Life Parenting

‘Crap Baskets’ Are the Answer to All Your Clutter Woes

If you have a family, chances are you also have a lot of crap. Everywhere. Especially if you have children, who tend to leave evidence of their existence in and around every inch of the paths they have traveled.

Some people are really good at keeping up with the daily task of picking up, organizing, and cleaning. They even derive pleasure from the satisfaction that arises out of making sure everything is in its place. Other people find cleaning and organizing an effective stress-reliever. Rage-cleaning? It’s their specialty.

I am neither of those people.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy a mess-free existence or that I do not feel a sense of accomplishment when I do manage to clear the clutter. In fact, it’s a big fat BINGO on both counts for me. I love the feeling that accompanies clean surfaces and traversable floors, and when I am able to put shit away, I feel as though I’ve just won the gold medal of housecleaning.

It’s just, there are so many of them and only one of me. And they — meaning my kids — are making having a clean home pretty much a full-time job. I already have a full-time job. Outside the home. So when I finally get back from that, the last thing on the planet I want to spend my time doing is picking up after everybody else.

I do the best I can. I assign my kids tasks to ensure they clean up after themselves, but I’m not prepared to play referee all night or to follow them around, pointing out the spots they missed and adding items to their to-do lists. I’m tired. And I have to get up and do it all again in fewer than 10 hours. I need some downtime to veg out and relax after tackling all the other regular household chores, such as dinner-making, bath-giving, toothbrush-policing, and bedtime-story-reading. So we live in a semi-permanent state of crap cover, and I manage to do just enough to avoid landing us on a watch list for potential guests of the show Hoarders.

Imagine my excitement, then, when I came across a social media post touting the benefits of implementing ‘crap baskets’ in the home. What are ‘crap baskets’? Why, they’re baskets into which you can pile your crap. Obviously.

More specifically, they are individualized containers for each member of the family to be placed in a common area where parents (and kids, too) can drop items left around the house to be put away in their proper spots by the people who left them out in the first place.


Pinterest has a wealth of ‘crap basket’ ideas (of course it does), most of which include labeling the baskets or buckets with each family member’s name and lining them up on the stairs for people to carry up when they pass.

Needless to say, this is one Pinterest trend-train I will actually be boarding.

Are ‘crap baskets’ the most ideal way to keep a clutter-free home? Probably not. But they certainly are better than the nonexistent decluttering method I’m following right now. So … there’s that.

At the end of the day, we’ll still have crap. The crap will just be organized into a much more manageable system — and contained in a far less widespread area.

All hail the glorious ‘crap basket’! Or if not all of us, then at least I’ll hail the glorious ‘crap basket’. It’s the answer to all my disheveled dreams.