Tips to improve storage and space in the home

Here are my top tips to improve storage and space in the home and help achieve a happier and more effective environment in which to live and work. Because with our busy lives and ever-evolving homes, it is understandable for us to sometimes feel overwhelmed by all our possessions and limited space.

Keeping It Together

Space is an issue for everyone I work with as an Interior Designer and Stylist. Categorising like-with-like items makes tidying up and finding a doddle, and gives other members of the household no excuse in not putting things away properly!  Clear storage boxes are often a god-send in order to find things quickly, and uniformed labelling gives a more aesthetically pleasing look. Obviously these good intentions of having everything in its place can be go askew over time: A few minutes spent keeping ontop of this saves so much time in the long-run, and also avoids overspending – buying because we forgot that we had it already.

Images courtesy of Pinterest

Get Creative

Storage needn’t be expensive or mundane. A row of jam jars or adapted milk cartons can be just as satisfying as something you buy in the shops. Afterall, it’s your home for you to express your own personal style! Making it fun also encourages others within the home to keep things tidy… a win-win in my book.

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Get Personal

Give each person in the household a storage basket or a personalised cloth-bag hung near the stairs: Any loose odds and ends belonging to that person can be deposited there. Make it a regular weekly habit for each person to take responsibility in clearing it out and putting it away.

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Accessing All Areas

Nothing benefits from being stuffed at the back of a cupboard only to be forgotten. Often we go out and buy something only to end up finding that we had it at home all along. Good storage should be easy to access. Using transparent open boxes as drawers in low, deep cupboards makes it easier to find those forgotten items at the back that are usually hard to see.

Smaller items are also often lost within standard cupboards and drawers. Hanging shoe organisers on the inside of cupboard doors for a multitude of small items makes clearing away a doddle. Useful for small bathrooms, kitchen cleaning products, bedrooms…actually, ANYWHERE in the house can benefit from this! The beauty of it is that it easily accessible, discreet and helps obtain clutter-free surfaces. Stick to lighter-weight items on the back of doors in order to minimise stress on the hinges. You may need to reduce the depth of the shelves slightly inside the cupboard to allow room.

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Optimising Shelves

Standard sized bookcases are a prime example of how space is sometimes under-utilised. There is usually much untapped storage space inside wardrobes and cupboards. I tend to prefer bookcases with adaptable shelving heights, so that this can be customised specifically for the objects being store.  This takse full advantage of every part of the vertical space. Most tall bookcases are around 1.8m high, but adding storage right up to the ceiling can often make a room feel larger.

Consider building shelves and/or cupboards right up to the ceiling. Painting the back of the shelf in a different colour or wallpapering it gives an added element of interest. (See above image on left). Flat-pack units can be easily customised, for example by adding a wood trim to the top and/or sides.

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Bulldog Clips and Velcro

Is there anything these bad-boys can’t do! Here is an ingenious way of using bulldog clips to organise office wires. I have also used bulldog clips to hold vinyl record covers as art-work on a living room wall (see my website gallery). Velcro is a great way of keeping items/wires off the floor and maximizing storage space on the side/bottom of a piece of furniture. Most Hardware stores now sell velcro and hooks on a glue-free, removable backing.

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Use it, Mend it or Lose it

It’s said that we wear 20% of our clothing 80% of the time. In my experience, this ratio can often be used throughout the home’s cupboards and dark corners.  An item that served a purpose in the past becomes clutter when it no longer serves a purpose in the present or future. Recognising that our tastes and lifestyle requirements can change over time allows us to let go of our attachment to certain items that no longer serve a purpose in our lives., I’m a big believer in mending repurposing, donating to re-selling unwanted items to make for a more enjoyable and effective interior.

Setting aside a short, pre-set amount of time with an alarm clock (and a trusted friend if required) is the best way to make a start. Even a few 1 hour stints over a few weeks can make a noticeable difference… so let’s get going!

For help to improve your storage and space in your home or business in Bath, Bristol, Somerset and Wiltshire, contact me to discuss your project.

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