I don’t know anyone who complains that a house has too much storage. . .
Storage is everyone’s demon. Having spent over 6 years in New York already in my life, I have a full understanding of what a ‘walk in closet’ means in Manhattan. A tiny door, with about a foot depth of space, and if you are lucky, a hanging rod. I feel that the period homes in England are equally as guilty. When we came back to England for an extended time last summer, I could not get over the lack of built in cabinetry in bedrooms. How do families still live with simple hanging racks and garish over bearing old wardrobes that seem to take up half of the room?
It got me thinking about how much excess stuff we all hold on to as a family that we really don’t actually need. I’m not a minimalist, by any means, but I do try to be mindful and don’t want to bring my children up in a world where we teach excess consumerism. So before our last house move we did an enormous clear out and made sure we didn’t bring any unnecessary tat with us. Being a stylist as well as a designer.. makes this a bit of a challenge but it’s good for the soul. (I keep telling myself).
During the course of this anti-hoarding journey, I learnt a few storage tricks.
Our main built in wardrobes have never been in our bedroom so I keep a nice vintage leaning ladder in our room – to keep a few capsule pieces on here, that look pretty and are quicker and easier to access.. meaning everything else can stay in the built-ins next door.
We have always had kitchen space challenges. In almost every kitchen I’ve lived with, that is not ready for re – design, I always add a couple of wall shelves. Sometimes slatted for hanging S hooks to hang pots and pans underneath. It gives you extra storage space in cupboards and neat and clean countertops immediately.
Use your walls! As much as you can, for additional storage. Wall storage is so smart. And in keeping with your ever evolving home, some solutions can be easily moved from space to space. My favorite is the Vitra Wall Organiser or on a slightly lesser budget the Ikea Skadis. These wall storage systems are super stylish and take up very little space.
Don’t hoard items that you think.. oh I’ll make that into something one day. These are the things that can tend to gather dust and never be made into anything. I’m the worst culprit of this. It’s the age old idea of your wardrobe.. if you’ve not worn it for three months you probably never will. Use this rule for any little fixing up DIY projects… if you haven’t repainted the old frame you found in the street six months ago.. you probably never will. Ditch it!
Kitchen utensils can tend to gather dust too. I once learnt the trick that if your drawers are bulging, tip all your daily use utensils into a box. Each time you use one.. put it back into the drawer. If after one month there are any items left in the box unused.. say your farewells and move on.
I do think that the more space we have, the more we tend to hoard. So in smaller spaces, it can often be easier to be more sparing. Storage is vital in any home.. and when working on redesigning any space.. it’s really good to allocate a nice portion of the room for storage, depending upon your needs.
But most of all…. don’t rush out and buy a tonne of new storage pieces that will enable you to gather more junk. Be mindful. And take your time.. xo