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- Sterilite/Business Insider
- Organization is a challenge for the best of us, but good quality storage containers can help you get your stuff organized and make it all easier to access when you need it.
- The Sterilite 20 Quart Ultra Latch Box is the perfect size for storing most items and it’s made of clear plastic so you can see what’s inside before you even take it down from the shelf.
It’s remarkable how much of a difference storage containers make when it comes to making the most of your space. They increase the amount of usable room in your closets and on shelves when you stack them on top of each other and can quite literally be the difference between a disorganized mess and an orderly household.
There are so many storage container options out there, from stackable plastic boxes that hold a ton of stuff to decorative bins that sneakily house items you use often but want to keep out of sight.
I don’t consider myself to be a very neat person, but even I fold my throw blankets and put them in a wicker basket on my living room floor when they aren’t in use.
Decorative pieces that double as storage are my favorite interior design trick, but even plastic bins that you keep tucked away under the bed or in a linen closet can be a game-changer. These are the best storage containers your money can buy – They’ll make you feel like an amateur organization expert in no time.
Here are the best storage containers for organization:
- Best storage container overall: Sterilite 30 Quart Ultra Latching Storage Box
- Best under-the-bed storage: Iris USA Store and Slide Storage Box
- Best small storage container: Sterilite 6 Quart Storage Box
- Best fabric storage container: Room Essentials Fabric Cube Storage Bin
- Best outdoor storage container: Rubbermaid ActionPacker Lockable Storage Box
Updated on 5/21/2019 by Les Shu: Updated prices, links, and formatting.
Keep scrolling to read more about our top picks.
The best storage containers overall
For a durable, no-frills container that holds a lot of stuff, you’ll love the Sterilite 30 Quart Ultra Latch Box.
Storage containers don’t need to look fancy to get the job done. Sure, the Sterilite 30 Quart Ultra Latch Boxes aren’t much to look at. But they will neatly stack your things in a closet, garage, or anywhere else you store items when you don’t currently need them. If that’s all you want, it’s perfect.
These large clear plastic bins fasten shut with a secure double-latch closure that won’t spring open unannounced and also creates an easy handle for you to grip when lifting. Flat bottoms allow for easy stacking on shelves, while clear plastic lets you see exactly what’s inside before you open the lid.
Available in packs of 6, 12, or 18 on Amazon, this is one of the most cost-effective options, especially considering the sturdy quality. The Wirecutter chose these boxes as its top-pick storage container because they “survived the drop test without a crack and stayed dry even when being sprayed and submerged in water.”
Pros: Stackable, lid latches shut for a secure fit, durable plastic to protect your items from the elements, affordable
Cons: 30-quart size won’t fit everything but Sterilite does sell a bigger version
The best under-the-bed storage container
- IRIS USA, Inc.
The Iris USA Store and Slide Storage Box finally gives you an easy solution to the age-old storage dilemma: What to do with your off-season clothing when you’re not wearing it?
Remember when you were a kid and your mom asked you to clean your room so you basically just shoved stuff under the bed until it looked neat and hoped the duvet cover would hide the mess? The Iris USA Store and Slide Storage Box allows you to do just that while patting yourself on the back for being tidy at the same time.
These 40-quart plastic containers are slim and flat, coming up at 6.25-inches tall. The shape is perfect for fitting underneath most bed frames. Low-friction disks secured to the bottom of the box allow you to slide them back and forth without damaging the flooring. It’s also worth noting that the material is BPA-, PVC-, and acid-free.
Professional organizer Lisa Zaslow of Gotham Organizers recommended these organizers to The Strategist.
One reviewer on Amazon wrote, “Plastic is pliable and sturdy. Containers nest inside one another nicely when not in use to save space. Large enough to hold lots of odds and ends I don’t want to have to dig through deep boxes to get to. Will purchase again when the price is right.”
Pros: Flat shape fits under most bed frames, 40-quart capacity, BPA and PVC-free plastic
Cons: A few reviewers complained about handles breaking or cracked plastic
The best small storage container
The Sterilite 6 Quart Storage Box is your best bet for organizing smaller minutiae in your closets or on shelves.
Made of the same quality materials as our top pick, the Sterilite 6 Quart Storage Box is a great choice for organizing smaller items and supplies. Everything fits neatly inside the clear plastic bins so you can see what each one hold without opening – no need to rifle through all 12 before you find what you’re looking for!
The main difference between these and the 30-quart boxes from Sterilite, besides the size, is that the lid snaps shut instead of latching closed. Recessed handles beneath the lid make it easy to transport the boxes, especially if they don’t have anything heavy inside.
Despite the less secure method of closure, reviewers said the lid stays put in transit. Sterilite storage boxes are highly rated by experts and shoppers. These boxes, in particular, have a 4.1-star average Amazon rating based on more than 1,000 reviews and were featured by The Spruce.
One shopper wrote, “I love to stack them under shelves where I can just pull out the whole box and then look through it. The tops don’t fit super tight and don’t have a latch, but they don’t need to, in my opinion.”
Pros: Clear base, handles for lifting, good value, pack of 12
Cons: Lid doesn’t latch close
The best fabric storage container
Corral loose items with the Fabric Cube Storage Bin by Room Essentials, which are attractive enough to double as decoration.
I’m a big fan of utilizing storage as part of my decorating scheme. The problem with this approach, of course, is that the storage actually needs to be cute in order for it to work. The 11-inch Room Essentials Fabric Cube Storage Bins are certainly attractive enough to display.
They’re actually meant to be drawers that fit into cube organizing shelves, but you could easily place them on the floor in small groupings as an accent. Since they’re fabric, they fold up for easy transport, making them a great pick for dorm room storage that doubles as decoration.
The fabric cubes come in 22 colors with both solid and patterned options to go with any design scheme. With more than 1,600 reviews on the Target website and a nearly perfect rating, these are well-loved by consumers.
“Love these fabric boxes,” wrote one shopper who left a 5-star rating. “They fit perfectly in the cube sorter I got. The holes make it easy for my toddler to pull them out but not all the way. And the color is as pictured so it’s very neutral for my living room. Would recommend.”
Pros: Cute fabric design, can be used in cube organizer or alone, lots of colors
Cons: Not stackable unless using cube organizer
The best outdoor storage container
Need something a little heftier for outdoor storage? The Rubbermaid ActionPacker Lockable Storage Box is your best bet.
When you need a storage container that will withstand the elements, look no further than the Rubbermaid ActionPacker Lockable Storage Box. It’s resistant to harsh weather conditions like rain and snow, thanks to a sturdy plastic exterior and a lock closure. This makes it perfect for outdoor or garage storage.
The Wirecutter also recommends packing it for outdoor activities such as “camping or tailgating” because of special details that make it ultra durable and easy to transport. It’s probably not ideal for indoors because of how bulky it is, but thanks to its dent- and water-resistant construction it can handle a rugged environment.
The container has a 4-star average rating on Amazon based on more than 100 customer reviews, and it comes in 8-gallon, 24-gallon, and 35-gallon capacities. The 35-gallon version has a nearly 4.8-star rating at the Home Depot.
After a heavy rainstorm, one Amazon shopper wrote, “There was not a drop of water or wet feeling inside the box. It has several of my electric and hand tools. All were dry.”
Pros: Resistant to weather conditions and damage, sturdy, lockable lid, ideal for outdoor use
Cons: Heavier and not ideal for daily use inside the house, pricey