskets in that year’s colors: turquoise and lime green. My space looked so bright, fun, and fresh! But then we moved, and I had to re-imagine everything. Sure enough, I didn’t have enough baskets for new open spaces; but the seasonal colors had changed, and I could no longer get more.
After going through this one too many times, I decided to stop buying baskets in trendy colors (as much as I love them!) and now primarily buy white and clear bins and baskets for organizing our home.
By committing to one or two neutral, common, and widely-available colors (e.g., white, black, grey, navy, tan, clear), I save myself a lot of money, time, and headaches because:
- No matter the trends, white baskets are always available, making it easy to add to existing collections no matter how many years have passed.
- White and clear usually match across brands/stores. So even if your original baskets are no longer available, you can likely find similar versions that work with your existing collection.
- Having all one color makes it easy to mix-and-match, which can create visually interesting spaces.
- Having a single color basket throughout your home visually ties everything together, providing continuity from room to room.
- When you have all the same style and/or color basket, it’s easy to move them throughout the home as rooms evolve or needs change.
- A lack of color actually gives a place for the eyes to rest. Provide color and patterns in other ways and allow neutral baskets to create visual space.
My Very Favorite Bins & Baskets for Organizing Your Home
The 8 collections of baskets I describe below are what I consider the best bins and baskets for organizing, fitting all the criteria outlined above: good-sized, sturdy, attractive, useful, easy-to-find, budget-friendly, and available in neutral colors. As you’ll soon see, I use them over and over and over! Read on to find out exactly why I love each of them so much, and see the different ways I use them around our home(s)!
The IKEA DRONA bins are inserts made to fit the IKEA Kallax (and former Expedit) shelves perfectly. They are wide, deep, and tall, taking advantage of all the cubby’s depth and vertical space. They hold SO much stuff, including bulky toys, blankets, rolls of vinyl, yards of fabric, and more.
Although these bins are made out of sturdy cardboard covered in fabric, I’ve found they hold up pretty well to heavy items and a lot of wear-and-tear. They are an amazing price (starting at $5 each!), but are primarily available only at IKEA stores. Keep in mind, IKEA only carries certain colors (that rotate seasonally) so finding just the right shade for your space can be a little tricky. Spoiler: That’s why I switched to only buying white ones!
If you’ve been coming around here for any length of time, you know the y-weave baskets from Target are essentially my “signature style” because I use them in practically every room of the house.
These plastic baskets are sturdy, have easy-to-grab handles, and are easily cleanable. Their woven design is classic and stylish, and they are available year-round in a wide variety of colors and sizes (small, medium, and large sizes, with lots in between!) From toys and craft supplies to pantry items, toiletries, linens, and more…these are my absolute go-to baskets for organizing that I (still!) find myself buying over and over and over!
TIP! These baskets regularly go on sale around the New Year and Back-to-School time, so wait to stock up during these sales!
3. Book Bins
Although typically used to organize classrooms, these book bins come in handy for all sorts of items around the house such as snacks in the pantry, little toys in the playroom, books (obviously) on shelves, and craft supplies in an art room. My sister uses her book bins to store American Girl Doll shoes by color!
I found some in the Target Dollar Spot years ago, but have scooped up several matching sets since. Their slender and short size are ideal for tight spots such as pantry shelve, refrigerators, and cubbies; and I love how most have a dedicated space for labeling!
4. Clear Acrylic Bins
Clear acrylic bins are a versatile and stylish option for storing everything from foods and toiletries to cleaning items and craft supplies. Not only do they look great alone on shelves, but they can also be tucked into larger drawers to create customized compartments. I love the mDesign brand because they are super sturdy, very budget-friendly, and come in a very wide variety of sizes and styles.
Sterilite Snap-Lock boxes come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so you will easily be able to find the best ones for whatever you’re trying to store. We like to use the smaller ones to hold LEGO sets and the larger ones to keep craft supplies accessible and stackable. They are also great for holding puzzles, games, and small collections.
TIP! Although their size is great for toys, I don’t recommend them for the playroom. We learned the hard way that kids don’t like opening the lids. So either toys never get pulled out to be played with, or it’s a major chore getting kids to clean up!
When I went hunting for large, durable, wipeable, and CHEAP baskets for our garage, these were what I came home with. And much to my surprise, we keep finding great uses for them. My favorite thing about these crates (besides their size, cost, and dedicated spot for a label) is that their plastic design makes them easy to clean out. A quick spray down with the hose and 20 minutes in the sun and they are clean! We primarily use these out in the garage and in our workout spaces, but I also think they would work great for toys, sports equipment, camping gear, and other hardier items!
TIP! When flipped over, these crates serve double duty as child-size stools. We invested in an entire set just to use for Scout meetings at our home!
Shoe Box Size
I use small flip-top boxes to store almost all of my small craft supplies. From sewing notions and trims, to paints, glues, glitter, and punches, I have twenty of them inside my craft cabinets alone. I love that they stack and fit my shelves perfectly, but I mostly love that they are clear! I can easily look at the boxes and find just what I’m looking for, even if they aren’t labeled. Further, the flip-tops allow me to quickly and easily access items without having to empty the box. And since I don’t have to take the lid off, it doesn’t get lost or thrown out by accident.
We regularly use flip-top boxes for toys, snacks, hygiene items, our hair-cutting supplies (thank you COVID), and our DVD collection (well, what remains of it, that is!)
NOTE: I hesitated to add my beloved flip-top plastic boxes to this round-up because mine (the version you see in the pictures below) were bought overseas in Okinawa (at their version of the Dollar Store). While there 15+ years ago, I stocked up on nearly 30 of them and still use them all over our house. While you mostly likely won’t be able to get the exact same ones, these are similar.
In recent years, I can’t get enough of document-sized latching boxes to hold papers, gift wrap accessories, and other craft items that need “protection.” Both the 1.5″ deep and 3″ deep sizes fit on standard shelves but can hold anything from important papers, printer paper packs, scrapbook supplies, quilt blocks, and more!
Remember the tip above when I talked about matching the size of your item to the size of your container? Believe it or not, you might be surprised at how many things can get loaded into really small plastic latching boxes. I personally use them for cords, but they can also be used for bobby pins, hair ties, board game pieces, sets of crayons, or pretty much anything that gets tossed into your purse or gym bag!
I have been buying STORi plastic drawers, dividers, and other organizers for years, and I am constantly impressed by their quality and versatility. Their drawer dividers come in a myriad of sizes (meaning you can create an arrangement that works perfectly in your drawer) and are even stackable, which is great for deeper spaces. These acrylic drawers are an awesome way to carve out a ton of stackable storage in tight spaces, and are among my readers’ most favorites products. These products a great value for the quantity and can help create order in the smallest of spaces.
I do hope you find these links and ideas helpful as you carve out more storage in your home! Do you agree/disagree with any of the baskets on my list? Do you have some that you turn to over and over? I know I’ve made many of you avid y-weave basket lovers, but I’d also love to know what other great baskets for organizing you’ve found!