Size matters

Recently while working with a client, I was reminded of one of the most common mistakes I see: The giant sized storage container. 

I understand why someone might think this is a good choice. It can hold a lot and it’s easier than buying a bunch of smaller containers. It appears to solve problems. The truth is, it creates many problems that we don’t think of until it’s too late.

I was helping my client by transforming the closets and storage areas in her Master and Guest bedrooms. Her previous renovation left her with extremely heavy wood sliding doors that were very difficult to open as they had never been on track properly. We ended up choosing The Container Store’s TCS Closets which are customizable and quite lovely. 


Once we made it through the challenging demolition and installed the beautiful new closets, we worked on making order of her previously stored items as the space had changed. We found several jumbo sized bins that held her holiday items. My client had lovely upholstered and padded bins that held all of her precious and delicate ornaments. They were quite organized and luckily those bins fit perfectly back in the top of the new closets. The rest of the Christmas paraphernalia: wrapping paper, bows, cards, tissue paper and decorations, were randomly placed in 3 gigantic bins. 

Much like when we move, I recommend adhering to bins and boxes no larger than what a case of liquor comes in. This is not only a back saver; when storing anything up above your head, or that requires us to get on a step stool or ladder to access, it needs to be a more manageable size to protect us from getting injured.


When we have the big bins, we fill them up, and while the items I listed don’t sound heavy, in a container that large, it’s awkward, unbalanced and very difficult to navigate. I chose The Container Store’s Deep Sweater Box which allowed us to separate all of the items into categories and will be much easier for my client to access when needed from her new beautiful closets.


There are so many different sized storage containers because there are so many different things we can store. It’s great to keep in mind that the smaller an object you are storing is, the smaller the container needs to be. For example, when storing sewing supplies, it’s good to have a bin for fabric, a bin for thread and smaller containers for needles and thimbles. Those smaller bins can then live inside the fabric or thread bins. When the possibility exists for stuff to roll around or create a mess, dividing and conquering is the only way to go.

One may wonder what to use those big bins for. Ideally, we want to store lightweight large items, like extra comforters or pillow. Maybe rolls of bubble wrap or packing supplies.

Where do you have big bins that could use a bit of love? Please share in the comments!