We all need a little help to declutter. These clever storage buys could be just what your home needs…
We’ve all heard of the mental benefits of a good declutter, but sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. They key is to relax, be good to yourself and take things one step at a time. Plus, keep in mind that in order to set you off on the right track you might need a little help with some new storage solutions – all that clutter has to go somewhere after all.
‘You feel less in control of your life when you aren’t in control of your home,’ says Vicky Silverthorn, professional organiser, Official Storage Expert for John Lewis & Partners and author of Start With Your Sock Drawer. ‘Finding things in a cluttered home can be a problem that in turn makes life more stressful. The more you have, the harder it is to find your belongings a place to live and if they don’t have a home, then tidying can become an endless chore.’
Starting with your sock/kitchen/bathroom drawer is a great motivator, as Vicky continues: ‘If you don’t know where to start, I always say start with your sock drawer – something simple and small, that you can work on and then stop so you get that feeling of completion.’
Once that sock drawer looks like a thing of beauty, work your way around your home, helped by our favourite storage buys.
1. A hold-plenty bookcase
Create a stylish yet practical storage solution in your living room with a smart bookcase. Go for a design that has plenty of deep shelves, but don’t be tempted to overfill – books need space around them, which will help create a less-cluttered look. Try stacking a few on top of each other, rather than end on, and intersperse with vases or ornaments. Go through and edit your book collection, keeping only those you know you will re-read or love.
2. A clever drawer tidy
Are your drawers full of clutter? Overflowing with junk? Whether its bedroom or bathroom drawers, or even the family’s junk drawer, the same trick applies – break up the internal space into more manageable sections. Dividing and conquering the chaos with a drawer tidy or storage tray will make most of the available space and it will be easier to find what you need. You’ll find it quicker to tidy up too, as everything will have its set place in the tray. Look out for trays designed for those smaller bits and pieces too, such as make-up and cosmetics.
3. A tidy desk helper
Whether you’re working from home or need a space to keep on top of life admin, a tidy desk area is essential – it will certainly make you more productive if you can find what you need easily. Treat yourself to some elegant desk accessories, such as pen pots, filing trays and tidies, but don’t allow them to become clutter magnets – a weekly edit of paperwork is a must!
4. A secret storage piece
Now you see it… now you don’t. Hands up if you’re looking for secret storage that can transform your family space from chaos to calm in a flash? Look for upholstered pieces that double as footstools, sofas with room under the cushions or tables with concealed storage. Just don’t forget what you’ve hidden away – try a monthly reveal and sort.
5. A brilliant hold-anything basket
Pop clutter – or stuff that’s waiting to be sorted or put away – in a basket for a quick tidy up, then get into the habit of emptying once a week. If you choose a basket or two that work with your scheme, the clutter will be nicely hidden away. Go for a design with handles, which will allow you to carry the basket around your home as you tidy away.
6. A space to hang
If your hallway or spare bedroom is in need of more hanging space – whether that’s to deal with the family’s winter coats or your summer wardrobe, then look at a slim hanging rail. Choose a design with a shelf underneath to max-out the storage potential, or one that folds away when not in use. And again, edit regularly… the look should be one of calm and order.
7. A smart shoe solution
Shoes are one of the biggest offenders in a cluttered home – do a quick shoe count by your front door and you’ll probably find at least three pairs per person. Hold a seasonal shoe clearout and pack away those not needed. If you want to save shelf space in cupboards, then look for clever tidies that allow you to double up shoes, while pieces with cubby holes are a great solution if you have space in your hallway.
8. A hero piece
Give a room style and storage with a statement piece of furniture. Look for low-level storage cabinets that are compact enough to fit into an alcove, while still offering plenty of shelf space inside and you can style the top with your most treasured finds. Look for a cabinet on legs – by seeing the floor beneath, you’ll increase the sense of space in the room – this is a great stylist’s trick that really works.
9. A set of clever containers
As we aim to shop more sustainably, avoid creating an overflowing cupboard full of tubs and mis-matched lids with smart food storage. Look for designs that stack easily or are colour-coded, helping your kitchen to function smoother and sleeker. Go through your container cupboard every six weeks or so, matching lids and restacking.
10. A fun toy tidy-up
Make the tidy-away fun and you might just encourage the youngest members of your household to become declutterers too. Look for storage bags and baskets with handles that can be carried from room to room, while fun, bright pieces look great left out on display on open shelves. When it comes to toy decluttering, keep any eye out to see what’s being played with, then remove anything that’s redundant to a holding bay, waiting to see if it’s requested or not further down the line. Pass anything clean and in good working order to your local charity or preschool.