Organisation lies at the heart of a tidy, relaxing home. Having a regular clear out and clean up puts fresh energy into the atmosphere and has a calming psychological effect on the mind.
With a less chaotic home, you’ll feel more creative. You’ll have more time, be more inclined to indulge in hobbies or other leisure pursuits if you don’t have to clear space to work, or hunt down sports equipment every time you want it.
But how do you reach that calming state of home and mind? Here are a few tips to help you reclaim (and stay in control of) your living space, whether it’s a bachelor apartment or a family home.
Choose Your Furniture Wisely
Furniture can be both decorative and functional. You don’t have to choose one or the other.
Divans or ottoman beds with storage beneath the mattress provide convenient, hidden storage for spare bedding (freeing up wardrobe space) or out of season sports gear. Practical coffee tables with drawers offer accessible storage for TV remotes or charging cables, tablets or gaming controllers.
Use Overhead Space
Use shelving to reclaim floor space and enjoy a more open living area. We clutter up floor space and create unintentional obstacle courses, leaving wall space bare bar a few pictures. Fitted open shelving creates a fashionable display area for books, ornaments or knick-knacks that would otherwise be on mantelpieces, bookcases or sideboards.
As well as the vertical spaces in rooms, consider shelving in hidden spaces such as the airing cupboard, the awkward space under the stairs, or within existing kitchen cabinets. Maximising storage areas like these helps you organise and categorise storage, making it easier to find items as well as providing additional space. For instance, in kitchen cabinets, tinned foods take up little space, and an extra shelf in the cupboard would create room for more tins within the same area. Look for purpose made wire racks if you don’t want the trouble of actually fitting interior shelves.
Reduce the Amount of Furniture at Home
Over time, furniture items seem to multiply. Maybe through inheritance, buying new and not getting rid of the old, or through the changing needs of a growing family.
When you no longer use an item but can’t bear to permanently part with it, consider off site self storage. It’s not terribly expensive, there’s a wide range of space sizes, and storage companies tend to be located in easily reached town locations with good road access and plenty of parking for unloading. Another advantage to this solution is the short term nature of the contracts, so you can hire a space a week at a time if you’re unsure about whether you want to hang onto unused items or sell them on. It can buy you breathing space while you get used to a new living arrangement.
Create Dedicated Spaces with Zoning
Zoning can be easier to achieve than you might imagine. Even the smallest spaces can have areas cordoned off for specific activities. Ideas include slightly extending a kitchen worktop to make a breakfast/snack area, or turning out a bookcase so it stands perpendicular to the wall, creating a small barrier to a desk area in the living room.
If you try the bookcase idea, have business books turned toward the desk and novels or entertainment matter turned towards the living space. If you’re up for a bit of DIY adaptation, you could fashion bespoke enclosed bookcase shelves (alternating the open sides) with sections of wood or MDF cut to size and pinned into place. Use the blocked off sections to display small artworks or photos.
With open spaces, clear surfaces and everything in its place, life becomes much more productive and invigorating. It’s almost like having a few extra hours in the day.