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Have you got a storage method that has been a game changer?

(31 Posts)
FancyPantsMcGhee Tue 12-Feb-19 13:33:39

DH and I are both beginning to lose the plot with our house. It's big, tall and extremely difficult to keep tidy with a toddler and baby and manchild

I am going to try to declutter to a degree but that's not the real issue, it's storage. The house was remodeled by previous owners and they seem to have got rid of every storage cupboard. confused

Does anyone have any tips, either about what freestanding storage to buy, or how to make the most of existing storage? Kitchen cupboards for example? We have quite a few but definitely suffer from everything being chucked in so it's hard to see what's there...

I don't really know what I'm asking. Just, has anyone managed to keep an overstuffed house full of untidy people under control...?

At4oclockthenormalworld Tue 12-Feb-19 13:47:30

Hi OP this is the holy grail for me too! I've still not mastered the perfect receptacle but I watched an episode of Marie Kondo the other evening and a tip she had was, say for example your kitchen "odds and ends" drawer? Well use small boxes with lids to keep like size and shape items together that way you can easily take say the battery box out to look for the one you want rather than have to rifle through the drawer itself.

One thing I would recommend you steer away from are any kind of container that is difficult to clean/dust. I got a load of lidded rattan effect boxes for stacked storage in the hallway. Because I can't clean or dust the external of them properly they now look really grubby sad

Good luck in your quest OP, sorting and storing I find to be very calming! I'll be w@t hung this thread with interest to see what tips other lovely MNers may have!

MsMamaNature Tue 12-Feb-19 20:53:20

De-clutter as much as possible.
In my kitchen I arrange everything in groups, eg kitchen gadgets in one cupboard, rarely used things in the top cupboard, etc. After six to nine months if it hasn't been used it gets donated/given away. This principle applies to pretty much everything throughout the house - if it isn't used regularly then I don't really need it.

If you own your home and plan to be there for the foreseeable future I would suggest putting in built-in cupboards. They aren't the cheapest option but you can design them to suit your specific needs - height, depth, number of shelves, hanging rails, pull out storage baskets, etc.

Do you have outside storage? We have a large garage with storage shelves along the back wall. I have used these boxes for storing extra clothes, duvets, sports equipment, toys, etc. They are also stackable.

Ottomans/trunks are good for storage in more formal areas, eg living room. You can usually find some that will co-ordinate with the rest of your decor. Rattan/seagrass baskets can be cleaned by attaching your upholstery attachment to your vacuum cleaner.

Keep coats and shoes under control in the hallway. We have a cloakroom under the stairs for coats but I used a small sideboard in the hall when the children were small to store their stuff. Gloves and hats went in the drawers and shoes on the internal shelves. Out of sight, out of mind. Something like this:

4up4down Tue 12-Feb-19 20:55:13

You see I just see that plastic box and think TOO MUCH STUFF!!

Habadabadoo Tue 12-Feb-19 21:01:12

I have loads of wardrobes in my bedroom. From Ikea. One wall of normal size wardrobes (so two double ones) for clothes and the other wall are 'thin' wardrobes. I wouldn't have enough room to walk around my bed if I had normal depth wardrobes along this wall but these are great. They have drawers and shelves in them. One I have also used as a dressing table style but I can close the doors on it. So drawers at the bottom then a big mirror attached to the backing. I came up with the idea myself and it works so well - with the doors closed it just looks so tidy grin

FancyPantsMcGhee Wed 13-Feb-19 08:24:38

Thanks so much for the replies. Our nearest IKEA is SO far away but I suspect it would be worth a trip.

The decluttering is a must, but we are 'stuff' people, so do have various things in storage. I think I'm ok with that if it's organised and being kept for a good reason. It's the stuff everywhere without good reason that gets me. I find it incredibly difficult to keep on top of the normal stuff (clean clothes, dishes, bottles, food on the table, getting out to nursery/work) so the getting rid of stuff and decluttering and sorting and tidying jsut doesn't get done. I do have some paid help so going to try to use that effectively.

We do have a small dressing room but the wardrobes and the layout is hopeless and doesn't really lend itself to keeping tidy. Lots of small dark spaces and hanging rails which I don't find useful. I want to rip the whole thing out and start again with IKEA wardrobes but it feels wasteful. At the moment our clothes just end up everywhere though so it would be worth it I suspect.

Outside storage is a good point - we have a garage full of junk, mostly belonging to extended family hmm but shelves and a declutter would actually make a huge difference.

I actually bought some more hall storage yesterday and put the kids shoes and hats and scarves, and the buggy rain cover and blankets. What a difference!

Some great ideas. Thank you all!

chloechloe Wed 13-Feb-19 19:12:36

I really recommend you declutter before getting any more storage as otherwise you’ll just be tidying things away that you’d be better off getting rid off.

I totally get what you’re saying that it’s hard to declutter when daily life is non-stop. But part of the problem is probably the amount of stuff that you have - if you have less stuff, and the things you decide to keep have a home, it will make daily life so much easier as you’ll spend less time tidying up and looking for things.

I’m in the process of decluttering too. It’s easy to think that I don’t have time to do it, as there are always daily tasks that need doing. But I just force myself to spend a few minutes decluttering each day. Eg, I clean out a drawer or cupboard or find some bits for a charity bag. Since cleaning out the kitchen, life has been much easier - before I was never sure how much of any item I had left, so I would often buy more pasta or tins of tomatoes or whatever just in case, meaning the cupboards were always too full. Now that they’re emptier I have a better idea of what’s in there and have also made space to find a home for other things that weren’t put away properly.

Regarding ikea, they deliver which is worth doing if you have a few things to buy.

As for the daily slog, there are a few things that work for me:

- Putting the washing on every day using the timer so it finishes when I have time to hang it up;

- Getting the 2yo and 4yo to put away their shoes, coats etc as soon as we come in so it’s ready for the next day. I’m planning on getting them a basket each for the cloakroom for this like at nursery.

- Setting the breakfast table the night before - takes 2 min as opposed to 10min in the morning with kids yelling requests at me.

-Getting the kids to put their toys away before bed as part of our nighttime routine so it’s one less thing for me to do.

Hope that helps!

YourSarcasmIsDripping Wed 13-Feb-19 19:19:55

I live in a one bedroom flat so a lot of my furniture doubles as storage. King size bed that lifts up, underneath it there are bedding, shoes and the out of season clothes(we swap winter/summer twice a year). Sofa bed with storage underneath, where i keep most of the xmas stuff. Space saver table with storage in the chairs for DD's dress up,dolls and arts and craft.
An Ikea wardrobe that is brilliant!! Not much hanging space (but we don't need loads), however it has drawers and shelves that are massive and I can fit loads in(fits me and DD). OH has a tall chest of drawers for his stuff from the same range.
I'm due a de cluttering this half term again.

Icedlatte Wed 13-Feb-19 19:25:34

YES! My absolute game changer is using caddies inside my kitchen cupboards. I use these, three to a shelf

Set Of 6 Clear Storage Caddy Baskets With Handle Easy Cupboard Storage Solutions

I have one with spices, one with herbs, one with all the half used bags of pasta, rice etc, one with flour/sugar/other baking stuff and loads more.
I never have to take a million things out the cupboard to get to things at the back, I never have the top shelf raining down on me. It is so satisfying to just pull out the caddy I need, select the item and put the rest back in one easy move. I'll never go back!

SerendipityReally Thu 14-Feb-19 00:19:18

I like the caddies. You can also retrofit internal drawers into kitchen cabinets something like this and they are amazing. You can spend various amounts depending on how sturdy you want them.

We have a wardrobe which is basically doors built a few feet from the end of the room. Beyond that, some built in plywood shelves, hanging rail, and just a chest of drawers stood inside the cupboard. We also store spare dining chairs in there, as there is plenty of depth.

If you need bathroom storage, I really rate the IKEA wall cabinets. They hold an enormous amount and are very reasonable. If you get fully mirrored ones they will work with whatever other cabinets you have already. I've kondo'd our bathroom storage and have various labelled old strawberry punnets, ice-cream containers etc to keep the medicines organised.

Start with your Tupperware cupboard/drawer. Cut it down to things that stack neatly inside each other and still have lids. Use the remainder for small in-drawer storage round the house - a small pot for keys, a medium one for batteries or pencils.

WhatNow40 Thu 14-Feb-19 00:37:04

I use one of those door shoe tidy hanging things in the cupboard under the stairs to store pairs of gloves, hat/glove sets, scarves, travel wipes/tissues, sunglasses, sunscreen, summer hats, shin pads etc. All the small things you look for as you're about to leave the house and then spend 10 mins dicking about trying to find.

I also keep my medicine cupboard tidy with ziplock bags. All painkillers go in one. Hay fever tablets in another with more tissues and happy nose, I have a burns one. Some burn gel sachets and dressings (I'm clumsy!). Plasters, dressings and micropore tape together. Calpol etc with the dosing syringes. Keeping it in a ziplock helps with sticky bottles too. All cold/flu stuff together - lempsip, cough syrup, tissues, lozenges - so DH can take the bag to bed and die quietly. You get the idea!

It's easy to see what's inside and when DH riffles through and the entire cupboard falls out, it's easier to put away. Don't put diarrhoea relief with constipation relief in the same bag. My logic is simple, shit stoppers/shit starters. DH is a fucking idiot.

7Days Thu 14-Feb-19 00:51:16

If you have loads of empty space under hanging rails in the wardrobe, see if your chest of drawers will fit in.
I've done that in 2 bedrooms now, it really saves space.

FancyPantsMcGhee Thu 14-Feb-19 07:55:15

These are all fantastic ideas. Thank you all so much!

Got a few hours to myself today so going to get started. Feeling determined smile

Theworldisfullofgs Thu 14-Feb-19 08:03:16

Zippable boxes to put under beds.
If you can put drawers in kitchen. Big ones. You can pull them out and see what's in there. Wish we'd done our whole kitchen in drawers now.

aimingfor2019 Thu 14-Feb-19 08:06:01

This bed:

The amount of space in the drawers is insane, I have my spare towels/bedding in one, shoe overflow in another and then the last one has the decorating stuff in it. Plus it pulls out into a double bed for when we have guests.

And largish footstools that open up are great for hiding kids toys in the living room.

Finally, if you have the space and can afford it then floor to ceiling built in cupboards/shelves or bespoke under stair storage.

Also decluttering, anything you're not sure about put into boxes then seal them shut with tape. If you have cut the tape and opened the box in 12months then chances are it can go.

Redshoeblueshoe Thu 14-Feb-19 08:06:50

Pinterest is also good for ideas.

aimingfor2019 Thu 14-Feb-19 08:10:42

Another thing, if you're ever remodelling your kitchen then pan drawers (or any drawers instead of cupboards) are AMAZING!

We inherited a kitchen with a lot of drawers with our new house and now I never end up on my hands and knees rummaging through the back of a cupboard for the things I need for dinner.

chloechloe Thu 14-Feb-19 12:40:13

I am so going to introduce “die quietly” bags in my house whatnow40, we have 2 boxes of medicine and I can never find anything!

Serendipity - I cant believe I’ve never thought of repurposing Tupperware. We have loads of small boxes which never get used for food yet they’d be perfect for keeping things together in the kitchen drawer of doom!

At4oclockthenormalworld Thu 14-Feb-19 14:38:15

Also just realised a previous posters suggestion of zip lock bags for medicines (especially sachet type things, spoons etc) as genius as you can squeeze the air from them before popping away so they will take up virtually no room. Any one else find doing this before zipping up oddly satisfying? Like popping bubble wrap?--nope just you, weirdo--

aslafiesta Thu 14-Feb-19 14:57:44

Nearly every piece of furniture we buy has a cupboard/drawer. New build so absolutely no storage at all sad

Agree with PP about getting rid of extra stuff. But mostly it is about having a place for every single thing in the house. And training yourself to put things away in their place instead of on the side/floor/sofa etc.

WhatNow40 Thu 14-Feb-19 15:00:04


you can squeeze the air from them before popping away so they will take up virtually no room. Any one else find doing this before zipping up oddly satisfying?

Yes!! That's one of the reasons I do it! I also use them for the draw of zoom, all batteries in one etc. I can then see without opening.

Kids jigsaw puzzle pieces go in a bag, then the box. When we lived in a flat, I'd cut the box up and put the picture from the front in the bag. Then 2 bulldog clips to keep all the jigsaws together.

I also like making soups and casseroles, then freezing the leftover in a zip lock bag. Squeezing the air out and rolling so I have a sausage shape single portion. Slides in to any and every spare space in the freezer, Tetris style. Level up!

I have chest of drawers at the back of wardrobes or large 2 drawer bedside tables hidden in the single wardrobes.

I have a shoebox of shit. Those crap kinder egg toys, Happy meal toys and party bag shite. They all go in there and when full, either go to school for lucky dip at the school fair or charity shop. The box is hidden and when DS whines he wants a new toy, i let him rescue something from the box. grin

FancyPantsMcGhee Thu 14-Feb-19 15:14:20

Thanks all for the continued suggestions!

I've had a bit of a watershed day. I've just cleared 4 bags of rubbish and 4 bags of charity stuff from a small corner of my dressing room. Drawers emptied of makeup and hairstuff from literally 20 years ago. Bags I had kept even though the handles were broken and the lining ripped. 4 hours work. Probably would take another 4 hours to do the rest of the dressing room, especially DHs clothes as he refuses to get rid of anything...

I'm now both proud of myself for the effort and feeling totally overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work ahead. And feel embarrassed because I clearly AM a hoarder, and just a total midden, really. sad

Anyway I'm off to the dump with the rubbish!

At4oclockthenormalworld Thu 14-Feb-19 15:21:09

Great start Fancy!

WhatNow40 Sat 16-Feb-19 12:43:10

Well done @FancyPantsMcGhee !!

I fear I am a hoarder too. Is there something in wanting/having great storage? To enable us to keep more stuff and find it easily on the off chance we'll need it.

Whereas others would just bin the crap or donate it. Or eBay. My in-laws are moving in temporarily in a few weeks. We've got a very large and full spare room. There is so much work to do!

WrenNatsworthy Mon 18-Feb-19 09:16:40

Oh this is the thread I needed!

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