Conventional wisdom has it that an uncluttered house makes for a relaxed state of mind, not to mention more living space. Here’s how to carry out a stress-free home detox – and organise your chaos with 22 ways to make your space lighter, brighter, better and more efficient this Autumn.
A ‘home detox’ that involves divesting your wardrobe and shelves of unnecceary belongings is a shortcut to feeling refreshed.
Working methodically is essential, says tidying guru Marie Kondo, who favours tidying by category, not by rooms. It’s a waste of time to blitz the bedroom and leave it immaculate, only to come across belongings elsewhere in the home that need to be fitted in. Read more ‘The Ultimate Decluttering Guide. The best sequence is this: clothes first, then books, papers, and miscellany, and finally keepsakes. Tidying away sentimental items slows us down, so it’s best to leave these until last. Once you’ve whittled your belongings down to a manageable amount, give each item a place to live.
A home detox isn’t just about disposing unwanted items, it’s about finding more effective ways of storing the things that you do want to keep. Above all, when you’ve embarked on a decluttering project, complete it quickly and thoroughly. A house overhaul is like a body detox.
Just as dieting half-heartedly has disappointing results, sorting a few drawers while leaving the rest of the house generally the same as before is disheartening.
Take breaks, but don’t stop for too long – or you’ll lose interest. Here’s five kinds of storage – where there’ll no longer be any excuse for clutter:
1. HANGING DISPLAYS
Rails and ladders provide chic alternatives to traditional storage solutions for clothes and kitchen ware. Turn under utilized nooks into open storage areas rather than hiding away your belongings behind closed doors.
Maximise space by hanging clothes, scarves and bags up step ladders.
2. MODULAR STORAGE
Wooden or metallic, modern or rustic, these open storage boxes that can be reconfigured and built up over time are a great way of keeping your belongings in full view. Unlike boxes which conceal unwanted possessions, and promoted hoarding.
3. STATE-OF-THE-ART WARDROBES
It looks like a gallery installation but serves as a storage solution such as walk-in wardrobes by Paolo Nava for Longi or a Poliform design with mounting systems that allow for different shelving options and facilitate flexible hanging. Plus a variable ration of shelving to hanging space, interior downlighting, etc. Wardrobes are fully customisable. Other brands doing great wardrobe storage systems: B&B Italia, De Padova, Molteni & C, and Porada.
4. STATEMENT SHELVING
Shelving can be stylish as well as functional – opt for built-in solutions such as timber units, or freestanding models. Whether you choose linear forms from floor to ceiling, of chunkier floating designs, a standalone shelf makes a striking focal point, as well as being idea for holding books or displaying collections of art or glassware.
5. THE FLEXIBLE BOOKCASE
There are ingenious shelving systems that can be hidden away discreetly or opened out into a dramatic feature depending on your mood. When library space is limited, opt for storage solutions that can be moved or modified as needed.
6. FLAT STORAGE
Use flat storage to etch out an entryway by investing in a wooden shelf with coat hooks underneath to store your jackets, scarves, hats and bags. Plus, a boot rack for shoes. Ikea is an endless source of inspiration for clutter control. Not only will you find instant upgrades to your entryway and you’ll gain some extra storage space that also makes a great first impression.
8. WALL-MOUNTED SHELVES IN PLACE OF BOOKCASES
Wall-mounted shelves are a great choice for small spaces because they eliminate all the unnecessary parts of bookshelves — the sides, the back — and if you get them in white, they blend into the wall, creating a cohesive, almost built-in look. Plus, you can mount them above other pieces of furniture, like a desk or dresser, which is a huge space saver. If you’re searching for sources for wall mounted shelving, we’ve rounded up a bunch of them.
9. EMBRACE DRAWERS
Even your bedside table can become a workhorse, with six little drawers perfect for tucking smaller things away. Make your furniture work for you by picking pieces that incorporate drawers and shelves. Keeping an apartment tidy isn’t hard when you have plenty of places to put things away.
10. FIND SPACE WHERE YOU DIDN’T THINK YOU HAD ANY
A shallow depth cupboard built into a wall. Shelves built into an awkward alcove. Or shelves in a shallow recess. Recessed storage is great for small spaces, where it can be found in niches, alcoves, under stairs — even between the studs. A step cleverly extends to act not only as a bench but also storage with a recess in the stair riser. Find our List of Best Benchtops in our Directory.
11. CLOTHING RACKS
Follow every stylish girl’s lead and put together a cool open wardrobe. Don’t keep all those gorgeous clothes hidden away when you’ve spend your hard earned money on them. It will make it so much easier to choose outfits every day when you have all your options in full view. Ikea has plenty of great simple clothing racks in black and white. Think of your clothing as works of art.
Plus, removing the bulk of a traditional closet will also open up your area, and more space equals more room for clothes—bonus. A built-in wardrobe might make a huge impact on your space. Open, airy rails may just suit the style of your house better.
12. KITCHEN STORAGE
Not enough cabinet space? Mount a pegboard and hang all your essentials. Add a bar-height table next to your tiny kitchen bench is a triple whammy — extra bench space, extra storage space, and a place for friends to gather. Read more ‘Inside Some of the World’s Best Kitchens and Everything to Steal Their Style.
13. ADD AN EXTRA SHELF ABOVE THE KITCHEN CABINETS
If your above-cabinet space is tall enough, this is great way to make the most of it – by stacking a board atop three small wine racks. You can get the timber cut to size at your local home improvement store, and then all you have left to do is paint. Read more ‘7 Ways to Save on Your Kitchen Renovation.’
14. MOVE KITCHEN CABINETS UP
Re-capture the empty space up to ceiling. You can remove the existing cabinets from the wall, re-hang them with the tops flush with the ceiling, and then add a shelf below.
Good-bye, awkward ceiling gap: hello, extra storage.
15. CUPBOARDS AND CABINETS
You can never have too much storage. Keep your eyes peeled for good-looking storage items at chainstores, online and offline that can do double-duty around the house.
16. PLAN AHEAD
To ensure your kitchen’s complex storage needs are met. Forget rummaging at the back of a cupboard for that essential piece or equipment. Combine different elements – shelves, push-touch drawers, and wall-mounted units to fill your space to the best advantage. Use muted colours that blend seamlessly together, and serenity and a sense of order will flow.
17. KITCHEN TROLLEYS
They can be used for storing crockery, hanging towels or as a further surface for meal preparation. Best of all, they can be quickly wheeled out of sight or tucked away under a counter when not needed. Practical.
18. SHORT OF SPACE?
Install a noticeboard. They come in wicker, wire, or cord – so are decorative as well as useful for attaching art, messages, lists with clips.
19. USE STORAGE AT DIFFERENT HEIGHTS
Areas high up the wall can be devoted to items that you don’t use on a regular basis, provided there’s a means of access, such as a ladder, which you can double up in the bathroom to hang towels). And don’t forget the space under your bed – storage trunks and boxes tuck away neatly freeing up precious floor space. Or the space under coffee tables, for stacking book overflow in low baskets.
20. GET ORGANISED WITH WALL HOOKS
All homes need some hanging space and a few good looking hooks make for a stylish addition to any wall.
Use variations of hanging storage to organise specific categories of possessions: clothes, accessories, kitchen equipment, the possibilities are endless.
21. WICKER BASKETS ARE IDEAL CONTAINERS
They let air circulate. Stack them for a streamlined look under washbasins to keep clean towels in. Pop them under tables or consoles in pairs to stow blankets, magazines, wood, anything really. Read more, ‘The Best 2 Sources for Baskets.’
22. USE FLOATING SHELVES
Try a bed shelf rather than the traditional bedside table – so you have a place for books, the alarm clock, a glass, or cup, and nighttime reading light.
OH, AND DON’T FORGET FOLDAWAY BEDS
Concealed storage is a great way to maximize space – so double up and use cupboards as storage for foldaway, pull-down wall beds and furniture. We have long been fans of pull-down beds at our city property – and love them.