There is absolutely nothing wrong with storing things. It is an organisational basic to put something out of the way when not in use every day. However, we all know that storing can get out of hand very quickly, which leads to a cluttered environment.
Bills, homework, shopping lists, clothing, or keys – and let’s not even mention the study with its hoards of papers strewn everywhere. But relax, all is not lost, for there exists a way to live without clutter – more than one, actually.
Your house presents unique storage facilities you may or may not know about. Today, we’ll show you some clever ways to reduce that hoarding habit, and start you on your way to live in a clutter-free home.
Not all of us have the luxury of a walk-in closet with ample room to spare. If you desperately need to de-clutter your space-limited closet, then read on.
First, free up some space—for every item in your closet, decide whether you are going to keep it, donate it to charity, or bin it.
For the items you keep, there’s a host of ways of re-packing to ensure your closet doesn’t resemble an attire-filled jungle:
• Group similar items together in labelled linen boxes to eliminate scattered accessories. Find different-sized boxes to accommodate the items (such as sunglasses, hats, etc.) and stash them in easy-to-reach spots.
• Divide the drawer—keep your large drawers neat by inserting custom dividers, and allocate each section to a different item (one for socks, one for belts, etc.).
• Vary the heights – several rods in a hanging closet multiply your hanging space. Keep your coats and shirts above eye level, pants below, and full-length outfits to the side.
homify hint: If you haven’t worn it in the past six months (excluding seasonal wear), toss it. Seasonal items not used in the past year can also go or be donated if in good condition.
Take a look at some stylish Built-in Wardrobes & Storage ideas to maximise your storage space.
Some beds come with clever types of storage options, like drawer storage, slider, zip and link storage, etc. Should you not have any of these, but still have space underneath your snooze spot, use it!
That space beneath your bed can be ideal for your boxed shoes, gift-wrapping stationery (contained in a box/container, of course), or your suitcases. Under-bed storage keeps the items contained, yet out of sight, and also serves as a physical boundary to limit the amount of items coming in.
homify hint: Ever considered using old dresser drawers or vintage suitcases for storing items under your bed? These can look more eye-catching than old boxes, and you can even ensure that they match the colour scheme of your bedroom. Scope out flea markets or yard sales and see what you can find.
Stop thinking of a bookshelf as those musty old dividers you used to hide behind in the school library. Bookshelves are available in a multitude of styles and materials, add a fresh perspective to any room, and can easily double-duty as storage space for items other than books.
A bookshelf is a practical solution for arranging any frequently-used item. Stack your prized entertaining dishes on them in the dining room, or use it for your child’s stuffed animals in their room.
And when you feel like the displaying might turn into clutter, bring in some additional help. Uniform bins, baskets and boxes on a shelf can create a more organised look, and can be used to store DVDs, office supplies, stationery, or electronics in plain sight (without seeing it all the time).
Regardless of what you choose to stack on your bookshelf, make sure you leave breathing room to avoid a cluttered look.
homify hint: Incorporate a fresh change into your bookshelf by adding some decor. You don’t need to cram in as many books as you can – some breathing space and a few aesthetically pleasing elements can make it visually pleasing.
See Novel Bookshelf Ideas You’ll Love for some great tips on bookshelves.
An open shelf with some proper displaying can look neat and nice, but it is not always the practical route. Closed storage can look just as great, hiding where the guests can’t see what you have in safekeeping, but then it has to be well thought out.
Under the stairs is a great storage place, as long as it’s not an open area (then it’ll just turn into a black hole and suck more items in). Pull-out drawers look neat, and are easy to organise and access.
The next time you’re shopping for new furniture, consider the ones with a dual-purpose. Many furniture items include hidden storage spaces, from beds with built-in storage units to ottomans that come complete with hidden storage compartments. Furniture with built-in storage is perfect for saving space and de-cluttering your home.
homify hint: When you were a child, you were told to put things away after finishing with them; well, that hasn’t changed! Your ability to put things back after using them (whether it’s a coffee mug or car keys) will keep your home tidier, and save you from having to de-clutter later on.
Women, especially, are infamous for collecting shoes, and know the pain of watching closet space shrink after each newly-purchased pair arrives.
Luckily, you don’t need to build a second closet to house your Jimmy Choos.
• Over-the-door hangers are always an option, and free up a lot of floor space in a closet.
• Placing your shoes in clear storage bins is a great way to protect them against damage and dust. You can even take photos of the shoes and tape it on each bin, helping you identify which pair is stocked where.
• Who says shoes need to be hidden away? If you’re out of closet space, consider an elegant shoe rack against your bedroom wall – this doesn’t take up any floor space, and turns your gorgeous high-heels into fashionable wall decor.
• From the closet to the foyer—place a wire basket in your entrance hall where family members can leave their dirty shoes. This frees up some space in everyone’s closets and prevents a build-up of dirt and mould on the shoes (just remember to place a mat under the basket for easy cleanup).
Storing your wine collection in fancy display cases in your cellar is great; however, not all cellar storage can be out and proud on a rack for everybody to admire.
A lot of people suffer from ‘out of sight, out of mind’ disease, and opt for the cellar/basement when it comes to storage. That might work, as long as your cellar doesn’t turn into a messy dead zone that keeps on accumulating items.
So then, what do you do with your home office supplies (stationery), paperwork (the past five years’ tax records, for example), picnic and party supplies, holiday decorations, etc?
• Opt for wall shelving, if you have the space. It’s easier to find something if you don’t have to lift box off of box to search for it.
• Clear storage bin containers work a treat, and stocking relevant items together (i.e. Christmas and Halloween decor) makes it easier to find what you’re looking for. Add some stickers to each bin to tell you what is where.
• When piling containers, be careful not to pile them too high or too deep – you don’t want to go through blood, sweat and tears just to reach the pool noodles!
• Consider how frequently you’ll need to use something (i.e. Christmas decor, once a year). The containers storing the more-used items should be on top and in front.