Who has the willpower to resist the lure of a basket? Both decorative and functional, baskets have woven themselves into our interior decorator psyches like the way peanut butter and milk chocolate have bonded in Reese’s Pieces. How could baskets ever qualify as C.R.U.D.? Baskets are part of the solution, aren’t they?
Baskets come in so many appealing shapes, sizes and designs they practically leap off the shelves at you. The purchase is always justifiable because they serve a practical purpose – you can always figure out what to put in there later. Bear in mind, while they can be good for storage, they are opaque, so you may forget what is in there.
Ultimately, baskets are storage containers. Used strategically, they can be employed to organize anything from the dreaded “36 rolls is-too- much- toilet paper syndrome” by handling the overflow, to taming used bus transfer collections. They can make you look like a pro – no visible clutter to eschew.
This may sound like pure blasphemy coming from the lips of real-life professional organizers, but baskets very often are enablers for people who cannot surrender anything. In the hands of the heavily retentive clients, baskets are the temporary band-aids that perpetuate life-long dependence on possessions for sustenance. Cosmetic in nature, baskets furnish the illusion that fastidiousness lives here. It’s the quick fix that eliminates the requirement for editing, evaluation and purging.
Perhaps it is time to extricate yourself from basket enslavement.
Let’s be clear: not all baskets were created equal. If you have the heart to trim your own basket compilation, these should prove to be helpful guidelines. Our least favorite baskets are the round ones with the single, huge handle. They enter your home Easter candy in tow. Those gigantic handles make them impossible to store, so they sit around, year round in your kitchen or on a coffee table. They fall over a lot too. Don’t waste any goodbye tears on them. They are the first to go.
We are not particularly fond of small round baskets in general. Most drawers and cabinets are square or rectangular. If you are using baskets to organize a drawer, round baskets waste a good deal of space. Those two categories should make a sizable dent in your inventory. Baskets that are falling apart are also not worth keeping. You can ruin a perfectly good wicker basket by piling up too many issues of Style at Home magazines in it. Wicker was never designed to shoulder that much weight.
On the positive side, large rectangular baskets make great additions to closet shelving, going a long way to maintain avalanche control over falling purses and sweaters. If your lower kitchen cupboards don’t have pullout shelves or drawers, a large basket makes a good home for pot lids or plastic food storage containers. Use small baskets in different sizes to define categories inside drawers.
The rest is up to you. The most difficult part will be to decide whether or not you really need what was being secreted in the baskets you discard. Baskets make everything look better – but that does not give you license to keep everything simply because you have found a way to make it look less messy.