All Your Eggs In One Basket
Ease is defined as the absence of difficulty or effort. And a big part of having a contented home is it's ease. That's why I want to talk to you about baskets, buckets and bins. We all enjoy seeing Pinterest photos of a neatly folded color coordinated mitten drawer, but in the real world things move fast and your home organization has to be ready. I am a huge fan of hidden EASY storage in the form of baskets and buckets.
Guess how many children we have...
Spoiler alert... it's 3 :) This is our downstairs powder room. It is the last pitstop to brush teeth / hair / deodorant before heading out to school. But it's also the guest restroom and the first thing you see when you walk into our home so I don't want it to be a disaster but it inherently has zero storage space. So I took three metal front door buckets and hung them in a row on the wall for a pretty french-country ambiance. Each child has their own bucket which is filled with their personal toiletry items. They simply reach in and grab what they need then pop it back into the bucket out of sight. At holiday gatherings I sometimes pop artificial flowers or greenery on top. It's simple, it's pretty, it's easy. Any front door hanging basket or planter bucket will do and you can always paint to match.
We also have this cute little mask hook by the light switch in that room for easy grab-and-go access.
The best part about each person having their own organizational basket is the ownership. They know where their stuff is and can access and clean it up all on their own. Take your hall closet for instance. Traditionally they have a row of hanging jackets and a small shelf on top. Not exactly nifty for more than one user. ReThink that space. Would ReEngineering it to be miniature mudroom work for your family?
This is a traditional small coat closet that they have removed the hanging bar and replaced it with a box bench below and above and a row of hooks. Perfect cubbies for (my favorite) baskets! Toss your shoes, umbrellas, mittens in and go! The goal is to maximize that small space in a way that your family can use it easily.
I find it best to organize by person rather than by item. I used to keep all gloves together, shoes together, hats in one place etc. But I found that I was having to help the kids find their personal pieces often. So we switched it up and gave each person their own basket in the coat closet. A kid can open their basket and toss in (or find) their jacket, boots, gloves, hat, whatever and they can dump it all back in when they're done. I'm not involved at all and - gotta say - I don't miss it. Do nice special occasion coats need to be hung up? Sure! And I keep those in each person's bedroom closet. But regular day to day jackets can go directly from the backpack to the basket. A contented home has an absence of difficulty and effort. Simple printed paper names covered in clear packing tape makes great labels.
A contented home is also being happy with what you already have. So if you already own containers you can re-allot to these projects great! If your budget allows you to grab a few new ones there are nice affordable options out there. But you can also think outside of the box for zero cost (I'm so punny!). Take regular cardboard boxes (printer paper sized ones are great or all those Amazon boxes) and cover them with extra fabric, wrapping paper, wall paper or even wall paint - whatever you have lying around - to use now. They will be a pretty and easy way to help each person take control of their own items and you can take back control of your contented home.
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