Organising tips that actually work

Yahoo Lifestyle
30 November 2012

Coming home to a cluttered mess can be exhausting. But if you can find a place for everything you can enjoy an ordered home that inspires calm.

Sort it out

Of course, before you can bring order to your belongings you need a good sort out.

“Have a variety of boxes and bin liners to hand, along with sticky labels, marker pens, etc. This will make your life easier as you go through your home,” says de-clutter expert Chrissy Halton of

Start with one room/area at a time and box unwanted items as rubbish, recycling or even charity.

“For items you want to keep, make sure it’s in the right room and decide whether it’s useful (functional) or beautiful (worth showing off) when you come to restyle the room,” adds Chrissy.
Finding the right storage solution is key, especially in small rooms. Luckily, designers have come to the rescue with clever ways to help you organise every room of the house.

The tidy hallway

The hallway can easily become a dumping ground for muddy boots, dog leads, coats, bags, umbrellas, junk mail, keys (the list goes on!). Start as you mean to go on and make sure each member of the family has a place for everything.

This chest of drawers, £369 from Maisons du Monde, comes with six wicker baskets with labels to write names on.

If space is limited, this Graham and Green bench (£135), offers storage as well as useful seating. 

For a customised look, hang shelves to fit the space. Store items you don’t use every day on top, with boxes for keys and mail underneath. Next, hang a row or two of hooks. This one, £65, from Not On The Highstreet even incorporates a useful mirror.

Designate hooks for each member of the family, either by name, like these personalised jumbo coat pegs, £49, from Not On The Highstreet or different colours.

A designated hook for the dog’s lead, like this dog head design, £17.50, from Graham and Green is a nice touch.

Chrissy suggests. you might want to have coloured co-ordinated boxes to keep the hallway tidy. “That way anything that needs to be moved can be put into that person’s box rather than piled up,” she says.

A home for paperwork

Whether you have a home office or make do with a laptop, a place to keep bills and paperwork tidy is a must for the organised home.

If you don’t have the luxury of a spare room, designate a few shelves, perhaps under the stairs, for the job.

Think beyond grey filing cabinets and go for a salvage find and it can become a real style feature. We love this Vintage Post Box, £45, from Etcetera.

Organise kitchen cupboards

The key to ordered kitchen cupboards is to utilise every inch of available space.

A step shelf, £13.99 from Lakeland, will allow you to see what you have and what needs replenishing, while a  turntable, £2.99 offers easy access to food that could otherwise linger unused at the back.

If you’re forever forgetting what to put on the shopping list, paint the inside of your cupboard door with blackboard paint. That way you can make a note as soon as you see it is running low.

Alternatively, put the inside of a cupboard to good use by creating a spice rack with these spice bottle clips, £3.99 (holds 12 bottles) from Bettaware.

The cupboard under the kitchen sink is often a ‘dead’ area. Maximise available space with a universal storage unit, £23.99 from Lakeland, designed to fit into any size of cupboard.

For hard-to-reach lower-level cabinets, the OXO rollout bin, £12, Amazon provides a handy drawer which slides out on wheels and comes with a support leg to keep it level.

Sort out your clothes

First, take everything out of the wardrobe and assess the space you have to work with, advises Chrissy.

“If you have plenty of room, then you may be able to house all of your clothes back in the space but in an organised way, or you may have to think about storing some items elsewhere.”

Under the bed is a great place to keep out-of-season clothes and bedding - just ensure that they are in air-tight containers. A pack of two jumbo flat-vacuum containers costs £9.99 from Argos.

“If budget allows, opt for a bed with built-in storage, like this leather bed, £249.99 from Amazon, says Chrissy.

To keep things tidy in the wardrobe, a tie and belt hanger, £28 from Heals takes up little more room than a regular hanger and has space for 20 belts, scarves or ties.
If the bottom of the wardrobe is a jumble of shoes, store them in clear, stackable boxes, £28 for five, A Place for Everything, or hang a shoe rack over the back of the door, £20.

Snap-together pockets, £8.79 for 11, Lakeland keeps underwear tidy in drawers.

With a good sort out and a few clever storage solutions, you can restore order to even the most chaotic parts of the house – and enjoy a home that inspires calm.

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