How to Organise the Spaces we Love to Hate

family homes home organisation home styling simple living slow living wellness at home Jan 24, 2023
How to organise the spaces we love to hate

Ever found yourself rummaging through an overflowing drawer to find a pen that works? 

Moving a million tools to get the lawnmower out of the shed? 

Or fruitlessly looking for the lid that matches the container to store those cookies you just made?

We all have them. Those tiny spaces in our homes that we love to hate.

Clutter hot spots that are always chaotic, and seemingly disordered the minute you’ve tidied them.

But set them up properly from the get-go and you’re on track to solving that problem for good.

Here are my top tips to tame the small space clutter, and help make life just that little bit easier!

The cooking utensils drawer.

Disorganised utensil drawers drive most people nuts. Finding three pairs of tongs when you really need a spatula is a challenge that we all face from time to time. 

So tidy it up! Expandable drawer dividers can be adjusted to fit almost any space, and you can repurpose cutlery drawer inserts to group like items together. 

Free up space by storing sharp knives in their rightful home (outside the drawer, in a knife block) and stow seasonal things like Christmas cookie cutters in a different cupboard.


Under the sink.

Bathroom, kitchen or laundry, under-sink spaces are often clutter accumulators - a mishmash of stuff that’s used either regularly or rarely at all.

So the best thing to do is label everything and utilise the space.

Use tension rods for hanging spray bottles and stackable clear bins or drawers to store smaller items like soap, dishwashing tablets and sponges. Stand scrubbing brushes in caddies and use door hooks to hang cloths, gloves and small towels.

Arrange cleaning bottles from large to small, starting at the back so you can see them all, and use mesh baskets to keep toiletries and personal items together.


The Tupperware cupboard.

If you’re like most, a messy Tupperware cupboard is a huge source of stress, especially when you’re in a hurry to get to school or work and have a lunchbox with no lid that fits.

So sort it out - sensibly!

First, spend some time matchmaking and get rid of anything that’s broken, misshapen and missing a lid (or base).

If your cupboard is deep, fit a lazy Susan or slide-out insert to eliminate blind stretching to the back, and stack containers inside each other to save space.

Piled up lids are messy too (and super impractical!), so try using a plate rack, book bin or dividers to store them vertically and prevent them taking over the entire cupboard.


The pantry.

The heart of the home, a pantry can make or break a kitchen. And if you’ve got a busy family, you’ll know how hard it is to keep everything tidy in there.

But a well-organised pantry not only saves you time, but stress and money too! 

That’s because an orderly space means you’ll always know what’s in there, so you can find stuff when you need it, plus you’re less likely to accidentally double-up when you head to the shops.

The first step is to take everything out and sort food items into categories : baking goods, breakfast cereals, cans, jars and spices.

Throw out anything that’s out of date, donate things you won’t use and add any out-of-stock essentials back onto your shopping list for later.

Invest in some modular containers or baskets to maximise space and make it easy to get things out when you need them, and as a general rule, keep regularly used items at eye-level, storing less used items higher up.


The junk drawer.

Often the biggest culprit when it comes to clutter, you’ll usually find the junk drawer chock-full of paperclips, receipts, lip balm, old house keys, takeaway menus and random batteries that may or may not work.

So tackle it head on. 

Remove everything and spread it out so you can see what’s there.

Get rid of the obvious trash candidates followed by anything that’s out of date, irrelevant or useless to you.

Then decide if what’s left deserves a place back in the drawer. Relocate items that should live elsewhere and toss or give away anything you genuinely don’t need. 

Finally, divide and conquer. Repurpose small boxes or fit drawer inserts to give it structure. Only put back what you’re going to use, and promise yourself that you’ll make an effort to keep it that way!


The linen press.

Still storing Wiggles face washers from when your now-teens were babies, and that ugly lace tablecloth you were gifted on your 21st birthday? Me too.

In fact, it’s likely you’ve got more linen in your cupboard than you’ll ever actually need.

So the best way to organise your linen press, is to get rid of surplus. As a general rule, two towels and sheet sets for each family member is plenty, plus one for guests. The rest? Donate, sell or give it away.

Next, match up all the sets - pillowcases, flat and fitted sheets. Fold neatly and place the sheets inside their pillowcases for handy grab-and-go sets when needed. 

Fold items like towels, tablecloths and blankets uniformly too, and pile them in size order so they make best use of the space.

And remember the one-in, one-out system. If you buy a new piece of linen, make sure something old goes!


The gift cupboard.

Having wrapping paper, ribbon, gift bags and cards on hand for gift-giving occasions is always useful. 

But when the half-used rolls become dog-eared and the cards are bent because they’re shoved between baskets, the truth is that you’re likely to throw most of it out and buy new anyway.

 So to help make gift-giving a practical and stress-free experience, organisation is the key.

Create a dedicated gift cupboard or drawer to house all your supplies. Within this space, use tension rods to hang ribbon and stackable storage tubs for cards, tissue paper and tags. 

Upright magazine holders are great for vertically storing wrapping paper rolls, and caddies are perfect for scissors and pens. And grab a dispenser from your local office supplies store for sticky tape.

Keep it all neatly stored, and replace things as they run out - so you’ll never have to!


The garden shed.

It’s every tool lover’s haven. But when the shed becomes a cluttered mess, no one wants to go out there. So clean it up!

While it might be a big job, it pays to pull everything out and take stock of what you’ve got. 

Decide what’s to be sold, donated or given away, and what’s simply no good anymore (that 15 year old tin of paint? Trust me - even with its tight seal, it’s no good).

Sort remaining items into categories like auto care, garden tools, sporting and camping gear.

Before you start putting it back, clean your shed thoroughly and sort out any pest problems you may have stumbled across.

To maximise space, fit extra shelving, racks, hooks and drawers, and use labelled storage tubs to hold smaller items - then load it all back in neatly so that everything has a home.

And given it’s easier to maintain a neat shed, make sure you do a six-monthly inspection to keep it that way!




Want more easy organisation ideas for your home, interior design inspiration to create your own home sanctuary, or simply want to discover more ways to live a stress-free life

Grab my free e-book ‘8 Essentials to Create a Cosy Sanctuary Within Your Home’ and get inspired!

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