Practically Perfect:
JosephJoseph Totem Bin

23 August 2016

Much of this blog is about the finishing touches that make a house into a home: decorative accessories; nice bedding; furniture and home furnishings. I’m not a home owner so these things are the means by which I, and many renters like me, personalise space when a complete makeover is out of the question.

It is not just the pretty finishing touches that make a difference to one’s sense of ownership and comfort at home, but the practical ones too. And so I thought I’d start a new mini series entitled ‘Practically Perfect’, which will focus on the more mundane, but not unimportant, items whose good design will enhance your home and make everyday living just that little bit nicer. First up, the kitchen bin:

I’m loathe to show you a before and after picture – I’ll save it to the end of the post – but my previous recycling/waste set up was an Aldi shopping carrier and a small 12-litre inside-cupboard bin that was now an outside-cupboard-on-the-floor bin. Both were by my back door, so you had to battle past these eyesores if you entered or exited that way.

After lusting over a JosephJoseph Totem bin since I saw one featured on The Twinkle Diaries blog, I was eager to replace my less than ideal set up with something similar. Living on my own, I didn’t need the wonderful, but rather monumental, Totem 60, so instead opted for the Totem 48, a more compact version for smaller kitchens (and in my case, smaller volumes of waste).


I feel a little silly raving about a bin (and wait till I get on to ironing boards!) but my, this is one sexy bin. And that’s the whole point of this series and celebrating the mundane – you never see people’s bins in the glossy homes and interiors magazines (check this out, it’s true!), but how many times a day do we put something in the bin or recycling, so why shouldn’t that experience be made a pleasant one? And that’s what good design does.

Just look at the Totem 48 with its sleek stainless steel top. Pressing the button makes the lid silently glide up, revealing a perfectly proportioned rectangular waste receptacle – in JosephJoseph lime green, shown below lined with the proprietary grey refuse sack with lime green tie handles (the colour coordination is killing me!). Even with my old bin I bought that brand’s tie-handle refuse sacks – it might seem like an unnecessary expense when you could use any supermarket carrier or plastic bag, but you’ll just have to take my word that it is worth it!


Because of the generous proportions, there is no precarious angling of delph* in order to get scraps in without spilling over the sides, and another great feature is the odour control in the lid – perfect for me as my waste is mainly fruit and veg peelings, as I don’t have a garden, allotment, pigs, chickens or an organic waste collection! If you do, the Totem 60 with its separate organic waste collection unit would be ideal.

*I think delph might be an Irish expression – for crockery – as I don’t hear people saying it here?

Underneath the bin section is the recycling drawer, which again is really well designed, smoothly pulling out to its full capacity and containing a lime green receptacle with an internal (removable) separator so you can keep different types of materials in discrete compartments. I was worried that this section might be too small, as I recycle a lot, and my Aldi bag was always overflowing, but I need not have fretted – even with the divider in, the Totem 48 recycling drawer will easily take 1.5 litre bottles – probably the biggest items I ever recycle.

The recycling drawer also has clever liner-retaining holes, breather vents and carrier bag hooks – JosephJoseph have thought of everything and I can see why they call this system ‘intelligent’! Check out the video to see the Intelligent Waste system of the Totem bin in action:

I’m absolutely delighted with the Totem 48 bin. My rented kitchen is a bit tired in the decor department, so this little but significant improvement has made a big difference to how I feel when spending time there. Now instead of a pile of clutter in that neglected corner by the back door, its lovely shine welcomes me and keeps everything contained, tidy and odour-free. Bye bye Aldi bag, Hello Totem!


Thank you to JosephJoseph who sent me a Totem 48 to review.
All opinions and words are my own and honest.

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