wastebasket with crumpled paper around it

By The Cleaning Lady


Having a wastebasket in every room helps you save time by not walking around the house trying to find a trash can, and it helps you, and your family, keep your house clean by throwing things in the bin instead of on the floor.


First I should make a note. While trying to figure out if wastebasket was one or two words (the consensus is one), I realized that people call their trash receptacles many different things depending on where in the world you live. Waste bin, trash can, garbage can, rubbish bin? It’s really enough to make your head spin.

I grew up with a “kitchen trash can” (big one) and all the little ones were “wastebaskets.” I will interchange these thought this post, but the only thing I’m talking about is the thing you throw garbage in. OK, let’s carry on. See my article for more on everything you need to know about wastebaskets.

So most everyone knows that you are going to need a trash can in the kitchen. Most of the trash-producing magic happens in there. Then there are the bathroom wastebaskets that you put your bathroom stuff in. But what about the other rooms? Does trash not accumulate in those rooms? The living room, bedrooms, office, den, dining room, even the hallway? It certainly does! Especially if you have children.

What is a wastebasket?

A wastebasket, or a waste bin, trash can, garbage can, or rubbish bin, is a container designed to hold trash until it’s ready to be taken out to your big garbage can or dumpster. Whether it’s a large kitchen trash can or a small wastebasket in the bedroom, these receptacles serve the essential purpose of keeping our homes clean and organized. They come in various shapes, sizes, and designs, from decorative wastebaskets to jazz up a room to functional ones with lids operated by foot pedals. The common goal? To provide a convenient place to toss garbage so it is not all over your home.

Why are waste bins important?

Waste bins play an important role in maintaining cleanliness, sanitation and order in our homes. By having a designated place to throw away trash, we prevent litter from accumulating in places we don’t want it, like on the floor or countertops.. Wastebaskets save time, especially when you’re in a hurry to clean up before guests arrive or simply trying to keep up with daily tidying.

They also keep bugs, pest and germs at bay. Unsanitary conditions can make you sick. Trash bins also encourage everyone in the house, including children, to dispose of trash properly. Strategically placing wastebaskets in places where you generate trash ensures that trash ends up where it belongs, not scattered around the house.

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What rooms do you need a wastebasket in?

The simple answer is every room! From the kitchen, where most trash is produced, to the living room, bedrooms, office, den, dining room, and even the hallway. By increasing the number of wastebaskets in your house, you reduce the probability that trash will accumulate in the wrong places.

What type of wastebasket do you need?

When it comes to selecting the right type of wastebasket, consider the room’s function and your personal preferences. In the kitchen, a larger bin with a lid may be ideal to contain food waste and odors. For living spaces or bedrooms, decorative wastebaskets that match the room’s decor can add a stylish touch.

If you’re concerned about recycling, dual-compartment bins can help you separate recyclables from regular trash. For those who enjoy a game of trash basketball, a lidless option might be the way to go. Ultimately, the type of wastebasket you need depends on the room’s usage, your aesthetic preferences, and your waste disposal habits. Whether it’s functionality or flair you’re after, there’s a wastebasket to suit every need and taste. I’ve rounded up the best trash cans and wastebaskets here.

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Reasons you need a wastebasket in every room of the house

It’s a major time saver

Say the kids trashed the living room and the in-laws are coming over in 15 minutes. Which is easier? Juggling five empty Go-Gurts, three chocolate milk containers, and a bevy of half-eaten PB&J sandwiches all the way to the kitchen (for risk of making a bigger mess when your Jenga stack collapses) or grabbing your living room wastebasket and tossing it all in? Stick it behind a chair if you like until they leave and you can empty it.

Check out more tips on how to speed clean your house here. Woman’s Day also has a great article on which I’m quoted in about tips for efficient house cleaning here.

It helps you, and everyone in your house, throw things away

Placing wastebaskets in strategic locations in every room helps everyone throw trash away. Mr. Cleaning Lady likes to eat mini candy bars in bed while he watches TV. It’s his guilty pleasure so I’ll give him that. But, like most men, he puts all the wrappers on the night stand so he doesn’t have to get up and walk all the way to the kitchen. All the while the ceiling fan is on full blast blowing those wrappers everywhere.

Before you know it I’m chasing Twix wrappers down the hall. So I put a wastebasket in between the bed and the night stand. Now, he is mindlessly putting his wrappers in the wastebasket. WIN WIN!

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My client, The Weightlifting Bachelor, eats all of his meals on paper plates on the couch in his living room. So I put his big kitchen trash can right next to the couch and and vwallah! I’m not spending an hour each visit trying to pick up half-eaten steak and boiled egg land mines. He doesn’t care if it’s an eye sore or not. He’s a bachelor.

The point is to find your garbage weak points in each room and put a wastebasket there. This is especially helpful if you are trying to teach your children to clean up after themselves. If there is a wastebasket within arms reach, they will more likely throw the thing in their hands away.

All and all, by increasing the amount of wastebaskets in your house, you are reducing the probability that trash will accumulate in the wrong places. Makes sense, right?