The comment that Eric left in the first entry is right on target with the suggestion to use parts bins. What you see more commonly used for apparel, are cardboard parts bins or even cardboard boxes with a slot cut into them to enable someone to reach inside and grab merchandise. Usually these bins are stacked when there are multiple sizes per item so that one item/colorway takes up one vertical column of bins. When you have more sizes than S, M, L and XL, this becomes less possible.
Warehouse/utility storage usually comes in dimensions to adequately fit warehouse/utility shelving. This is why using regular Rubbermaid type home storage bins rarely fits the space properly. In addition, warehouse/utility storage bins are usually deep enough to utilize the depth of warehouse/utility shelving.
Now that we have discussed that, there’s one more important issue:
Often, a business will use clear bins because they have multiple styles in the same bin. Typically, efficient warehousing only has one unique SKU (one unique color/size combination) per bin. For example, see the photos Vesta took of her inventory set up (two are below).
Her cubbies are set up with one SKU per cubby. You should not have two different prints nor two different sizes in the same bin. This can either cause a lot of wasted space for people who carry small quantities of small items, or it requires you to use smaller bins, or possibly compartmentalized bins.
There is good reason for this, the more you reduce the need to read, decipher or interpret differences between items, the better. Packing and picking becomes much quicker and less error prone.
A long time ago, I wrote a series of posts on proper item identification and the reasons for them. The idea is that anyone should be able to come in and pack one of your orders because the packages are appropriately identified in a way that matches a packing slip. Well, that is a primer for this. Your items should be warehoused in such a way that anyone can pull your orders without having to know the differences between colors or prints or whatever combinations you have. It’s also quicker because someone doesn’t have to sift through items to find the right size or color and this reduces errors tremendously. Typically one sku is used per bin, with the sku clearly labeled on the bin for easy identification. Bold, black, block letters are best.
Also when shelving items, you put your most popular items at the level of easy reach, and typically, easier to get to. If you have more product than fits in a single bin, you typically store the excess up top (maximize your use of vertical space) and bring it down and replenish the lower bins as needed.
And just on a personal note, there does not seem to be enough space between the rows of shelving. That’s a personal observation, but I would also urge the owners to check and make sure they are not violating occupational safety and hazard guidelines with that little bit of walking room between rows. It just seems to be a cramped space to pull orders in. Typically when pulling a lot of orders, the picker/packer would use a utility cart and the rows do not seem to have enough space between them for a utility cart and a person.