The magical wonders of baskets and trays

I am slowly but steadily working this house toward a state of organized splendor. If you dropped by today, you would not be aware of progress – but it’s happening, people! It is happening!

Ignoring the messes that need attention, I have been focused on what I call the magical wonders of baskets and trays. Critical to any home organization effort is the humble basket and its companion, the tray. My beloved Pottery Barn sells a wide selection of gorgeous baskets and trays – although I buy the Target knock-offs. We have them all over this house and they help us in many ways.

First up, the trays:

Trays are a great way to de-clutter surfaces where things collect that get daily use – there’s no point in “putting them away” only to pull them right back out.

bathroom counter

side table in family room

My next example is not pretty – and to point out the obvious, none of these pictures are “styled” because who are we kidding!?! Most of us drop junk on the kitchen counter that sits for days. Rather than having it strewn all over, I like to have a junk tray:

things that need attention

My friend Kristina’s junk tray literally never looks messier than say one receipt and a spare key. It kills me. The woman is Judo Master of Organization.

books and photo cards in the front entry

OK, moving on to baskets! We generally don’t wear shoes in our house, so I keep shoe baskets in the garage and in the laundry room for all of the kids’ shoes and the ones I wear most often – super convenient as we head out the door! Here are some other ways we are using baskets…

a “to do” basket on my desk

our collection of liquers for coffee

magazines on the coffee table

junk that lives on the kitchen desk

leftover wine for cooking and kitchen utensils

a basket to hide our coffee making supplies

sugar for my sweetie

keurig supplies in the cabinet

I’ve been showing you close-ups of baskets which is probably less reinforcing than seeing them in context. This next picture really captures the magical wonders of baskets:

all nice and neat – and hiding this…

who would want to look at this?!?


hidden in plain sight

reading material by the sofa and my comfy chair

a basket under our coffee table serves as a favorite kitty cat napping spot

There is one down side to baskets – and it’s a big one. They hide stuff. No, really. You can easily forget what’s in there. This junk basket sat out in our kitchen for a year before I decided to hide it in the laundry room – and then it got worse!

the dangers of junk baskets

Let this be a cautionary tale! USE YOUR BASKETS WISELY. The key to great organization is really not “storage” but “processes” meaning it’s only organized if you work at keeping it organized. every. single. day. which is not the fun part of being organized. (Yes, there is a fun part of being organized!) More to come…



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