5 Secrets of Containment

A gentleman I worked with said, "I never understood the whole container thing ... Aisles and aisles of containers in Target. I used to think 'Who buys this stuff, anyway?' But now it's me! Now, I get it!"

I don't love containment just because I'm an organizer and I'm supposed to love containers.

Containment is like magic. Give me one great Sterilite bin and I become giddy. Why? Because these are some of the benefits provided by good containment:

  • Immediate recognition - When using clear containers or a color system, you know exactly what category is housed at a glance. The red containers in my attic hold our Christmas decorations. The containers with blue lids hold my keepsakes.

  • Categories - When you adopt the one-category-per-container approach, it is easy to remember that this container holds the extension cords, and this bin holds all the Legos.

  • Mobility - Imagine cleaning under the bathroom sink. When all the products are in a container, you move the container, clean the surface, replace the container. If you decided the products need to live in a new location, grab the bin instead of moving twelve individual bottles of shampoo and lotion.

  • Mess prevention - Any chemicals, oils, or goo live best in containment. If floor cleaner, olive oil, or shampoo manage to ooze their way out of their bottle, the bin holds the mess. Now you only have to clean the inside of a container, not everything that lived below the leak.

  • Vertical storage - Use containers with lids so you can take full advantage of stacking categories. Much of a home's storage space is wasted due to poor use of vertical space.

  • Bonus (yeah, I know said 5 advantages...) IT LOOKS GREAT!

Containment doesn't have to be plastic to perform well. I use open bins, metal bins, Rubbermaid, woven grass baskets, bottoms of cereal boxes, fabric-lined baskets, bamboo trays, glass jars, duffle bags, Sterilite containers and bins, glass jars, pillow cases, old suitcases ... containment can be made of just about anything.

What is your favorite form of containment?

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