The Family Bin (known as the Sim Bin in The Sims and the Gallery in The Sims 4; sometimes alternately called the Library) is the section of the game interface where a Sim or a household is stored until they have a residential lot to be placed in. It's as if the Sims are "in limbo" when they're not living on a residential lot. After a family is created in Create a Sim mode they go straight into the family bin, and from there they can be moved into a lot. In The Sims and The Sims 2, families go into the family bin when they are moved out of a residential lot; when they are moved into a lot, they will disappear from the family bin. In The Sims 3, families moved into a lot do not disappear from the bin, meaning that the same family can be moved into the same world multiple times.
The family bin in The Sims accessed by clicking the "Create A Family" button in the button bar at the top of the neighborhood view. The button is at the left of the button bar, and has a stylized picture of a family.
The bin is rather basic, and is simply a list of families. For each family, it shows the family's name, a headshot of each member, the amount of funds the family has, and the number of family friends. The player can select a family and either delete it or move it into a lot.
Individual Sims are unable to move to the family bin from an existing household; in order to move Sims from the game into the family bin, the entire family must be evicted.
This screen also contains the button used to access Create a Sim.
Sims in the family bin cannot be called. Since they are not living on a residential lot that has a phone, they are not considered to have a phone.
Family bin families:
Other neighborhoods do not have pre-made families in the Family bin.
The Sims 2
The Sims 2 adds the ability for individual family members to move out by using the "Find Own Place" option in a newspaper or computer. Telling a Sim to do this places them in the family bin, and the last name of the Sim who used the paper or computer to find their own place will be used as the household name. If The Sims 2: University is installed, a Sim goes into the family bin when he or she leaves college, and his or her last name will be used as the household name.
With University, college sub-neighborhoods have a student bin, which serves the same purpose as the family bin. Households created in Create-A-Student are placed there, as are households created by sending teen Sims to college, and students who are moving from one college residence to another. If Create-A-Student or the Send Teens to College tool is used, the player will be able to name the household.
Until University, Sims or Sim families in the family bin could not be combined with other households. This feature allows teens who are going to college to join an existing (non-Greek) household, and allows graduates to do things such as re-join their families or form households with friends from college.
The family bin, unlike the lots and houses bin, is neighborhood specific, so families can't be moved from one neighborhood to another. Sub-neighborhoods are the exception, though. A sub-hood (with the exception of a university) attached to a neighborhood shares its family bin. So, for example, if there is a Downtown attached to Pleasantview, any of Pleasantview's inhabitants could go to live in Downtown and vice-versa.
Sims in the family bin cannot be called, even if they have cell phones. Since they are not living on a residential lot that has a phone, they are not considered to have a phone, even if they have a cell phone. However, Sims in the family bin may be brought home from work or school. Also, if The Sims 2: Open for Business is installed, they may appear in the hiring pool, and if The Sims 2: FreeTime is installed, they may appear on hobby lots.
Players can delete households that are in the family bin, but doing so is not recommended. Deleting a household from the family bin doesn't actually remove all the data from the character files of the Sims in the household. It can leave behind orphaned memories, invisible gossip memories, or files that are related to the "permanently missing" Sims. This can eventually cause the neighborhood to become corrupt. The correct way to delete a Sim can be found here.
Family bin families:
- Riverblossom Hills
- O'Mackey (Alexandra)
The secret sub-neighborhoods included in Pets, Seasons, Bon Voyage, FreeTime, and Apartment Life contain families which will appear in the family bin in all neighborhoods. Adding college and Bluewater Village sub-neighborhoods will also add families to the bin in all neighborhoods or colleges.
Student bin families:
- Sim State University
- La Fiesta Tech
- Academie Le Tour
Secret neighborhoods families:
- Exotic Destinations
The Sims 3
The family bin in The Sims 3 works more or less in the same way as in The Sims 2, but now also shows the difficulty of each household. Unlike previous games, the family bin is identical in all neighborhoods with the same families, meaning that moving a household to the family bin will make their members lose all relationships with the original neighborhood's Sims. Additionally, a copy of the family will be kept in the bin when the player moves them into the game, meaning that it is possible for the player to move different copies of the same family into the same world multiple times. As in the previous games, Sims in the family bin can't be contacted in any way.
Family bin families:
The Sims 4
In The Sims 4, the Family bin is replaced with the Gallery, but both features serve the same basic function for households and families that have yet to be moved in. The Gallery is identical in all worlds and games, and the households placed within it can be placed in multiple games and in any worlds. There are five pre-made Maxis/EA households in the Gallery:
More official downloadable families made by the SimGurus can be found elsewhere in the Gallery when it is accessed online.
There is another feature which is called manage households. This allowed you to view households that live in the world and Sims that do not. This is only per save like the Family bin from the Sims 2. You can move households into the world from here and manage current families.