Contain Clutter – Here’s How (and why)

Here’s how I do my best to corral and contain clutter…

Last night I cooked dinner, the best part is I actually used one of the many recipes I’ve clipped and tossed in a shoebox! The side dish was roasted veggies and they were yummy. Who would have thought I’d want a cozy dish in the beginning of April – but it was only 25 degrees last night!

So I made dinner from a clipped recipe which called from marinating the veggies. I pulled my marinade basket off the shelf in the fridge and one of the marinades had leaked. The sticky goo was contained to the basket- which was super easy to wash!

baskets handle (1)









The reason I’m telling you all about my dinner preparations is so I can share just how much I heart containers – because they make my life a whole easier.

Really they do.

Sure you’ve probably heard you should store things in baskets, bins or boxes. But have you ever stopped to think about why?

I’ll share the reasons why I do it:

  1. It is easy to put things away. The item has a designated storage spot and all you, or anyone else has to do is put it in the container.
  2. The items are contained. No more tipping over, getting lost on the back of the shelf, slipping behind, rolling off, or otherwise generally getting lost. And should something spill in the container the spill is, hopefully, also contained.
  3. Stuff is portable and easy to access. Should you choose to you can grab the container and take the items with you where you want to use them.
  4. Groups like items together. This is key, you’ll have all of a kind thing in one place.
  5. At a glance you can see how many of what you have on hand.
  6. When you pull out the container it is sort of like your own version of a very custom, very expensive, sliding shelf.

And my favorite reason for using bins, baskets, boxes and containers of almost any kind is this:

  1. I have a pre-set limit.

I limit myself to only what can fit inside the container. I can usually stick to this – but (shhh…) I have been known to move things to a bigger container just so I can keep more stuff.

For example, I had three shoe boxes of clipped but mostly never prepared recipes. I pared down to one box and I don’t miss any of the ones I tossed. In fact, I often think I can find even more to let go of – without regret.

I had bottles and jars of marinades in different spots and shelves in the fridge. When I needed one I’d have hunt for it. Plus, if one leaked the sticky drip would travel and I’d have to clean multiple shelves. Now they are all in a basket which I can pull out to find what I need. I can bring them all out to the counter or even to the BBQ grill and if one spills I simply clean the basket.

baskets handle (4)

baskets handle (5)









I did the same thing with the baking supplies. I can grab a basket and have everything I need to decorate the cake in one place.

And I used to have to open one bathroom drawer for the hair dryer. Another drawer for the brush and reach for the tube of hair cream from a shelf. Now it is all in one basket, I simply drop it in when I’m finished using it – which is why whenever possible I skip the lid. Lids are just one more barrier to getting organized.

baskets handle (2) baskets handle (3)

The possibilities for where and how to use containers is endless, here are a few of my favorites:

  • Entryway (receipts, everyday essentials like employee ID, dog leash, summer/winter gear)
  • Borrowed basket (for checked out items to be returned to the library)
  • Under the sinks (kitchen, bathroom)
  • Kitchen (fridge for sandwich making items, marinades, freezer for frozen bags of veggies, pantry with baking items or spices)
  • Closets (linen closet with extra personal care items like shampoos and soap, clothes closet for socks)
  • Office/Home Office (blank greeting cards, extra office supplies, ink cartridges, pens)
  • Craft area (all of a one type of craft kit or supply)
  • Cleaning (house /spring cleaning, car care, pet grooming)

Check around your home to see what types of containers you already own that you can put to good use. And click here if you are looking for the white basket with a handle that I use.

The key is to group like with like and store it where you use it. Containers can help us do that!

Not sure what to contain?

As you go through your day notice what you are always reaching for in multiple spots to get everything you need together and in one place. Maybe you need a travel coffee cup in the same container and the coffee making supplies.

As you go through your day notice what you have too many of then give yourself a limit – like one container. Keep only what you can fit inside.

As you go through your day notice what is ways tipping over, difficult to find or annoying to put away. These might be things that are better stored in a container.

So you know I have to ask – what clutter will you contain today?

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