A cluttered home can lead to stress, anxiety and a feeling of being out of control. But all too often we allow our possessions to take over our personal space.
Clutter doesn’t just make a home look untidy, it also makes cleaning much harder. Clutter is another surface on which dust can land, and it makes everyday chores such as vacuuming a lot more difficult.
But keeping clutter to a minimum isn’t rocket science. In fact, it’s as simple as putting something back when you’re finished with it. But what if that something doesn’t have a permanent home? What if you don’t have enough storage space?
You don’t need to splash out on new cupboards and expensive storage options. With these simple storage hacks, you can tidy up your home with the smallest of outlays.
1. Use a basket in the bathroom
The average bathroom sink gets very cluttered very easily. Hand towels, soap, creams, toothbrushes and toothpaste can make a bathroom look messy after a single use. Keep everything in its place with a bathroom basket. A two-tiered basket gives you one area for soap and towels and another for all your beauty products.
2. Hang stuff on the underside of shelves
You may have a range of everyday items on top of your kitchen shelves. But what about the space on the underside of these everyday storage solutions. Screw in a few hooks, and you can hang everything from mugs to cooking utensils. This potentially doubles the storage capacity of every shelf in your home.
3. Use towel bars
A towel bar isn’t just for the bathroom. Wherever you have some empty wall space, a towel bar can become a handy storage solution. For example, fix one near your cooker, and hang pots and pans from it. If you can safely tie some string to an item, you can hang it from a towel bar.
4. Roll-away storage
Never waste the space underneath everyday furniture items such as beds and sofas. Buy some old boxes or crates, and use them as out-of-the-way storage solutions. And for ease of access, attach wheels to them so they can be slid out whenever you need something.
5. Fit a pegboard to a wall
While you might be struggling for cupboard space in your home, you’ve probably got lots of wall space doing nothing. Make your walls valuable storage solutions by attaching peg walls to them. Use pegs and hooks to store a range of everyday items, such as kitchen utensils and storage baskets.
6. PVC shoe holders
A lot of family homes suffer from an abundance of shoes at the front door. While there are some very handy shoe cupboards on the market, they’re often expensive. A much cheaper option (perhaps free) is to source some old plastic piping from the local construction site. Saw the pipes into 18-inch long cylinders, and stick them together to create a neat pattern. Attach your cylinders to the wall, and use them to store shoes. For this to work, the piping needs to be at least six inches in diameter.
7. Use the inside of doors
It doesn’t matter how full your cupboards are, there’s always a way to make a little more room. Find a square, waste paper basket, and screw it to the inside of a cupboard door. This gives you a convenient storage option with minimal investment.
8. Personalised towel hooks
If you have a large family, you’re probably used to fights about the ownership of used towels. And when this happens, you tend to end up with a lot of towels on the bathroom floor. You may even have to wash towels before you really need to. You can stop this from happening by attaching personalised towel hooks on the wall. Use an initial to identify each used towel, and these disagreements should stop immediately.
9. Invest in a skinny pantry
Most homes have a range of spaces that are wasted because they’re deemed too small or awkward. Take that tiny gap between a wall and a fridge, for example. Instead of leaving it empty, invest in a sliding pantry on wheels. If you struggle for cupboard space, this could be the perfect solution for canned, pickled and ambient products.
10. Use slide-out racks
One of the rooms where space is often at a premium is the kitchen. Why? Because we work in our kitchens. Successful and enjoyable cooking requires a functional space. But if you’re constantly climbing over utensils and equipment, you’ll never optimise your kitchen fully. Make the best possible use of cupboard space with some slide-out racks. Hang pans and utensils on the racks so you can quickly grab them whilst you’re cooking.
11. Install a shelf for drying dishes
For hygiene reasons, the best way to dry dishes you’ve just washed is naturally. Air-drying is great, but it wastes a lot of precious space in a small kitchen. Keep your worktops clear by installing a shelf above your kitchen sink. Fit a rack to the shelf so you can place your newly cleaned plates and dishes there immediately.
12. Utilise those false drawers in the kitchen
Many of us waste storage opportunities in the kitchen. We overfill our cupboards because we fail to plan storage properly. One example of this is the way we neglect those false drawers that sit right in front of the kitchen sink. By putting hinges on the bottom of these facades, we can pull them open. Attach a small storage tray to each one, and keep all of your dishwashing stuff in them.
13. Invest in magazine racks
You can never have enough magazine racks in a busy family home — even if you never read magazines. A metal magazine rack can store a huge range of everyday items. Attach it to the inside of a cupboard door, and double your storage options immediately.
14. Store vegetables in drawers
If you don’t have a spacious larder, storing your fresh vegetables might be a problem. Particularly if you like to cook from scratch a lot. Dedicate a couple of drawers near your food preparation area for this purpose. This means you can grab what you need while you’re chopping and peeling. Storing food this way also speeds up the cooking process considerably.
15. Double-decker shelf space
A lot of people have wasted space between shelves. This is because the shelves are too far apart. Double your storage space in these areas by adding a second, temporary shelf. Think of this as a shelf on a shelf.
16. Fit a second shower rail
If you struggle for space in your bathroom, a quick fix involves adding a second shower rail to the wall. This requires just an extra inch or two of wall space, but it provides you with a lot more room to hang towels, hygiene products and other essential bathroom items.
17. Use magnetic strips
If you have metal items that require storage, a simple solution is to attach a magnetic strip to the wall. You can then “stick” kitchen utensils and other magnetic items to the wall with the minimum of effort.
18. Put your mirror on hinges
Having a full-length mirror in the bathroom or bedroom is great. But it takes up a lot of wall space. Liberate this hidden space by attaching the mirror to the wall with a set of hinges. You can use the space behind the mirror to store everyday items, fashion accessories or hygiene products. Just pull the mirror out to reveal your stash.
Walk around your home and assess your storage requirements. These clever hacks should help you to clear the clutter for good.