Straighten out home storage
Even if your organisational and housekeeping skills score a perfect 10, there are plenty of ways to get your storage systems in better shape room-by-room. Here's how:
Ah, the wardrobe. Be ruthless, be brave, be bold. Take absolutely everything out and if you haven't worn it for two years - it's out out out of the house. Make your pile of maybe keeps and definitely keeps and then cull so you have plenty of swinging room in that newly organised wardrobe for future purchases. Reclaim precious wardrobe space by packing away last season's clothes - space bags are great (especially if you pack a sachet of silicone with them to absorb unwanted moisture).
It's about the television, hi fi and general electronic clutter of a family's main hang-out zone. What do you do with all that stuff? How about a wall of cupboards capable of concealing everything? Or a beauitfully hung and mounted television with a sleek, barely there cabinet at floor level that conceals all other electronica? The entertainment wall often unwillingly becomes a feature wall in a living room if it isn't well thought out. Customised floor-to-ceiling storage is ideal - especially if it's tailored to your appliances - but a cheaper option will be a freestanding storage unit from Freedom, IKEA or one of the other large furniture chains.
Dining tables and chairs do gobble space, so build a corner of banquette seating - with storage inside - to fit the space exactly. You won't need as many chairs and you'll free up floor space. Find a great box - with a lid - to place on the table to conceal the general ephemera of house keys, mail catalogues and school notes that find their way on to the table each day. Make it a mission to clean out the box once a week before it starts overflowing.
A wide hallway is heaven sent for booklovers. Bookshelves running the length of the walls can look great - especially if books, ornaments and open space are artfully assembled upon them. Narrow console tables are great at the front door, provided you have space to walk past it with your groceries. Sleek wall-mounted coat racks are another great solution for small spaces.
There has to be a whole story devoted to space and storage ideas in the kitchen, so in this instance you will only read some top tips. Swapping out kitchen shelves for pull-out drawers is an easy way to stop scrabbling in the depths of the cupboard for every day items. Pull out draw racks (which can be installed in regular cupboards) will give you easier access to more stuff, without the expense of expanding your kitchen. Hooks are another great trick on the back of kitchen doors and inside pantries to keep clutter off the floor and instantly create a spot for tools, utensils and plastic bags.
If the vanity unit isn't big enough to store everything you need, think about reverting to an old-fashioned dressing table set up in the bedroom. You'll find you have loads more room for the family's bathroom essentials. Shelves are another great addition to a bathroom for all those little bitsy things you need in the room. Oh, and those caddies that hang from the showerhead make great stash spots for shampoos and soaps.