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Organize by Corralling Items with Containers

09/11/15 | Dana LaRieal Morales

"Only touch things one time"...I'm sure you have heard this saying several times.  Every time I hear it, I shake my head because it isn't realistic in my house and I feel at times it can be really inefficient. Take for example when I am in the kitchen cleaning or organizing.  I am focused on the room I'm in, not on taking items upstairs. I believe in organizing with containers and I'm going to explain just how I do it.

Use Containers to Batch Items

I typically coral items in a container and keep it moving.  I do this with too little clothes in my daughter's room too.  For anyone with a young child, you know you can blink and the same pair of shorts she/he had on the week before are now too snug to even pull up.  

In our house, they are quickly and efficiently tossed into the "too little" bin until we have a full container and can address the clothes in batches. I'm all about efficiency and there is something about only touching something once that just irritates my being lol.  So, one way I like to "Batch" items throughout my home is by using containers (baskets mostly), to help corral items that belong together or in another room.  

This helps cut down on the disorganized and cluttered piles that can appear seemingly out of nowhere.  I have a few in my home, but the one I use more than any other is my upstairs/downstairs basket.

Efficiency of an Upstairs/Downstairs Container

We only have one container for organizing that lives downstairs, but I have known people to have one at the top and bottom of their stairs. This container serves multiple purposes 

(1) it keeps you from making multiple trips up and down the stairs; 

(2) it makes the trip a little safer as you are carrying a container of items and not trying to balance individual items as you navigate the stairs; 

(3) it allows you to not waste a trip, by multi-tasking the trip you are already taking up the stairs.

The Kitchen - Organizing with Containers

Now those of you who have followed THB for a while know that I am pro-decontainerizing, but many times, I am decontainerizing into a container.  Sounds counterintuitive doesn't it lol.  Well, remember, when you decontainerize you are removing the items from their original packaging to make more room.  

A lot of prepackaged items are 1/4 - 1/3 filled with air. I use containers to corral similar items like snacks and drink packets.  I also use acrylic containers to hold sugar, flour, pasta grains, coffee and more.  You will see that many of the containers you use, reduce the footprint in your pantry.  I encourage you to think of ways you can use containers to batch your tasks throughout your home.

You can always jump over to Instagram or Pinterest to get ideas too. Just remember not to regurgitate someone else's system but to find tools that are helpful for the processes and systems you need in your own environment.