Top 8 small items to sort out your home in a big way!
Updated: Mar 27
"Where did you get it?" or "how brilliant, I didn't know it existed!" are common remarks I hear from my clients on a daily basis while working on a project. A friend told me once that if she only knew what's out there and how to use it, she'd make an effort to live a more organised lifestyle. While everyone wants to create a beautiful space that generates a sigh of relief, the process for my friend, and many others like her, involves a lot of researching, confusion, trial and error, time, money and patience.
Small organisational aids can make a huge difference in your homes and help you maintain the order long-term. If you have the will to buy consciously and sustainably, to recycle and repurpose, to donate unwanted or untouched items and to live in an environment where it's a pleasure to be, but not sure where to start, this post if for you! This is the first step in your journey to declutter & organise and do it on your own!
Here are my 'must haves' that will transform your home:
1. Lazy Susan
If you’re after a product that will help you maximise your storage space, place your items within easy reach, spin and glide smoothly in your cupboard and look like a rockstar - a turntable is the answer!
Use this in the kitchen for canned goods, condiments, spices, baking supplies; in the bathroom cabinet for toiletries, or inside your wardrobe for body and hair products, perfumes etc.
Kmart has a range of turntables made out of clear plastic, white plastic and bamboo, starting from $5 (as much as I love bamboo I find the others to be better quality).
2. Stackable Bottle Holder
How many reusable water bottles does the average Australian family own? I don’t have the stats, but in my experience A LOT! One for daycare, one for sports activities, one for work etc. They take up space, fall all the time in the cupboard, you can’t stack them… or can you..?
These great stackable bottle holders are wonderful to use in your fridge or cupboard. Stack them one on top of the other to maximise and organise the space on your shelf, and fill them with your empty reusable bottles.
3. Slim Velvet Hangers
I love velvet hangers; they are so thin and flat they save space in your wardrobe, their velvety material makes it harder for clothes to slip off, and they are just as durable as wooden hangers without sacrificing style.
Return your wire hangers to your local dry cleaners, and replace your current ones with these velvet hangers to fit more clothes in your wardrobe, iron less and maintain order.
4. Clear Carry Case
This one is for all the mamas out there who store puzzle pieces in big clumsy boxes or zip-locks, or stack puzzles one on top of the other directly on the shelf risking losing a piece or two... It takes up too much space and sometimes creates more mess. I introduce you to the clear carry case by Kmart.
You can use these clear carry cases to store printed photos, kids' art, paperwork, recipes etc. but it's the absolute perfect solution to store and display toddlers' puzzles (to fit A4 size).
Even the most organised person in the world has messy items they don’t always know where to store or how to display neatly. Think cords, medicine, LEGO etc. Hide the mess away, and add some decor and flavour to any space, using baskets. White, natural, grey… so many options for different tastes and budgets.
Use baskets with lids to store TV parts, cables, remotes, old cameras and phones etc. and open baskets to store and display warm throws in the living room. Use firm square baskets in a bookcase in kids room to store toys, dress-ups, arts and crafts etc. and small round baskets in the home office to store extra keys, cards, small tools etc.
Take advantage of available space on top of your cupboards and wardrobes to store items that are important but rarely used, using baskets with lids. Don't forget to take measurements before buying to make sure they will fit.
6. Inserts and Foldable Shelves
Need to create more space in your cupboard? just when you thought you're out of available
space, these inserts and foldable shelves come to the rescue! This brilliant space saving solution can be used in the kitchen to divide your space and create more layers in your cupboards to store and organise your kitchenware or dry food - all within your reach!
7. 2L Storage Container
Do you also enjoy your rice or corn crackers, but never know how to keep them fresh once you open the packet? This 2L storage container is the answer! It's light, cheap and seals tight! It's also clear so you can easily see what's inside. You can use it to store soups, dry food such as oats or pasta, or sweets. And for those round big crackers it's a match made in heaven!
In general, I'm a big fan of clear jars and containers with screw-on lids and use them all the time while organising clients' pantries. As a mum to two little girls, I can appreciate a container that is hard for toddlers to open but easy and light for grown-ups.
7. Under-Bed Storage
Taking advantage of any available space inside your home is a smart move. Even if you own a garage and can remove items from your home and store it in a different space, there are items that you want to keep in a safe, dust-free location that's easily reachable. Many of my clients now store dress-ups or stuffed toys under the bed and their kids can pull it out and play with them any time they wish. You can also store extra linen, blankets, kids artwork, accessories etc. I keep clothes that are too small for my 4 year old but too big for my 2 year old. Every couple of months I pull a few items out, or add a few items in... This system allows me to keep their wardrobe organised and decluttered, while having the 'in-between' items near by.
You can use a hard plastic box with a lid, or soft felt box with a zipper, it all depends on what goes inside and how durable you need it to be. One of my clients is now keeping her memorabilia under her bed, as she wants to keep it safe but doesn't need to use it on a daily basis, or see it every time she walks in her bedroom.
I recommend not using more than one or two boxes under each bed - as you don't want to clutter the area and you still need to clean the floors or vacuum the carpet under the bed...
Is it smoked paprika? Sweet paprika? or not paprika at all?! When it comes to spices, grains, or containers that are not transparent and you can't tell what's inside - using a label will speed up the process of finding what you're looking for in your pantry. Plus - it looks pretty!
If you don't own a labelling machine, or just can't be bothered printing out stickers, Kmart sells a 64-pack of regular pantry labels, 30-pack of large pantry labels and a special spices edition packet to remove any confusion! They might not have everything you use at home, but it's a pretty good list of items most families stock (including baking products!).