January 13, 2012

friday’s five minute fix: throw it in a basket

It’s time for Friday’s five minute fix … and today, all you need to do is add a basket!

Baskets are one of my favorite tools for style and organization, because — let’s face it — we all have things that pile up faster than you can say “pile up.”  Whether we are talking about toys in the living room or bills to pay or statements to file,  I bet you have a stack of something sitting somewhere.  It’s even worse when it’s not a stack … but instead scattered everywhere!  But once you throw your kiddo’s junk those treasures in a basket, well, everything just looks oh-so-much better!  Totes, caddies and bins serve the same purpose as baskets, but — because they often aren’t as decorative — may be more appropriate for storage “behind closed doors.”

Here are a few places that I’ve used baskets or totes in my own home —

  • Under the kitchen sink to store cleaning supplies
  • Under the bathroom sinks for toiletries
  • In the laundry room cabinets to store small, hard-to-stack items like batteries, sponges and dental floss.
  • In the garage to stash kids’ shoes … much more likely to be crazy dirty (or filled with sand) than Mommy or Daddy’s!
  • In my closet to stash flip-flops and tennis shoes
  • Near the back door to drop keys and gloves
  • In the pantry and upstairs closet for first-aid kits
  • By the fireplace to store firewood
  • In the living room to stash toys
  • In the playroom to sort toys
  • Near the front door for the dog leash

Baskets come in all shapes and sizes, from pretty to plain — and I think I use all of them.  Here are a few of my favorites.

Smith & Hawken Woven Basket with Chalkboard

The built-in chalkboard makes this easy to label!  Unless your basket or bin is open or see-through, I always recommend labeling it.  After all, the basket doesn’t do you any good if you don’t know what is supposed to be in there.

Michael Graves for Target Caddy.

This easy-clean caddy makes a great catchall inside cabinets and closets.  I have rows of the smaller size in my laundry room and several of the larger size in my pantry.   The smaller sizes mainly hold small toiletries and batteries, and the larger sizes store cleaning products.

Williams-Sonoma‘s Higbee Round Baskets

These baskets are beautiful in person.  I saw some at Home Goods the other day that looked very similar to this and cost a lot less.

IKEA‘s KNODD Bin with Lid

I use this wastebasket as a toy sorter … and it comes in great colors as well.

Dandux All-Purpose Canvas Basket

Meant for laundry, this canvas basket can hold just about anything from stuffed animals to extra throw blankets.

Do you have a favorite basket or tote?


  • Holly
    Jan. 13, 2012
    We have that Ikea metal basket in my daughter's room and we have a woven basket in the living room for toys as well. Now I'm thinking I need a few more to store some junk and make it look pretty. I like that you listed out places to use them too - so smart! Have a great weekend!
  • kathysue
    Jan. 13, 2012
    Traci you make a really good point with a basket it does only take a few minutes to put something in it!! Kathysue
  • designchic
    Jan. 14, 2012
    Love a woven basket like the Williams- Sonoma ones. They add a little texture to the room, and yes, perfect for putting all of those books and toys!!
  • Meghan Blum
    Jan. 15, 2012
    Love the pictures and how beautifully baskets can look in a room!
  • The Vintique Object
    Jan. 16, 2012
    I like every room you featured in this post, Traci. We have two of the William Sonoma baskets in the playroom. So sturdy and they hold a ton of toys. When I finish redoing the girls' bedroom, they'll each go at the end of their black painted twin bed frames, which I am hoping will look cute. They are such a nice scale. What I really want is that Higbee round basket. Gorgeous. I also love, but have not yet bought Ballard Designs Provence market basket. Camille
  • Sheila @ SZInteriors
    Jan. 18, 2012
    I'm a basket girl, too. They just make like so much easier. I'd way rather pull out a basket, than knock things over on a shelf! I love the photos you selected, too, Traci :-)

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