If you’re itching to bring a bit of order to your living space now that spring’s finally here, we’ve got a couple of options. Shelling out for new shelves is one way to go, but it probably won’t be cheap.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could tackle the untidiness using items that only cost a couple of quid? Better still, what if we could do the same job with things we’ve already got lying around?
This is what storage hacks are all about. Here are some of our favourites:
Repurpose your hangers
The humble hanger can do a lot more than keep your clothes from getting crumpled. With just a little tinkering, you can give both your wood and wire hangers a new purpose in life.
- Clip shower curtain rings on the crossbar of your hanger to give yourself a neater way to store everything from scarves and ties to vests and baseball caps.
- Add screw hooks to the crossbar of a wooden hanger. Now you can hang your belts in the wardrobe instead of letting them clutter up your drawers like a nest of snakes.
- Take advantage of the bendable nature of wire hangers. With wire cutters for snipping and pliers for bending, you can fashion specialised hangers for hooking up sandals and flip-flops.
Say hello to Velcro
Not just a solution for kids who haven’t learned to tie their laces, Velcro can come in handy all over your house. It acts like a reusable adhesive and can hold more weight than you’d believe.
- Put the ‘control’ back in remote control with a couple of strips of Velcro. Stick one side to your TV / Sky / DVD player / streaming box / games console controls (yep, we have loads these days) and the other to a surface close to your favourite seat. It’ll stop them cluttering up your lounge and you’ll always know where to find them.
- Sick of the sight of messy cables? Velcro them together. It’s a better, more cost-effective option than single-use cable ties. Add or remove cables whenever you please.
- If the inside of your medicine cabinet is a like Jenga tower of makeup brushes, clippers and tweezers, Velcro’s the answer. Stick a couple of strips to the back of the door, apply smaller strips to your beauty items and voila!
Time to LEGO
Whether you’re a parent with LEGO-obsessed little ones or a big kid who’s never grown out of those magical blocks, you might be surprised to learn they can do more than help you assemble the Millennium Falcon.
- Looking for a quirky key holder? Stick one piece of flat LEGO near your front door and hook another piece (with a hole in it) onto your key ring. Job done.
- Not every LEGO creation has to be a spaceship. Need somewhere to store your pens, tools or utensils? Put those colourful bricks and your imagination to work.
- Are lists, memos and potato print artworks taking over your life? Stick them to your fridge by turning LEGO blocks into magnets. It just so happens the magnets from magnetic push pins are the perfect size to fit into the holes underneath a classic six-dot block.
Small magnets and magnetic tape can be your best friends when it comes to stealthy storage hacks. They can hold things together without the stickiness or permanence of glue, allowing you to take a more vertical approach to stashing your things.
- You can’t move for a metal surface in most modern kitchens. Fridges, shelves, cooker hoods; they’re all waiting to assist you. Stick small strips of magnetic tape to your spice jars and wherever there’s metal, there’s a spice rack. You could have one or two favourites hanging under your cabinets or the whole lot covering your fridge door.
- If you have any of those small metal spice containers lying around, don’t throw them out just yet. Fix a magnet to the back, pop the lid off and you’ve got yourself a cooking-themed holder for things like pens, straws and pegs.
- If you want to keep small metal items (e.g. needles, screws, paper clips) from wandering, you need a magic bowl. Stick a couple of magnets to the underside of an old saucer and watch as your bits and bobs remain in place, even if the bowl takes a knock.
The power of Pinterest
If you’re slapping your forehead at how easy and obvious some of these hacks are, don’t beat yourself up. People are coming up with new tips and tricks for keeping things tidy all the time. Through the wonder of social media, they're also sharing their tactics so we can all get involved.
If you don’t have time to get storage hacking today, Pinterest is a great place to start. You can search for general hacks or zone in on the room that causes you the most tidiness trouble. Create a board, pin your favourites and when that DIY weekend comes around, go to town on your clutter.