A Green Home: Basket Storage for Small Spaces

Reader Contribution by Jaci Kennison
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Jaclyn Kennison is a freelance writer living and playing in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She owns and manages an art gallery and event venue between fits of shopping and redecorating.

When decorating a very small space, it is optimal if your décor serves another purpose as well. Often, that secondary function is much needed storage.

For the last several years I have been attempting to wean myself off coffee, at least during the week. In making this adjustment I have also found myself on a quest for a suitable tea to replace coffee in my soothing morning routine. I have found quite a few, happily, that are a delight on my tongue. My desire for variety though, has left me with too many boxes of tea cramping up the tiny amount of storage my apartment kitchen offers.

When I moved into a slightly larger apartment a few years ago–about 420 square feet–I unpacked my décor and discovered I have developed a collection of baskets. They are a great way to store a number of different items, but they do take up shelf and counter space, which I don’t have much of to begin with. So the question was where to store them.

I hung one particularly pretty one on the wall, but found it disappointingly lack-luster in its visual appeal. Wandering around my new kitchen, basket in hand, I came across my box of tea boxes. Mounting the basket vertically on the wall provided me with the space to accommodate several varieties of my morning elixir. Problem solved.

Use a long, narrow basket mounted to the wall in the kitchen to create storage for boxes of tea. Photo By Jaci Kennison.

This idea sparked my creativity for a variety of other applications. Baskets on the walls, especially when the containers themselves are particularly appealing, can be a useful decorative element that doubles as storage.

Long rectangular baskets work better than square ones, because they are more appealing. In the kitchen, coffee drinkers can use the basket to hold a couple of their favorite blends. Tea, of course, and folded cloth napkins work well too.

Near your sewing or craft station, small boxes will fit perfectly in a narrow basket and hold buttons, pins, bobbins and other small items.

If you haven’t transferred all your music to your iPod or computer yet, mount a basket to hold CDs. Find one at your local antique shop that is a bit wider and tall, and store DVDs in it. Books too, can be transferred to wall-mounted baskets. They are a bit more interesting than bookshelves and don’t take up valuable floor space.

As I’ve said before, when you are going green by reducing your home’s physical footprint, storage can quickly become an issue. Moving your storage off the floor will help your small space feel larger and more open. Breaking from the traditional shelves will keep your “storage” looking like “décor” and your small house (or apartment) feeling like a home.