The foundation of organizing is keeping like or related items together. Inexpensive durable plastic dishpans are a great way to keep like items together. Fancy baskets are great and prettier but when you need a few dozen they get expensive.
Anything that fits and doesn’t need a secure lid can be kept in a dishpan. Examples:
- Book Storage: Store picture books on end in a dishpan so children can flip through them. Assign one dishpan to library books so you can find them easily when time to return.
See more great ideas for storing children’s books at Jeri’s Organizing Blog.
- School Storage: Workbooks, flashcards, art supplies etc. can be easily stored in and retrieved from their own dishpan. Consider sorting by subject. Keep phonics things (mini-books, tiles, etc.) , math items (workbooks and manipulatives) art supplies, crayons, markers, etc.)
- Under the Kitchen Sink: All the cleaners, sponges, etc. fit great into a few dishpans. When you are looking for an item you can lift out the entire bin and look in it and even behind it quickly.
- General Cleaning Aids: Clear a table with a handy dishpan; clear the family room of toys quickly; tote cleaning sprays from room to room.
- Toy Storage: Sort toys in several different dishpans. Label each dishpan to let children know what goes where (use picture labels for pre-readers). Store the dishpans on shelves. Make a rule that one dishpan has to be returned before playing with the next pan full.
- Kitchen Appliances Storage: : Keep all your pieces to mixers, food processors and slicers in a separate dishpan in your kitchen cabinets.
- Plastic Lid Storage: They sell devices for plastic lids but dishpans work just as well and cost less.
- Sewing and Craft Storage: Dishpans are great to store sewing supplies, fabric, craft materials, yarn, and patterns. Find more sewing and craft storage ideas here.
- Cleaning Out Fridge or Freezer: Take everything out and store your piles in dishpans while reorganizing.
- Freezer Organization: Use dishpans to sort meat, vegetables, breads, etc. in your freezer.
- Pantry Organization: Keep all baking supplies in one dishpan, vinegars and oils in another, etc.
- Laundry Room: Store detergent, bleach, and softener in a dishpan. Assign each family member a dishpan for clothing. Dishpans are the perfect size for socks and baby clothes.
- Stationery Storage: Keep all your greeting cards (thank-you, birthday, etc.), envelopes, stamps, etc. in one convenient dishpan.
- Tool Storage: Keep small power tools and attachments as well as gardening tools in dishpans.
- Car Care Storage: Corral washing solution, wax, tire treatment, plastic protectant, rags and towels in one waterproof dishpan.
- First Aid Kit: Keep a well-stocked first-aid kit within easy reach in a dishpan (sterile gauze, adhesive tape, antiseptic wipes, antibiotic cream, tweezers, disposable instant cold packs, calamine lotion, Band-Aids, peroxide, antiseptic, sunburn spray, etc.)
- Plants: Use dishpans for container gardening. You could grow an entire vegetable garden in dishpans and not worry about weeds. Plants can be started indoors in a dishpan and later moved outside to be planted in the ground.
Here is a simliar idea from Tote Tray Cabinets
How do you use dishpans? Share your tips in the comments.