Home Organization Tips: Introduction

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Low-Maintenance Living

LONG-TERM PLANNING

Given its key role at home, storage deserves to be minutely planned and beautifully built, but too often it's an afterthought. We’re more likely to spend funds on an eye-catching sofa. But allocating a generous budget to custom cupboards and drawers brings rewards. Well-built storage withstands much wear and tear, and is a strong selling point when you move. Thoughtfully planned, with a strong visual theme, cohesive storage is also the ideal way to give your home individual style.

Whenever possible, plan storage across the whole home, rather than rooms in isolation. This way, you can organize possessions according to activity and frequency of use, rather than being constrained by room functions. For example, instead of every child keeping toys in their room, a wall of toy cupboards in the kitchen would free space for individual desk areas. Rather than having assorted TVs at home, allocate one small room as a media zone, with storage for DVDs and equipment. Once you’ve zoned storage in the appropriate places, it’s easy to spot any spare space, and use that for housing out-of-season paraphernalia.

Allow for flexibility when planning. Collections always grow, so plan new storage with room to spare. Design systems with dual potential: shelving for a home office, for example, might later become spare-room clothes storage. And don’t forget that you can rent a storage unit. A year on, when you haven’t missed a single item, ebay will be your first stop.


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Many people balk at the cost of buying quality, smart containers, but they really are a worthwhile investment. Even if you move house, they can be freshly labeled and adapted to a new set of shelves. Take the same view when buying traditionally unseen containers, such as wedding-dress storage boxes, suit bags, or multiple plastic shoeboxes. Buying them may not be as exciting as choosing a designer vase, but they will certainly protect your clothes from dust and moths.

(Right and Below): You should always spend as much as you can afford on great storage, but make choices according to how long you intend to stay at a given property. If you’re doing up a budget apartment, insist on quality craftsmanship, but stick with economical finishes. A long term home, by contrast, deserves beautiful materials like wood or leather, which will improve over time. Serial house-movers should spend money on a quirky freestanding piece, which can move when you do.

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