So it’s January and you’ve taken your decorations down and you’re left looking at piles of presents and where to store things.
Unless you are very strict on the one in one out policy then it’s time to refocus on your home and its storage opportunities. All that lovely spring cleaning energy can be channelled into this and before you know it your home and your life will be streamlined and ready to take on 2023 with style!
So where to start? Here’s 5 top tips to help you on your way.
1: Be Brave
Now you don’t want to be tidying up and storing things you no longer need or have a purpose for so decluttering is your first challenge.
It can feel overwhelming to take on a whole house and declutter in one go so it’s worth starting a room at a time.
You probably already know the drill - make 3 piles: keep, donate and recycle.
Work your way through each room and ask yourself do you use it? Can you repurpose it? Do you love it? If not, it goes to a new home or to be recycled.
I’m a big fan of one person’s trash being another’s treasure and in a world where we need to cut back on waste it’s even more important than ever.
Another way to think about it is reducing the quantity.
People will often purchase larger quantities of items, table settings for 12 for that one special day it may be needed. In reality the extra stuff can turn into a nuisance rather than a help.
If it’s not used daily then think about how many items you really need to store.
The trick is to keep calm as you clear; it can be an emotional process, so be kind to yourself. And once you have nailed one room take a deep breath and move on.
It’ll be SO worth it.
If you're feeling a little overwhelmed by that then designate some organising "power sessions" into your schedule.
2: Go vertical
Hanging space is a great way to add storage to your home. Whether that is by shelving, wall mounted hangers, back and over door storage or peg rails above worktops.
So make use of rails and baskets to store things, or hooks near the door for your coats and hats. If they are easy to use and on hand then you will keep using them daily and that’s the key to everything feeling clear as it has it’s own home.
Storage can be part of the interior design scheme where we merge function and decoration. So use baskets or fabric bags that work with your colour scheme. Use fabric curtains to cover unsightly storage.
I would always encourage using natural materials such as wicker and seagrass baskets as they can move around the house and fit in most schemes.
Another trick is to stack. Think of stacking labelled recycling and storage boxes so you always know what’s in them.
In a similar way, but a little more effort, installing floor to ceiling shelving or cupboards for storage can make such a visual difference.
It maximises space and reduces clutter and if you save some of those special personal items for styling on the shelves then it will add to the ambience overall.
3: Go bespoke
My favourite option if you have the funds is to go bespoke. A bespoke designed storage cupboard will fit round any tricky areas and can really increase the useable space.
Another visual trick when adding storage is to make it floating. If you have a clear view of the floor underneath it keeps the room feeling larger. So wall hung cabinets or bedside tables give you that added storage whilst keeping a sense of space and calm.
Need to squeeze a desk in - then why not consider a wall mounted desk and cupboard above. It will take up no additional floor space but will give you a dedicated area for work and your work stuff above.
If you are renovating then be sure to think about sneaking storage into as many places as you can from cleverly designed bed bases in kids rooms, to extra drawers in your stair risers. There are so many clever ideas out there.
4: Secret storage
If your budget can run to it then turning your understairs into storage is a great way to improve the flow of your house. It can house everything you need as you head in or out of the house.
If funds can’t stretch to that then do at least consider a way of hiding the shoes. They have a sneaky way of cluttering up most free spaces but a cleverly placed dresser or shoe storage can save the day and look great too.
5: Zonal storage
If you find that things are always spilling from one area to another then think about zoning your storage and consider what storage works for each area.
You can use room dividers in open plan spaces which have added storage, a bar cart or drinks trolley in the dining room, butcher block or hanging fruit baskets in the kitchen, baskets for throws in the lounge, pegboards in the playroom. Everything can work with your interior scheme to keep your life in order.
So if you have the New Year New You urge then go get decluttering and looking at your storage - you won't regret it. And if you'd like some help with planning where to eek out some more storage in your home then give me a shout. I can help with the whole process from looking at changing room layouts, sourcing storage or bespoke joinery for you and even helping you style the finished result!
Photo credits: remodelista.com, handmadecharlotte.com, Samantha Hammack via Pinterest, youtu.be, theblogonthebookshelf.com, vtwonen.nl, realhomes.com, 101west78.com, sheerluxe.com, jeanarie via Pinterest, hopeelephants.com, Chloe Dominik, upcyclist.com, contemporist.com, perjansson.se, theanimalprintshop.com and denlifeinteriors.com.