The Basket Method

A mound of clutter on my nice dining room table with a black cat sitting directly on my beautiful white table runner.

Are you blinded by the surface mess in your home?  By surface mess I mean actual objects covering the surfaces of your home (i.e., the floors, counters, tables, etc.).  Take a look around and ask yourself:

  1. “If I didn’t have so much junk laying around, would my home look tidy-ish?” 
  2. “Am I too overwhelmed to start cleaning?” 

If you answered yes to either question, implement the Basket Method.

The Basket Method is just as simple as it sounds.  You grab a basket and fill it with clutter.  Now let’s look into the process a little more, because you CAN fail trying this method.  I don’t say that to deter you, but to increase your chances for success.  Here are the rules you MUST follow:

  1. You CANNOT use one basket for everything.
    1. If you have multiple kids, they need their own basket. 
    1. Laundry, perishables, dishes, etc. ALL need their own baskets.
  2. There is a such thing as too big of a basket.
    1. If you’re using a large laundry basket for everything, you will more than likely fail.  It needs to be small enough that it won’t take much to fill it.  Imagine a normal size laundry basket full of scotch tape, shoes, toys, a dirty shirt, an empty candy wrapper, a remote, a hairbrush, a laptop, an old Ziploc bag, a pair of sunglasses, a hairclip, a belt… now imagine all of those items filled to the brim.  Who is jumping at the chance to put that away!?  Anyone?  No.  I’ve heard a lot of people refer to “Doom Baskets”, that’s not what we are creating.  We are simply stowing away some items temporarily. 
  3. Finally, you MUST put these items in their correct location at the end of the week.  You absolutely cannot leave these items for longer.  It will eat at you; it will cause you so much stress.  It will continue to pile up.  You need to make a promise to yourself to take care of these items weekly and if you fill up the basket sooner, then you need to put the items away sooner.    

The Basket Method is one of those things I call a life hack.  It’s a more efficient way of doing a task.  I’ve received a lot of grief for that classification.  But I don’t care.  In my opinion, the thought process behind the Basket Method can be one of two things.

  1. By utilizing the Basket Method, you are tidying your home quickly.  And since our busy lives never stop, we need all the help we can get throughout the week.
  2. By utilizing the Basket Method, you are removing the bulk of the mess from your sight.  Cleaning your home can be so overwhelming.  If your brain sees immense clutter, you start feeling anxious.  Maybe you start feeling defeated before you’ve even begun.  You need to trick your brain by removing the VISIBLE clutter.  You do this quickly with a basket.      

Those are the reasons I call the Basket Method a “life hack”.  We are living efficiently over here people!  Efficiency does not mean doing things the way everyone thinks is “correct”.  But I digress.

Here are the baskets I use.  I use these for several reasons:

  1. They look nice sitting out, very decorative.
  2. They are the perfect size.  Remember, we DO NOT want large baskets!
  3. The fold up!!!!!!  I mean, come on.  We’re saving space people!!

If you give the Basket Method a try, let me know how it works in your home!!


6 thoughts on “The Basket Method

  1. This is a really helpful article. I’ve tried the basket method and failed every time, because I break all the rules. I use a huge tote or box, put everything in it, and have no plan of when I will sort it out. I have one of these boxes from my desk from last spring still waiting to be put away! I added the baskets you suggested to my wishlist. Where do you keep the baskets when they are full?


  2. I use the basket method, but find that using pretty baskets just lets me leave them sit there overflowing. I got the cheap and ugly folding fabric ones which motivates me to put the junk away so they are not out anymore. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

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