The best storage boxes (and other storage tips) Mumsnetters swear by
Glamorous? Definitely not. Life-changing? Quite possibly. Whether your OH is a burgeoning hoarder or you're completely overrun with LEGO, proper storage will help you declutter and make the most of every inch of space in your home.
Kitchen Storage Caddy Baskets (set of six), £9.80
Sick of taking everything out of your cupboards in your search for that half-packet of macaroni you know is in there? These nifty baskets slot neatly into your cupboards and have handles that make taking them out and having a good rummage easy. They're ideal for storing herbs, spices, baking supplies, and half-finished packets of all descriptions.
“My absolute game changer is using these caddies inside my kitchen cupboards. I use three to a shelf, one with spices, one with all the half-used bags of pasta, and loads more. I never have to take a million things out of 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.”Buy now from Amazon
Pantry Shelving Unit, £8.99
Lots of Mumsnetters prefer drawers to cupboards because they use space more efficiently and it's easier to see what you've
crammed in stored in them. If you don't fancy remodelling your whole kitchen, you can use these inexpensive raised shelves to maximise storage and make the most of the space in your cupboards. They're also handy for adding stability to previously precarious stacks of tins and jars.
“I use these to make extra space.”
“I use cupboard shelves to arrange tins of food.”Buy now from Amazon
Lock & Lock Storage Containers, from £2.25
For complete cupboard uniformity, Mumsnetters recommend decanting dry goods like pasta, cereal, and flour into these air-tight Lock & Lock containers. They stack snugly one on top of the other so you can make the most of cupboard space while avoiding Tupperware landslides. Plus, they're clear so you can see exactly what you've got in each one and keep an eye on stock levels too. The smaller sizes make excellent lunch boxes, though you will have to guard them jealously in communal kitchens.
If you're keen to cut down on your plastic usage, opt for Lock & Lock's Ovenglass range, which is made mostly from glass and is oven, microwave, and dishwasher-safe.
“I bought loads. The Lock & Locks say underneath them what their storage capacity is, so you can buy what you think you will need and then repeat buy what you use the most of. I would do that, rather than buy it all up front. They also stack well. I am delighted with mine.”Buy now from Amzazon
Storage Boxes in a Plastic Organiser, from £9.35
These plastic compartments are ideal for keeping fiddly craft materials organised and safely storing those tiny-yet-vital LEGO pieces
that otherwise end up inside the hoover. Each mini-box comes with a securely fastened lid and hey're not fixed inside the larger organiser so you can slide out each box as you need it, without moving the whole set-up. The unit as a whole is free-standing but can also be wall-mounted to save space.
“I use a big plastic storage box with lots of mini compartments I got from a DIY shop. It's intended purpose is for storing nails and screws and thingies. It is most useful. Also for LEGO.”Buy now from Amazon
Drawstring Toy Storage Bag, £9.99
Perfect for keeping LEGO play contained (and minimising your chance of stepping on one in the middle of the night). This drawstring bag unfolds into a play mat 150cm in diameter and, when its time to tidy up, all you have to do is pull on the drawstring and all their toys are safe and organised. It's useful for keeping toys organised at home, but it really comes into its own when travelling – whether you're going round the corner to visit grandparents or you're off camping for a week. They're so handy that Mumsnetters are willing to overlook the rather reductive range of colours available (either blue and pink, obvs).
“You can buy drawstring mats which keep the LEGO in one place while you're playing with it and make it easy to rummage around for pieces, then, when it's time to tidy up, you simply pull the drawstring and it's all contained in a big bag.”Buy now from Amazon
Whether you're looking for shelves to go on the wall or bookcase-style storage, you can't go wrong with Ikea's KALLAX range. Available in a range of sizes and finishes, with doors or drawers, they're endlessly customisable – you can even get KALLAX units with built-in desks or on wheels. Also, once you've chosen a perfectly-sized unit for your space, you can make it work even harder by adding baskets, hanging organisers and other dividers. Mumsnetters advise that you get doors on at least some of the cubby holes if you plan to store toys in them as it will help your room look neater.
“Ikea KALLAX are great for toy storage – with baskets for bottom two spaces (with very young children just bottom one).”
“KALLAX is great and swallows a lot of stuff!”Buy now from IKEA
MADE Ottoman Storage Bench, from £249
Trying to persuade kids to pick up the toys strewn across the living room and put them away in their own rooms (only for them to reappear hours later) is an ongoing battle in homes all over the country. Mumsnetters advise adjusting your expectations somewhat and designating a space for toys in your living room. This doesn't mean you have to find a plastic tub that matches your colour scheme, these ottoman benches from Made.com are as functional as they are stylish. They're spacious enough to store plenty of toys, DVDs and extra blankets and they have a gas piston for slow-release closure – perfect for keeping little fingers safe. Plus, they double as extra seating if you have a house-full.
“Large footstools that open up are great for hiding kids' toys in the living room.”Buy now from Made.com
Shoe Storage Boxes, £35.99 for 12
Roomy, sleek, and tailored to your space, built-in wardrobes are a wonderful addition to your bedroom. They're nice and deep, with lots of room for hanging clothes, but there is often lots of unused space at the bottom of the wardrobe that could be put to good use. These shoe storage boxes are the perfect way to make the most of that space. They can be stacked any way you like and they're big enough to fit men's and women's shoes (if you feel like sharing). You can see exactly what you've stored in each, and the front flips down so you can remove your chosen pair without disturbing the others.
“I have shoe boxes like this in my wardrobes. They fit one pair of adult trainers or multiple pairs of flip flops/sandals or children's shoes.”
“Fabulous. I think I have 15 in this size, but I’m sure I need more! They mean you can fit so much more in deep cupboards and still get to it all easily.”Buy now from Amazon
Hanging Shoe Tidy with 24 Pockets, £9.98
You could, of course, use this shoe tidy as a neat solution for storing your shoes, but why not take inspiration from one innovative MNer and use it to organise everything you need to leave the house? The pockets are the perfect size for storing hats, gloves, suncream, umbrellas (and more) and having them all in one place will save you precious time when trying to leave the house en famille.
“I use one of those hanging shoe tidy things under the stairs. It stores gloves, hats, travel wipes, suncreams, and all the other small things you look for as you're about to leave the house and then spend 10 minutes trying to find.”Buy now from Amazon
Mumsnetters' top storage tips
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 of.
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.
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, and I have a burns one. 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!
I love my Lazy Susans for storing my herbs and condiments. Makes access easy and it's fun giving them a spin.
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