The Only Tool You Need to Organize Practically Anything

The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Kalyn at Creative Savings.

The Only Tool You Need to Organize Practically Anything
Searching for organizing ideas on Pinterest makes me seriously giddy. But while I absolutely love browsing through all those beautiful pictures, inspirational DIY, and creative ideas, there always a small part of me that feels a little discouraged that I won’t be able to accomplish all the goodies I’ve pinned.

Not only am I short on time, I also don’t have an unlimited supply of money to spend on pretty cork boards or shelving units. Instead, I’ve found that the best {and only} organizing tool you really need is a simple basket.

From canvas, to plastic, to wicker – big, medium, or small – baskets solve all your organizing problems with a fairly small investment at the dollar or craft store. I love that they immediately de-clutter any space in a flash too.

Here’s how to organize practically anything with just a few containers, and find out which ones will be perfect for your space. You will love how easy it is to organize without feeling like you have to tear the whole room apart first!

1. Look for areas that have a lot of “little” items.

Maybe you’re not sure which areas require a basket, and which ones don’t. One glance into any room in your home and I’m sure you can find a stack, or stash that would love a little basket organization!

A pile of books on the end table would look much prettier, and more decorative, in a basket, while the pantry is a great place to combine small snacks into one container without the clutter of excessive and bulky cardboard boxes.

Even a medicine cabinet, while you still need access to all your prescriptions, can be organized into baskets based on over-the-counter meds, cold and allergy, or daily vitamins.

For bigger items like blankets, or piles of shoes, baskets are the perfect “housing” to keep them from getting out of control and spreading across living room and entry way floors. And who can forget under cabinet storage? A flat bottom container is essential to contain cleaning supplies or tupperware bowls.

2. Note of the type of basket you’ll need.

One of my favorite pieces of advice is to never ever buy a basket that you think you’ll use, before figuring out if it will work actually work in your space….no matter how tempting it is!

I like to wait until I’ve organized each space based on how it works best for our family, then make a note of what kind of basket I’ll need, especially the size, before I go shopping. Honestly, it makes picking them out so much more fun, because I know they’ll fit seamlessly into our space.

You should also be aware of the kind of materials available for baskets, and where they work best. After a few weeks, I realized that a wicker basket holding my hairbrushes and supplies was not very easy to clean from dust and hairspray, but worked perfectly for little miscellaneous items that made their way into my kitchen.

Plastic containers are great for inside cabinets, the fridge, and freezer, while canvas baskets look very pretty in a home office or bedroom closet.


3. Use baskets for continuous organization

Catch-all baskets are amazing for big messes that you don’t have time to deal with at that very moment. Maybe you have company coming over, or want to do a thorough deep cleaning session. It’s much easier to start with a blank slate by shoving everything into one basket, rather than try and work around it and organize as you go.

You can also easily carry the basket from room-to-room, dropping off items that belong in there rather than walking back and forth as you clean. Although, you actually might be surprised how much you don’t need to put back into the room after you organize it!

Any time I’ve run into an organizing problem, the solution is always to grab a basket. They are so versatile, can match any decor, and everything just looks so much better tidied up in one place!

What are your favorite ways to use baskets?

Kalyn Brooke is a full-time writer and blogger at, where she gives a fresh perspective on frugal living, and the kick-in-the-pants you need to create a budget from scratch. She lives in beautiful Southwest Florida with her news-photographer husband and the most adorable bunny you’ve ever seen. She loves making to-do lists, reading good books, eating chocolate peanut butter ice cream, and pursuing big dreams….all carefully planned out, of course.

Linking up: House of RoseDesign Dining and DiapersSix Sisters StuffThirty Handmade Days, A Bowl Full of Lemons, Thirty Handmade DaysHouse of RoseDesign Dining and DiapersSix Sisters Stuff

Filed under: Containerizing, Guest Bloggers, Organizing Basics


10 Responses to The Only Tool You Need to Organize Practically Anything

  1. 1
    Jodie B says

    I love this suggestion and had been using it for years – until my toddler decided he likes the baskets as toys/hats/whatever he imagines them as and unorganises my best efforts. Usually all over the floor!

  2. 2
    Meredith from Penelope Loves Lists says

    @Jodie B: yes! What IS it with 2 year old boys and baskets on their heads. Confused.

    I love baskets and wholeheartedly agree they are the single best organizing tool. I have to admit, though, that I have been guilty of buying baskets and THEN figuring out where I’ll use them. I just can’t resist The Container Store and Target.

    What I’ve done is create an area in a storage closet with the miscellaneous baskets and then, as needed, I can go “shop” my stash. That’s fun, too.

    • 2.1
      Laura says

      I have a container for my containers too!! Well actually two shelves in my laundry room but I love to shop my “stash” :)

  3. 3
    Renee Beaucage says

    I love baskets as well. I will always go to the dollar store before spending on an expensive wicker basket (because I do find those pricey). I LOVE to use them in the kitchen. I have one for all of my baking goods, one for lunch snacks (I take everything out of the original boxes and then reuse those as well!) and I even use one to corral pot lids! Then, if necessary, I’ll label them (which I did in my linen closet) to help everyone remember where certain vitamins or pain meds are located. One area that I could probably use them more is in my office for all of my craft supplies. Hmmm I’ll have to go back to the drawing board for that one!

  4. 4
    Brenda says

    I love baskets but am seriously thinking of a do-over without them. Why? Because the rest of my darling family doesn’t seem to get the concept of specific baskets for specific things. Rather, they have wholeheartedly latched on to the idea of putting absolutely everything into any basket. Even after labeling them and ensuring zones were well located. So, now, everything looks great as you walk in, but finding something is arguably more difficult and I spend way to much time resorting contents. Has anyone run into this, and, do you have any tips for me?

  5. 5
    Shanice says

    Great post! I love organizing and use this throughout my place as well. I would love it if you joined and contribute your awesome posts at my link party at City of Creative Dreams on Fridays :D Hope to see you there at City of Creative Dreams Link Party

  6. 6
    Louise @ The Organazi says

    Dollar Store baskets are awesome! I have the in my kitchen cupboards to sort and contain all the awkward little items. They also make great drawer organizers in my sock and underwear drawers. I was able to get a variety of sizes to fit the drawers.

  7. 7
    Toherangi says

    I’ve been really bad for point number two. I’ve always gone out and bought the basket before organising and I can’t tell you how many times the basket or container hasn’t been suitable in the end. This stops now!

  8. 8
    emily says

    My just turned 3 year old son also loves to dump out the contents of a storage container and re-use it as a hat, or a step, or something to put other things in, or himself in…well,you get the picture :-) i am so glad to know i’m not alone with this. If anyone has ideas for storage that is both budget and little boy friendly i would appreciate it!


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