This post brought to you by Dollar General. All opinions are 100% mine.
If I had to pick the one thing about my house that is the most problematic, if would be the lack of storage space. There are a couple of oddly-sized closets around the house, but in some areas there just isn't a good place to put all of the necessities. The place this is most evident is in the bathroom, a very small room with only a medicine cabinet for storage. To add a place for things like towels and extra bottles of shampoo, we found a tall, skinny set of shelves that fits perfectly behind the door. It's been a great solution, but it still has its problems. So when Dollar General asked me to come up with a spring cleaning project, I knew that it would be the perfect area to tackle.
- Baskets, $1 and up
- Lace or other trim, on hand or $1 and up
- Hot glue, on hand
Total: $1 and up
These shelves are an issue for a couple of reasons. First, no matter how well I attempt to organize them, they always look cluttered. I mean, even if you perfectly align a dozen bottles of shampoo, you're still looking at a cluttered shelf. And who wants to look at piles of toothbrushes and razors and deodorant? The other problem I have is that my three curious cats like to explore the shelves, and they are prone to knocking things down. Have you ever been woken up at 3 AM by the THUD of a value-size jug of hand soap hitting the floor from 5 feet up? Trust me, that's a mess you don't want to deal with at all, let alone that many hours before your first cup of coffee. My solution for both problems? Baskets!
I've been wanting baskets for these shelves for a long time now, carrying around a piece of paper with the shelf measurements in my wallet for several years in hopes that I would find the right baskets at the right price. If you've ever shopped for baskets, you know that those are some pretty high hopes. Over the years I have priced many, many baskets, and even found several that I absolutely loved, but the prices always made my jaw drop, especially for larger baskets. So when I walked into Dollar General recently and saw their selection of baskets, a little bell started going off in my head. Ding-ding-ding, jackpot!
They had baskets I liked in two different colors; a lighter shade and a darker shade of brown. I opted for the darker baskets because I wanted them to match my shelves as closely as possible. The prices ranged from $1 for the smallest baskets up to $8 for the largest; I walked away with a total of 9 baskets in various sizes for about $30. That's less that I could have spent on just one of those fancy, expensive baskets! This, my friends, is an excellent deal. By the time I carried the mountain of baskets through my front door I was already patting myself on the back.
Reorganizing all of the clutter into baskets made an immediate difference. Not only was it more visually pleasing, it also made it easier to see at a glance what was on the shelf (no more spending 5 minutes hunting down a bottle of lotion that is hiding amongst the body washes), and the baskets actually made it so that I could fit more items on the shelves. After putting the existing clutter into baskets, I was able to go around the house and gather up a few other random things that were laying around and find them a home. Plus, the baskets block the cats' access to the shelves, keeping them out of trouble. (Well, at least keeping them out of that particular trouble.)
But… They still needed something. Unlike most of the fancy baskets I'd previously considered for the space, these were fairly plain. To give them a little bit of extra detail and a lot more character, I decided to glue lace trim around the top edge of each basket. I couldn't decide which lace I liked best on the baskets, so I ended up using four different kinds of lace; each shelf features a different pattern. Adding the trim is super simple – just snip the lace to the proper length and use a little bit of hot glue to attach it around the edge of each basket. Of course, you can use all the same lace if you prefer, or use a different lace for each basket, or leave it off altogether, or replace it with a different kind of trim – it just depends on your aesthetic.
I'm so much happier with how my bathroom shelves look now, and ecstatic that I managed to tame the mess without having to earmark a huge budget. Who's got two thumbs and is totally winning at decluttering? This gal!