Garbage Pail Kid

When Clara discovered crawling almost two months ago, she discovered more rooms to play in. And when she made the kitchen her new favorite play area, she made our garbage can her new favorite toy. In a word: yuck.

See, our new house garbage solution over the past five months has been embarrassingly “interim.” The cabinet under the sink is too small for even our tiny garbage pail, so it landed in a random corner. Completely out in the open and waiting for little hands to find their way to it. Sooooo… we moved it into the nearby laundry room (which Clara has yet to turn into her playground).

Not our proudest housekeeping moment, but then again this whole laundry room has been living in neglect ever since the new washer & dryer arrived months ago (note the mess of shoes in the foreground). So at least the garbage can fit right in with the whole not-good vibe.

But on a recent trip to HomeGoods we chose to upgrade our trash situation, courtesy of this larger enclosed can.

I’ve always been a bit wary of the durability of these flip-toppin’ foot-pedallin’ garbage cans, and I was even more so when I saw the price tag. It took just about everything in me to pay $60 for it, so thank goodness it wasn’t still priced at over $100 (Sherry googled around for OXO reviews and said they were a great brand that sold many over-a-hundred-dolla cans, so the $60 deal was in fact legit). Maybe I’m just not up to speed on the garbage containment industry, but when did these things get so darn expensive? Did they start making waffles and changing diapers too and I just missed the memo?

Then again my sister does own (and love) an $100+ SimpleHuman trash can that calls for custom bags. So at nearly half that and without a need for custom bags we decided this guy was the can for the job. Har har. See what I did there? I replaced man with can. Oh the hilarity.

In the end, sixty beans is well worth this scene: Clara being able to play without us having to worry about little fingers fishing out an old teabag or clumps of lint. Instead, she can focus on practicing her gang signs (apparently she’s sending big ups to her homies on the west side).

And once we give the kitchen a much needed overhaul with sleeker appliances and more updated looking cabinets it should fit right in. Plus Clara doesn’t seem to have any affinity for the can’s step-lever on the bottom (something we initially worried about) so it’s nice to know that she’s kind of over the idea of playing with the trash now that it’s tucked out of sight.

Our new can also earned bonus points from me for this little feature – which we didn’t even notice when buying it: a bag lock that helps keep any old grocery store garbage bag taut around the can. It actually seems to work too (there’s a bag in it in the pic above and we love that it doesn’t flop out and look messy – or collapse into the depths of the can when we toss things in).

And not only does it look neat and keep our baby out of trouble. It might help her learn something too thanks to its magnetized sides which are compatible with Clara’s magnetic letters (which are a fun Etsy purchase – more info here). She discovered that herself – isn’t she smart?

As for me, I’m just happy not to have to do laundry next to an open garbage bag. Moving it out of this room even inspired us to tidy up our shoe mess with a basket that we already had around.

Not a big improvement, but at least it’s a step in the right direction, right? Booyah. Pun wholeheartedly intended.

Psst- We weren’t paid or perked for this post, we just dig our new trash containment device.


  1. says

    I can’t believe how expensive trash cans are! We actually bought ours at Home Depot and love it. It’s not a pedal kind (although it is a flip top), but it gets the job done and has a mechanism to keep bags from falling down.

    Also, love the picture of Clara. Too bad she didn’t make the East side sign.

  2. Becky Jo says

    I guess a good kitchen trash can is hard to find! My mom got a really nice, sleek looking one years ago, and has yet to divulge the price of it to a single person! We have to admit, though, the bags are locked in tight, the stink never escapes from the can, and the looks of it don’t stick out like a sore thumb in a pretty kitchen. Gotta do whatcha gotta do, right?

  3. says

    Clara and her gang signs are definitely the highlight of this post. Not that I don’t love the new can, I just thought that picture was hilarious!

    • Monica says

      Silent laugh-snorting at the office here over the gang signs…and, actually, silent laugh-snorting kinda hurts! Too funny! LOVE. it.

  4. Jenna says

    Isn’t it CRAZY the things we have to change once we have little ones????!!!! My son has figured out the step lever…and since Clara is a smart girl I’m sure it’s only time…. :)

  5. says

    Crazy people who paid over $100 for a garbage can??

    ::Raises hand::

    I also have the Simple Human stainless steel can, but mine works with any bag since it tucks in like yours does. It’s against my kitchen island, so I felt like I needed a pretty one since there was no logical corner to put it in. We got it at Bed, Bath & Beyond with a 20% of coupon and some gift cards, so I felt totally justified :) And to further justify I’ll just have to show you!

  6. says

    Oh yeah, that would be gross. We have a trash compacter and I hate it! We refuse to buy the special bags and standard sized bags are either way too big or just a smidge too small, so I have to stretch the bag out to get it to fit. Then it usually falls down. I can’t wait to get rid of that thing when we get around to renovating our kitchen. Have you thought about making a designated trash pull out cabinet? Also, have you seen this: Seems like a cool idea, no?

    • says

      When we replaced our island we opted for a cabinet that opens like a drawer (the whole thing slides out, not just a cabinet that opens and you have to pull out the trash) and the trash can is hidden in there. It’s sleek and slim and the garbage fits perfectly. Absolutely worth it.

  7. says

    Haha, it was just a couple months ago I insisted on buying a nice stainless flip-top trash can at Costco. It was also around $60 and my husband nearly had a stroke over the pricetag. Doesn’t do much to keep our toddler out though, while he hasn’t figured out the press-step thingie he just lifts the lid up. LOL
    We just adopted a doggie last week and the fancy trash can has already proven it’s worth with him around. :)

  8. says

    I managed to find a nice silver, sleek pop-top one at goodwill a few years ago (probably my best goodwill find) for $3. Granted it still often sucks the bags down when you throw a large item in but it works. We have a dual system with 2 equal sized trash cans – 1 for trash, 1 for recycling. It always makes me wonder why high end, fancy designer kitchens don’t have more a good trash system/area built in.

  9. says

    If you think trashcans are expensive, have you checked out laundry baskets recently?? I can’t find a decent one for under $85! For dirty clothing!

    Also, the shot of Clara throwing gang signs accompanied by this line “big ups to her homies on the west side” made me snort my morning tea all over my desk!

  10. says

    I was about to upgrade our $7 Target trash can to an an under the counter one when my mom gifted us a Simple Human trash can with a recycling bin in the same can for my birthday. It even has a bag gathering slot/hole so that we can use bags we buy in bulk from BJ’s. Maybe it’s trashy (see what I did there?) or weird to love a garbage can, but at least our dog doesn’t try to steal the recycling anymore!

  11. says

    I can’t imagine buying custom garbage bags like your sister! That Simple Human garbage can must sing show tunes or something…

    One of the first “arguments” my husband and I had after we were married was about garbage bags. I couldn’t believe he wanted to BUY garbage bags. I had always grown up using leftover grocery plastic bags. I ended up conceding on that one. : )

    • tarynkay says

      My husband and I had the same argument when we first got married! But he ended up conceding instead, and to this day, we still use grocery store plastic bags rather than purchasing garbage bags.

  12. Cara says

    We have a stainless flip top simple human trash can from Bed Bath and Beyond. We had it on our wedding registry but ended up buying it ourselves. It was over $150! Good thing BBB has those 20% off coupons. It still works and looks perfect though 3 years later so I guess it was worth it.

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