This is the perfect time to feel inspired to organise your home. Harness that surge of organisational energy and make your home life a little easier with these 20 ideas for decluttering your space, enhancing efficiency and making the most of storage solutions.
A list is a magic wand for boosting productivity and motivation – it keeps you focused, plus there’s the satisfaction of crossing things off! Keep a wall- or fridge-mounted planner somewhere in sight to help you stay organised. This works for weekly chores, life admin and even getting started with your household decluttering. “A wall organiser is a great way to keep track of what you need without having a piece of paper floating around that will end up lost in clutter,” says stylist Samantha Pointon.
The ultimate storage solution for keeping your home tidy and your life organised? “Create a ‘drop zone’ for shoes, keys, bags and jackets by adding a cabinet,” suggests Eve Mizzi, home organiser and founder of Ducks In a Row (yourducksinarow.com.au)
A structure in the hallway is an easy win for avoiding lost keys, shoe-related tripping hazards and messy first impressions.
Stylish storage will motivate you to declutter your living areas. “Baskets are an awesome way to help prevent your house looking cluttered, especially if tucked away on shelves,” says Samantha. “However, you’ve got to keep track of what’s in those baskets, and not fall into the trap of ‘out of sight, out of mind’. Small labels go a long way when trying to remember what’s in them.”
A large woven basket is perfect for keeping extra throws and cushions within reach of the sofa, while smaller storage baskets are handy hideaways for remotes, chargers and other cables.
Is your living room overrun with books and magazines? There’s a place for a cute colour-coded book stack, but when it obscures your space, it’s time to invest in a bookcase – and you can use empty shelf space to display favourite objects and photos.
Tip: When it comes to decluttering your desk or coffee table, shelves can keep paperwork in order. Alternatively, “use a smartphone scanning app to digitise documents and avoid messy paper trails,” suggests Eve.
Hallways can easily become magnets for paraphernalia, but there are some easy home organisation fixes to keep all your gear in order. In tight spaces, look up. “Adding hooks to your entryway will get jackets and bags off the floor, and also make good use of vertical storage,” says Chelsea Smith, professional organiser and founder of The Organising Platform (theorganisingplatform.com). “This creates a home for the items you need quick and regular access to, such as the dog lead or reusable shopping bags.”
Refresh your lounge room with new furniture pieces that do twice the work. An ottoman or coffee table that has secret storage can hide away toys, books, coasters and even remote controls when not in use. You can’t beat that for a stylish storage solution!
Keep, donate or ditch? Those are your three options when it comes to clearing out the wardrobe. The best way to begin is to pull everything out, pile it on the bed and consider one garment at a time. Put the ‘donate’ clothes in a bag and – here’s the tricky bit – take it to a charity straightaway!
Create space by organising your wardrobe according to the season. “Consider storing out-of-season items in clearly labelled tubs at the top of your wardrobe,” says Chelsea. Vacuum bags are also perfect for off-season storage.
In the kitchen, a turntable is a great fridge organiser, while drawer dividers or shallow crates can be used on lower shelves to group similar products together. “Then, when cooking a dish that uses those ingredients, pull out the whole container so you can see what you’ve got,” says Samantha.
A well-kept wardrobe calls for a long-term strategy. “To declutter your clothes, place all the hangers backwards and only switch them forwards after you have worn something,” suggests Eve. “After six months, see which items you have worn.” Any left hanging backwards should be sold, donated or discarded responsibly.
Tip: Complete your wardrobe overhaul with a clothes moth trap.
Sartorial splendour begins with a beautifully organised wardrobe. The way you fold, hang and sort your clothes can lead to wardrobe congestion and even affect how you dress. Hang anything that’s easily wrinkled, but leave knits on a designated shelf. Casual t-shirts, activewear, sleepwear and tracksuits are best folded using the KonMari method – folded and placed vertically – so you can see the options without creating chaos in your drawers.
“Meal planning for the week ahead helps cut down on food waste and saves you a small fortune,” says Chelsea. Your planning toolkit should include good containers with airtight seals, in which you can freeze leftovers for busy nights when you have no time to cook.
“Say goodbye to the kitchen items you no longer use,” says Chelsea. “Lose the excess, such as ugly mugs, chipped crockery and any bulky appliances and gadgets you never use.” Sell or donate anything still in good working condition.
Clutter-busting drawer solutions make life easier in the kitchen. Sort through messy kitchen drawers one by one and bring calm to the chaos by adding dividers. “Invest in ones that fit perfectly,” says Samantha. “Measure before you go or place a piece of paper in the drawer, trace the outline and cut out. Then take the paper to the shops and find a combination of organisers that matches up."
A pretty pantry isn’t as hard as it looks. Pull everything out then clean and wipe down the shelves. Next, invest in a set of food containers and storage boxes of varying heights and sizes. Organise the space so the most-used items are at eye level and the heaviest items are on the lower shelves. Use baskets to corral smaller, miscellaneous products.
Reduce the elbow grease needed to keep your bathroom sparkling with daily maintenance. Keep a kit under the vanity with a glass-cleaning spray, disinfectant, a microfibre cloth and a squeegee and adopt a clean-as-you-go mentality.
Drawer dividers and cosmetic organisers work well to keep your skincare and make-up in order, but don’t let expired beauty products waste space. “Mark your make-up and skincare products with the date you purchased them to help you declutter when they expire,” says Eve. And don’t forget to dispose of beauty products and old make-up containers responsibly – many brands now offer a free recycling service; check online for options near you.
If you have too many towels for that hook on the back of the bathroom door, it’s time to buy a towel rail to keep things tidy. Heated options also help to dry towels faster. Freestanding models come in a variety of sizes, plug into power points, are an easy fix and ideal for renters.
The garage can quickly become an untidy place for items that don’t belong in the house. Set up an organisation system. Group goods by function using large, multipurpose plastic tubs with labels. “Have a designated tub that stuff goes in when it leaves the house and then once a week (or month) bring it out with everyone around and see if it should be kept or donated,” suggests Samantha.
Lockable steel cabinets in the garage or shed can be used as a tidy way to hide away stacks of items or plastic tubs that were out on open shelves. They can also offer peace of mind by having power tools and other expensive equipment less visible and more secure from theft.
Some products are not available at all Bunnings stores, but may be ordered.
*Available online or at the Special Orders Desk.
Check out our guide to organise and declutter your bathroom.
Photo Credit: Sue Stubbs, Lamie Nicolson, Brigid Arnott
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