20 Great Storage Ideas for your Home

The perfect use of dead space!

The perfect use of dead space!

I love hearing fresh ideas about home storage solutions. There are so many great ideas out there if you are willing to have an open mind. These 20 ideas came from the Home Improvement Pages website in Australia. See which ones work for you!

In many homes, it can seem like there’s never enough room to store all of your items.  But there’s no need to put up with clutter.  Check out our top 20 storage ideas to get your home looking organized.

  1. Build some window seats for extra storage space.  By padding the lid, you’ll also create extra seating and you’ll have the perfect spot to curl up with a book.
  2. Fill any wasted space near the fridge with a built-in wine rack.
  3. Install hooks or a hanging rack at the front and back doors – these can hold coats, umbrellas, keys, or bags.
  4. Use the dead space underneath the hanging racks in your wardrobe.  Install permanent or temporary drawers, trolleys, crates or boxes.
  5. Use the space underneath the bed to store items that can fit in plastic containers with wheels.  These are ideal for storing out of season clothing or bedding.
  6. Free up floor space by mounting your television to the wall.
  7. A simple wooden ladder in the bathroom (bathroom) is an excellent way to gain more hanging space for towels.
  8. Fit a shelving system over the toilet to hold small items.
  9. Use a lazy susan in kitchen or bathroom cupboards to help you access items more easily.
  10. If you have a staircase, install shelves or cupboards underneath for instant extra storage room.
  11. Any items that you will not need to use for a while can be stored within your home’s roof space.
  12. Small boxes are useful for all kinds of odds and ends and can be placed anywhere.
  13. In the living areas, ottomans or footstools with storage space inside can be used to hold cushions and also brighten up the space.
  14. Use coffee tables that have storage space underneath to hold magazines or consider a funky magazine rack.

Read the full story here.

The ABC (&D) of organizing your stuff

I recently read this little gem in an issue of Woman’s Day (in the US) and thought it put the art of organizing in a simple, easy to follow strategy that could suit most homes and people. What do you think?

The ultimate under stair storage solution

The ultimate under stair storage solution!

What to put where:

A items: You use these at least once a day, like your toothbrush so you will want to have them our on the counter, right there in front of you. An everyday piece of jewellery such as your watch would go in a dish on the dresser and your underwear should be in the top dresser drawer, easy to retrieve.

B items: These items are still used a lot, but more like weekly such as some kitchen utensils or your workout clothes. They would be kept inside an easy to reach cupboard rather than on the counter and a drawer down from the A items.

C items: These are used seasonally or rarely such as Christmas decorations or your luggage. Store these in a spot such as the top shelf of a wardrobe or under the stairs out of the way until needed. You could store the Christmas decorations inside the luggage – win win!

D items: This is the stuff you don’t use, but are keeping for a legitimate reason such as tax records or baby equipment waiting for the next child. Store them as out of the way as much as possible such as in a cupboard in the garage (or in the basement if you have one).

Easy peasy!

The Short Shoe Showdown

Every woman's fantasy shoe closet!

Every woman’s fantasy shoe closet!

The changing of the season means changing shoes so this is the perfect time to reassess your shoe collection.

  1. Clean out all your shoes and put them into groups: summer slip-ons, boots, sneakers, heels etc.
  2. Remove those that don’t fit, you don’t like, rarely wear, or have seen better days.
  3. Discard the well worn ones and donate the ones in better shape (but only if they are in good enough condition that you yourself would buy them from a charity shop).
  4. Better still, have a shoe swap party with your girlfriends!
  5. Work out how you like your shoes to be organised: in boxes, in hangers, on shelves? By colour, by season or by occasion? Make sure it suits your organising style otherwise they will be all over the wardrobe floor in no time.


Tired of pandemonium in your pantry?

The perfect pantry!

The perfect pantry! Photo courtesy of thelosthousewife.com

It can take only 30 minutes or 3 hours – but the pantry is the heart of the home when it comes to your family’s health! Here are five tips to get it sorted quickly:

  1. Pull out all items and check their expiry dates – no guessing what to do with the out-of-dates! Non-perishables that you no longer need can be donated to a local food bank.
  2. Setting your sights too high? If an ingredient is part of a complicated recipe or is rarely used (like Tapioca or capers) give them to someone who is a bit more creative in the kitchen who will use it.
  3. Put “like” with “like” – this way you can see you have 12 cans of tuna and four packets of flour.
  4. Assign a part of each shelf to a category – tins with tins, baking with baking. If you always put the same ingredients in a dish, store them together (eg spaghetti with pasta sauce and tomato paste) so you don’t have to search each time.
  5. Put all the loose items into little tubs so they don’t float around and get lost – especially small ones like spices, gravy packets, flavour bottles etc. The perfect solution to all those Tupperware pieces without lids!

9 Steps to an Organised Garage

The perfect man-cave!

The perfect man-cave!

If your 2nd biggest asset (your car) is sitting out in the street while your garage is used as a storage shed it is time to set aside a weekend and get sorted!

1. Assess the clutter into three piles: Keep, Donate, and Toss.

2. Donate or Toss: either deliver or arrange for a pickup of items to be donated and put the toss items out with the garbage/recycling. Check out The Men’s Shed (link to http://www.mensshed.org/home/.aspx) for donating tools. They will love you!

3. Sort the Keep pile into their uses such as tools, car stuff, sports equipment, gardening etc.

4. Organise: assign each category an area in the garage and look at installing storage solutions such as cupboards or tubs for sports gear or a peg board system for tools.

5. Shelving: metal or plastic shelving is affordable, easy to assemble, able to withstand heat and humidity and will keep items off the ground safe from dampness.

6. Vertical space: Put up pegs or hooks for items like bikes, cords, hoses, gardening tools etc.

7. Storage: cardboard boxes will tend to bend and succumb to dampness. Plastic tubs protect contents and are easier to shift around on shelves.

8. Labelling: make sure you label plastic tubs for easier identification.

9. Move the car back in!

Clutter Challenge: How do I organise my collection of books – I have so many!

So many books - so little time to read!

Do you have a book fetish?

Do you find yourself buying new books that you have absolutely no time to read because you think you will “one day” or that it will look good on your bookshelf? I do.

But I also have one golden rule – once I have read a book that I really love, I need to pass it on to someone else whose life will also be enriched by the story. Why have it sitting there unloved and cluttering up my bookshelf?

And remember the golden rule, letting go of the old will make room for the new!  Here are some other golden rules when it comes to decluttering and organising your bookshelves:

  • Instead of starting to read new books, re-read some old favourites.
  • Let go of books you know you won’t re-read.
  • Put it in a “three months to re-read it” pile. Write in on your calendar and then pass it one if it isn’t re-read.
  • Donate your surplus of books to your local library or school.
  • Keep current reference books if they are as up-to-date and are more accurate or specific than what you might find online.
  • Keep at least one dictionary and thesaurus – especially for Scrabble!
  • Keep handy regularly accessed cookbooks – but if you use it less than once a month you might want to consider giving it away.
  • Only have a reasonable pile of books you plan to read and don’t over commit. Any more than that and your unread books may start to overwhelm the bookcase and it will stress you out that you don’t have time to read them.

Read the remaining tips here: http://www.atcbiz.com.au/ems/archives.php?n=edru7syrbw&c=3tgsczjemf

4 easy steps to an organised wardrobe

A rainbow of colour may not work for you...

Yesterday I was with a client who despaired at ever finding something to wear – and it all came down to the fact her wardrobe was organised in a way that didn’t work with her organising style. The secret is you don’t have to have your clothes organised in colours and looking pretty – it is all about organising for your individual dressing system, whatever that is.

Kathryn Weber wrote an article recently in her column Living Space for  Tribune Media Services which outlines exactly what I am talking about:

If you’ve ever wandered into the closet and couldn’t find something to wear, the problem might not be your wardrobe. When your closet is disorganized, it’s easy to lose clothes or have difficulty finding items that work together. Investing just a small amount of time in re-ordering your clothes and accessories will pay off every morning!

Tempting as it may be to organize by color, grouping like items by style and use is more efficient. While it might seem logical to hang all pants together, it’s best to group the pants you wear most, and move those you wear least to another part of the closet. Grouping clothing by the way its worn, such as casual or work, can also help you get dressed faster in the morning. This technique also makes putting clothes away faster. It’s especially useful for seasonal clothing; stashing all your big chunky sweaters together means the one you’re looking for won’t get pushed back out of sight.

Closet shelves are seldom used for clothing, but if you wear jeans and T-shirts a lot, why not take advantage of shelves to stack both in plain view? This will help you find a pair of jeans faster and put them away more easily, too. And if items of clothing keep getting lost in your dresser drawers, turn your closet shelves mini-drawers. Line them with baskets or clear bins so you can see everything easily. Another option is to install shallow drawers on closet shelves that pull all the way out.

Read the next 2 steps here: http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/realestate/sns-201202140000–tms–livspacectnls-a20120214feb14,0,2792121.story

4 quick tips to make your wardrobe a feel-good zone

This wardrobe set-up is guaranteed to make you feel good!

There was a great little piece in the Sunday Mail last weekend that I thought I would share with my readers:

How to make your wardrobe a feel-good zone.

  • If you have a favourite top, think about why it boost your confidence and try to buy clothes which ticks those boxes too.
  • You may have bought that jumper and worn it once, but if you aren’t going to wear it again because it reminds you of a blind date you’d rather forget, get rid of it.
  • Don’t feel bad about keeping any old clothes with which you associate good memories, it is like looking at a photograph and having those memories rush back.  (I have a caveat on this: don’t store them in your main wardrobe taking up space,  put them in a special memory box or plastic tub.)
  • When you dress like a dag you feel like a dag and you don’t perform as well. What you wear affects your self-esteem (and this applies if you work from home as well – get out of those jammies!)

How to organise your refrigerator – just in time for Christmas!

If only it could stay like this...

I have written on this topic before – in fact I have been on the TV demonstrating how you can salvage your fridge after a flood – but let’s hope you don’t have to go that far!

Unclutterer.com recently wrote a post which I thought was very timely – cleaning out your fridge so there is plenty of room to pop in a turkey or ham or two!  Here are some fab tips:

  • Gather supplies. Two large trash bags nested one inside the other (food is heavy and a broken bag makes a huge mess) is a must. You’ll also want a bucket with fresh, warm (not hot) water and mild dish detergent with a sponge. Also, a roll of paper towels or a few clean hand towels are good to have with you to dry the shelves when you’re finished wiping them down, especially for the freezer. Finally, I recommend having a notepad and pen handy so you can create a shopping list as you work.
  • Purge all food past its prime. Working from top to bottom, clear out all food from your refrigerator that is expired, rotten, and not good for eating. If you don’t know if something is edible, checkStillTasty.com. If a food is in a jar or bottle and you can’t find its expiration date, visit the company’s website. Many websites have sections where you can enter the item’s bar code and learn its shelf life information.
  • Wipe it down. Give all the walls and shelves of your refrigerator a firm but gentle scrubbing. Clean up all spills, leaks, and general yuckiness that can dirty up the inside of your refrigerator.
  • Organise. In addition to putting like items with like items (making it easier to retrieve foods, as well as remembering what items you have), consider employing some advanced organising techniques. Add stackable, removable shelves or under shelf baskets to better separate items. Use shelf liners to make it easier to clean up future messes and to keep round foods from rolling. If your crisper is where foods go to mold, try removing your drawers so you won’t forget about your produce (if you’re a visual processor, this may really help you). Also, learn what the recommended cooling temperatures for your food are so you know where the best place is inside your refrigerator to store each item.

To read the entire article click here: http://unclutterer.com/2011/11/14/clean-and-organize-your-refrigerator/

How to Organise Mementos and their Memories

6 methods of purging, storing and organising your memorabilia

A box of memories...

We all have them – bits and pieces of memorabilia piled high in corners or hidden in plastic bags. The thought of organising them seems completely overwhelming.

Here are six steps that will help you through the different methods of storing and organising your memorabilia to properly preserve them for years to come.

1. The Quick Sort
Gather your keepsakes in one place, preferably a table or other large, comfortable workspace. Next, group similar items together (like with like) using baskets or boxes you’ve labelled with the types of mementos you have. Some common categories include: photos, kid’s artwork, cards, certificates & other documents, crafts and projects.

2. The Purge
Letting go of personal memorabilia tends to be hard, especially if you are a sentimental soul. Yet, when you pare down your keepsakes, you will feel a sense of lightness, as though you’ve been released from a heavy burden.

The goal is to make room for what matters most. Let go of items that you no longer find meaningful or remind you of a time you’d rather forget. Keep only the things that stir your heart or capture important events. Save only what you have space for and keep in mind that things are always coming in so leave some room to grow.

Photos are probably the hardest item to throw away because of the sentimental value we attach to them. Weed out bad shots to make it easier to enjoy the good ones. Tossing doesn’t mean you’re throwing away the person in it. It’s okay to give away duplicates or toss photos that are blurry, bad angles or unbecoming. Save the best – toss the rest.

Kids Artwork: Work together with your child to choose a few of his favourite pieces of artwork each year. If you keep every single piece of artwork your child brings home for the next 15 years it will crowd you out of your home.

Take photos of large artwork, crafts or school project. Keep the photo – toss the bulk.

3. Safe Storage
When storing your items, use archival quality, acid free products. Acid is a chemical substance that can weaken paper and cloth, causing it to brown and become brittle. Never store photographs and other treasured items with newspaper, which contains acid that will eventually damage your mementos. Use tissue paper instead.

Continue to read the next 3 steps here: