Who says storage can’t be stylish? And for a sense of calm and control, Julie Carlson and Margot Guralnick, the authors of Remodelista – a new book packed with ultra-slick organisational tricks to deploy all over the house – also suggest embracing some ‘Daily Rituals’, little habits that often take no more than a few minutes but can have life-changing effects.
For instance, studies suggest that people who make their bed every day are not only more rested than non-bed-makers, but happier, healthier and more successful. Opening your mail every day is another of their tips, to avoid that dreaded build-up of unsorted life admin that can weigh heavily on the mind (and clog up drawers!).
Along with handy storage tactics – such as ‘Hang It’, ‘Cart It’, ‘Label It’ and ‘Tray It’ – the book sets out to illustrate how, with clever lay-outs and fittings and adopting a few simple habits, being sorted and tidy can be aesthetically-pleasing and make a huge difference to our wellbeing, even when space is tight.
So whether you need to know how to make the best of a compact kitchen, or want to edit your wardrobe ready for the new season, here are five ways to make an art out of order and live better through organisation, with the help of our design-minded friends at Remodelista.com…
1. A Shaker-style entry
A storage-lined open foyer is a great, versatile option for busy households. Taking inspiration from the Shaker use of peg rails to hang all manner of things, all you need to assemble your own version is a sliver of hall off your front or back door.
Why it works: Pegs close to the entrance help ensure kids’ bags land in the right spot (parents’ bags on other end), designated coat pegs offer a place for each family member, a Shaker-style hanging shelf provides a home for small items, a chalkboard marks daily reminders, and an Ikea Tjusig Bench (fROM £35, Ikea.com) doubles as a shoe rack.
2. The ultimate compact kitchen
A small workspace can still make good use of open and closed storage: Cookware and dishware are concealed behind cabinet doors, and a clever storage rail keeps often-used tools close at hand but off the counter.
Why it works: Stacked dishware and decanted pantry goods maximise cabinet space, S hooks and metal clips hold kitchen scissors, coffee filters etc, trays anchor the counter, a small hanging basket holds utensils and a print adds an artful touch – a small detail that makes a big difference.
3. The instant cocktail party
Let’s face it, you’re more likely to throw an impromptu drinks or dinner party when your tabletop elements are kept at the ready in one place. A kitchen or dining area drawer is especially handy for this kit.
Pro tip: Store the items on trays so you can lift them out for quick delivery to the table – and then use trays for serving.
Preparedness kit: Bar tools comprising corkscrew, bottle opener, jigger and mixing spoon; candles, tapers and tea lights, matches, ice bucket, glasses, serving trays, ready-for-the-table flatware in leather pockets, cloth napkins rolled into napkin rings.
4. A well-ordered wardrobe
A fashionista’s dream – fitted with floor-to-ceiling storage, this space holds a wardrobe’s worth of clothing. Canvas bins, wire baskets, cardboard boxes and metal dividers – most from office and kitchen supply departments – make the shelf storage much more efficient.
Why it works: Jumble-preventing bins and baskets create discreet storage zones on open shelves, piles of jeans, sweaters and T-shirts limited to six per stack, metal-rimmed paper key tags serve as labels on bins and baskets and allow for easy sorting, glass fronted drawers are a bespoke detail worth copying (they protect shoes while enabling you to see what you’ve got), and an industrial kitchen stool provides a place to put on shoes, drape clothes and reach high shelves.
5. An elegant all-in-one laundry cupboard
This compact laundry has birch plywood shelves and drawers for all the essentials. There’s also room for general cleaning supplies, electronics and a fold-up ironing board tucked into the side, which can be hidden behind closed doors.
Why it works: Laundry detergent is decanted and stored in a stainless steel dispenser, a galvanized metal bucket holds household cleaning supplies in a portable kit, laundry essentials are sorted by function in a combination of shelves and drawers, and the hard-to-reach top shelf is put to good use as a home for Wi-Fi equipment.
Tips extracted from Remodelista: The Organized Home by Julie Carlson and Margot Guralnick, photography by Matthew Williams, published by Artisan Books, priced £15.99. Available now.