There has been a lot of buzz recently around decluttering, and how we can improve our homes and mental health by letting go of what we don’t need anymore. While the charity shops fill up and we’re left with only what we need, some of us are left feeling a little lost on how to organise what is left. Have no fear, as Lynda Wylie (Tidy Rooms) is here with her top tips on how to make the most of your storage!
There are 3 golden rules for buying storage which I always share with my clients from the beginning:
- Never buy storage until after you’ve decluttered – You’ve just gotten rid of a bunch of things you don’t need anymore, don’t add more!
- Store items where you will use them – Not only will items be easier to find, but it’s much easier to put them back.
- Label everything – You’ll be able to find what you’re looking for quickly and easily.
Now you’re ready to organise, what type of storage do you look for? Aside from your personal style and taste, you’ll need storage that neatly contains your things and allows you to retrieve them without frustration. Here are some tips for some of the most common areas that benefit from an organised touch:
Drawer dividers allow you to group similar items together such as tights and underwear so the contents don’t get mixed up. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get organised in your drawers though; shoe boxes and other empty boxes such as phone boxes and toiletry gift sets are perfect at doing the job. File folding clothes and standing them upright in a drawer allows you to see everything available, as opposed to piling things on top of one another. As an added bonus, it is easy to slot things back in when it’s time to put the washing away.
On the wall
Using the wall to maximise storage potential is often overlooked, but shelving and hooks can really transform a cluttered area. They’re a simple and effective way to keep things off the floor and provide a permanent home to return things after they’ve been used. They are particularly good in hallways, home offices and dining rooms. Use hooks for coats, scarves, kids school bags, work bags, cycle hats and scooters. Shelves with baskets are fantastic for gathering lots of things together that might otherwise end up spread over the floor, such as accessories, hair and make up supplies or stationary.
Some people prefer to keep the space under their bed clear, but if you’re short on space, this can be an invaluable storage area when organised well. Shoe bags allow you to keep several pairs in a compartmentalised bag whilst the Ikea Skubb zip bag is great for storing out of season clothes, bedding or your children’s next sized clothing, all dust free. If you don’t have much height under your bed vacuum bags are an essential item. They compress your clothing or bedding to allow them to sit neatly until you need them. If you still need some help learning how to downsize your clothes, check out our blog post on moving towards a minimalist wardrobe.
In the kitchen
Some of the go to products I suggest to clients to help maximise their cupboard storage space, can be found in Lakeland. The 3 most popular products for my clients are:
- The expandable shelf organiser, allows you to see what’s stored at the back of a cupboard so ingredients don’t get re-bought
- A shelf insert helps you make the most of a tall cupboard
- A bakeware organiser allows you to stand your baking trays upright for easy access
An important tip for the kitchen is to keep what you use most often close to the front of the cupboard. Machines and crockery that are only used once or twice a year should be kept at the back of the cupboards or in the spaces that are a bit more awkward to get to. This is because we’re much more likely to spend the effort putting it back once we’re finished with it if we know we don’t need to take it out for a while.
In the loft
Lofts are ideal for things you need infrequently such as Christmas decorations, seasonal sports equipment and suitcases. Storage needs to be dust and moisture proof and sturdy clear boxes with a solid closing mechanism are often the best. Remember not to overfill them or they’ll be too heavy to lift up the stairs and make sure they’re small enough to fit through the hatch! If you want to be extra organised, put a list or map at the entrance so you know what to find where next time you’re looking.
If you need help decluttering and/or organising your space, you can find your nearest professional organiser on our Find an Organiser page!