Are you wallowing in plastic storage boxes? Do they make an appearance in every room? Are some of them being used as make-shift toy boxes? Do other storage bins give shelter to clothes your children need to grow into or house unused fabric? Have you ever dared to count up the number of storage containers you have just dedicated to warehousing the snow-covered holiday village? You might presume that as organizers we would automatically be in favor of containment. Categorizing, Containing and Labelling. Isn’t that what professional organizers advocate?
Fundamentally, you are correct. But when the boundary gets crossed from being merely organized to OCD – Obsessive Container Disorder, it is time for a mental one-on-one. Look around you. Is this the way you think you were meant to live, surrounded by walls of plastic entombed tools, cookie cutters and class pictures? It’s like living in a warehouse without a forklift. The clever vendors of see-through plastic bins and drawers know their market. They are tapped into the hearts and minds of a fair sized chunk of the population. Plastic storage containers give aid and comfort to those collectors who want to keep absolutely everything (as long as it looks organized). If this smacks of harsh criticism of the home organizational product industry, they have earned it. When taken to extremes, storage bins create their own versions of Frankenstein – aka Organized Clutter.
Organizing clutter is a complete waste of time; something like bothering to learn shorthand in a world where nobody has a secretary. This is why we include plastic storage bins and their brethren – the pitiful towers of plastic drawers on wheels – in the pantheon of C.R.U.D. They attract you with their bargain price tags and facility for fitting into narrow crevices and un-used corners. Their real problem is they actually encourage people to hold onto totally worthless junk, as opposed to eradicating it.
Don’t worry about what to do with your discarded containers; people will be lining up to take them off your hands. The hard part of this one is what you are going to do with the contents once they’ve been emptied. We recommend you give serious consideration to expelling the plastic drawers. The drawers are hard to open and the wheels never stay on. They always look lopsided. They don’t match any décor whatsoever. If you have to keep one, use it on the inside of a closet. You need to start weaning yourself off this pattern of over-consuming and find a quick fix for the material anarchy that holds sway. There are so many other better ways to spend your time than organizing your clutter. If it is transparency you crave, buy clear plastic garbage bags for donating and tossing your unwanted belongings.