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Saturday, August 27, 2016


I am a proponent of the "a place for everything and everything in its place" policy of homemaking. Containing the clutter in a neat, organized, easy-to-access fashion is particularly important in small spaces where storage is at a premium.

Baskets are my favorite storage solution, and they feature prominently in our home. Brick and mortar stores such as Pier One, Home Goods, and TJ Maxx often have sales on their baskets and online venues like Overstock and Amazon also have reasonably priced basketry. Aside from their affordability, their wide variety of shapes and materials make baskets a practical storage option for almost any space and content.

In our living room a large grass basket is perfect for holding magazines while a ceramic bucket holds dog toys. As opposed to a true basket, the weight of the ceramic bucket keeps it from tipping over when the kids root through it.

On a bookshelf a lidded, braided basket serves as a catch-all for sunglasses, wallets, and others odds and ends as we come and go from the house. This makes it easy to keep track of our items while also keeping them safe from doggy teeth. From an aesthetic point of view, it also adds some nice texture to the shelfscape.

In the laundry alcove, matching baskets keep laundry supplies, household cleaning items, and pet supplies easily accessible yet out of sight. These medium-sized baskets are surprisingly spacious, making them the perfect choice for organizing an abundance of items this tight space. A fourth, smaller basket holds cleaning rags.

However, the pièce de résistance of basket employment in our house is the hall "closet" space. This series of open shelving offers much needed storage, but as a person who hates clutter the idea of open shelving initially horrified me.

Finding a way to keep all our linens, extra blankets, towels, medications, and medical supplies out in the open -- without looking cluttered -- was key. Fortunately, my little binder of inspiration came through once again with this organizational gem from the January 2015 issue of Southern Living.

Reassured that open shelving can be both functional and attractive, I set to work translating this idea for our own home. Ultimately, a combination of neat folding and basketry created an easy to maintain storage space.

On the lowest shelf a basket reduces confusion by keeping sheets for the guest bed separate from the master bedroom sheets. Baskets on the middle shelf hold medications, medicines, vitamins, and all the items our small bathroom cabinet cannot accommodate: spare razors, lint rollers, sunscreen, and so forth. On the top shelf a round, linen-lined basket holds bubble bath, essential oils, and other pampering materials.

The curtain on the bottom, made from leftover upholstery fabric, hides the baby gate protected litterbox (or, as the dogs view it, "treat box") along with spare litter and scoop.

Overall, employing baskets to organize my clutter has been one of the smartest organization decisions I've ever made. I have owned almost all of the baskets featured here for years, and in every apartment and house I've lived in they have proved both versatile and essential. 

So join me on Team Basket and see for yourself why baskets have been used for centuries and across civilizations: they are awesome. 

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