Organization by Basket

A neighbor called me yesterday and asked if she could come see my cupboards and how I organize things before I start packing up my house.  She had heard from several people that my house was really organized.  (These kind of requests actually embarrass me rather than flatter me.)  I reluctantly agreed. I hope she isn’t disappointed when all she sees is baskets.

Kitchen Cupboard
Linen Closet
Laundry Cupboard

As you can see, I organize by basket.  I use baskets in every room in my house. I have a basket for batteries, tank tops, bras, wash rags, cotton balls, cleaning supplies, medicine, candy, underwear, stain removers, sheets, ironing supplies, nail polish, and single socks just to name a few.

I choose baskets for a few reasons:

1. Baskets give the illusion of organization.  My cupboards look organized but each individual basket isn’t really that organized.  Some are a real mess. But ‘like things are grouped together‘ and that makes it organized.

Teeth Supplies Basket

2. Baskets don’t take much maintenance. You can over organize–putting everything in a perfect little spot. But then your husband, kids, and maybe even you, can’t maintain it.  Baskets are simple enough that husbands and kids can handle. My kids can empty the dishwasher and put sippy cups away without messing up the sippy cup basket.

Sippy Cup Basket

3. Baskets don’t have lids.  And since I don’t have to open a lid, I can put items away with one less step.  One key to being organized and staying on top of clutter is that  “it has to be easier to put away than it was to get out”.   I have to pull down the basket to get it out, but I only have to toss something in to put it away.   I have even taken the lids off of all the bins in my toy closet so I can just throw the toy car in when I step on it.  The stray toy is much more likely to get put away that way.

My favorite baskets are in my storage room. As I mentioned in a previous post, I like to stay ahead of the game.  I shop ahead for gifts, travel, future blog posts, holidays, clothes, parties, etc.  I’ve got to have somewhere to put the fun stuff I come home with.  Since I am not going to use the stuff right away, this is where my baskets come in handy:

I store these holding baskets in my storage room.  I was getting too many baskets so it came time to label them.  I punched ovals out of Kraft paper at the local scrapbooking store and wrote the labels.

Then I tied them on to the baskets with twine.

If you are interested in trying organization by basket here are a few tips:

Make sure you measure your cupboards or shelves before you go out to buy baskets.  Baskets come in all different widths, depths and heights so you want to buy baskets that will maximize and fill the space well.  I have been known to take my tape measure into many different stores and lay out baskets on the floor and measure.

Also, baskets are like clothes.  They have new styles each year so make sure you buy enough baskets the first time.  You can’t go back later and find one that matches.  Trust me I’ve tried.

Tackle just one space or cupboard at a time.  And start small. Just do your linen closet or underneath your sink.  Then move on to your pantry or kitchen.

Now I spent a good year of my life getting the right size baskets for my cupboards and closets and then grouping like items together.  But that was 8 years ago and they have stayed organized ever since with little maintenance.  It was well worth the initial time and money spent to organize by basket.

5 thoughts on “Organization by Basket”

  1. And just think how easy it’s going to be to pack up your house. Just rent a Uhaul and stack all those baskets and you’re out of there!

  2. I’m inspired and motivated by your simple and realistic approach to organization. I’ve bookmarked this page and will be referring to it again and again.

  3. Where is a good place to start looking for baskets? Is this a target or dollar store project? What’s the best place?

    1. I have found cute baskets at the Dollar Store, but it is more of a hit and miss type thing there. If you are only looking for a few, unique ones I would stalk TJ Maxx Home Goods. If you need lots of standard, matching ones to fill a larger space, Target, Wal-Mart or Hobby Lobby are good places because there are multiple stores so you can usually find what you need, and Hobby Lobby’s baskets do go on sale for 50% off quite regularly. Good luck!

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