If I were to ever account a detailed narrative of my life, it would have a significant portion of me being disappointed of all the great home ideas I gave mom and she shush’d me saying, you cannot do much in a rental apartment. Aesthetically, my home was beautiful. The walls had photos, the floors had carpets, the kitchen had beautiful crockery and yet the storage was always in big tin vessels and soft furnishings- either inside the bed, or in bags put in lofts. There was also an array of “bigshoppers” on top of the wardrobe neatly tucked with a cloth which in turn won’t get dirty much. But then, I don’t blame her. It was the 90’s and chiken mesh and wire baskets were not available in India. She did the best she could.

But we can store better in rentals

If your rental apartment doesn’t have a modular kitchen already, you can pretty much make it modular with the help of baskets. A modular kitchen is essentially an array of compartments (wire baskets in varied sizes) that keeps your utensils and pantry organized. But, what if you could get the same benefit of a modular kitchen and yet it could move with you?

Tiered baskets and plain baskets do the trick quite right and no matter how much you have to store, an enclosure makes it all look organized.

From counter top arrangements to pantry; to bathroom and clothes, wire baskets are the next best invention to bread (with sesame) and I swear by them. Early 2019, I got in a few baskets from OrganiseWithEase (Run by Rohini) and since then I have been basket-ing everything, including my feelings about the government. You know exactly which basket has what – you pull one out and you’re done!

Also, wire baskets give you the freedom to stack em up when one or the other is empty! Love them

In my experience of using baskets, I have also devised a few hacks that further simplify my life. Actually just 3 simple hacks but the benefit is sky-high. Read on!

Colour Code your baskets

Sauces and vinegars in yellow, Staples in blue, chopping boards in white and noodles in orange. Better to explain, best to others do some work. Shout from the bedroom, “blue basket me dekho”.

Use baskets of different height

Get baskets of different heights to store and organise with ease. For example, I have chosen deep baskets for pantry area, shallow baskets for storing glass or it’ll pile up and may break. Use tiered baskets for your kitchen counter – they look superb and stores handy things.

Group similar size in a shelf

To make it look organized and pulled in, group similar kind of baskets in the same shelf. Check how I have larger baskets below, the spice baskets are grouped together and then wood and wicker on the right. This gives one a sense of compartment.

And while organizing, please do not forget to keep things properly under the sink. Group sanitizers, surface disinfectants, colins and lizol in one place along with your scrubbing gloves. For this I used a simple wire rack which is ideally meant to be wall mount but I kept it on the floor. I love the height of it, it almost covers the whole area under the sink and gives me immense storage.

Now that we are on the brink of many lockdowns and you will be storing food items in the pantry, I thought this would help. I learnt it the hard way last year when Pramila was gone for a good 3 months and hence when she was away for a few days this year I didn’t feel a pinch. It was all organized, in place and I know in times of need I can find it exactly where I want it to be.

And that my friend is a different kind of satisfaction. Find things in their rightful place.

(Rohan, if you are reading this, okay, I owe this to you. Thank you)

Stay safe. Stay organized and do what’s in your hands to keep yourself sane.

Off to cook some karela. My stomach is funky.



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