Storage Tips

The Storage Solution We Actually Love to Look At

May 24, 2017

When I was a little kid, our home was a breeding ground for Longaberger baskets. My mother would attend Longaberger parties, as if baskets were just one step away from a Mary Kay cosmetics case; they’d multiply like rabbits for no apparent reason and store nothing substantive whatsoever. They were her one major decorating choice and they were an oddly ineffectual one.

But my mother was right about baskets—they’re awesome. Just maybe not the ones she was amassing, or the way she used them.

This is not what my mother's house looks like.

Being able to see the benefits of a good basket took a bit of unlearning, a bit of reorienting myself, around the basket as a concept: a thing to serve a purpose rather than a thing to just take up space. My personal basket journey (you have one, right?) started in a small shop selling handcrafted Tanzinian baskets in a range of sizes. They look and feel like the oddly lumpy progeny of a very specific aesthetic moment, as if my mother’s mania for the woven worked its way inside my brain and mutated into something different, but oddly familiar.

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My baskets—along with pretty much everything else I bring into my home—serve a very specific purpose, in a very methodical way. Each is used with my patent-pending layering system, wherein the bottom of the basket is used as storage for things I don’t need to access on the daily. The middle and upper part is used for things I need more regularly, and the top is covered up with a vintage throw so that no one is the wiser. My baskets are diametrically opposed to my mother’s.

It helps that baskets are trending in a big way once again, dotting the sparse, bleached landscape that is many an interiors Instagram. We’re living in a post-Kondo moment—one that’s less about what’s there and more about what isn’t.

If you'd like to try my almost-patented storage system, here are some baskets I love:

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Sean is a Brooklyn-based writer, photographer and kale apologist who advocates for drinking at lunch. An avid traveler, he is always on the hunt for good coffee and better bread.