It's that time of year again: School registration is upon us, new supplies have been purchased, and your kids are ready to go back to school. Unfortunately, all the supplies and odds and ends of the school day can equal major clutter in your home. This is where storage bins come in handy. Lidless bins are a great way to minimize school clutter, and in a few simple steps you can make them for much cheaper than they can be purchased.

Get cardboard boxes.

The base of your bin will be made from cardboard. Your local liquor store should have boxes for free almost every day. All you have to do is pick them up. Don't worry about what the boxes look like; you're going to cover them up. Try to get boxes that are the same size if you have more than one child. Most liquor stores have three or four same size wine boxes, so matching sizes should be easy.

Cover the boxes.

Here's the fun part. You can cover the boxes in anything you like. Wrapping paper is a great idea. Almost everyone has some lying around, so you can customize your bin instantly. Wrapping paper is cheap, so if all you have on hand is last year's holiday paper you can pick up some new paper to suit your tastes. Another idea for those who like scrap-booking is to use scrapbook paper. The colors, pictures and designs are endless! The kids might think it is fun to get involved and help pick out the paper for their bin. You can secure the paper with either a thin bead of glue or tape.

Protect the paper.

Now that your cardboard box has transformed into a pretty storage bin, you need to keep it looking that way. That paper needs to be protected. This is where Mod Podge comes in. If you don’t have Mod Podge at home, consider waiting for a 40% off Hobby Lobby coupon to use.  Mod Podge is available in either a glossy or matte finish.  Cover your design with Mod Podge and let it dry. A craft sponge (not one out of your kitchen!) really helps to make a smooth, thin coat. Let the bin dry completely and add one more coat. Make sure the box is dry before adding the second coat, or the Mod Podge will look cloudy. Let it dry one more time after the additional coat. Once the bin is dry it's ready to use. It will help your children keep track of backpacks, school projects, library books and anything else they might bring home from school.