If you’re anything like me you will despair at the amount of ‘stuff’ there is, out and about, without a home, shifting around from day to day, place to place, on the surfaces and possibly also on the floor of your home.
In my house it was all bad enough before I had Sylvie but now with the added toys (which have not turned out to be the tasteful and aesthetically home matching wooden items I had hoped), and the daily drawer and cupboard emptying (curtesy of the lady herself) it’s all getting a bit much. So I’ve been spending some time working out ways to give all this clutter, and for want of a better word, crap, a home. A home where it can’t be seen and can be shoved into easily when I’m tired but want a tidy home at the end of the day or have visitors over!
Below is a list of the best ways I’ve found to hide and house all those unwanted bits and pieces.
Actual items that I find always need a home:
Stuff on the kitchen Island: This drives me mad. Islands are great but they’re also a dumping ground. Little items are currently going into a brass box that’s big enough for pens, cards, keys and tiny knic-nacks and anything larger has a dedicated drawer in the island where they are swept into and which is sorted through about once a month ( I wish – read – twice a year or when it’s too full to close).
Sylvie toys: Baskets and more baskets. I’ve been trying to buy baskets that look ‘smart’ rather than like they belong in a bedroom waiting for dirty clothes. So think sturdy sided rattan or a woven leather option which is a new particular fave of mine.
TV paraphernalia: This is all going in a little woven tray basket on the ottoman and includes the remote controls, TV watching glasses, pens and anything else that gets left lying about.
Spare Blankets: You can only drape so many blankets artfully over the sofa before the place just looks like a student digs – am I right?! Again, baskets are great here, not only are they housing the spare blankets but also, under this there’s often a load of toys I’ve shoved down out of sight before someone comes over or at the end of a day – Sylvie actually thinks it’s a great game discovering what items she’s forgotten about in the blanket basket!
- Life of Riley leather woven basket lifeofrileyonline.co.uk £220 / 2. Slotted leather basket amara.com £120 / 3. Oval rattan umbrella basket £50 coxandcox.co.uk / 4. Bamboo weave trunk, Habitat habitat.co.uk £40 / 5. Pleated velvet ottoman www.dunelm.com £99 / 6. Hemp storage basket greige.co.uk £39 / 7. Rattan oak Sideboard www.dwell.com £799
General great ideas for just having ‘places’ to put stuff
Pots & Boxes: I’ve been finding pots great to collate things like teaspoons and cooking utensils. It gets them out of a drawer, freeing up a bit more space and makes them easy access. And boxes, decorative boxes that look great and can house a multitude of stuff.
Hanging bags: I’ve found these really useful in the hallway especially, hanging them up on coat hooks ready for all sorts of hallway items, Sylvie shoes, spare nappies to grab on the way out, umbrellas, and all the general stuff that seems to live in the hallway. They’re also a great idea for within a room, on the back of a door.
Clever Furniture: Sideboards with cupboards, that extra tall skinny cupboard you have just enough room to fit in and matching baskets under tables are also great. As are ottomans. These guys are like the hidden treasure of dual purpose living room pieces and often forgotten. Just lift the lid and you have yourself a massive box to shove EVERYTHING in when you can’t be dealing with going up stairs/sorting/organising – save it for another day, shut the lid and stick on a boxset.
Fitted cupboards and shelving: Custom built-ins are a great option if you want to put a bit of investment into your storage solutions. And we’re not talking the stale old cupboards and shelves either side of the fireplace, well, we are but we are thinking bigger, rattan doors, beautiful hardware etc the world is your oyster. LFF Studio designs a lot of custom built ins to house TVs, children’s toys, collections and more and there is so much scope to ensure that your storage really adds something beautiful to your home here.
Tables (and baskets) behind the sofa: If you have enough room to move your sofa away from the wall think about putting a console table or similar behind it. Here you can have baskets on the lower levels that, you’ve guessed it – gives you even more space to shove stuff!
And as a final thought:
It’s also worth taking a good look at whats where – are there items out or at the front of cupboards that you don’t use often? Could they be put elsewhere to free up some space for things you use day in day out? Could children’s toys be on rotation so they’re not ALL out ALL the time – ergo making your life easier?