Sticker shock when you go looking for supplies to organize your life is a real thing. Planners are EXPENSIVE. Sticky notes, labels, label-makers, even pens can set you back pretty far. And the bins and baskets to put everything in? Fuhgetaboutit.
I discovered the cheapest and best bin for almost all of your organizing needs several years ago, when we moved into our current house. This bin comes in different colors, is sturdy, and is the right size for most of the things you want to organize.
It is — tada! — your common, everyday dishpan.
You can’t beat the price of these puppies. Especially when you compare them to the “official” organizing bins in the storage section of the store. So you can buy BUNCHES of these and not even feel guilty about it.
The plastic is STURDY. So they can take a lickin’ and keep on… well, storing stuff.
The size is PERFECT for throwing papers into. Bills. Homeschool work that needs to be graded. Household receipts or manuals or records that need to be filed eventually. Chuck it all into a dishpan until you can get to it.
They also will take folding files. Use them for organizing all of your paperwork. They work great with my own paper filing system. (Although you won’t see them in the post about it, because I had already purchased the expensive kind of bin before I discovered how well a dishpan would have filled that need. Sigh.)
Totally the right size for that Lego collection. Or the Knex. Or the Thomas stuff. Or doll clothes. Or the beanie baby collection (although I might be dating myself with that one. Do kids still have those?) Use one for each type of toy and put them on shelves in the bedroom or playroom.
Their one downfall is that they don’t stack. But you know what? Stacking is overrated. All it does is make the stuff in the stacked-on bins harder to get out and put away. Shelves, with each bin free to be pulled off and put back on, is the much better/easier way to go. We already talked about that on Day 5, so check it out if you haven’t read that one yet.
LAUNDRY. Oh my, yes. Use them in the laundry room to fold clothes into. Again, the absolutely perfect size for those folded tee shirts. Each person gets a bin. More on that here: How to do Laundry.
Lids for your pots and pans.
Plastic container storage.
Onions and/or potatoes in the pantry.
Hairdryer/curling iron/straightener under the bathroom sink.
SO MANY POSSIBLE USES.
AND SO WONDERFULLY CHEAP.
Do they make your house look like a magazine with the color coordinated, stylish storage baskets that we all drool over? Of course not. Can you afford those things anyway? NOPE. So your house won’t look like the magazine regardless. And if you hold off until you can afford the beautiful bins, you’ll live in disorganization and mayhem. Don’t ask me how I know. :-)
Head to the kitchen section of your local store and buy 2-3 dishpans and bring them home. Trust me when I say that you will find wonderful uses for them, and then you’ll be back at the store buying more.
The dishpan. It’s not just for dishes any more.