Having trouble deciding what size trash can is right for your home? Follow these steps to determine what sized receptacle will best suit you and your family’s needs. Then you can choose a bin that blends with your space the best and is the most functional.

Choosing an Indoor Trash Can

Choosing an indoor trash can is a lot different than choosing an outdoor one. In some cases, depending on where you live, your city will provide trash and recycling bins to meet collection standards. In this case, your choice is already made. But indoor trash cans are a different story. Unless you live in an apartment, you’re on your own when it comes to choosing indoor bins. There are many different types and sizes of trash cans to choose from, so consider a few different factors to choose the best for your space.

Factors for Sizing

To determine the best trash can for your space, there are a few factors that you’ll need to consider before finding the right product.


Depending on where you want to keep your indoor garbage can, the recommended size varies from room to room. Most homes even feature multiple trash receptacles throughout the house for convenience. For example, you’ll probably want to feature a garbage bin in the kitchen, bathrooms, office, and bedrooms. Recommended sizing varies from room to room—bathroom and office trash cans are usually smaller to avoid drawing attention to them, while you’ll need a bigger bin for food scraps in the kitchen.

Number of Home Occupants

You’ll also need a larger trash receptacle for larger households. Unless you want to take out the trash on a near daily basis, you’ll want to choose a bin size that accommodates your family’s needs. For example, for a family of four, a 12 to 16-gallon bin is usually appropriate. Any more than four family members, and you may want a bin that holds 20 to 30 gallons.


Of course, you can’t store a large trash bin indoors if you don’t have the space for it in the first place. If your rooms are on the small side, try a medium to small-sized trash bin to avoid drawing attention to it. Great hiding places for trash cans include under kitchen cabinets, in corners, and in pull-out drawers—just make sure you can access it when needed.

How Often You Take Out the Trash

Another factor for trash can size is how often you can take out the trash. If your family is constantly on the run and can’t afford more than your weekly trash run before collection day, you may want a larger 20 to 30-gallon bin that can store more and won’t fill up as quickly. Just make sure that you cover the bin to avoid any food or other garbage odors in your kitchen.

Overall, judge what size trash can is right for your home by looking at the space you have and how much trash you create. If you find that your current bin is constantly overflowing with trash, you may need to take it out more often or upgrade to a larger size. And you can also minimize your trash levels by recycling and composting.