One of the
most common questions that I get asked is what are the best storage solutions
for my home? There's not a simple answer to this question - it really
depends what you are planning to store. What works for your CDs won't
work for your kids' toys or your shoe collection. Storage products are
everywhere - in DIY superstores, in newsagents, in home stores, online
companies and catalogues. So many beautiful designs and so much choice
that it's easy to get overwhelmed and suddenly your storage boxes rather
than helping have become part of the clutter problem.
Follow these tips and you will make storage in your home really work.
1. Always declutter before buying storage solutions - otherwise
you're shooting in the dark. You don't know how much you own so how can
you buy the best storage?
2. The exception to this is paper storage - you will need to buy
basic stationery supplies eg. folders, labels, a shredder - before you
3. Store like with like. If you put all your batteries or spare
envelopes together they'll be easy to find. A bonus is it's easy to see
what you have and when it's time to stock up.
4. A place for everything. A common mistake when you move home
or acquire a new possession is to store it in the first place that comes
to hand. Things will flow better if you spend a little time thinking about
the best "home" for your new treasures. Choose hot spots
- places that are easy to reach - for things you use everyday - like your
I-pod, and cold spots - like the back of the hall cupboard for
your Wellington boots (in summer). Label boxes or use transparent ones
so thing are easy to find.
5. Measure before buying. Make sure the folders will fit on your
shelves or the cutlery tray in your drawer. Take a measuring tape with
you on your buying trips.
6. If money is tight. I often get emails from people who say that
they can't afford to splash out on expensive storage products but still
want to make their home work better. Assess what you have to hand - shoes
boxes can be used for anything from shoes to evening bags, to receipts,
old letters or batteries. I sometimes use the plastic containers that
fruit is packaged inside drawers to keep fiddly things together. Old Tupperware
or freezer boxes that have lost their lid work equally well. Do check
out DIY superstores too - they usually have a range of inexpensive plastic
and cardboard boxes. You can often buy these at self-storage depots too
like Big Yellow.
7. Dual purpose furniture. When buying new furniture - assess it
not only for its beauty but for its storage potential. Underbed drawers,
coffee tables that hold DVDs or will double up as storage for kids toys
will ease the clutter.
8. Enjoy yourself. Storage products have come a long way in the
last 5 years so have fun choosing. Here are some of my favourite companies
For lots more ideas on storage check out Sue's new book which was published
on March 14th 2005. Click on the picture
to order your copy from Amazon at a reduced price. In a recent review,
Amanda Blinkhorn in the Ham & High said: "Sue understands
the psychology of clutter, the guilt, the sentiment, the horror of the
pile, and gently leads you from room to room to tackle it."
up with possessions. Rent,
to say a big thank you to everyone who's bought the book. Do give me your
feedback (email me here)
and let me know what has motivated you and what you'd like to know more
about - as I'm just about to start writing my second book. The best story
or idea will win a copy of No More Clutter.
March's competition results
Sam won a half hour's phone consultation with Sue for her story of regular
swapping party with her friends. Everyone brings along unwanted stuff
like clothes, books and cosmetics and over a bottle or two of wine they
try things on and swap them over. It costs nothing and means they get
some new stuff for free and have a fun evening.
I enjoyed March's newsletter - New Homes for your unwanted stuff. I'm
keen to sell some stuff but feel quite nervous as I've never used ebay
or any other online selling. Do you have any tips?
Ebay's not complicated - though it takes a little time to register the
first time. It helps if you have a digital camera so people can see what's
In London there are a couple of companies who will sell your stuff for
you if you prefer. Check out www.sellstuffeasy.com
who sell anything from clothing, to ceramics to electronic equipment and
recently successfully sold a cooker for me.
Toni Koppel specialises in selling furniture on ebay. Contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel 020 8340 8038
Or try a new online ads service called www.ehawker.co.uk
If have any other great ideas for selling your stuff or would like to
ask a question contact email@example.com
Sue Kay works with a wide range of clients to organise home offices, small
businesses, declutter before a house move, prepare your spare room for
a new baby and organise your wardrobe ready for the new season. If you're
selling your home, she can help you present it clutter-free for the market
to achieve a quick and profitable sale. For practical sympathetic help
call Sue on 07974 076 675 or 020 8444 5149 or check out the website at