May 19

Fair Trade Your Home!

“A place for everything and everything in it’s place” could well be the mantra for anyone aspiring to have an organized home.  Who hasn’t at one point (or more frequently) become totally frustrated trying to find that particular item or paper that they REALLY need?  Or how often have you looked at your accumulated “stuff” and wished it could be out of sight yet still accessible?

Fortunately, all the parts and pieces of our environment don’t have to overwhelm us.  Finding a home for our things can be the first step in clearing the visual as well as the mental clutter.

Certainly, cardboard boxes or plastic containers have their purpose.  However, there are ways to contain our treasures and necessary items that allow accessibility while still being pleasing to the eye, the proverbial “two birds with one stone”.   And honestly, who doesn’t want to get two or more things accomplished at once?!

The beauty of it is that you don’t have to sacrifice aesthetics for functionality.  And you don’t have to have perfect organizational skills to give the impression of order.

The variety of basket styles and sizes offered at Mustard Seed offer endless options for creating an organized appearance.  Square lidded baskets from Bangaldesh can hold anything from magazines, blankets, and toys to craft materials and gift wrap.  The beauty of these boxes are that they can serve the dual purpose of also being used as an end or bedside table.  Form and function at its best!

Using one of the low sided rectangular baskets to hold mail, bills, cards, and invitations can keep all that paper from becoming a haphazard mountain of clutter.  The smaller wicker boxes can neatly contain the cards, photos, recipes, etc. awaiting their moment of use.  Placing these things in their designated places assures finding them when you need them.  There’s a four division handled basket that is perfect for holding picnic utensils or pool “necessities”, ready to go when you are.  The flexible round tote basket with handles would be great for a trip to the farmers market, work in the garden, or road trips near or far.

You can get especially creative by using one of the boxed shaped baskets with small open handles that allow for wires to pass through from the multitude of unsightly computer cables and “accessories”.  For only $20, a set of 12 nesting baskets from India (three large ovals with nine smaller ones)  have endless possiblities for bath and hair items.

Lovely as they are in view, baskets can just as easily be used in hidden places such as closets and laundry rooms.  Trying to keep stacks of linens from tumbling into a heap, or winter hats, scarves and gloves from spilling messily can be solved using any combination of baskets on the floor or shelves.  Much less embarrassing should a guest happen to open said closet door!

Even something as simple as a sturdy basket by the door to hold the things you enter with but don’t have time to put away or the items you want to take when you leave, can lessen the angst and potential chaos of those rushed, forgetful moments.  Similarly, using an attractive bowl handmade in Uganda or Bangladesh as a “catch all” on the dresser, hall table, or kitchen counter can keep all those little things (keys, notes, coins, eyeglasses,  pins, and pens, etc.) where they are sure to be found.

The potential to harness clutter using the wide range of  baskets at Mustard Seed is infinite.  Just keep in mind “a home for everything” and you can be well on your way to spatial clarity and harmony.  And, as always, you will  be honoring and supporting artisans from around the globe. :)

Beth Kammeyer




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