Establishing limits and boundaries with containers!

Oh how I love to containerize. Out of all the organizing steps this is by far my favorite! There is just something so rewarding about making more fit into a space by using a few carefully selected containers. To me it is similar to doing a puzzle trying to fit all the pieces together.

Containers do NOT need to cost much money, they can, but they don’t need to. You can find containers out there for ANY budget…believe me. My budget is on the low side (otherwise I would surely have this in my home by now) so my favorite place to shop for containers and baskets is the dollar store and the grocery store. Every once and awhile the grocery store will have dollar bins loaded with these types of plastic containers and baskets. When this happens, I stock up! Many of you will remember this picture….yes I have a container for my containers! I don’t mind the cheap plastic containers because I mostly use them in drawers, cupboards and closets so they don’t necessarily need to look nice they just need to be functional. Here is a picture of the various sizes of baskets I like to use regularly:

Each of them were a $1.00 or less!

There is a size here for any space I have…big or small. For spaces that are more visible and therefore part of my decor I will spend a little more money and buy something like wicker for instance. Canadian Tire usually has sets of three that go on sale quite often for about $9.99. Right now I am using a wicker basket to hold my most frequently listened to CD’s, I have one by the front door as my kids “catchall basket” and one in my office for my “papers to be filed” basket.

So what’s the big deal about containers?

Containers establish boundaries and limits.

They allow you to divide a space and contain “like with like” and consolidate beautifully enabling you to fit more into your space. Take my picture below. I have used four baskets to divide my pull out drawer. I have one for bottles, one for sippy cups, one for small bowls and one for even smaller type containers. I wouldn’t say that each basket is as tidy as I would like it but I have little helpers so as long as they are putting the stuff away into the right basket I’m happy.

If I didn’t use the baskets everything would be just thrown into one big jumbled mess and I’d never be able to find anything.

Once you have gone through your area and sorted your stuff into piles and purged anything you no longer love or is useful then you can move on to assessing your “keep” pile and your available space and see what you may need in order to maximize your space. Be creative. Look for unused nooks and crannys that could double as storage. For instance, it drives me crazy that there is so much wasted space above the top shelf in a closet. In our old house I had my husband add an additional shelf at the top of each of the closets, then with the use of some baskets I had storage for items I didn’t necessarily need daily access too. So often people think they don’t have enough room but with some realistic purging and a little creativity you will be surprised at the storage you can find.

Take a look at your space with fresh eyes and let me know what you discover!

Filed under: Containerizing, Organizational Challenge


41 Responses to Establishing limits and boundaries with containers!

  1. 1
    nana says

    i’m done with the challenge! i think hehe.

  2. 2
    Raven says

    I used these principles (containerizing and setting boundaries) to reorganize the plastic containers that had fully taken over half of my bottom cabinets. Reading your blog gave me the ‘aha!’ moment that got me through the mess. You can see pictures of the project at if you’re interested. Thank you for your wonderful blog, it’s helped me to break through some organizing problems.

  3. 3
    Twisted Cinderella says

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE containers! the more I have the more things I find to organize. I am now waiting patiently for money to get more containers. (well maybe not so patiently! LOL

  4. 4
    Annie says

    I totally agree with you. Containers are the BEST! It is how I keep my toiletries from falling out of the cupboard everytime and how I get my husband to put things back where they belong!!

  5. 5
    Jennifer says

    Seeing the picture of that drawer inspired me to get my bottle drawer cleaned up. Mine are as you described a big jumbled mess and I’m always digging through them looking for the right thing.

  6. 6
    Mayogi says

    I’m not doing too well with the challenge, due to the lazy carpenter who’s not doing his part, but I try to do as much as I can. At least I’ve got a closet now so tonight I’ll put the clothes back. I’ve posted a few photos of my progress and will post more over the coming days as I get rid of the clutter and get my home organized.

    BTW, love your post about containers! I will get more containers next time I go to Ceuta. I NEED to get hold of my home again!

  7. 7
    Mom Chatter says

    Thanks for pointing out ways to get CHEAP containers! If only plastic would look good on my bookshelves!! ;P

    This is a great post… containers rock!

  8. 8
    Hollie says

    I too have a bunch of these from Dollarama, they are the best and yes they help us to have limits!

  9. 9
    Julie K in Taiwan says

    I’m a frequent lurker on your blog and i love every part. I thought you might be interested in the ultimate container box, I’m trying to figure out how to get one shipped to Taiwan without costing an arm and a leg 😉

    I know you don’t scrapbook anymore, but hey, it has 83 removable canvas containers with label inserts that fold up for easy storage. *faints*

  10. 10
    AnneMarieZ says

    totally read my mind!! my SIL was just asking where this was! lol!

  11. 11
    TaderDoodles says

    I was gone with the girls for a week, and came back to a mess! (How much can one man do in a week! )

    I did pack up some stuff in the Craft Room, but focused yesterday on the kitchen. I’m going to the dump to get boxes and packing up a ton of stuff (pretending like I might move in the next year… so I’m getting the house ready to show) I’m really excited though, because now I have a pretty cabinet (that came from my kitchen) that I can use in the craft room, and take out the totally useless shelf I have in there. It’s slow, but it’s going.

  12. 12
    Kelly says

    Laura, this post is excellent. I am well on my way to learning all about the greatness of containers and how cheaply they can be bought. Thanks for sharing! Too bad I am too late for the challenge. Will have to catch you on the next go around.

  13. 13
    Samantha says

    I have had a love for boxes, baskets, buckets, and jars for years. I always bought them even when I had nothing to put in them. I always got mine at yard sales and thrift stores, I would rarley spend over a dollar for mine, and would always find some really great stuff. I was so relieved to find I could find a use for a lot of the ones I already have and I also have an excuse to buy more hehe.

  14. 14
    tanibe says

    Awesome! i have been trying to figure out a way to organize my deep drawers (we have lids, bowls, and more in them). Thanks for this idea!

  15. 15
    Angela says

    This blog is great! I am so glad I found it. What a neat and simple idea! Thank you for sharing.


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