The secret to a tidy home is as simple as storage. But while more storage is better, it’s equally about how you store your stuff. Do an audit to check you’re making the most of every inch in cupboards and drawers, master your organisation so everything is readily at hand, and balance open shelves so they work hard but are still easy on the eye. Tweaking your storage – and adding a few clever solutions – can take your home from chaos to calm.
Slimline storage can help to tame clutter without dominating the hallway. Mix hooks or a coat rack with shoe shelves, and baskets for grab-and-go items like keys, wallets or even a ball for the dog.
Shelves can be a great place to store your kitchen essentials, as it keeps your benchtops clear and everything close to hand,” says interior designer Annie Bowen (anniebowendesign.com). Tidy up with containers in a range of sizes in the same style, labelled with stickers or a marker. File packets and loose produce in clear bins so you can see everything at a glance.
The secret to sorting lots of different things is storage to suit, and this is where drawer inserts are invaluable. When each item has a place of its own, it’s easier to keep everything tidy. Clear lidless containers, arranged snugly so they can’t slide around, work well. Every kitchen has at least one drawer that’s a magnet for clutter – to tame the mess, divide and conquer, storing like with like.
Clutter under the sink is an invitation to mould and insects. Use washable containers to hold cloths, sponges and cleaning products. Fit child-safety locks on doors to keep dangerous chemicals away from kids or, where possible, pop them on a high shelf or cupboard, well out of reach.
Introduce order to bathroom cabinets or drawers by using small, lidded containers. Group like items together, or allocate one container to each family member for their everyday essentials. Drawers with a cut-out around the plumbing make the most of every bit of space – and unlike cabinets, items are less likely to be lost in the back.
Beyond hangers, keeping clothes neatly ordered, uncreased and easy to find is a challenge. Bring order to your wardrobe by rolling instead of stacking smaller items and corralling them in baskets. Use drawer dividers to roll and store ties, belts, scarves, and even socks and smalls, then slide the divider onto a shelf.
Bookshelves can be a great way to inject personality into your decor. Group books by colour and size, and balance packed shelves with clear spaces, baskets and vignettes of curated pieces. “Try to group things in odd numbers and various heights,” suggests Annie.
Photo Credit: James Moffatt
Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.
When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.