7 Baskets That Help With Home Organization

by: Karen Fritscher-Porter

(These seven baskets are like magic wands; they provide instant home cleaning and home organizing solutions.)

Baskets are a perfect “tool” to use in organizing your home. They’re often inexpensive, beautiful and functional items. And baskets are usually made of quite durable materials for the typical person’s usage. You can use them in every room of your home. Use them to organize and store everything from your kitchen utensils to your bathroom towels to your child’s toys.

In a way, baskets are a magical organizational tool. Why? Baskets are decorative items that hide mess right before your eyes (and those of your visitors). They’re your home organization magic wand–the one that makes disarray disappear in seconds.

Here are seven types of baskets and how to use them to organize your home.

1. Stair Basket – A stair basket is shaped like the letter “L” upside down. Set one on your top step or your bottom step of your staircase. Fill the basket ongoing throughout the day with things that need to go up or down. That way you only make one trip. And whichever direction you go with it, up or down the stairs, leave it at the opposite end of the stairs once it’s empty. That way your next trip with the basket will include items that go to the opposite end of your home.

2. Bushel and Peck Baskets – These look like wide, round pails and usually have swinging metal handles. They’re deep baskets (that hold a bushel or a peck, for example). And unless you’re a farmer (or selling produce at a farmer’s market), you won’t want to fill them with dozens of tomatoes, apples or other fruits and vegetable (unless you have a lot of immediate family members to feed!). Instead fill them with your children’s miscellaneous toys divided into different categories for each basket (dolls, soldiers, rubber balls, etc.).

3. Wicker File Baskets – Wicker file storage baskets or boxes are becoming quite popular. You’ll find them in lots of mainstream stores or specialty organizing stores. They’re sort of square or rectangular shaped baskets (to accommodate hanging file folders or manila file folders). Usually the wicker file storage basket is made of rattan (because it’s quite sturdy and durable). And they’ll often have a lid and swinging handle so you can go mobile with the baskets from room-to-room. For instance, carry the file basket from your home office closet to the kitchen table to do your work. Just store the file basket on a shelf in your home office like you would a box. Or store the basket in the open; that’s okay because wicker file baskets are much more stylish to look at than a plain paper file storage box or traditional metal filing cabinet. A wicker file basket is part of your home decor.

project storage basket
project storage basket (Photo credit: ali edwards)

4. Utensil Caddy – You’ve probably seen these at picnics. They’re a caddy or basket with dividers and a handle so you can tote it around. A picnic caddy might be used to separate the knives, forks, napkins, etc. The utensil caddy might be made of rattan or willow or something else even such as plastic. Use them in your kitchen to separate whatever you’d like (anything from straws and coffee filters to plastic forks and knives). These baskets work in the bathroom too for separating and toting toiletries.

5. Hanging Wall Pocket Baskets – These baskets, often wire or rattan, have a flat back so the basket hangs flat against the wall and a pocket opening. Stuff it with oven mitts in the kitchen. Or fill a “pot-bellied” wall pocket basket with a decorative flower arrangement and hang it in the foyer.

6. Wicker Hamper – The best thing about a wicker hamper is it’s lightweight and durable. Fill it with guest pillows in storage or your child’s large collection of stuffed animals. You’ll find many sizes ranging from mini hampers to full-size hampers. Rattan is common in hampers. But look for rag basket/hampers too for ones that are more unique and stylish.

7. Wine Caddy – Store your bubbly in a vertical, cylindrical shaped wine caddy or tote it in one that has a top handle. A wicker wine caddy is an inexpensive way to jazz up a gift bottle of wine (and it’s classier than a paper gift bag.). Just line the caddy with some colorful tissue paper that starts at the inside basket base and fluffs up all the way around the wine bottle where you can see it. Then tie some curly, sparkling streams of ribbon to the handle. When your gift recipients are done with the wine, they can use the wine caddy basket to store tall utensils.

So where do you get all these nifty baskets? From everywhere. Here are six places where you can purchase baskets (or perhaps even get them for free):

…from online stores that solely specialize in baskets
…from flea markets
…from yard sales
…from home decor bricks-and-mortar stores
…from home decor online retailers
…from friends who are discarding empty gift baskets (Ask them ahead of time to save them for you year-round.)

And don’t forget, even the plainest, ugliest basket (in your opinion) can be painted or adorned and decorated in many other ways. Don’t discard these functional, handmade works of art.

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About the author:

Learn lots more about home organizational and decorative uses of baskets and specific places to buy baskets in the eBook “How to Organize and Decorate with Baskets” by Karen Fritscher-Porter. Buy the eBook at www.OrganizeWithBaskets.com Also visit www.EasyHomeOrganizing.com for more free home organization ideas and articles like this one.

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Thinking of Remodeling your kitchen?

by: Mike Yeager

If you like to cook, or even if you just do it from necessity, having a homely, organized, and modern kitchen is probably important to you. Although, the traditionally kitchens are still out there, there are so many new, modern elements that can add luxury and class and convenience to any home. Kitchens have changed with the way humans have changed in the last few years. We have become more demanding of our time and having less of it to spend cooking. Many of us are on the move, always busy, looking for time saving methods. Then, there are those of us who are more interested in having a stylish kitchen, rather then workable. Others, prefer the look and feel of a country kitchen. With so many options out there and so much to consider, it is easy to become frustrated.

Consider your options and your needs when remodeling or even building a kitchen. Your options for kitchen equipment will be the first priority. What do you need and want in your kitchen? Do you want state of the art appliances or will ordinary models do? Do you want two ovens as opposed to the standard one? Dishwasher? What type of refrigerator will you want? Side by side, drawers under the counter? Maybe a larger freezer section? Also to consider is the amount of work surface you will need. Maybe a center island would provide extra room for preparations? Would you like a breakfast nook? Do you want all of your dining area to be in the kitchen or do you have a dining room? How many people will you plan to serve on a regular day? If you have children, you will want to ensure their safety in regards to appliances and counters.

Kitchen Remodel Phase 2
Kitchen Remodel Phase 2 (Photo credit: mlitty)

Yet another thing to consider is space. How much space you have will depict what you have room for. Cabinets and pantry style storage is important as well. Perhaps you like modern style kitchens. An option for space here is to use more of a mobile kitchen. From the entire work surfaces and cooking surfaces to just appliances, many things within the kitchen can be mobile. Manufactures make products that can literally pick up and go at a moments notice.

Once you have your kitchen needs and appliances set, consider the style you are going to decorate it in. Maybe a country kitchen is the look you like. If so, adding some rustic items to your collection would add charm and a relaxed feel. A big farmers table and chairs would be an added touch. Is the space you are working in outdoors? Outdoor kitchens are also a big hit these days. Just about any type of appliance and cookware can be made to work outdoors. Grilling is the most thought of outdoor cooking style, but it is far from the only.

There are many stores that specialize in kitchens as well. Kitchens Etc and KITCHENS are two. These places offer an immense amount of options for whatever style you are looking for. Some carry large appliances as well. Small utensils, cookware, even decorations can be found in just about every make and model. You can shop these store online if you cannot find one near you. They make a great way of adding to or helping to remodel any kitchen. Definitely a place to start when looking for ideas of what you want your new kitchen to look like.

About the author:
Mike Yeager
Publisher
http://www.a1-kitchen-cabinets-4u.com/

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Rustic Country Decor – How To Decorate Cottage Style Homes

: David Buster

Rustic country decor and how to decorate cottage style homes are extensions of American country style decorating. In addition, traditions are borrowed from French, English and some Swedish country looks. Rustic country decor can be defined as coarse, charmingly simple, unfussy, unfinished and yet with endearing qualities. Rustic country decorating includes the use of natural woods, aged surfaces, rough finishes and simple lines. Cottage style homes are comfortable, modest, quaint homes that can be made of thick stone or log wood.

Floors in rustic country decor and cottage style homes are made with stone or wood materials. Wooden floors were traditionally constructed with boards that were bare and simply waxed and hand-polished (high-gloss varnishes did not exist). Sometimes the boards were painted with light colors. If you like floor coverings, use oriental rugs and throws for visual warmth and color. Rustic country decor is about handcrafted objects, simplicity, furnishings that you enjoy and connecting back to nature.

Rustic cottage furniture is commonly made with pine and perhaps painted with hand-painted designs such as flowers, birds, animals, country scenery or leaves. Use ladderback chairs, rocking chairs, benches, wicker furniture and Windsor chairs. A large rectangular table made of pine is a good option for your kitchen or dining room table. To give your furniture a rustic look, brush a coat of paint on the furniture piece, then rub most of the paint off. After it dries, apply wood stain unevenly for an older weathered appearance. It will be perfect and rustic looking!

Windsor Georgian Double Bow chair with cabriol...
Windsor Georgian Double Bow chair with cabriole legs. Photograph taken by Amanda Slater on 2008-05-03 in Coventry. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Baskets can be used to store wood, pine cones, flowers, plants and needlework. Brass candle holders, oil or kerosene lamps, sconces, hurricane lamps, tin lanterns, recessed ceiling fixtures or a vintage wrought-iron or metal chandelier provide successful lighting for rustic country decor and cottage style homes. Colors used in rustic country decor or cottage style homes are neutral tones ranging from white to bone, earth tones, red barn, blues and greens.

For rustic country decor in the kitchen, use open shelves, hutches, buffets, plate racks and cupboards for storage. Often, country kitchen storage is crammed with stoneware pots, plain glazed earthenware and glass jars. Kitchen pots should be made of copper, steel or cast iron – cookware tends to be large and plain. Use open shelving in the rustic country kitchen to display plates, dishes and dinnerware collections. Natural woods, light colors and bright fabrics work great for window treatments. Adding a rustic butcher block island creates a wonderful visual effect as well as provides useful functionality.

A rustic country decor bathroom has neutral tones or soft colored walls, antique-looking lighting, and wooden antiques or antique reproduction cabinets and vanity. Knowing how to decorate cottage style homes and bathrooms can result in creating a calm and elegant atmosphere. Clawfoot tubs, pedestal sinks, country style antique brass faucets and old-fashioned country cabinets provide the kind of atmosphere that makes you want to spend time there. Plain white towels are recommended instead of patterned or bright modern patterns. Use wicker or wire baskets to keep your sponges, loofas and shampoos handy near the tub or shower.

Understanding how to decorate cottage style homes means including items like quilts, antique furniture or reproductions, flea-market pieces, trunks, chests, armoires, stenciling, wallpaper, adirondack chairs, flower wreaths and bistro chairs. These types of elements give cottage style homes the kind of rustic country decor that is simpler, very personal and warmly inviting.

Whether in a seaside setting, an urban environment, a countryside location or a wooded mountain retreat, cottage style homes are cozy and unassuming, combining the past with the present. Read all you can find and learn what creating the rustic country cottage means to you no matter where it is located. Enjoy expressing your personality and showing what the definition of home means to you.

Copyright 2005 InfoSearch Publishing

About the author:
David Buster is VP of InfoSearch Publishing and webmaster of http://www.yourdreamloghome.com – visit the website and learn more about rustic country home decor and design, rustic kitchens and bathrooms, fireplaces and much more.

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