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My favorite multi-use box

Updated: Jan 17

Ikea's large Variera storage bin is hands-down my organizing tool we use in our house. I kid you not when I say that every time I visit IKEA (which is more than I care to admit), I find myself needing to pick up a few more.

Here's why I love it:

  • It's an "open container", which is a fancy way of saying it doesn't come with a lid. So, it's perfect for anything you want quick, frequent and easy access to. Plus, the height of the items don't matter.

  • It's sturdy and the material doesn't chip or crack easily

  • It has handles -- helpful when storing heavy items and needing to lift it off a shelf

  • Fits great on a shelf, in a cabinet, or in a deep drawer

  • It's CHEAP. At only $6, it is much less expensive than comparable bins at other retailers.

Where we use them:

  • KITCHEN: pantry items, lunch bags, water bottles, coffee mugs, pet related items, misc. cooking gadgets, oils/vinegars, cleaning bin, kitchen towels

  • ENTRYWAY: hats, gloves, small purses, shoes/socks for little humans

  • DRAWERS: paper goods and notepads, hardware/tools, misc. items that collect around the house, extra batteries/lightbulbs

  • LAUNDRY ROOM: household rags, cleaning supplies, smaller detergents, extra trash can liners

  • BATHROOM: lotions, soaps, hair styling products, hair dryer and curling irons, toiletries, feminine products, medicines

  • NURSERY or KIDS room: shoes/socks, pants/shorts, toys, baby lotions/soaps, burp rags, extra diapers/wipes

Even Harlow is a big fan!!! He has this interesting obsession with trying to fit his body into containers. He's gets mad now because he can't fit as easily!

We use these for toy storage on our main floor. During nap time and bedtime we can quickly throw all of Harlow's toys back in the bins and tuck them away in the tv stand. You can see more of them through the tv stand paneling if you look closely.

Guess what?!

IKEA makes a smaller version of this bin, too!! And I love it just as equally and for all the same reasons! And it rings in at only $4.


As much as I hate to admit it. This bin isn't technically "perfect". Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • It's not stackable since it doesn't have a lid. So, if you have items you want to store away and don't need easy access to, this is not the bin for you.

  • Its not great if you want to "see" your items. Like if you have a bunch of miscellaneous items or if you're using in a pantry and want to easily know what's in there.

TIP: Label the outside of the bin!

I use masking tape and a permanent marker to make a quick label on the outside of the bins. A label is helpful especially when you can't see easily what's in it -- like if it's on a higher shelf or in a pantry.

For example, I use these bins for various baking items. I have three separate containers labeled: "flours", "sugars", and "misc. baking"

Time to head to IKEA and get organized with the Variera box!!!

Have I convinced you yet? Check out the reel I made of my favorite box if you need a little more convincing. And if you ever learn IKEA needs a Variera box spokeswoman, please let me know! :)

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