Having recently already shared our tips on how to create more space in your home without extending it’s about time we shared our secrets on how to organise a house with no storage, too!
Cluttered and messy homes make me feel itchy, on-edge and negatively impact my ability to concentrate. I’d go as far as saying that too much stuff even makes me feel ill.
I love a clean and tidy home and I personally find it easy to keep organised and fairly minimalist but I know that it’s something a lot of people struggle with.
There are some obvious things you can do like using furniture that doubles up as storage like our outdoor sofa that we built but there are a few more things you can do to organise your home, too.
Now, I’m not one to judge how people live and honestly if that’s how you feel comfortable in your home then great, but the feeling of drowning in too many possessions makes a lot of people feel overwhelmed and anxious.
Having recently downsized, we realised that we have a lot of stuff. Most of it isn’t what we’d class as clutter but there’s definitely an argument to be had about how many different types of rice one household needs to own (we currently have 7 different types and maybe even more types of lentils than that).
So, how do you organise a house with (almost) no storage? And, how can you use the space you have more efficiently?
We’re going to share all of our secrets to help you keep your home organised and clutter-free and I’m even going to show you a peek into our cupboards to share how we stay organised in our home with hardly any storage and share exactly how we keep clutter-free!
Here are our top 5 tips on how to utilize your space effectively!
1. Keep, Sell, Donate, Recycle
There’s no getting around the fact that the best and easiest way to keep your home and space organised as efficiently as possible is by having the right amount of stuff.
You want to be the goldilocks of things!
You don’t want too much stuff as it will be almost impossible to keep your home clean and tidy but you don’t want to deprive yourself of things you like either.
You want it to be just right!
So, how do you go about decluttering your home and deciding what to keep and what to get rid of?
There are various really well-known methods of decluttering and, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past years, you will definitely have heard of some of them like the KonMari method or the Sweedish Death Cleaning method (yes, that’s really a thing).
I’m sure that these methods work for lots of people but I personally don’t agree with a lot of the things they teach. Do you really need to have an emotional attachment to everything or feel that something has to bring you joy so that you can justify keeping it?
If you really want to keep it, then keep it. Decluttering is meant to make you feel happy, calm and more relaxed – don’t let it stress you!
In our experience, the easiest way to declutter is to pretend you’re moving home. When you pick something up ask yourself if you’d really bother to pack it if you were moving? Would you really wrap it, pack it, transport it and unpack it all again when you’re in your new home? Do you really love it or need it that much? Would you miss it if it was gone?
Here are the exact steps you need to take to declutter your home efficiently, quickly and as pain-free as possible.
- Go through your cupboards one by one and get everything out.
- Sort the content into 4 categories – Keep – Sell – Donate – Recycle.
- When sorting, make up your mind there and then. Don’t have a 5th category full of stuff you can’t make up your mind about and “will think about later”.
- Get rid of any items you’ve sorted into Sell, Donate and Recycle as quickly as possible. This will help you reduce the chaos in your home, after all, you don’t want to be organising your home and end up with dozens of boxes everywhere instead!
When sorting through your possessions, remember that the more you have, the more each item will detract from the items you want to show off.
Just imagine a display cabinet full to the top – you’d never be able to focus on the things that really matter but a more thoughtful and curated approach to the special items will allow them to shine.
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2. Storage Boxes Are Your Friend
Keeping your things in crates and boxes is the best way to keep what you decide to keep organised by category. We have a box for medical supplies, a box for shampoos, shower gels and other bathroom necessity replacements, and a box for cables.
We have boxes for craft supplies, boxes full of Christmas decorations, and a crate with paint samples.
Keeping things grouped together helps you find things much more easily but there’s also one rule we have when it comes to storing things in boxes that really help us minimise the amount of stuff we have, too.
If it doesn’t fit in the dedicated box we don’t keep it!
Yes, it really is that simple! This rule makes it so much easier to decide on the things you’ll keep vs. the things you’re going to get rid of.
Okay, so I totally admit that we may have upgraded small boxes to larger ones and have occasionally added boxes to our collection to store more things, but generally this method of minimising the number of things we keep works really well for us.
We really like these clear storage boxes as they are really robust and come in loads of different sizes and have loads of add ons that will help you customise your storage even further – we even have a box that’s dedicated to wrapping paper!
There’s another huge advantage to storing things in boxes!
Having everything neatly sorted into boxes will help you keep tidy and organised but it also allows you to utilise the back of the cupboards much more effectively.
You can stack small boxes to use every last bit of cupboard space without having to take out a million individual items just to get to one thing that’s hidden right at the back!
This is something we do a lot and it really helps keep our limited cupboard space organised.
Just take a look at our spice cupboard…
We have what feels like hundreds of spice refills. Can you imagine the chaos if we had them all individually stuffed in the cupboard? We’d never find what we’re looking for!
But, as we’ve sorted them all into four boxes, we can easily take them out and find exactly what we’re looking for in just a couple of seconds.
3. Utilise EVERY Nook and Cranny
You have more space than you think!
Obviously, getting rid of clutter and keeping your possessions at a minimum will help but what about all of the stuff that you do want to keep?
We already shared lots of tips on how to create more space in your home like under the bed or on top of cupboards but there are lots more small spaces in your home that you can utilise, too.
These may not be places you permanently want to store things for both practical and optical reasons but don’t forget areas like under the sofa, or under cabinets and sideboards. If you store things in boxes or pretty containers there’s no reason that they can’t look tidy and pretty!
We’ve stacked loads of boxes on top of our Pax wardrobes which admittedly isn’t the most stylish solution ever but we have an absolutely amazing Pax hack coming soon that we already can’t wait to share. If it turns out as we planned it’s going to be fantastic!
4. Go Vertical
Clear surfaces always have a way of making a home feel cleaner, less cluttered and calmer. Jan always makes fun of the fact that my desk is always as empty as possible.
Jan on the other hand doesn’t care where he works and will literally place his laptop on top of a pile of paperwork that needs to be sorted and will start to work away!
Keeping my desk (and mind) free is one of the reasons that we installed a corkboard wall in our last home.
Our office was tiny but being able to use the whole wall to sort and organise things make it so much easier to keep track of paperwork, notes and even things like moodboards and fabric samples.
Paperwork isn’t the only thing that can go vertical though. You could incorporate a hanging clothes drying rack in your utility area to hang things from the ceiling instead of using up valuable floor space and you can even hang your plants vertical, too.
We didn’t have enough space for all of our herbs in our last home so built this DIY hanging herb garden in front of the window.
5. Have Dedicated Spaces For Everything (that aren’t complicated)
You don’t want to have a cupboard door you have to open to be able to hang up your keys, you don’t want to have to open 3 cupboards to be able to find a new face mask and you definitely don’t want to have to rummage through a full box of different drill bits only to find that the one you were looking for was actually in the cellar (this just happened this morning).
Make things you use on a daily basis easily accessible. Baskets, boxes and trays really are your friend.
In our hallway, we have a basket with scarves, gloves and facemasks that we can just throw everything into and everything stays in one easy to reach place.
Our Esavian chest of drawers is also perfect for keeping organised. Each drawer has a specific purpose and we know exactly where to find things like batteries, travel documents (not that we’ve been using them much lately) and space lightbulbs.
Labels are your friend.
We absolutely love our label maker and I’ve spent way too many hours sticking labels on all sorts of things and it really helps us keep track of where everything is.
All of our spices on our DIY spice rack have little labels that make it easy and quick to find exactly what we are looking for.
Bonus: Be organised & buy less stuff
Whilst this tip won’t give you more storage space, it’s something I had to include as the number one problem when it comes to not having enough space in your home is probably that you just have too much stuff!
If your home looks messy and you have stuff everywhere, it’s probably not something that even an epic amount of storage can solve.
When thinking about adding storage to your home, always have a full-on declutter first. You’ll be surprised at just how much space you already have!
Often, people who say they don’t have enough space have too much clutter. Taking a more thoughtful and minimalist approach to what you buy will help avoid storage issues in the future and possibly even save you a bit of money!
If you’re struggling to declutter your home and don’t even know where to begin, I totally recommend checking out my friend Marissa’s free 30 minimalism challenge that will help and motivate you to declutter your home! She also has a great YouTube channel that shares a ton of information on how to live a more minimalist lifestyle, too!
Oh, and while you’re over on YouTube…
Did you know that we’ve started a YouTube channel, too? We’ve already shared a couple of videos including the full tour of our apartment and a fun, beginner-friendly DIY resin table tutorial so we’d love it if you’d pop over there and give us a like and follow, too!
Overall, keeping clutter at a minimum, having less stuff and investing in good storage is key to keeping your home feeling and being more spacious.
Do you have a favourite way to create more space in your home? We’d love to hear your tips and thoughts so leave us a comment below and let us know what you think!