When and Where to Buy Storage Containers for Your Systems

This is the third article in this Sustainable Systems series.  For the first article, You’ll Never Be Organized Unless You Can Create Systems, click here.  For the second article, How to Create Systems, click here.

Before You Buy Storage Containers

It’s imperative that you completely de-clutter the following items from your room before you create your systems:

  1. everything you no longer use
  2. everything you no longer need
  3. everything you no longer love
  4. everything that doesn’t serve your future success

Color wicker boxes on cabinet shelvesOnce all you no longer need is released from your space, you can take yourself through the 4-step process of creating systems for each room, described in detail in my last blog post here.

Where to Find Good Storage Containers

Once you know what your systems will be, it’s time to decide if you’ll need storage containers as part of that system.

Some clients like to spend money on lovely baskets and bins.  If that’s you, try:

How to Create Great, Inexpensive Storage Containers

Here are some of my favorite tips on how to create good storage, for less:

  • For spices: use turntables to organize them, alphabetically.
  • For vitamins: use a shoebox to corral your vitamin bottles inside the cupboard; just pull the box down once a week and fill old pill bottles or snack baggies (which can be reused) with your daily dose.
  • For makeup brushes and mascara: use a short, heavy plastic cup to store them (vertically) in the medicine cabinet.
  • For jewelry: use flatware trays to store jewelry in a drawer; if it’s deep enough, stack one on top of another and use the bottom one for rarely-used seasonal jewelry.
  • Use square or rectangular plastic laundry bins to store out of season clothing on the top shelf in your closet—unless it gets very dusty, in which case you’ll want to invest in plastic bins with lids.
  • To corral like items (such as grooming supplies, keys, pet items, toys), on counters, dressers, or floors: find fabric, rattan, or leather boxes or bins that look nice with your decor.
  • Shoeboxes (minus the lid) can be used in drawers to corral socks, undies, t-shirts.

Storage Systems Tip

When you use storage containers in your systems, you want to ensure that the container itself isn’t slowing down your system.  You want to minimize the number of steps it takes to retrieve an item and put it away after use.

So, here’s a tip for your storage containers: if it’s inside a cupboard, closet or drawer (and thus protected from dust), ask yourself if you can toss the lid (or just keep it underneath the box/bin).  Taking that lid off each time you reach for the item is going to add another step and slow down your system.

Stay tuned…. next week, I’m going to share tips on how to make your systems empowering and sustainable.

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