A Conversation with the Leading Organization Experts: The Container Store

The Container Store dishes on its views about organizing your life and whether or not they ascribe to the Marie Kondo method.

Whether you’re a type A, love-to-organize-everything personality or a chaos-is-my-happy-place kind of person, you have to admit that you’re completely enthralled with The Container Store. It’s entirely possible to go in for hangers and come out with an entire organization system for your craft room, even if you don’t have one.

That’s the thing about The Container Store: it opens up an entire world of organizational possibilities that you had never even considered, with helpful items and useful gadgets that leave you asking, “Why hadn’t I thought of that?”

So when ESTATENVY got the opportunity to chat with The Organization Experts at The Container Store, we made sure to ask them the three most burning questions we had. Are they, too, on the Marie Kondo train? What are the first steps we can take to create a more organized home? And if we had to select one item to get us started, what should it be?

ESTATENVY (EE): Has The Container Store felt the reverberations of Marie Kondo-like trends geared towards organization and simplification?

Container Store (CS): When we first opened The Container Store in 1978, our purpose was more about organizing “stuff” and saving time. We started talking about the movement towards minimalism and simplification post September 11, when people began searching for more meaning and control in their everyday lives. We encouraged our customers to start eliminating the things that had no use or purpose, and continued to advise and assist them in creating customized solutions: helping them to find the things that do matter.

We agree and believe that eliminating the things you don’t need is the first step in clearing out the clutter in your home and in your life. However, we believe that the end result is personal, not necessarily prescribed. We all have items that are sentimental to us that we don’t want to throw out. We think it is okay to save these things so you can enjoy and appreciate them occasionally. We suggest putting those memories in a box and storing them away so you don’t have them interfering with your everyday life.

We embrace Marie Kondo’s philosophy as the trend towards simplicity and minimalism continues to grow. Do we need to dispose of things that may not spark joy, but still evoke emotions? No. Can we learn and be inspired by her? Yes! And, along the way, our employees are at our best listening to our customers. We are organization experts and ultimately, what we give our customers through our services and products is a beautiful gift—the gift of allowing them to be present, have more time and experience joy in their life.

EE: What are some of the easiest ways to improve efficiency in your home via organization?

CS: At The Container Store, we believe that you can improve efficiency in your home by following the three rules to organization: visibility, accessibility and flexibility. Choosing containers that are either transparent or that you can easily label will help you immediately identify the contents and save valuable time. Next, make sure that the items you need most often are the easiest to access. Likewise, place the items you don’t need to get to as often on a higher shelf or in another area. Lastly, select a storage system that is flexible and can adapt to your changing needs. That way, you can reconfigure and reuse solutions to solve a variety of storage and organization problems.

EE: What is the Container Store's top-selling product? Why is there a demand for that specific item?

CS: elfa® is The Container Store’s best-selling shelving and drawer system that is completely customizable for your storage and organization needs. elfa is easy to adjust, allowing you to rearrange shelves, drawers and other components as needed for the perfect closet solution. Customers can choose from a variety of finishes and options to create everything from a walk-in master and must-have shoe closet to a perfectly organized office or craft space. You can even add the beauty and warmth of wood with elfa décor closet shelves and smooth-gliding drawers.