January is often the month when lots of us feel a bit claustrophobic and shut in. Maybe it’s the weather, always a bit dull at the start of the year, or maybe it’s just a load of new possessions following the festive gift-giving.
Whatever the reason, if you feel like you need a good sort-out at home, we’ve rounded up some great tips to help you feel more in control.
Go For the Easy Stuff First
Freeing up surfaces and counters really does help you feel more refreshed and expansive.
Clear all the clutter off kitchen work tops, putting appliances away that you’re not actively using, returning random bottles, jars and packets to the pantry or fridge, washing every last dish and putting it away then scrubbing the counters and sink until they’re squeaky clean.
In living rooms and bedrooms, do the same. Scoop up everything that doesn’t belong where it’s lying and return it to its proper place.
In bathrooms, corral all the bottles and jars, toothpaste tubes and all the other personal products and stow them in easy-to-clean plastic baskets or tubs. Thoroughly disinfect and clean all the fittings and fixtures, drying off and polishing taps and shower heads so they gleam.
It may take a while to go through the house, so you might not want to do it all at once. When you’ve finished though, you’ll have an easier time with the next space-making steps.
Using Space Effectively
If you’re generally quite organised, getting stuff put away can be relatively straightforward. But if you’re struggling to find somewhere to put things, reconsidering your storage might be a good idea.
First look around to see if you’re using every nook and cranny to best effect. Most houses or flats can squeeze in an extra shelf or two somewhere, even over doorways if you don’t have convenient wall space. Decorative shelves over doors can be surprisingly useful and stylish. One over the bathroom door is very handy for spare towels and toiletries, even toilet rolls.
Other spaces you might not have considered are right there in the kitchen, underneath the cabinets. Providing this area is clean and damp-free, just replacing the kickboards to make the space accessible gives you lots of hidden, if flat, storage. It’s good for mops and brooms, bakeware you don’t use much, or games kit such as racquets and bats or skateboards.
An alternative place for a handy shelf could be on the end of the kitchen cabinet. A narrow shelf is useful for spice jar storage, or maybe fix a few hooks for your tea towels and oven gloves.
Maximise Furniture Storage
Often, it’s the little things that are most annoying, especially in communal rooms like living rooms where everyone congregates.
Storage furnishings in the shape of tables with drawers or shelves, ottomans, chests, and storage footstools can all help you keep random items like TV remotes and games controllers or hobby tools under control.
Up in the bedroom, storage beds are very useful in kids’ and adults’ bedrooms alike. Spare linens, toys, games, spare clothing, or sports items can all be hidden away.
Alternatively, you could consider renting a self storage room. Storage unit prices are probably less than you imagine as you don’t need to rent a bigger room than you actually need. You can even get lockers if your storage needs are more modest.
The Storage Rotation Strategy
Self storage isn’t just for things you never use. It can also be a lifestyle choice that helps you keep the house clean and tidy while having a refresh a couple of times a year. It can be invigorating to liven things up as the seasons change.
In the winter, store all your summer possessions, from garden furnishings or equipment to summer clothes and shoes, then swap them out as the season changes. You can also change your décor, swapping curtains and drapes or heavy and light duvets on the bed.
Not only do you clear the space at home to make room for stuff you need right now, but it’s also surprising how putting things away in self storage gives them a new lease of life when you retrieve them. And if you come across something you don’t like any more, you can part with it knowing you won’t miss it.
Whether you’re aiming for a minimalist, sleek look or you just want to finally get things organised so you’re not living in a jumble, hopefully these ideas will help you get started. Sometimes a spark of inspiration all that’s needed, and once you put one idea into practise, a few others come to mind until the whole house is the way you want it.