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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Organizing Keepsakes in Baskets

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Organizing objects in baskets 
somehow elevates the items 
from clutter to keepsakes. 

Well, the items chosen for keeping 
after reviewing everything stuffed in 
the basket to get it off the side table 
become keepsakes. 

items saved for another day 
must be reviewed in my house. 
There comes a day, 
not planned beforehand, 
not on a scheduled day of the week, 
not on a predetermined timetable, 
but just the day comes when the 
clutter must be reviewed... 
for me to keep my sanity. 
I can take clutter only for so long, 
then it screams to be organized. 

Walking through the living room, 
something catches my eye, 
and I know it’s time to review 
the clutter. 

Look at every item in the basket. 
Re-read every torn-out magazine page. 
Drop into the wastebasket those 
pages that no longer have 
staying appeal, 
those pages with furniture, 
architectural details, and color schemes 
that do not quite seem as 
appealing as first glance. 

Relocate those things that 
should be saved with similar items elsewhere. 
Place the collectible coins 
with the other coins. 
Place the newspaper article about 
monarch butterflies with the 
books about butterflies. 

Two hours later, 
emerge from what once was 

The Martha Stewart Living magazine article 
on blue bulbs stays for handy reference. 

The purple ornate scroll photo frame from 
Temecula, California stays as a 
complement to the small needlepoint pillow 
from Paris, France. 
The pillow fits perfectly in the large section of the 
divided basket. 

The thin blue-print-on-teal notebook of blank pages 
stays in case notes need to be jotted down. 
Can one ever have too many small notebooks 
with blank pages? 

The set of four or five years of 
lavender leather-covered personal monthly calendars stay, 
more for their beautiful covers with 
their luxurious feel than for the 
references to past events. 
They fit perfectly in the small section of the 
divided basket. 

One day someone will buy these at 
an estate sale for their beauty 
and will wonder about the woman whose life 
was chronicled in their pages. 
Ordinary women are mysterious in the future. 
Extraordinary women’s lives are so well documented 
that there is little left about which to wonder. 

For now, these keepsakes made the cut,  
no longer clutter.
Until the next time
organization strikes.
Please join me at these inspiring sites...




  1. Such a lovely post. My baskets are either for holding magazines I can't bring myself to part with, or for general clutter removal... the problem with the latter is that it is often days before I have time to empty the 'clutter' basket. Wouldn't it be fun and illuminating to know what others think of us based on a diary of our days? Yours might ultimately become published as a book of travel memoirs...China, France and all the rest.

    If you ever tire of the small pillow from Paris, you know where to send it.

  2. I have to frequently do the same in my office. I let notes, magazines, books, etc. stack up. Your post reminds me that it's time for a little clean up. '-)

  3. I have plenty of baskets! I think I'll do this very thing tomorrow morning. I hate clutter but don't know what to do with some things that are out. I collect them up and maybe it will make it easier to organize! Thanks for the inspiration! Hugs!

  4. Oh, such a beautiful post, Judith! I am forever working on this! Clutter makes me crazy, but carefully collected and loved keepsakes in a gorgeous vignette is a completely different story. Your basket is lovely!

  5. Clutter comes and goes here. I get it under control, but like weeds, the minute I turn my back it is out of control.

  6. I love to store things in baskets but, I also need to do some real housecleaning this summer! Thanks for linking with Home Sweet Home!


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