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And Yet Another Key Principle In Organizing: Contain Your Items
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And Yet Another Key Principle In Organizing: Contain Your Items

by Vanessa Hayes

in Around the House,Organizing,Quick Tip Videos

I’ve done a couple of videos for you featuring my favorite organizing principles to help you organize your space. They were: Sort Like With Like and Assign A Home. Here is the last of the featured principles of organizing…Contain Your Items.  You’ll be amazed at how containing your like items in one space can significantly reduce your clutter.  My favorite?  Using containers within containers.  Think: drawer = container….box in drawer to hold socks = container within a container…sweet!!!!!  It really is a beautiful thing.  Check it out…you’ll see what I mean ;o)



{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Marcy December 15, 2011 at 3:00 AM

Hello, where can I find the plastic containers? I live in Arizona.


Vanessa Hayes January 4, 2012 at 4:17 PM

Sorry for the late reply, but you can find those plastic containers at the Container Store. They come in 3-4 different sizes and are absolutely great under sinks, vanities and in the pantry or bathroom closets.

Amy April 22, 2012 at 12:24 AM

My Husband and I are trying to get organized. Our biggest problem has been trying to find affordable containers to put our stuff in. The closest Ikea is about 200 miles away, and it just doesn’t seem practical to buy the containers from places like Walmart and Target (where the prices are around $5 for one small box and increase with the size of the boxes). Do you have any recommendations that are more appealing to the eye than the cardboard boxes that we are using now (we’ve been living here for 6 months and it looks like we haven’t even unpacked yet)?

Vanessa Hayes April 30, 2012 at 5:05 PM


I actually do a lot of my shopping for clients at WalMart, Target, Lowes, Home Depot and the Container Store. These stores also have online stores…you just have to be careful of shipping and handling fees. If I can’t find what I need at any of those stores I jump right online and check Amazon. I love amazon and have found lots of great organizing products there.

As far as my recommendations for containers more appealing than cardboard….well, I would go back to the basics of organizing: Sort out what you have, get rid of what you don’t need, take inventory of the items you are keeping then measure your space to determine what size containers will fit in your space. For example, measure the height, width and depth of your kitchen cabinets, pantry shelves and closet shelves to make sure you get the right containers to fit your spaces. Count how many clothes you’ll be hanging in your closet and get the right number of hangers for them. The last thing you want to do is buy containers and other products first, only to discover they don’t fit your space and you’ll have to waste time returning/exchanging them.

And one last bit of advice, if you are feeling overwhelmed….just work on one small space at a time…the pantry, the master closet, the bathroom cabinets, etc. Don’t try to get it all done at once because you might run the risk of feeling overwhelmed to the point of being paralyzed to take any action at all. Best of luck to you!!!

daynelis suarez June 11, 2012 at 9:34 PM

hi Vanessa.. i dont have a pantry, only cabinets..can you give me some ideas of how to maximise my space

Vanessa Hayes June 13, 2012 at 9:49 AM

The best tip I can give you is to contain your items on your shelves. What I mean by that it to simply sort your items first into “like” / “similar” categories: spices, snacks, oils and vinegars, baking goods, sauces and condiments, soups, canned veggies, canned fruit, rice, pasta, etc. Then get containers to fit them in like small square or rectangular bins that fit on your shelves. You can also use turntables to put your spices or oils and vinegars on to make it easier to get these items without things falling over. You can install a pull-out drawer for your canned goods so you can easily grab what you need without having to re-arrange and mess up all of your cans. There are “stacker” bins which are open baskets that stack on top of one another so you can grab what you need while taking advantage of vertical space. “Sliders” are another great product to use in lower cabinets that are usually made up of two drawers for you to slide items in and out easily. If you are using a closet as a pantry you can use an over-the-door shoes organizer on the door to put various food items in. Hopefully these are helpful tips…you can also check out some of my various blog articles and videos that showcase some of these products. Thanks!!!

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