Step 5: Determine your containers

“D” stands for Determine the right container to fill the space. 

  • The rule here is “Make things easier to put away, than they are to get out.”
  • Find plastic or cardboard boxes to fill the space to the edge.  For example, if you have space in front of the toothpaste container, then most people will set the toothpaste in front of the box instead of in the box.  If the container goes to the edge then people are more likely to put it away correctly.  Measure your space and get the right container that fits exactly.  You might have to put a box behind your container so the container goes to the edge.  That way there is no dumping ground available.
  • Beware of big flat areas, because they are prime dumping grounds – things like dressers, counters, coffee tables will be dumped if you do not designate an easily accessible home for family items.
  • Try to get rid of lids so people can put things away with one swift movement.
  • Also find a container that fills the space vertically only about 70%.  For example if you have a box called electronic devices and it vertically touches the next shelf, then people have to do 3 steps to put things away – pull out the box, drop the item, push back the box.  But if the box has 4 inches of clearance above the box you can drop the item in with one swift action.
  • Try to leave 20% of space in the container for future growth.

For more info on this read the container store article.

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