3 Storage Products Pro Organizers Say Aren’t Worth the Money (Plus 5 Worth Splurging On)
These expert-approved picks will tackle the clutter once and for all.
When you head into the Container Store, the vast selection of products that promise to finally wrangle your clutter once and for all can feel a little daunting. Will this storage bin really get the paper pile under control? Will that pot rail actually make my kitchen look orderly? With so many "miracle" organizers to choose from, it can be difficult to tell what really works and what's just another product you'll spend money on and stop using after a month. To help us sort through the assortment, we asked a couple pro organizers, Annie Draddy and Michelle Hale of Henry & Higby, a professional styling and organizing company based in NYC, for the five products they swear by, and three they think aren't worth the money. This way, you can invest in what really works—and skip what doesn't.
Not Worth It: Nesting Bins
If you've been shopping for storage containers in the past couple years, you've probably come across nesting-style storage bins that fit inside one another when not in use and stack on top of one another. The reason Annie and Michelle recommend skipping these trendy storage solutions? They just don't maximize storage space, considering the surface area they require. Plus, when they're stacked, you'll have to disrupt the whole stack any time you need to grab something stashed in the bottom bin. Save your money (and time) by opting for a more practical alternative.
Not Worth It: Specific LEGO Organizers
According to the organizing experts, these containers are typically too difficult for little ones to open and close on their own, making it hard for them to help with cleanup. Plus, they tend to be too small to accommodate a large collection.
Not Worth It: Acrylic Makeup Organizers
"Although beautiful, they aren't always the most practical," the pros explain. The slots tend to be too small and aren't universal enough to hold products by all different beauty brands.
Splurge-Worthy: Multi-Purpose Bins
Annie and Michelle swear by these versatile bins, because they work in almost every room in the house. In the pantry, use them to separate and sort food by categories. In the craft room, they can hold papers and supplies. And under the sink, they can store cleaning products and brushes.
To buy: From $4; containerstore.com.
Splurge-Worthy: File Sorter
Again, the pros recommend products that can work in multiple ways, so you'll always be able to put them to use. Annie and Michelle suggest using file sorters to do everything from sort mail in your office, to organize handbags and clutches in your closet, to hold napkins and paper products in the kitchen.
To buy: $35; containerstore.com.
Splurge-Worthy: Divided Lazy Susan
A lazy Susan solves organizing dilemmas in a variety of spaces. In the pantry, it can sort snack packs and soup packets, while in the bedroom, let it organize your makeup brushes and beauty products.
To buy: $18; amazon.com.
Splurge-Worthy: Clear Sweater Bags
These clear storage bags can do more than hold seasonal clothing, the organizing experts explain. Let them stash your kids' artwork in all shapes and sizes (including that precious papier mache sculpture), or stash your travel shoes before tucking them into your suitcase.
To buy: $8; amazon.com.
Splurge-Worthy: Tall Narrow Modular Bins
These stack to make use of vertical space, without taking up too much surface area. They can hold cleaning supplies in a closet, stash papers in your home office, or sort placemats and serving trays in the kitchen.
To buy: From $18 each; containerstore.com.