Homes: Get organised with our guide to a mess-free life
Keep calm and get organised with our guide to a mess-free life
1 PACK YOUR BAGS Hang onto those cardboard tubes when you use up your paper towels or cling wrap, and use them to store extra (reusable) plastic bags tidily in a drawer. Similarly, you can recycle wet wipe canisters for the same purpose.
2 KITCHEN CALM Free up bench space by attaching a magnetic strip beneath overhead kitchen cabinets to hold spice jars with metallic lids. Store frying pans, baking sheets, pot lids and cutting boards on their sides, using a filing rack or organiser.
3 OUT OF SIGHT Conceal files, tax receipts and office supplies like folders inside a storage chest.
4 PAPER TRAIL Reduce paper clutter by taking photos of menus or business flyers. Likewise, download user manuals, credit card agreements and insurance policies to a folder on your phone or computer.
5 ON ROTATION Invest in some Lazy Susans for instant access to your items in just a spin. They’re also handy in the bathroom or laundry.
LIMIT YOURSELF TO ONE SMALL ‘DUMPING TRAY’ OR ‘JUNK BOWL’
6 CENTRAL STATION
If space allows, set up a cart or station close to your dining table, much like they do in restaurants and cafes. Cutlery, placemats, napkins, glasses and condiments can all be stored within a small cupboard or trolley on wheels to save you making multiple trips to the kitchen every time you sit down to eat.
7 ORGANISED CHAOS
Limit yourself to one small ‘dumping tray’ or ‘junk bowl’ where you keep odds and ends that don’t have an obvious place elsewhere. Think errant buttons, receipts, business cards, loose change, trolley tokens and maybe a pen or two. Choose something decorative so that you’re more likely to keep the mess to a minimum.
8 HANGING DISPLAY
Hang your kids’ paintings rather than cluttering up your fridge. Set up a simple string-and-peg display system on an empty wall or along a window frame, and rotate them regularly. Old artworks can then be reused to wrap gifts.
9 BOOK NOOK
Not enough space for a bookshelf? Use picture ledges as floating shelves to display your books.
10 COLOUR CODE
Help little people find – and more importantly, put away! – their belongings, by assigning each child a different colour. Then you can buy them a storage tub, toothbrush, towel and so on in that colour, or use coloured dots or thread to ‘label’ their belongings.
11 BRICK TRICKS
Save your bare feet from the excruciating pain of stepping on a Lego brick with clever storage solutions. Think a toolbox with pull-out drawers, storage tubs with colourcoded labels, compartmentalised craft organisers or a play mat and storage sack in one.
12 CURTAIN CALL
Buy a pack of shower curtain rings – they’re surprisingly useful! Loop onto a hanger or piece of dowel to hang belts, scarves, ties, handbags, hair elastics, baseball caps, necklaces and more!
13 DEEP POCKETS
Over-the-door shoe hangers can be repurposed for kids’ belongings such as soft toys, craft supplies, Barbies, action figures, toy cars and more.
14 A GOOD SORT
Ice-cube trays and paint trays are the perfect size for sorting smaller items such as earrings, rings and buttons.