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  • Writer's pictureLisa Y

Don’t buy the bins and baskets…

Don't buy the bins and baskets...Yet!

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good basket or organizing bin. But most times they are being used incorrectly.

Most times people buy them to accommodate the excess of the belongings they have. Bins and baskets do not solve that problem, they can actually make it worse. The bins and baskets will give you the illusion that you have more space when in reality you do not. You still need space to accommodate the bins and baskets. I mean where else are you going to put them? On the floor? Please don’t do that!

The real issue is that you have too much stuff. The solution to the problem is to downsize your belongings, and to only keep what fits in your space.

Let’s use books as an example. If you have a bookcase full of books, and more books that won’t fit on the shelves, then buying bins doesn’t really give you more space. The only thing you have accomplished is moved the pile of books or hidden them. With all due respect, what was the purpose of that? You have replaced the pile of books with a bin of books. Now you can’t see the books, and you will probably forget all about them, and never look at them again.

You should have simply gotten rid of them.

You’re probably mad at me now. But it’s the truth. Pick your most loved books that will fit and donate the rest. Choose the shoes you wear the most often and donate the rest. The same goes for pretty much anything! Even in a pantry. Have you purchased multiples of things just because it was a good deal? Well, congrats on the deal, but now what are you going to do with all the extras? Just buy what you will use before your next shopping trip. And what if it's something you just don't eat a lot of? It's going to sit in the pantry forever. Gain some space, and take your extras to the local food pantry. And if you have a small pantry, then you shouldn't be buying a lot of extras just in case you run out.

When you buy more bins and baskets or shelves you have to consider where it’s going to live. Will that extra shoe rack fit in your closet? If not, don’t buy it. Will that extra bookcase make living in your space more difficult? If so, then don’t buy it. Remember, above all else, you still need to LIVE in your house. Your organizing systems shouldn’t make living in the home more difficult, it should make it easier.

To truly get organized, you first need to make sure all the items you love, and want, and use will actually fit in your space. Only when you have completed that step can you consider buying the bins and baskets. The purpose of the bins and baskets is to contain all like items so you know exactly where to find your items when you need them, with minimal effort.

Lastly, remember that anytime you buy something new, it needs to be able to fit in its home. If it doesn’t, you need to decide if you really should buy it, or if one of the older ones can leave to make room for the new one. That’s the “one in, one out” rule. Always abide by that rule! Otherwise, you will end up living in a storage unit where you can hardly move around, and can't find anything!

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