Unless you've cracked minimalist living (we certainly haven't!) keeping your home in order and everything in its place can be difficult, particularly if you throw kids into the equation. The trick is to come up with storage solutions that work for you and your home: if you're not going to fold away linen or throws, choose pretty baskets in which they can be rolled or a ladder to hang them on. Consider every inch of space and how it can be used. Good storage doesn't mean sacrificing style. In fact, quite the opposite...
Not all of us are blessed with spacious boudoirs and walk-in wardrobes. Clothes, accessories, books and cosmetics will all fight for space in a small room, so make the most of what you have. Our tips?
Choose the right furnitureUnder-bed drawers are invaluable, or try large, shallow crates on wheels which can easily slide under the bed (try The Holding Company). A trunk or ottoman is ideal for storing spare bedding, towels or out-of-season clothes. If you're not going to be using the items for a while, use a vacuum pack to shrink things down.
Go bespokeA shelf above a bed is perfect for ensuring night time reading is to hand and can make a great feature. Alternatively go all out and make use of the space surrounding a headboard.
Put your prettiest things on displayAffix hooks or rails to walls or display things in nice containers - jewellery stored in a vintage tea cup or cotton wool pads in pretty bell jars.
Organise your drawersSeparate items using perspex containers or boxes. The same goes for your wardrobe: shoe dividers, belt rails and trouser hangers will help to keep things tidy and in order. You can't beat Ikea for these type of storage solutions.
Make home admin less of a chore by ensuring your workspace is organised. Post trays and box files are useful but why not think a little outside the box? We love the idea of colourful pinboards or wall mounted clipboards.
Our favourite places for stylish office finds are:
If you're anything like the team at EL, you have beauty products and toiletries coming out of your ears. First things first, have a clear out - that mascara is three years old: throw it away. And when was the last time you wore a scrunchy?
Invest in a proper shower caddyOr if you're lucky enough to be re-designing your bathroom, consider a built in cubby hole or shelf. It will save bottles filling up the bottom of the bath and shower tray.
Make use of wall spaceWhether it be a stylish wall cabinet or some clever shelving.
Watch for dustIt can easily accumulate in humid bathrooms so closed medicine cabinets or wire racks are a good option.
Decant things into jars or potsWe love using old style Mason jars or jam jars for storing everything from cotton wool pads to Kirby grips.
Ensure your living room is a place to relax and not a clutter of cushions, kids' toys and DVDs or books.
Make the most of unused spaceSeek out hidden alcoves, un-used fireplaces or under-counter nooks. Books can look great stacked in a fireplace and even the smallest space can be made functional by adding built-in shelving.
Choose furniture with clever storageWhether it's a coffee table with a hidden compartment or a hollow footstool, choosing furniture that also functions as a storage solution can make a huge difference.
Go bespokeIf you're a bit of a book hoarder and can't bear to give any away (don't worry we understand) then consider a bespoke bookcase. Want the wow factor? We say go floor to ceiling.
Re-use and Recycle
Some of the most stylish storage solutions can be found at car boot sales, flea markets and antiques shops. A vintage trunk or old armoire are perfect for storing linens and can always be customised with a lick of paint. Alternatively, use what you have and start getting crafty. Old apple crates or wine boxes when affixed to a wall make great display cabinets, or use them in the living room to store blankets or throws.
Our Favourite Shops for Storage Solutions
Last but not least: don't be a horder. Clever storage is one thing but holding on to that dress or those DVDs that you haven't worn or watched for 10 years is not practical. Have a clear out every 6 months and give unwanted items to a charity that could really use them.