The Container Store is my happy place. If you gave me $1000 and one hour to spend it all at the Container Store, I’d have no problems, believe me.
But while pristinely organized systems like this one are beautiful….
…are they really worth the price tag?
I’ve picked five commonly used organizational tools and products from The Container Store and set them up in a face-off against their Dollar Tree counterparts. While it’s up to you to decide where to splurge and where to save, there’s one particular product where I actually think the Dollar Tree version is better! (Note that the links below may be affiliate or referral links.)
If you want to watch me transform my pantry using Dollar Tree alternatives, click below!
The Container Store offers these snap close poly envelopes for both full and half size documents. The material is sturdy and the clear plastic gives a view of what’s inside. The Dollar Tree counterpart rings in at 1/9th of the price, and while the envelopes are brightly colored and a bit more crinkly, they still come with a snap closure. If you’re looking to organize a lot of paperwork and save a few dollars along the way, you’re probably safe to go with the Dollar Tree option here.
Price: $2.99 each
Pros: Multiple Size Options, Sturdier Material
Price: $0.33 each
Pros: Comparable Snap Closure
Cons: Crinkly Plastic, Color
Multi Purpose Bin
I always say that if I were stuck on a desert island and could only choose one organizing product, I would choose the Multi Purpose Bin from The Container Store. It comes in five different sizes (the largest was designed for hanging files) and they are perfect for organizing almost any space. I use them in my pantry, laundry room, under my sink, in closets – they’re everywhere! The Dollar Tree alternative only comes in one size, and the design leaves a lot of unused space between the baskets.
Price: $4.00 – $7.00 each
Pros: Four Sizes, Perfect Alignment, Versatile
Cons: Are there any??
Price: $1.00 each
Pros: Affordable Alternative
Cons: Poor Space Management, One Size
Bin with Handle
These plastic bins with a handle are great for organizing higher up cabinets and shelves. As long as you can get ahold of the handle you can pull out the bin and get what you need. However, if you are organizing a standard upper cabinet you will need to go with The Container Store option here as the Dollar Tree counterpart is too long and your cabinet door won’t close! But if you’re organizing an open shelf in a closet or laundry room this might be a great place to save a few dollars if you don’t mind the loud colors.
Price: $4.00 each
Pros: Fits In Upper Cabinets, Slim Design
Dollar Tree – Find it In Store
Price: $1.00 each
Pros: Good For Shelf Organization
Cons: Doesn’t Fit In Upper Cabinets, Obtuse Design
I think the Paper Trays from The Container Store are beautiful. They’re sleek, cheerful, and very sturdy. But that price tag of $15 each gives me sticker shock! Just three paper trays runs you $45 – and most people have more than three categories of papers to organize. Luckily, the Dollar Tree has a very affordable and perfectly adequate counterpart. At just $1.00 a piece, these plastic paper trays stack solidly into each other. Their biggest drawback is that they need a little more space to nest into each other, so if you’re working in tight quarters, you may need to go with the Container Store’s option.
Price: $15.00 each
Pros: Space Saving, Color, Sturdiness
Cons: Very Pricey!
Price: $1.00 each
Pros: Affordable, Sturdy Stacking
Cons: Horizontal Space
While this may surprise you, even if money were no object, I would still grab these drawer organizers from the Dollar Tree instead of the Container Store. They’re made of a cheaper plastic than their Container Store counterpart, but in this case that’s exactly why I love them! The Container Store drawer organizers don’t have any give, so if you’re off by a quarter inch on drawer size, you’re out of luck. But the bendable plastic on the Dollar Tree variety means you can do a little finagling and get your arrangement just right! And they’re so much cheaper, so what’s not to love?
Price: $1.60 to $2.00 each
Pros: Sturdy Plastic
Cons: Expensive, No Give To Plastic
Price: $0.33 to $0.50 each
Pros: Bendable Plastic, Affordability
While I will always be a Container Store girl at heart, sometimes the Dollar Tree can have impressive alternatives, and I certainly do love their prices! Let me know what items are a must-splurge and where you cut back and save a bit.