Small amounts of clutter and muddle at home are perfectly normal. Everyone has them. It’s when they mount up, so all you can see everywhere you look are cluttered surfaces and piles of possessions, that the trouble starts.
Getting a bit organised and controlling the clutter creates a spacious-feeling, airy atmosphere, and does wonders for your mental health. Just having a space for things or certain activities helps the house feel more like home and somehow more ‘together’.
But where to start? All over the house there are underused areas, or places that could be put to better use, so here are a few ideas.
Stairways and Passages
These areas, whether it’s an upstairs landing, a downstairs hallway, or an awkward space under the stairs are often ignored.
- On the landing - is there room for a pretty laundry basket somewhere so you can free up space in the bathroom or bedroom? Or maybe a bookcase, or display cabinet for family mementos or keepsakes that everyone would enjoy seeing?
- In the hallway - have decorative hooks for coats to make them into a feature. They’re also useful for bags or hats and scarves. If there’s room, a small chair or a narrow bench can make the space feel like a proper room, giving yourself or guests somewhere for shoes or to pop a bag while you get your coat off.
Both types of passageway benefit from mirrors to make them feel bigger and lighter. That cramped space under the stairs will see better use with a few shelves and maybe a storage tub or two. It’s a great spot for small DIY tools, cleaning materials, vacuum cleaner tools, or board games and toys. Shelves and tubs help keep similar items together so they’re easy to find and don’t get lost.
You can never too many of these. Beyond standard display cabinets and sideboards in the living, make use of end tables with a shelf and drawer, or a coffee table with hidden storage under the surface.
In bedrooms, divans or ottoman style beds offer lots of storage for adults and kids alike. If you prefer a frame bed, invest in a few under-bed storage tubs. The ones on wheels make retrieving them easier.
There’s also probably more room in the wardrobe than you think. In long closets, is there room for a drawer tower? Often the space at the bottom of the wardrobe is a cluttered mess, or it’s simply wasted. A cheap drawer unit offers space for folded items, accessories, or shoes, keeping everything organised and neat. It doesn’t have to be pretty since no one will really see it. Alternatively, pack up clothes you don’t wear and put them into self storage till you need them again. There’s more on self storage below.
In children’s rooms, put up a few hooks or pegs at an appropriate height, and install a shelf or two for toys and books. Cube or modular shelves are useful as you can arrange them in different ways, and they’re easy to reach for small children. Just make sure they’re secured properly so they can’t be pulled over. If kids could do with more room on the floor to play, maybe a raised bed with storage or desk space beneath would help solve a space problem.
To encourage reading, create a book nook in a corner of the room, with a book rack that lets you place books with the covers facing outwards, as they do in the children’s section of the library. A bean bag to lounge in and a cosy rug helps make an inviting space.
Selective Seasonal Storage
Sometimes, no matter what you do to try and make more space at home, you still don’t have enough. When this happens, being more selective about the things you keep at home is the answer.
A self storage unit lets you rotate possessions in and out of the house depending on the season. When you don’t need items or clothes through winter, pack them up and put them into your storage room. Do the same as the seasons change and you stop using things through summer.
Self storage places are typically easy to get too so it’s no big deal to retrieve something if you need to. An added benefit is that stuff put away for a while seems new and fresh again when you get it back, so it gets a new lease of life. Plus, you can choose from a big range of storage unit sizes making it a practical solution to creating space at home while hanging onto possessions you love and need.