I Totally Get Why The Container Store Is A Thing

Well, friends, hot off the trail of my big email deletion, I caught the spring fever bug.  I thought I had plenty of antibodies to ward it off, but somehow I tapped into a deep reserve of willingness.  Willingness to face whatever fears, griefs or vermin were lurking underneath my pile of maternity clothes or in the dark recesses of my cupboards.  It’s a process, and now I am in over my head.

I started with the kitchen.

Naturally, I first turned to my archive of Oprah Magazines and found an article where Iron Chef Cat Cora organized a kitchen.  When I saw the pictures, I knew what I needed to do.

Photo courtesy of Oprah.com

Photo courtesy of Oprah.com

Get my ass to The Container Store of course.  What my home was missing were those round see-through canisters to put all of our carbs in.  Suddenly, I couldn’t bear to see all those boxes of cereal and crackers and pasta.  Why should I have to look at that packaging?

My eyes are burning!

Once at The Container Store I discovered the approximately 1600 square feet devoted to organizing your kitchen.  They have trays and shelves and racks and stuff I don’t know the name of– all designed to help people who want shed their cluttery, white trash roots.  My cart was brimming with do0-dads to spiff me up.  In fact, I had to take my children out of the cart so I could fit my stuff in.

Several hundeys later, I walked out of there with the sole thought: Damn, spring cleaning is expensive.

If The Container Store is publicly traded, I am going to buy some stock every spring.

When we got home, I played a fun game with the kids: The Pour Game.  Each one of them got a container and a box of starchy goodness and they had to fill the container one handful at a time until it was full.  Hours of family fun.  We contained our Pirates Booty, Goldfish, Veggie Sticks– if it comes in a box or a bag, those morsels are no longer free floating behind layers of cardboard.  They’re now in an airtight, brand-spanking new containers (that, come to think of it, I probably should have washed first.  Oops.).

Outlaw Mama's snack situation (Can you see Martha peeking out on right?)

Outlaw Mama’s snack situation (Can you see Martha peeking out on right?)

Now, I am dying to see how The Container Store’s goodies can help me with my closets, but I have to wait for my next paycheck to tackle that side of the store.

I sure hope my new-found love of see-through, airtight containers is not fleeting, but just in case, I left the price tags on and am saving my receipt.

* * *

PS: If the Huffington Post had a section on Spring Cleaning, I would pitch this piece, but they don’t.  They tend to favor articles about parenting, not those which thematically could best be described as Wah Wah Poor Me, Organizing My Snacks Was Expensive.  If you care to click over and see an article I wrote about how I thought I would (should?) fall madly in love with both of my children the moment they were born (but didn’t), click here.


43 thoughts on “I Totally Get Why The Container Store Is A Thing

  1. I love the container store! But it is definitely pricey. I still have ugly snacks still but they are behind a closed door. I was going to do my closet but it’s cold again today so I’m using that as an excuse to wait until next week. Or the week after.

  2. I love The Container Store. I get irritated though when the containers cannot hold everything that was in the box/bag and then I have to keep a half box/bag in the cabinet with the container. What do organized people do with the leftovers? I can’t take it. And I’m lazy (I have to cook this food, you want me to organize it too? Sheesh.)

  3. Umm, sweetie? Your cereal container lid is on backward. The small side is for your hand to hold the container. The flip top opening should be on the other side. Make sense? I pay at least one person’s annual salary ( probably the CEO’s) each year, so I know these things? Happy organizing!

  4. Your eyes had to look upon cardboard every morning instead of beautiful plastic containers? Blasphemy! The horror!

    I still live in the dark ages with cardboard clutter. But at least it’s all hidden behind cabinets and within drawers. I’m so deprived.

  5. I’m with you and the other ladies – LOVE the container store and it’s so expensive. I love the look of all that clear stuff in the kitchen, but I just can’t start my work there. I desperately need help with my kids playroom/toys. Did you see anything there that might help me?

  6. I have similar compulsive behavior whenever im in the container store, ikea or lately even target! It makes me want to tackle my entire house of clutter at once and I am instantly disgusted by all of the old things in the house!! My biggest problem is I have zero motivation to stay organized!!

  7. Shizzz, girl – You went all out on the snack containment! Looks gorgeous! I’m way too cheap to buy all the Container Store stuff, but I did buy 16 plastic bins at Costco to organize our play room. One thing at a time though, buying them was enough for now. Off to Huff Post …

  8. Man. The Container Store is high as a giraffe’s ass. But, I do love it. The closest one to me is a good 40 minutes away so I don’t tend to go to it. And I agree w/RFL about the discarding first (which I need to do. I am itching to get started on spring cleaning and throwing away!)

  9. I can’t walk into The Container Store, or even the home organization section of Target, without getting itchy fingers and paralyzing anxiety. My mind races with thoughts of all inefficiently used space in my kitchen, our home office still filled with boxes from our move five months ago, and our totally disorganized closed. My brain screams ORGANIZE ALL THE THINGS, but I can’t calm down enough to actually think of what I need to buy to organize anything. Then, I start to sweat and hyperventilate, until I finally abandon my cart and either leave the store or, if I’m in Target, make a break for the placid grace of the shoe aisle for another pair of glittery flats to add to my messy closet.

  10. [sing songy voice] I loooove the Container Store! It supports the ruthless domestic editor in me. And I agree – I always almost faint when I hear the dollars I need to part with to be visually happy in my home. You rock – love ALL your posts!

  11. I have never been to the Container Store. (And you would be able to tell this if you saw my house.) I am a Queen of Clutter. I always have been. It’s really to the point that I don’t know where to start. When confronted with all these home organization solutions, I become panicked and run back to my clutter.

  12. hmm i have never been to the container store. do you now have a bunch of containers on your counter instead of a bunch of plastic bags in your closet? are you happy with the new set up? do i need to go to the container store? i’m very impressionable.

    • Bags in the cupboard used to be the death of me. They slump all over each other, they eventually tear and spill dried beans all over my cabinet, and the twist tie label is always facing the wrong way. Canning jars or other clear containers make life much easier (you can get old mason jars at garage sales and save a ton of money). You can see what you have, how much you have, and how long it’s been there.

      No more paper sack of mung beans in the back of the top cabinet, waiting for someone to discover it.

    • I’m actually not sure. The real issue is that I’ve taken some kind of affirmative action. That it was the container store or otherwise probably matters little.

  13. Okay, Outlaw, close your eyes for a minute.

    Outlaw’s readers: buy canning jars. Ball or Kerr or whatever. Glass jars. Cheap. See through. Different sizes. Same effect, way freaking cheaper.
    Wanna be seriously Martha about it? Paint a carefully laid out swatch of chalkboard paint on the glass, let it dry, and write the contents in white chalk. Be careful to put the paint where you won’t hold the jar, lest you wipe off the name of the foodstuff every time you open it. Um, a friend told me that.

    Okay, Outlaw, you can read again.
    Bet that felt productive! Yay for you! You’ll be proud of yourself every time the kids can tell exactly what snacks you do and don’t have, despite your protests that you’re out of something. 😉

  14. Hey, this may be all Berkeley granola hippie, but if you take those containers empty (after you wash them this time) to Whole Foods or your co-op or whatever, they’ll weigh them and note the empty weight so you can get your bulk foods without buying a bag. Just fill up your container, they’ll subtract the container weight when you’re checking out so you just pay for the lentils or flour or whatever. Then you can spare the planet a couple of bags every time you need a refill.

    Totally worth Container Store prices if you’re saving the planet, right?

  15. The container store people are brilliant. Just brilliant. They make millions of dollars on containers! Another idea I wish I could have been smart enough to capitalize on!

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