Close your eyes and picture your dream home. What do you see?

A home that’s light, spacious and orderly? Or one that’s chaotic and cluttered with objects piled high and shoes and clothes strewn on the floor (along with bits of Lego that you inevitably tread on).

The first scenario is the one that most people aspire to – and for good reason.

Research shows that when our environment is tidy, we’re less anxious and more productive. In contrast, we feel more distracted and stressed when everything around us is in disarray.

But creating a mess-free, stress-free environment isn’t always easy. In modern life, we tend to accumulate lots of ‘stuff’, especially if we have children.

One way to curb clutter is to invest in good storage solutions. If everything has a rightful home, it’s much easier for you (and those you live with) to put things away where they belong.

Here are some tips to help you take your home from cluttered to calm.

  • Start by tackling major problem areas like the cupboard under the stairs. Go through what you’ve got tucked away and get rid of things you rarely or never use. Group the items that you’re keeping into categories and store them together.
  • Use coordinated containers to make things look uniform and neat. Rectangular, stackable containers are best but don’t forget to label them so you know what’s inside.
  • In the kitchen, put shelf inserts in tall cupboards to better utilise vertical space.
  • Not all items need to be out of sight – create a striking display by mounting interesting objects on a wall. Decorative plates can look great displayed together, as can hats or (if you’ve got lots of wall space) bikes. Check out Pinterest for inspiration.
  • Instead of finding kids’ pencils and crayons in every room, load all the art supplies on a trolley or rolling cart. That way, the little ones can move the trolley to different rooms depending on their mood, but at the end of the session, everything has to go back on the trolley.
  • Make the most of spare space under the bed by investing in stylish rectangular baskets. These can be great for storing bed linen, towels and shoes.
  • Use drawer organisers so you can find what you’re looking for instantly.

Upholstered storage benches look great, provide seating and can be a useful place to keep photo albums, blankets and tablecloths.

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