Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Tisket, A Tasket, What Kind of Basket?

Calling all readers!  Calling all readers!  I need your help!

Remember earlier this week when I showed you the beginning of a learning corner that is developing in our family room for J&A?

Since I am also re-styling our entertainment unit, I really want to use this one shelf to store art supplies that they are able to access on their own (things like paper, crayons, playdough, stickers, etc.). 

I have been on the hunt for the perfect set of baskets to house these items.  I have a few basket criteria: 1) must have a lid, 2) must be hidden storage (no clear or wire baskets), and 3) prefer a basket that is available in different sizes so that I can stack one on top of the other.

After searching many different websites, I saw these baskets online from World Market and, although they were pricey, they fit all my criteria so I decided to go take a look at them.

I called around and the closest store that had them in-stock was a 20-minute drive south.  I loaded J&A into the car and off we went, zooming down the highway, with dreams of the perfect baskets dancing in my head.

Seeing the baskets in person, I quickly realized they weren't going to work.  My goal is for J&A to be able to access the art supplies by themselves and the lids on these baskets were really hard to get on and off.  Plus the baskets overall were bigger than I wanted and the price wasn't right, so I left the store empty handed. 

Next door to World Market was a Marshalls.  I haven't been in a Marshalls in years since there isn't one close to my house, but I happened to have in my purse an old-old-old (I'm talking like 15 years) merchandise credit card, so I wandered into the store and asked if they could check to see if there was a balance on it.  Sure enough, I had $3.28 to spend.  With a few extra minutes of time to spare, I walked aimlessly around the store browsing the children's clothes and household items to see if something caught my eye that would use up my gift card.

That is when I came upon their basket aisle and immediately began doing a happy dance when I saw they had, not one, but three options of baskets that met my criteria!  Happy happy joy joy!  The baskets ranged in price from $8-$16 (well less than half what I was planning to pay at World Market).  I wasn't sure which ones would be right for my family room, so I took all three styles home to test them out.

I was hoping once I set the baskets up on the shelf it would be obvious which style I wanted, but instead I only got more confused the longer I stared at them.  This is where I need YOUR help in deciding which set of baskets to keep.

Here are my pros and cons for each set of baskets. 

Option 1

Pros:  I like the style of wicker; it isn't too chunky and has clean lines which appeals to me.  The baskets are fairly big which means they will store lots of art supplies. 

Cons:  While I like the roominess of the baskets, I actually think they are too big.  It looks like a wall of wicker on the shelf.  And with the wicker baskets in the glass cabinet below, it just seems like a lot of wicker. 

Option 2

Pros:  A little smaller than the previous baskets, they don't seem quite so overwhelming in the space.

Cons:  I cannot for the life of me get the lid on the top basket to stay closed.  My friend recommended I just turn the basket around, but then you can see the little silver hinges.  The lid is driving me bonkers, so I am pretty sure I am ruling these ones out.

Option 3

Pros:  The color of these baskets works nicely with the wicker baskets in the glass cabinet.  And since these baskets are made of a woven fabric, it isn't quite the wicker overload of the other two options. 

Cons:  These baskets definitely feel the cheapest of the three options.  There is already some fraying on the edges where the fabric is cut so I am not sure they are going to hold up over time.

So, what do YOU think?  Let me know which set you like the best or if you think I should scrap them all and keep looking.   You can leave a comment below, post on my Facebook page (, or email me directly ( 


  1. I might go for some form of wicker, but in a bright primary color. Bright colors draw the child in and it might make the shelf itself 'pop', if that makes sense? There is some that you could paint any color with spray paint.

  2. I like option 3. They look the nicest and most streamlined of the three. The lid not closing in option two would drive me batty too. Option one, I agree is too big for the space. The color of option 3 not only goes well with the baskets in the shelf below, but it offsets the table too.

  3. Things I would consider:
    1. How easy are they to clean.
    2. How easy is it for items to get stuck in the weave (or fall through completely in case of option 3).

  4. Hey Kristin! It's been fun reading your organizational tips! I've taken the park backpack idea and it's been working great for us this summer. So, thanks! I personally love the look of #2 the best. Love me some chunky wicker. But, I agree that them not closing is annoying. An idea: What if you over extend the hinge (pull back) to loosen it up. Does that fix the problem? If not, #3 would probably be my pick.

  5. Thanks, everyone! Keep your ideas coming!

  6. Like the look of #2 and #3 but with the basket not fully closing on #2 would drive me crazy!!! Good luck!!

  7. I would go with number 3. If you aren't thrilled with those particular ones, I think Storables may have a similar line that might be better quality....