Make the best use of your material goods – books, stationery, DVDs, photos, magazines, Manchester etc by creating easy access to every item. Excess is accumulated by buying items as you see them, often when similar items are hidden away in a cupboard!
Here are ten great ways to better organize your stuff
1. Keep, Bin, Donate
Start in one room and designate it into sections. Take everything out of that section and decide if it needs to be kept. If not, put it in a donate box or a bin box. Keep your donate box for a week to see if you miss any of those items during the week and actually want to keep them. After a week, give it to a friend to rummage through or to a charity shop.
2. Grouping by function
When putting your ‘keep’ items back into your room, try grouping them together based on their function. E.g. Relaxing fictional novels could be grouped with magazines and when you’re in the mood for a light read you can go to one area.
3. Hidden away but never used
When storing items you don’t often use, it’s easy to put them at the top of a cupboard or underneath a bed. But these items might not be touched again until you move house! Try decluttering your easy access storage areas first and then use new space for those under-the-bed items. If items are in a high cupboard, make sure you have a sturdy stool that is tall enough to let you to reach them at the right height. Go and purchase one if you don’t.
4. Give every item a home
I’m definitely guilty of this – placing small items around the house on every spare surface imaginable and deciding that this is ‘tidy’. Unfortunately it’s not tidy to housemates and scrupulous guests. It can also make you feel a bit stressed – a cluttered home = a cluttered mind. Pick up every item and give it a nice new home. Aim to get every surface free from objects. Buy more shelves and drawers if you need to. (Make sure you have decluttered your current drawers first!)
5. Multipurpose storage
You can never have too much storage space. Storage that doubles as something else entirely is just a god-send! Things like:
A full-length mirror / jewellery cupboard
A large box / ottoman
Cupboard doors / scarf holders
Kitchen blackboard with boxes for ingoing and outgoing mail
Wall / place to hang things
6. Out with the old
It can sound like torture but it’s actually better to part with your old favourites and welcome in the new every couple of years. Otherwise it’s too hard to keep track of everything you own. Keep the classic pieces but do a big haul with the older items you don’t often use.
As awesome as it is to have a huge CD and photo collection, it could be worth loading them to a portable hard drive or cloud computing system. That way you’ll still own your music but you can offload it when the time comes for you to create more space and no longer own a CD player! You probably don’t want to readily discard photos but at least you’ll have a backup should anything happen to them. In the meantime, you could store them in a less convenient place and access them via your TV or computer.
8. Reconfigure your rooms
Moving furniture around gives your house a new lease of life and will force you to declutter in the process!
9. Look at photos of storage ideas
Looking at a messy room is incredibly uninspiring and may instead result in a premature nap. Instead, take time out to look at nice galleries of storage ideas and walk-in-wardrobes. I’m already hankering to throw old handbags out into the hallway after admiring wardrobes filled with wooden hangers and freshly pressed clothes...
10. Pretty storage boxes
If you’ve decluttered, hung everything up and still have a ridiculous amount of possessions – go for some nice storage boxes. For a clean room at a glance go for boxes with lids and don’t place objects on top of them. Get sturdy boxes that you can easily carry and avoid the do-it-yourself cardboard kind as they rip over time.
Holly Roberts (web editor for The Block and extreme hoarder)