Organize (and Decorate) Your Home on a Budget with Baskets

What's an item that can help you organize every room in your home, helps create the appearance that you're a tidy housekeeper (even if you're not), and perks up your decorating scheme?

Need another hint?

It comes in all shapes, sizes, colors and materials and can be found in many local retail stores, including craft stores and discount retailers, and at flea markets and craft shows and well basically it's a universal item found all over the world. You probably have one right now in your home.

It's a basket!

So the next time someone gives you one filled with anything from sweets to colognes, don't discard it once you've used what's in it. Once the items are gone, the basket's job has only just begun. Read onward to find out how to use this wonderful item in every room in your house.

For instance, in the kitchen, you can use hanging wall pocket baskets, which have flat backs, to store dry sponges and scrubbers as well as pot holders, oven mitts, dry dish rags and spare kitchen hand towels.

And in your family room or den, you might use a deep, round or cylindrical shaped basket on the coffee table to hold television or other electronic remotes. A basket made of rags will slide without scratching (or put a doily underneath). (Imagine never losing the television remote again because you have an assigned place to put it in full view--that blends in with your home decor.)

And in the bedroom, a wicker hamper with a lid in the closet can store extra pillows and keep them dust-free. If you see openings in the wicker slats or don't like your linens snagging on the inside of the basket, line the hamper with a sheet or large gallon trash bag.

The ideas for using these globally designed and sold products that have been around for decades are infinite. And probably no product is so practical and useful as well as beautiful. (And modestly priced too!) Baskets are handmade works of art that are functional. Imagine serving drinks on that glorious one-of-a-kind painting you have hanging on the wall. Not! But with baskets you can literally put your most unique artwork into daily usage and daily view.

Baskets come in many sizes, shapes and materials such as willow, rattan, bamboo, rope, palm leaf, wire and rags. And many are adorned with metal garnishes, dried coco flowers, gugo vine handles and more.

It's that variety of qualities that make baskets so easy to organize AND decorate with simultaneously.

And you don't have to take a basket as it comes. Dress up any of your baskets by gluing on your own garnishments. For example, craft stores sell all types of trinkets you can glue on your baskets. Be creative. Try personalizing your baskets with anything from buttons to plastic candy canes to miniature toy figures or mini cloth stockings. You could also buy miniature toys and figurines from typical large discount retailers or smaller dollar stores. (What fun to do by yourself or with your children). And when you're done, you can still put that basket to work in an organizational function in your home---only it will have twice the value to you (the purchase price plus the priceless sentimental value).

(c) 2004 Karen Fritscher-Porter

About The Author

Excerpted from the book entitled How to Organize and Decorate with Baskets by Karen Fritscher-Porter. Learn how to get your own copy at http://www.OrganizeWithBaskets.com.

In The News:

Organizing and Being Organized  Jacobin magazine
Focus on organizing your photos  Minneapolis Star Tribune

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