2.28.2014

basketcase

tiered hanging basket in shower

Artists and poor people know that limitations can spark creativity. Can't criticize communism without getting shipped up to Siberia to toil for decades in a hard-labor camp? Layer your metaphors; talk around the elephant in the room watching from the corner. Can't afford fresh vegetables on your minimum-wage paycheck after paying for rent and electricity? Find a church giving away free bruised produce every Saturday. Living outside the box is usually the more interesting solution, anyway—the less crowded, more scenic route on which you might see live deer rather than roadkill.

A small example of this effect happened last weekend. I was annoyed by my soap bottles falling out the back of the chrome shower caddy I'd picked up for free on the sidewalk a few years ago. Things were dropping off the caddy because it was designed to have a wall at its back, meant to hang on a showerhead protruding from drywall. Well, my current walls are lath and plaster, 100 years old, and my showerhead rests on a chrome frame surrounding a clawfoot tub (none of which I'm complaining about). But in this case, standard suburban form did not fit function.


bathroom showerhead reflection




before: chrome shower caddy

But then while out thrifting on Saturday, I ran across yet another three-tiered hanging wire basket. You might remember this one now hanging in the kitchen. Hanging baskets make simple, inexpensive vertical storage for small, tight spaces. Plus, it was only three dollars. No more shampoo bottles falling into the weirdly unfinished abyss under the tub. And all it needed was a good wipe-down with some rubbing alcohol and a little untangling.


shower-caddy solution for a clawfoot tub: hanging wire basket


sponges in hanging wire basket

Now my bathing supplies are corralled into three stacked baskets, hanging from a single IKEA S-hook, while the chrome caddy is hanging off a coat hook in The Garage, holding my iron. Problem solved.

What are some creative solutions thrift stores or yard sales have sparked for you?

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