Rosie-ism #3: Clear Plastic Is Your Friend

Rosie-ism #3: Clear Plastic Is Your Friend

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You may think you have friends, but when it comes to organizing, you have no friend as dear as clear plastic. Shun those non-see-through tubs, especially the large blue ones that are probably in your attic, housing who-knows-what. Sure, they were a few bucks cheaper than their clear plastic brothers, but they are not nearly as good to you.

Why, you ask? Oh, let me count the ways… Read on for Part 3 of my Rosie-ism series, featuring some of my tried-and-true organizing solutions and advice. Rosie-ism #3 explains why clear plastic is your friend.

  1. Clear plastic is clear. This is obvious, but important. Being able to see what is inside makes a huge difference in your ability to stay organized. Most of us are pretty visual, so if we can see what we have, we are less likely to overbuy or purchase something we already own. Cloth or woven bins look nice, but I often find clients with these types of bins have no idea what lurks inside their depths. Go clear and save yourself the mystery.
  2. Clear plastic creates a uniform look. You can spend a lot of time trying to buy cute matchy-matchy bins that revolve around the same theme. I mean, if you want your bins to express your desire to commune with nature and your conflicting emotions about your past life as a 1960’s go-go dancer, then go for it. (And please, send me pictures of these bins when you find them… I’m intrigued.) But with clear plastic, you don’t have to worry about that. Almost every store sells clear plastic of some type and it can all be tossed together into a cupboard and look good.
  3. Clear plastic keeps us separate, but together:  Let’s say you have a bathroom cupboard with shelves that are a wild hairspray-toothpaste-bandaid party all the time. Nobody ever knows what goes where so folks just toss items on the shelves indiscriminately, contributing to the chaos. Enter clear plastic. Put all those hair products together. Same with tooth care. Same with medicine. And voila! We can still party, but we’re partying in our own little tubs: separate, but together. Everybody knows where they belong and it’s much easier for your family to find (and put away!) items in the cupboard.
  4. No need to label it: This might be the #1 reason I prefer clear plastic over other types of bins–you don’t have to label! Of course, it’s important to label clear containers in pantries to differentiate between items like salt and sugar (that’s a bad baking boo-boo!), but often, there’s no need to label items in clear bins. Of course, if you want to, be my guest! I will never stop an honest person from labeling anything. Even their dog. Label that dog. It’s yours, dammit.
  5. Versatility: I’d like to highlight just one stellar member of the clear plastic family: the shoebox-sized bin. This is perhaps my favorite organizing tool of all time. Look at a few ways this little (and super inexpensive!) guy can organize your house!

I used several clear shoeboxes inside an old crib drawer to corral my son’s toys under his bed. The beauty of leaving the tubs lidless? Easy cleanup! Just wing those Legos in!


And here’s the kid himself, playing with those Legos… wing ’em in, kid. Wing ’em in… come on… any time now…


Our medicines, clearly corralled. And again, ditch the lids to allow for easy put-away.


My daughter’s sock drawer – four clear bins separate undies, socks, dance, and swimwear. Nice!


The clear shoebox is always a winner in the pantry! Just look how easy it is to grab these snacks!


The old shoebox can even double as footwear in a pinch. (Just kidding, of course…)

So there, you have it, Rosie-ism #3. Clear plastic is your friend. I urge you, go make some new friends today.

Rose Lounsbury is the Dayton, Ohio area’s up-and-coming professional organizer. She is lucky to have many friends, not all of which are clear plastic bins. After blogging about her own journey toward a minimalist lifestyle, Rose was inspired to start Less, a minimalist-minded professional organizing company. If you’d like Rose’s help with an organizing project at your home or office, please call her at 937-626-9030.

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