If the last year was all about clutter make the new one about getting organised. Ankita Mamgain tells you how to start the New Year on an orderly note.
After a long month of celebrations, January may seem a bit dull due to lack of activity. Hence many people make home improvement their pet project at this time of the year. It seems like the ideal thing to do – a fresh year calls for a refreshed look and, most importantly, it’s your chance to eliminate the clutter that an action-packed December leaves behind.
Home organisation is one of those essential and ongoing tasks that is just as frustrating as it is gratifying. You might detest the idea of having to go through kitchen drawers or sort through the closets, but you know you’ll be pleased with the end result.
We’ve all been there (I can definitely say that for myself); overflowing drawers, floors in disarray and a messed up bed. A new study warns that a messy bedroom disturbs sleep, can increase stress and aggravate mental illness. So in order to sleep and feel better, get cleaning.
Start with the wardrobe; it’s the heart of a well kept bedroom. Go through the clothes and get rid of anything that doesn’t fit or you haven’t worn in the past few month. Be ruthless; if it’s too difficult to do it yourself, get help.
Pick an organisational system for your clothing; all the pants in one area, collared shirts in another and dresses in another.
You can even further break down categories by length, occasion or season. Get a good variety of hangers including trousers hangers and the non-slip ones. Now, if you’re channelling Monica Gellar, arrange the sorted clothes by colour. This makes it really quick to sort through your wardrobe and pick out what to wear. Shelf your bags or hang them on either clothing hangers or hooks on the wall or a door.
Keep drawers tidy by folding everything neatly (for as long as you can). Another place where things tend to pile up is the night stand, so choose one wisely with an in-built shelf or a drawer. Go for beds that have storage space, to hide away out of season clothing. Utilise the space at the footboard for storing blankets and linens.
The hub of the home, the kitchen is often also one of its trickiest areas as it is prone to constant activity and perpetual mess. A challenge faced by anyone who’s ever tried to organise it has been the curious case of ‘the container and the lid’. If the right containers do match up with the available number of lids, organise them fast before this rare balance gets disturbed again. Start with discarding any old, damaged or pairless pieces. Then, instead of storing them in sets, which topple easily, separate the containers and lids into different baskets, resulting in more compact storage.
Your Tupperware isn’t the only trouble maker in the kitchen; spices, cutting boards, pots and pans, lids and knives can also clutter up cabinets and drawers. Something that comes in really handy here is a label maker. Take the spices out of their original jars or packets and transfer them to new, identical ones, which will be easy to stack. Instead of a spice cabinet, you can even make a dedicated drawer for all your seasonings using mini mason jars with labelled lids for a space-savvy and pretty solution.
Use cabinet systems designed specifically for pots and pans to keep all your cookware tidy. Even rails with S-hooks can be a functional and decorative way to store pots, especially if your kitchen is low on cabinetry. Use drawer organisers to separate cutlery and knives.
With electronics, office supplies, papers, books, files and more, an office can quickly become cluttered and dysfunctional. No work can possibly happen if you spend half your time looking for things. To organise this space start with the electronics and any cables strewn about. You can use decorative storage boxes to hide away these unsightly must-haves. It can also be really frustrating to guess which plug belongs to which device. Add washi tape tags to avoid this confusion and keep the electrical extension board looking pretty. The wall space near the desk often remains unused. Optimise it by adding some wall pockets that can stow bills and other mail off your work space. In order to efficiently store old files and records, invest in a file cabinet or magazine holders and organise alphabetically or date-wise.
The living room, or family room, has a lot of different uses. This is where you plop down, hang out, decompress, read, play, watch TV and entertain. So keeping it organised at all times is a bit of a challenge. The best strategy is to work towards delaying the messing up process and speeding clearing-up time. If your front door opens directly into the living room, and each time you enter you leave a trail of bags, shoes, jackets, etc, add some “speed bumps” along the way that’ll curb your urge to offload instantly, all around the place. Perhaps a bench or chair to sit on to take off your shoes, hooks and floating shelves on the wall and a tray for collecting mail can all help.
Get coffee and side tables with a lower shelf so you can spread your stuff when you want and then quickly stack it up and put it in the bottom shelf if you need to tidy up immediately. Any furniture with hidden storage is a Godsend! You can store media, games, magazines and even shoes inside if you need to.
If you have cupboards crammed with old VHS tapes or hundreds of CDs that are already loaded into your computer and other devices, it is high time to purge the old stuff. The discs you want to keep can be stored in a binder folder, or add them to the décor by placing them in racks near the screen.
Shelves are really versatile and can change easily to suit your needs. Versatile and available in diverse styles, shelving units can be the answer to a host of family-room clutter concerns along with adding visual interest to the décor.