Baskets and boxes and storage, oh my!
Living on a farm can at times feel like a tornado went through your home—and managing the small messes around your farmhouse seems more impossible than the city of Oz actually existing. Fortunately, you don’t have to walk down the yellow brick road to find a solution to the messes that rural living creates.
With teens and five dogs, the problem areas around our home went from small to large. We even bought a robot vacuum to try and keep up with the dirt. (We’re now on our second robot vacuum because apparently they aren’t built “cowboy-tough” to handle the everyday country dirt.)
We found that strategically organizing the everyday messes has helped tremendously, making storage spaces essential.
Here are the top solutions and hacks that we’ve found:
It may take some retraining for yourself and others involved to use new spaces, but they’ve become a necessity in our home.
One of our absolutely favorite things about the farmhouse decor style is the normality of adding repurposed furniture pieces. Adding an old buffet or dressers not only adds a rustic touch, but also several bonus drawers to organize the essential “junk” in our lives—we could fill five “junk” drawers with random tools and things we need at hand.
Adding a desk or mudroom cubby near doorways from the pasture will be a convenient place to empty pockets into baskets and drawers before entering main areas of your home.
Shelving is not only a space saver but great for storing the other hacks in our list.
Baskets, boxes, and bins
There are a thousand ways to use baskets, boxes, and bins but here are our favorite ways in main rooms.
Living room—Store throw blankets rolled up or folded in a large basket by your sofa, or under an end table. Lidded bins are a great way to hide notepads, scratch paper ,and magazines. Hide your consoles, router, or cable receiver with a loose weave basket, placing the cord through the basket to create a more cohesive space. Disclaimer: always use an open basket in order to have air flow and avoid overheating your electronics.
Bathroom—Use bins under the sink for bathroom cleaners, extra hygiene essentials, hair care accessories, and so much more. Oh, no linen closet in your bathroom? Store your towels in an oversized basket or milk crate! Fold your towels in half and then roll them, placed finished side up for a beautiful touch that has a purpose.
Kitchen —Kitchens can quickly become a catch all. Just like in the bathroom, take advantage of the space under your kitchen sink. Organize your cleaners into bins or caddies to make easy to grab and tote from room to room if needed.
Got bottle babies? Calf nursing bottles can be stored under the kitchen sink along with all of their parts and pieces. Waking up to make their bottles is pain enough as it is, but when the pieces are organized together it makes life that much easier.
In my home, mail ends up in the kitchen. Sadly, this big mess often finds itself stuffed in strange places, which can cause a loss of important papers and an unseemly mess.
Our favorite way to organize and hide this is by using file holders. Simple white file folders set up on a shelf or even beside the fridge (space depending) seamlessly gives you a space to hold your mail in a polished, inexpensive way. You can get these most anywhere for a few dollars and are worth every penny.
Hiding the mess doesn’t have to be hard and truly it’s about finding a solution for the “catch all” spaces in your home. Start with the main rooms and work your way from there.
About the author
Jessica Dilger writes from “Shoo Fly Ranch,” a homesteaded acreage in southwest Washington state where she lives with her family, 30 or so chickens, 14 cows, two calves, and two bottle-fed calves named Ben and Jerry.