cluttered countertop

The not-so-grand: clutter

On Instagram, I posted a not-so-grand photo of what our butler at the bottom of our second floor stairs looked like that day. This is where I collect the items that need to make their way back to the second floor. A lot of it is from my kids – toys, books, headphones, etc. But some of it is mine and hubby’s as well – hair product that arrived in the mail, phone charge cords, spackling putty and so on.

This occurrence bugs the crap out of me until it is cleared. So I was trying to think of a solution.


What would work on the stairs? I’ve seen those baskets that are shaped like the stair but didn’t think that would work. Each family member would have to sift through and find their stuff.

I thought, “Wonder if there’s any baskets that would fit nicely on that hardwood spot between the carpet runner and the railing?” After measuring that spot, I commenced with the searching and found these baskets on Amazon. They fit, they looked relatively nice and more importantly, they had HANDLES for carrying up and down the stairs.

How could I get my family (and myself) to actually USE these baskets and take these items to their “home” on a more regular basis?

“Go backs”

My kids like that show Superstore and have finished every episode on Hulu. If you haven’t seen it, the premise is a group of individuals who work at a big box store (very Walmart-like). On that show, they occasionally talk about “go backs” – a term used for the items that have to be re-shelved.

After setting up the baskets, I placed the clutter from the butler into the baskets – one for each family member. And when everyone gathered in the family room later that day, I made the announcement: “These baskets are your ‘go backs’. When they fill up, you are expected to take them back to your room or wherever they belong. You can pick up the basket and take it with you, then return it when you are done.”

The kids were actually really excited by this. The big sell using something from a show they liked worked. And so far, they haven’t filled too much. Although, I have a feeling the novelty may wear off soon. Stay tuned.

(Because IRL houses aren’t perfect and tidy, I hope to feature a not-so-grand item once in a while)

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