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Best Containers for Organizing

Updated: Apr 14

There are so many container choices! How do we know which ones are best?

My short answer after 10 years of being a professional organizer:  

Matching see through containers with lids that snap on, with no handles or pieces, just the lid and container. My specific suggestions on Amazon are below.

I've seen a LOT of broken and missing handle pieces! And a lot of orphan lids/containers.

I see a LOT of container clutter in my work, too! Mismatched containers of aaaallll kinds and sizes cluttering up spaces...

BEFORE BUYING CONTAINERS: Resist the urge to go buy a bunch of containers until you know exactly what you're containing  (see my notes on this idea below).

For myself and clients, for plastic tote-style containers I only buy ones that:

  •  Have snap-on lids (with no extra pieces, like the ones above)

  •  Match so lids are interchangeable and containers are stackable

  •  Are see-through

  •  Are only colored for holidays: red for Christmas, orange for Halloween

  •  When they're on super sale! I'm not a fan of spending a gajillion dollars on this style of container.

Some categories and items do best with perfectly curated containers, but MANY things do great in these clear, inexpensive ones.

And whenever possible, if I don't use the lid (some of us prefer open tops!), I keep the lid underneath as it's so much easier to put things away with the top off.

I peruse the container shelves at Goodwill periodically to see if they have a stack of the small containers with snap-on lids. I've learned the hard way not to compromise.


I recommend ONLY buying containers AFTER you've cleared out what you don't want-need-love-use so we don't waste time, money and space.

Declutter first, THEN organize.

Before buying containers:

  1. Clear what we don't need-want-use-love

  2. Measure the space

  3. See how many categories we want containers for

  4. Make sure we don't have containers around the house we want to use

THEN get containers that fit our needs.

My favorite containers

Sterilite is my favorite brand, but any with only a snap-on solid lid and tote without breakable parts makes me happy!

When to buy?

Container sales often happen in January, which is a great time to clear out what's no longer serving us, then get the containers to organize what we keep.

But we don't have to wait!

Decluttering can happen in bite-sized bits of time - set a timer for 5, 10, 15 or 20 minutes and just begin!

Please reach out if you have questions or want to bounce ideas around - I love this stuff and have been a professional organizer for 10 years! I've also been on my own personal declutter/organizing journey, so I've been through the wringer clutter can cause...

Please remember that I'm here for you! Reach out if you have questions and/or you feel stuck.

There's no need to struggle with clutter anymore - you're not alone and I can help you feel better right away.

For inspiration and organizing tips in your in-box, join my e-newsletter, Sunbeams....

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