These clutter-clearing tips from professional organiser Natalie Jane of Be Organised will keep your entrance way and living room guest-ready at all times
- In a busy area like the entrance way, it is important to have homes for your items to stop them from being dumped. The ‘one touch rule’ is important here, to help you get into the habit of putting things away.
- Shoes: Baskets for each family member are a practical idea for busy families. Designated cubbies also work well.
- Coats: Wall-mounted coat racks are user-friendly – use child-height coat pegs for kids. Get people to take responsibility for their own jackets.
- Keys: Use either wall hooks or a vessel of some sort. Get into the habit of putting your keys in this spot to prevent them from getting lost. Store your master key set and spare keys in a separate ‘safe’ area in your home.
- Mail: Designate a place for incoming mail to go – an in-tray, letterbox or mail organiser are good solutions.
- Bags: Store these on coat racks or in designated cubbies. Each family member can have their own coat rack with a cubby underneath for their shoes and bags.
- Get in the habit of clearing the table straight after meals – enlist the kids to help with this.
- If the table is also used for games, school work and computer work, keep baskets handy so you can clear the table easily before meals.
- Keep things like placemats and replacement candles handy in a sideboard or cupboard nearby.
- Use magazine racks for newspapers, books, brochures and magazines that pile up. Clear this out regularly – be ruthless!
- Encourage each person in your household to remove their belongings from the living room at the end of each day, so you don’t have stray shoes, toys and dishes hanging around.
- Do a regular toy clean-up with your kids. When they are old enough, they can do this on their own.
- Try limiting the number of toys that are kept in the lounge at any one time. Store extra toys in a cupboard and swap them over when your children need ‘new’ toys to play with.
- Use cable ties or cable staples for cords, or invest in a cable holder, to avoid an unsightly tangle of cords in the living room. This tip would also be helpful in the office or bedroom.
Words by: Fiona Ralph. Photography by: Emma MacDonald.