The 'bin system' made organizing my stuff more manageable – here is how it can change your home too

After years of creating clutter, my friend's 'bin system' finally helped me to get all my stuff in order

A range of storage baskets viewed from above
(Image credit: Unsplash)

When it comes to home organization, it can be a challenge to keep on top of all of my stuff. Items quickly accumulate where they shouldn't as I use something and put it down instead of putting it away for the sake of convenience. 

After repeatedly becoming overwhelmed by the sheer amount of clutter, I finally tried out my friend's home organization idea, affectionately called the 'bin system', and it revolutionized the way I tidy my home. Whereas previously the surfaces of my home were the subject of miscellaneously strewn items that seemed too awkward to tidy all at once, the bin system now helps to reduce stress and guilt about misplaced items around my house. 

This is how to use the bin system in your home, and how it can change your life for the better.

hallway. Crafted wooden bench with soft neutral throw and woven baskets.

(Image credit: DAVID BRITTAIN)

'While it doesn't get rid of your clutter completely, it makes it much easier to live with'

I find that getting rid of clutter completely is an almost impossible task in a regular home and, although I often aspire to have a show home, it is not possible when trying to live a regular life. 

'Have you tried putting storage bins in the most common drop-off areas?' my friend had asked me one day as she watched me struggle to carry five different items back upstairs to where they belonged. 'You can pop everything you have used in there and it makes tidying it all up much easier. Besides, you can't see it as much then.' 

I had spent so long trying to prevent clutter altogether that I had never thought of a way of mitigating its impact instead. Rather than dropping things onto the side, or worse, piling them onto the staircase only for me to tiptoe over, adding designated baskets and bins under tables or on desks allowed me to drop the used item into a designated area and reduce its visual impact. 

'It is the perfect solution for you! It won't ruin your decor'

I started placing decorative storage baskets around my home that I knew would bot elevate my space while remaining functional. It was easier to collect the items all in one spot than have them littered around and, even before I had finally emptied the storage bin, I found that I lost fewer items and could find things more easily. 

It was refreshing to try a new organizing approach that didn't involve trying to build new tidying habits that didn't fit in with my lifestyle.

'You can set yourself the task of just sorting out one bin at a time so that organization isn't as overwhelming.'

When my house was full of mismatched clutter in several places it was often difficult to know where to start in terms of tidying up, meaning that I avoided the task altogether. No matter if I was trying to organize an entryway or organize a living room, I could not seem to get started on the task or complete the ones I had started,

'If you find a spare 10 minutes, set yourself the task to organize just one 'bin' from around your house, once it is done you know you have started to make a dent in your home tidying and it hasn't taken a whole day to do,' my friend had added when I seemed skeptical about how adding more to my home would help. 'It is a great way of decluttering your home when you feel overwhelmed!' 

How do I feel less overwhelmed by cleaning?

Household cleaning and organizing can be a difficult task if you own a lot of things or find keeping a tight routine difficult. Trying small organizing tips such as the bin system, or working with just doing what you can when you can (even if it is just for 10 or 15 minutes) will add up over time.

Chiana Dickson
Content Editor

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for two years, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.