Organize project bins to keep items needed for specific projects together for easier retrieval. Great project bins to have? A beach bin, gift wrap bin, outdoor entertaining bin, and baking bin.

Organizing storage bins by project rather than the old-fashioned way (by room or by item) is an idea I stumbled upon when I packed up my apartment in NYC and moved to Connecticut.

For a while, all of my belongings remained in moving boxes in my parent’s basement before I found a new place to live. I initially thought retrieving things would be a pain, but soon discovered all those moving boxes made it super easy to find things I needed for certain activities and projects since they were already labeled and, of course, packed together. Among my kitchen storage boxes, I had a baking box (baking sheets, sifter). Among my clothes boxes, I had a beach box (swimsuits, beach bag, flip flops), etc. I decided to keep this system up in my home by using clear plastic bins to create a project. Here’s how to do it.

First, think about what projects you do on a fairly regular basis that require a few different items to complete. Here are some ideas:

  • Any activity you do regularly but not often enough to merit storage in the main part of your home, like: going to the beach, wrapping gifts, etc.
  • Any specialized equipment you use a few times a year, like a decor for certain holidays, baking equipment (unless you bake weekly–those baking sheets, sifters, cookie cutters, and frosting kits can be stored outside of your kitchen), gift wrap.
  • The trick is to have everything you need for certain projects or activities in the same box. So think through exactly what you use for that activity before packing your bin.

Examples of Project Bins

  • Outdoor dining: If you use different table cloths and dinnerware for al fresco dining, store these in a bin, so they are easy to retrieve and not cluttering up your kitchen, which is an area that really does not need more clutter.
  • Bathroom cleaning: I keep everything I use to clean the bathroom in a clear plastic bin at the bottom of the linen closet. It makes bathroom cleaning day a little bit easier.
  • Beach gear: Store sunscreen, beach passes (those used at local beaches to get on the beach), beach towels, beach bags, and beach toys in a bin (or bins if necessary). I even store my bathing suits, flip flops, and cover-ups in my beach bin. It makes vacation packing easier, too.
  • Gift wrapping: Think about all the things you use when wrapping a gift. Don’t just store gift wrap together; also add in your scissors, tape, Sharpie pen, and gift cards.

How to Store Project Bins

  • Use clear plastic containers and either label them, attach a tag (Martha Stewart has a cute line at Staples), write directly on the bin with a Sharpie, or tape a sheet of paper to the inside, facing front and hand write a label.
  • Choose bins that you can easily carry and move around. Here’s my guide to Plastic Storage Bins.

Where to Store Project Bins

Store bins either in an easily accessible storage space like your basement, attic, or utility closet, or store them where you use them. Example: I store my bathroom cleaning bin at the bottom of the linen closet, my beach bin in the basement, and my gift wrapping bin under my bed.

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