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Storage & organizing ideas using vintage finds

January 14th, 2014 11:56 am by Melissa Baskette

Storage & organizing ideas using vintage finds

January is the time of year when we start acting on our resolutions. One resolution that is likely near the top of many lists is “GET ORGANIZED.”  While we are still cooped up inside the house during the cold weather, it is an excellent time to unclutter and organize our home and office space.  

If you love vintage décor, before you head out to buy new organizing systems or products, why not consider incorporating vintage finds to corral that clutter?  Vintage items can be purchased on a budget, and they have much more charm than modern organizing containers.  

To get you started, I will give you a few examples, but there are countless ideas in magazines or online.  (If you haven’t heard about it already, check out Pinterest.  Be prepared to stay awhile).  

Old wood boxes and drawers:

Old wood boxes or crates (i.e. soda bottle or cheese crates), and vintage drawers from an old dresser or sewing machine can be used in a variety of ways to store items or organize clutter.  Old wood spice boxes look great in a vintage kitchen, and the small drawers are perfect to store batteries or small hardware pieces such as screws or nails.   

An old printer’s tray can be used to contain small items, such as craft supplies.  A rustic wooden tool box can be used to store garden tools.  Use a vintage wooden dresser drawer or sewing machine drawer in the bathroom to hold toiletries.   (The drawer pictured is one I repurposed and listed in my Etsy shop, pineyrosedesigns).    

Glass jars:  

Vintage glass jars can be used to contain items that need see-through storage for quick, easy access.  Decorative glass apothecary type jars can be used in the bathroom for cotton balls and Q-tips. 

For open display storage in any room, antique canning jars (especially the popular blue tinted) can be an attractive organizational feature.  In the home office, glass jars can be used to hold supplies such as paper clips, rubber bands, pens and pencils.  

Consider using 1950s type glass storage jars with screw top lids to store sundries in the kitchen.  Use them to gather items like candles and tea lights to keep within easy reach. Jars of this type can also be used to display collections.  For instance, I recently saw one used to contain a collection of old flea market pocket watches. 

Vintage suitcases:

Perfect for storing items such as magazines, linens or off-season hats, scarves and gloves, vintage suitcases are also great décor pieces.  A couple of stacked suitcases can look great on an open shelf or on top of an armoire. Several stacked pieces can serve as a quaint side table.  I have even seen large ones used as a coffee table when wooden “feet” are attached. 

Old baskets:

Vintage wire or wicker baskets have endless storage uses. They can discretely conceal items, yet look great on open shelving. In a mudroom or foyer, use baskets to hold the cell phone, car keys and mail.  

Vintage wire baskets can be used in the kitchen to store fruits or vegetables, or in the bathroom to hold hand towels and washcloths.   Old locker baskets are a much sought-after vintage décor item currently.  I purchased a huge lot of 28 at a yard sale this past summer for a mere 10 bucks!  I was told they had been acquired from an old vacant school. 

You can find vintage items locally at antique malls, flea markets, thrift shops and yard sales. Online, try Etsy shops or eBay.  

You can email Melissa at

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