Clutterbugs be gone! Here are our top 30 storage hacks for organising your home
Ever wondered how some people manage to keep on top of the mess in their homes without looking like they’re trying? “A place for everything and everything in its place” is a great rule of thumb for staying tidy. But if you don’t have a solid storage system, trying to find a home for those oblong salad platters, spare keys or bulky hair tongs won’t be easy. Never fear – here are our top home organising hacks:
1 If you haven’t used an item in 12 months (hello, tapioca flour), throw it out. Not only will you reduce clutter, you’ll have a better handle on what not to buy, saving you money in the long-run.
2. Install rolling shelves with low sides in the pantry to ensure items are easily accessible (rather than deep cabinets that can make it difficult to remove items from near the back.)
3. Group items in the pantry – rices with pastas, flours with sugars – to make prep-time easier. Remove the packaging from small items, such as muesli bars, and keep snack items together in a basket so you can easily see what you have.
4. Store dried foods in clear airtight containers or jars. “This way you can see how much is left of a product,” says Hannah Stickland of organisation service Simplify My Home. “It’s like a shopping list in your mind – you’ll remember those empty jars at the supermarket.”
5. Likewise, she recommends using a drawer to store cans and another for spices. Cans take up a lot of space, and all those tins of chickpeas and baked beans have a tendency to disappear towards the back of the pantry. By lying them flat, facing upwards, you can instantly see
what you’ve got.
6. Even the best of us have a drawer full of miscellaneous things. These can be kept in order by using clear sliders, making items such as pens, keys or batteries easier to find.
7. Keep plates, mugs and cutlery as close to the dishwasher as possible. This helps cut down on time spent putting clean items away.
8. Maximise your benchtop space with a chopping board that fits over the sink.
9. Hang your stemware – it looks neat and will save room on your shelves for other things.
10. Organise your under-sink space. This area can easily turn into a dumping ground for old products. Use a two-tier sliding organiser or small plastic containers to keep dishwashing items tidy and hang hooks on the doors for tea and hand towels.
11. Install a single shelf for regularly used items and dedicate your laundry space to washing only. “You’d be amazed at the stuff we see that creeps into laundries,” says Amanda Stickland (Hannah’s sister-in-law) of Simplify My Home. “Keep it decluttered and just have the one shelf for basics such as washing powder and soap.”
12. Decant powders and liquids into jars so you can see at a glance how much of a product you have left.
13. Maximise your closet space by editing your clothes, Marie Kondo-style. Asking yourself ‘does this spark joy?’ while holding each individual item will help you to part with clothing you no longer need. Think of it as creating a capsule wardrobe.
14. Hang everything on velvet coat-hangers. “They’ve very slimline and you’ll fit more into the space,” says Hannah. “Nothing slips off.”
15. Hang every item, other than underwear, swimwear, pyjamas and activewear. “If you don’t have the space to hang clothing, the pair recommends file-folding, whereby clothing stands up in the drawer. “In a traditional stacked open drawer, you can’t see anything under the top items,” says Hannah. “It tends to create more mess. Whereas, when you fold to create a little bundle, you can see everything.” Check out tutorials on YouTube.
16. Use dividers in your drawers, wardrobe and on shelves. Baskets on shelves will eliminate the need to stack everything, creating mess.
17. Hang handbags and belts on hooks.
18. Try a bamboo shoe rack for high heels or lesser worn shoes.
19. Divide and conquer: separate items such as Lego, dolls or stuffed toys into separate baskets, and label them – kids will be more inclined to tidy their rooms if they know where everything goes. Do the same for their clothing in soft cubes.
20. Don’t keep all the toys in the room at one time. “Kids accumulate so much stuff so quickly,” says Amanda. “Put two-thirds in the garage or the attic so they can’t see it. Then once a fortnight swap them out for new toys. You’ll find they actually play with their toys more.”
21. If desktop space is at a premium, try using a hanging wardrobe organiser for stationery.
22. Open shelving is an ideal way to ensure you’ll always know where reference materials and items are – just be sure to keep them organised in storage boxes or folders.
23. Store often-used tools in a lazy susan on your desk and spin your way to better productivity.
24. Buy a desk with drawers in which to store your stationery and paper items, or a cabinet that fits under the desk.
25. Attach a cork board on the wall to display your schedule or keep your to-do list in clear view.
26. Use dividers to separate your make-up from your moisturisers.
27. Keep your everyday items – such as toothbrushes, shaving and cleansing products – under the sink, and consider storing lesser used products elsewhere. “I like to keep my hair straightener and hairdryer in a basket under the vanity,” says Hannah. “I have another cabinet where I keep my fake tan, facemasks and travel bags.”
28. You can’t polish a you-know-what, but you can store toilet paper in attractive baskets.
Hands up if this is the space where you toss items, shove the door shut and hope for the best? A simple decluttering process could alleviate this stress. Simplify My Home recommends taking everything out, discarding unused sheets or duvet covers that haven’t been used in ages, and grouping the remaining items. “You really only need two sets of sheets for each bed,” says Hannah.
29. Keep sheets or towels in labelled baskets or label the shelf. Not only will this help to differentiate your kings from your king-singles (who wants to refold a sheet unnecessarily?) you’ll avoid stacks toppling when a single item is removed.
30. If your linen cupboard is on the small side, consider storing some towels and flannels in the bathroom. Baskets under the vanity work well, as do standing towel rails; fresh towels can be replenished from the cupboard when required. “And you’ll always have a flannel on hand during bath-time,” says Hannah.
Words by Rebecca Barry Hill. Photography by Are Media Syndication.