IN THE KITCHEN…
Organise By Activity
Organising your kitchen shelves – be they exposed or part of a cupboard or pantry – is made easier by splitting them into zones based on activity. To take it one step further, consider dedicating a certain shelf or cabinet to a single purpose – such as getting your morning started. Group together specific items – think coffee mugs, tea bags and any extras like milk frothers or flavoured syrups – so everything is in reach. To get started, take a look at your kitchen counters to see where different equipment – like coffee machines – are placed. This might give you an idea of how and where to organise your shelves or cupboards.
Add Stackers & Spinners
If you have single-layer or deep shelving, you might find it limits how much you’re able to keep on there – which often results in untidy stacks of dishes, pans and condiments. By using a tiered stack shelf (there are plenty of affordable options on Amazon) or a lazy susan, you’ll get much more out of your storage, while items will be easy to see all at once. For kitchen cupboards, consider installing a plate rack to keep crockery more organised, or use vertical separators to avoid things crashing into each other.
Label Your Containers
If you’re the sort of the person who prefers to decant different items into jars, containers or baskets, it can be difficult to keep track of what’s what – which means old items often go to waste, and shelves are full of things you no longer need or plan to consume. Aesthetically, you needn’t worry about purchasing expensive containers – you’ll find most tins and jars have labels which can be easily peeled away and replaced with your own, simpler version. The monogamous style alone will make things appear more organised in an instant.
IN YOUR WARDROBE…
Install Vertical Separators
Whether your wardrobe is built in or freestanding, it may well include shelving next to or as part of a hanging section. But whether it’s piles of denim or knitwear you don’t plan to wear right now, it’s easy for things to get messy and out of control. Take a leaf out of stylist Allison Bornstein’s book, and install some vertical dividers. Not only will it keep piles of clothes upright and in one place, you can also use them to keep handbags and other accessories in line. Not sure what we mean? Check out this video to see Allison and her wardrobe storage solutions in action.
It might be the oldest trick in the book, but keeping piles and accessories in some sort of colour co-ordination will make them look instantly tidier. If you’re in doubt, heed the advice of psychologists who believe looking at groups of single colours is instantly soothing to the mind, and can often lead to a reduction in anxiety.
Think you’re a good folder? Think again. Anyone who’s worked in retail knows that folding is an expert’s game, with plenty of extra equipment now readily available to help you take your skills to the next level. Not in the budget? Hone your skills with one of these expert-led videos:
The KonMari Method here
How To File Fold T-Shirts here
Folding Bedsheets here
IN THE BATHROOM
Make The Most Of Closed Cabinets
If you’re like us, chances are your bathroom isn’t the size of a Hollywood starlet’s. For that reason, maximising storage and keeping shelves clear of clutter is paramount. Start by making the most of closed cabinets, and keeping exposed shelves to a minimum. Adding a reflective surface, like a mirror, to any outside doors will also help the space appear bigger and give you more options when it comes to checking your skin, hair and makeup.
Group Items Together
Similar to the kitchen, try to group items together – only this time, make it relevant to the purpose they serve individually, rather than as whole. For instance, keep cleansers together, moisturisers together and assign separate shelves for nail, hair and tanning products. That way, with objects grouped together, you’ll know exactly where to head when you need something. It’ll also help things stay clutter free, with old or expired products more easily spotted. If you want to take it one step further, try curating your own beauty “shelfie” by curating your favourite products and colour coding them. As for items kept on sink shelves, try to limit it just to the products you’re currently using – not only will it help things stay tidier, it’ll also encourage you to use something up fully before moving on to something else.
Use Bins, Baskets and Clear Acrylic
If you’ve grouped items together, but want to keep things as separate as possible, consider investing in some clear acrylic storage containers. This way, you’ll still be able to see what’s inside without having to rummage or move things around. As for larger appliances like hairdryers, or things you use on a more ad hoc basis, consider using a basket tucked under the sink or next to the bath to keep shelves as fuss-free as possible.
IN THE LIVING ROOM…
Invest In A Bookcase
Whether built in or freestanding, a good bookcase will instantly keep things looking tidier in your living room. As for organisation, the choices are endless – we love the Instagram craze for colour coding the spines (although tracking down individual tomes might be made more challenging) or even inverting the spines so they’re on the inside to keep colours neutral (even if we admit this one is a more aesthetics-over-practicality choice). Otherwise, groups books by theme: poetry, fiction or essays, or organise by author surname alphabetically. We can’t think of a more lockdown-appropriate activity than this.
Keep Objects In Odd Numbers
When it comes to shelves used to display art d’objets or coffee table books, remember the rule of odd numbers. A classic trick used by interior designers and stylists, grouping items together in threes, fives, and sevens is more pleasing on the eye, helping to bring a sense balance and uniformity to most schemes. Don’t be fooled into thinking perfect symmetry is best, either – instead go for a mirroring effect where similar objects match on either side, but not to the exact measure.
Learn To Layer
Any shelf arrangement will be more aesthetically pleasing when it contains a variety of sizes, shapes, textures and colours – all of which work in harmony throughout. Start at the back with a frame, plate or other shallow item, before adding objects in front to create depth. Then, move on to place shorter vases and ornaments in the foreground. Our eye naturally wants to group similar items, and displaying complementary shapes together will look better. This trick is especially good for those looking to use shelves to display artwork and create art shelves, as opposed to hanging pieces on the walls.
Inspired? Tackle The Job With These Handy Items…