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How to Hide Trash Cans Outside and in the Kitchen

How to Hide Trash Cans Outside and in the Kitchen

There are certain items that people love to put on display in their homes and yards. Anything from a piece of sculpture to a sofa can set a desirable vibe in the right context. Trash cans, however, do not usually fit into such a category. Frankly, as much as we appreciate the important role trash cans play in keeping a home tidy, they are not the type of item that many people would make a design focal point. Figuring out how to hide your kitchen trash cans (and their accompanying trash bags) can be a bit tricky - while we want them hidden, they also need to be convenient. And this is not limited just to the indoor cans: When it comes to outdoor rollaway trash carts, hiding them can be important for your home’s curb appeal, as well as for keeping wildlife away from your trash

Whatever location you choose for your garbage cans, it’s important to strike a balance between appearance and practicality. Ahead, we’ll cover a lineup of great choices for concealing and securing your trash cans, whether indoor or outdoor. 

How to Hide Trash Cans in the Kitchen

A kitchen trash can has to be easily accessible, even if it’s out of sight. So, when choosing how to hide a trash can in your kitchen, remember that the golden rule is to place it within convenient reach of your food prep area. At the same time, think about which locations will minimize the visibility and the potential odor of your garbage cans.

Here are eight great ideas for how to hide trash cans in your kitchen:

1. Under the Sink

The cabinet beneath the sink is one of the most common places to hide a trash can. This option has some clear advantages. Most kitchens already have under-sink cabinets, and the sink is the center of food prep and cleanup in the kitchen, so the location is ideal. 

However, remember that in most kitchens, this will limit the size of the trash can that you can use to a 10-gallon can or smaller. A large family and/or a household that cooks often might go through multiple 7- to 10-gallon trash bags per day. 

Thus, if you need a kitchen trash can that uses a larger trash bag size, there might be better options for hiding it. A can under the sink can also be a hassle to repeatedly remove and replace, so think about some potentially more convenient options. 

Pull-Out Trash Can

2. Pull-Out Trash Can

One of the most popular and convenient ways to hide a trash can in a kitchen is by using a pull-out kitchen cabinet trash can system. The concept is simple: Install the track system inside your cabinet and then place the bin on the sliding rack and slide it into the cabinet. When you need your trash can, just open the door and slide it out!

Some pull-out trash can slider models are even large enough to accommodate multiple bins. This is especially useful if you keep trash, recycling and/or compost side by side. To make the cans easy to distinguish, try color coding your cans with a set of colored trash bags

TIP: If you choose the popular Simplehuman pull-out can, stock up on our Simplehuman compatible trash bags

3. Pantry or Supply Closet

A pantry or supply closet, if your kitchen has one, can be a convenient place to hide your trash cans. Many pantries and closets are spacious enough to comfortably hold at least one standard 13-gallon trash can, and some can hold two or more. If you’re already keeping brooms, mops, trash bags and other cleaning supplies here, think about whether a trash can and/or recycling bin might be a good fit. 

13-Gallon Drawstring Bags

However, avoid putting a garbage can in the pantry or supply closet if it will make the space too crowded or hard to access. It’s also a good idea to go with a covered can in your pantry to avoid odors, or to consider a smaller can that requires you to take the garbage out more often. Finally, think about location and whether your closet is close enough to the prep and cleanup zone.

4. Tilt-Out Cabinet

The tilt-out cabinet is a close relative of the slide-out, but with a twist. Instead of sliding horizontally when pulled out, the tilt-out cabinet has hinges on the underside of its door that allow it to tilt out vertically and remain upright. It’s easy to use and can look charming in the right kitchen. 

Most tilt-out cabinets, both store-bought and DIY, are free-standing units rather than built-in. That also makes tilt-outs one of the most versatile options for concealing your kitchen trash can since they can be positioned anywhere in the kitchen, and they’re available in many different styles to complement your kitchen’s decor. 

5. Curtain

Curtains are a magical tool for organizing a space. They’ll give you an easy way to control what you see and what your guests see in your home. For times when you need your trash can often, such as cooking dinner, just open them for as long as you need them! Plus, they’re easy to install, available in tons of different fabrics and generally affordable.

As you might guess, however, curtains have only a limited ability to reduce garbage can odors. Once again, if smell is a concern from your garbage cans, choose a can model with a lid, and make sure you’re using high quality garbage can liners that won’t leak into your can. 

6. Laundry Hamper Basket

This one is for those who love to hide in plain sight! It’s easy to repurpose a wooden or wicker laundry hamper box as a trash can holder for your kitchen. This is a popular choice for people whose trash can needs to be easily accessible, and who want an elegant look with minimal effort. 

How does it work? Step 1: Buy a good-looking, reasonably sturdy hamper that’s big enough to put your trash can in and has a lid. Step 2: Put your trash can in that hamper. (Possible Step 3: Remind people not to toss their gym socks in there.) Now your kitchen has a trash can that looks great but is easily accessible! 

Wheeled Trash Can

7. Wheeled Trash Can

Maybe you don’t have the space for a permanent trash can in your kitchen, or maybe you just like the convenience of a garbage can that you can roll in and out at your leisure. Either way, a mobile trash can on caster wheels gives you a versatile way to position your trash can exactly where you need it. 

Wheeled trash cans come in a variety of sizes. The most popular models use the same 13-gallon trash bags that standard kitchen trash cans do, and most have a lid for odor control and wheel brakes to lock the can in place. The bottom line: These wheeled cans can fulfill many of the same functions that normal cans do, but with extra versatility that makes them an MVP in small kitchens and other challenging layouts. 

8. Trash Chute

For those who want maximum convenience without sacrificing discretion, a countertop trash chute can be an excellent addition to your kitchen. The chute is a stainless steel ring with a short pipe attached, which fits into a hole cut into your countertop. Below the chute, you’ll place a trash can to catch the garbage that falls through.

A trash chute works best in a kitchen that has abundant counter space since you’ll be permanently devoting a section of your countertop to it. Once it’s installed, however, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to toss in scraps, wrappers and other trash, but with no trash can taking up visual space in your kitchen! 

Order 13-Gallon Trash Bags for Your Kitchen Trash Can

Close-up Of A Woman's Hand Throwing Vegetables In Trash Bin

A slide-out trash can can make an awesome addition to your kitchen.

How to Hide Trash Cans Outside

In some neighborhoods, you might be required to keep rollaway carts out of sight until trash pickup day. Other times, you might need to hide your trash cans to protect them from weather conditions and/or hungry wildlife. Or, you might be focused on maximizing curb appeal while selling your home. 

Whatever your reason for hiding your outdoor trash cans, here are six great ideas for how to do it. 

Attached Garage

1. Attached Garage

Many people store their rollaway carts in an attached garage until pickup day. The garage is the most convenient place for most people to store their rollaway carts, and storing the cans inside also makes it much easier to keep raccoons out of your trash cans

The garage isn’t the right choice for everyone, however. If you use your garage frequently, or it’s how guests enter and exit the house, other methods of hiding your outdoor garbage cans might work better for your needs. 

A garbage can in the garage might also produce strong odors. Fortunately, though, it’s usually possible to keep a garbage can from smelling in the garage with a few simple countermeasures. 

2. Garden Shed or Detached Garage

If you already have a garden shed or detached garage on your property, it might be another suitable place for your outdoor trash cans. For those who’d rather avoid potential unpleasant smells in the house altogether, parking these cans in an outbuilding on your property conceals them while still keeping them secure and away from your home. 

Whether this option is practical for you depends on where your outbuildings are and how often you need to access your rollaway carts. If the outbuildings are close to the house, or you only need to access your carts occasionally, this option might be ideal. Otherwise, you might think about a solution that can be positioned wherever you want it in your yard, like the next three options.

3. Privacy Screen

A privacy screen is an elegant way to disguise your outdoor trash cans. It’s basically a small outdoor fence that shields your outdoor trash cans and keeps them out of view. Privacy screens are relatively easy to install, and they come in many different shapes and sizes. Many people place them close to the house for convenience’s sake, but choose what makes sense for you!

Some privacy screens are primarily for the visual effect of concealing the cans. Others are more durably built and can help protect your outdoor cans from weather conditions like strong winds. If you’re tired of waking up in the morning to your outdoor garbage cans halfway down the street, a privacy fence might be just what you need. 

Trash Enclosure

4. Trash Enclosure

Maybe you’re having trouble keeping raccoons and other animals out of the garbage, or maybe you’re looking for maximum discretion in where you keep your outdoor rollaway carts. Either way, a rugged outdoor trash can enclosure with a top cover might be the right choice to keep outdoor trash secure and out of sight. 

These enclosures are made from tough materials like plastic polymer resins or even metal, and they’re built to totally enclose your garbage cans. Most also include a locking mechanism. Thus, you’ll keep your cans secure from wildlife while also protecting them from weather conditions and keeping them out of sight. High quality trash enclosures aren’t cheap, but they’re definitely an effective option.

5. Hedges and Other Landscaping

If you’re using other methods to deter animals and you like the au naturel approach, hedges or other landscaping plants could be an excellent choice for concealing your rollaway carts. The “privacy hedge” is a great choice, since the landscaping itself adds to your home’s curb appeal while covering up the trash cans that don’t. 

Evergreen hedge plants are an excellent choice to make sure that your privacy hedge stays private all year round. Arborvitae and other members of the thuja genus are popular, but be sure to check the USDA’s Hardiness Zones map to learn about which plants will tolerate temperatures in your location. 

6. Under Deck Storage Cabinet

Does your home have a deck? Adding under deck storage is an excellent choice for storing trash cans and anything else you’d like to keep out of sight. Simply adding wooden lattice work or siding boards to the space under your deck might be enough, or you might create an entire dry storage system that allows you to store yard equipment and other things you’d like to protect.

Order 96-Gallon Trash Bags for Your Rollaway Carts

No matter where you store your trash cans, Plasticplace has the perfect selection of high quality trash can liners to fit them. Browse all of our 96-gallon trash bags for your outdoor rollaway carts, or find the perfect 13-gallon trash bags for your kitchen trash now. Even when they’re behind the scenes, we love knowing that our bags are hard at work in your home!

Image Credits:



Joni Hanebutt/

Aleksandra Suzi/

Monkey Business Images/

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