Baskets are to the aspiring home organizer what a good set of knives is to a cook: the single most important item needed to hit their end goal. By now we all know the merits of a good catchall—including Shea McGee and her pals at Neat Method. The design blogger just published an interview with the organizing pros, and among all the advice, their food storage recommendation stood out. Spoiler: It’s a basket.
From where to put the fruit you want to encourage your family to eat (in a pretty bin on the countertop) to how to store the produce you’ll use throughout the week (in a woven basket, so air can circulate and keep it fresh), Neat Method experts have many uses for the tool. They also let us in on a little trade secret: They create dinner-prep baskets for clients’ pantries.
“When you get home from the store, place any items you purchased specifically to make a meal for that week in the basket,” explains Neat Method’s Lisa Ruff. For example, your Taco Tuesday black beans, onions, and tortilla shells go straight into this designated bin. “That way, everything is in one spot for quick weeknight prep,” she adds. Ruff lives in a city apartment without a full pantry and swears by this technique for making the most of the little space she does have.
If your New Year’s resolution involves meal prepping, this strategy will be your best friend. If nothing else, those sweet potatoes glaring at you from the confines of their wicker container will guilt you into swapping that midday takeout salad for a homemade grain bowl.
See more ways to organize your kitchen:
You Don’t Need Plastic Containers to Organize Your Kitchen
New Year, New Kitchen—How to Reorganize Like a Chef
3 Ideas We’re Stealing From Hannah Bronfman’s Freshly Streamlined Pantry