I haven’t shared an organization project in quite awhile. After spending this last summer writing the book Organizing Your Life and taking more than 1500 images around my home, I pretty much needed to step away from organizing for awhile (I’ll be sharing an update next week on the book release). However, I did venture back into a little project a couple weeks ago and I’m really excited to share my new secret weapon (obsession) for closet organizing.
One of the things that I talked a lot about in the book is how traditional organization pieces are crazy overpriced. If it’s used for organizing, the item will be automatically marked up 2-3 times. The organization market is a serious racket! For instance, clear acrylic/lucite storage bins for closet organizing can run anywhere from $15.00-$30.00, depending on size. They’re just clear plastic but yet because they are marketed for organizing closets so the price is marked up.
A few weeks ago, I made a discovery at my local TJ Maxx and Ross stores. In the clearance section, I found stacks of these clear storage bins that are marketed for organizing the refrigerator and pantry. I always see these pieces in the clearance section but for some reason, it never clicked with me that I could use them in my closets, bathroom, office, etc.. The regular price on these bins are high BUT apparently, people don’t use them that much in the fridge and they are always on clearance marked down 60-90% off.
These are the refrigerator/pantry storage pieces I’m talking about. I’m sure you’ve seen them before:
The prices for the various size bins that I found on clearance were anywhere from $1.99 to $5.99. Oh yes, I went to town and bought everything and then I hit the clearance sections in the rest of the stores in my town. At one store, I picked up four of the extra large bins that were marked down twice down to $3.00!! These extra large bins are normally $24.00 at a high end organization store.
Here is just a small sampling of all the sizes I found on clearance:
Those smaller trays above, with the rubber bottoms are meant for the fridge but I picked them up on clearance for $1.99 and will be using them in bathroom drawers.
Ok, so what have I been doing with these bins you ask? Well, because I use the stacked shoe shelving and cube storage in my daughter’s closet for organizing (best way to organizing kids closets), I have narrow shelves to slip in these bins. The best part is that my girl can now see everything to find what she’s looking for and won’t have to turn the closet upside down looking for something:
So all my girl has to do is slide out the bin like a drawer!
I will also be using these bins in my office for files, notebooks and in my craft room, I’m using them to store supplies in my shelves. Gosh, at $2.99, they are cheaper than traditional bins and look so pretty:
I’m in the process of accumulating more of these bins for my own closet revamp, which I’ll be starting in a few weeks. There is nothing left in my town (sorry guys), so I’ll have to hit the clearance aisles in Houston next time I’m in town for reinforcements.
So, the moral of the story here is; scour that clearance aisle and be open to the creative storage possibilities and secondly, just because it says it’s used for one thing (like the refrigerator), doesn’t mean you have to use it in that way! I feel like such an organizing rebel!!
I hope you guys can use this idea in your own home and save big bucks digging through the clearance!
Thanks for stopping by and by the way, my book Organizing Your Life is now available for pre-order on Amazon. I’m so excited about it and if you want to find out more about the book, you can check out this post here.
Pam @ Simple Details says
I love those in my fridge, and will definitely be checking around town, thanks for the great tip Cyndy!
Thanks Pam! So excited watching your ORC come together! xo
Oh you smart and clever girl! What a brilliant idea! And I love that you can see through them too! Smacking hand on forehead…
I am an avid shopper and when it comes to clearance items I have learned the program. In all of my shopping years I have never seen any storage bins for your fridge or that are clear and look like this. Wondering if its a area issue. I’m in the Pacific northwest.
You know Patti, it could be a regional thing or it could be that they’re there and you didn’t notice them. Try TJ Maxx or Marshalls, that is where I am having the best luck finding them. At one of the stores, I found the clearance bins mixed in at the kitchen section with the rest of the regular price. I guess they wanted to keep it all together? Hope you can find them and get some great deals!
Megan @ Our Pinteresting Family says
I love those bins. What a great idea!
What a great find! I’ll have to start paying attention when perusing the shelves at Marshalls and Home Goods. My closets could definitely use some bins to help organize like items!
Cyndy, what a fab idea. Gosh, I hope I can find lots of these. I always try to think outside the box. It’s incredible what great ideas can strike when you least expect it. I love clearance tables and aisles and this is where I normally start shopping, just a quick sweep and done. Sometimes good luck and sometimes not; however, it always pays to check.
I hope you find a bunch too! It’s so funny, I am the first person to look at that stuff in a different way but for some reason, it never clicked for these bins (must be off my game girl!). You shouldn’t have any problems. All the stores that I have gone to had multiples. Good luck friend! xo
Seher | Simply in Control says
That’s an awesome idea! I love how organized the closet is. I’m an organizational blogger as well. Looking forward to checking out the rest of your posts!
Olivia Williams says
Love it! I need to buy these myself! Xx
Cyndy, you are absolutely correct – these are an organizers dream! I love that they are sturdy and have no space stealing flanges. And made with enough of the right plastic composite to flex and not break if dropped.
I use one just for currently opened sandwich supplies – it all pulls out in one easy step. In a cupboard one keeps all the little food coloring and flavoring jars together – the kind that like to tip over – now so easy to just pull out and pick.
I found mine at Walmart and bought out the store. Aldi’s had a cheaper version recently – not as much plastic so they would not wear as well and would be more likely to crack.
I still I have Rubbermaid drawer organizers from my wedding 30 years ago that are still in constant use. Wear is important. Pay for quality today and never worry about it again.
Amanda Louder says
Those are a great find! They’ve actually had those bins in a pack at my local Sam’s Club for $15 (I think it included 5 bins). I had in the past paid that for 1!
Now I need to rethink and use them in other areas! Thanks for the tip!