1. Door stop
Deal with mail, loose change, keys and other daily life stuff right at the front door. With a console or wall-mounted shelf, give everything a home using small containers, such as a jar for change or a small bowl for keys. Take the opportunity to sort mail at the door — recycle the junk right away and file the rest in a pretty storage box or vintage toast rack.
2. Shoes shine
Your whole house will be cleaner if you slip your shoes off at the front door. Corral them in a galvanized tray or large cookie sheet as a modern alternative to those rubber trays. Just think, no more mopping up mud and puddles!
3. Mag attack
Are you done with any of the magazines in that pile on the living room floor? Cull the ones you’ve read or leafed through and donate them to charity or your doctor’s office. Organize those you can’t bear to part with in smart magazine files, available in materials from thrifty cardboard to super-swish lacquered wood.
4. Table treat
Clear and clean surfaces give us the feeling of living in a restful space. So don’t let coffee table clutter ruin your mood. Store multiple remote controls in a lidded box, or look at purchasing a universal remote that can be programmed to control your TV, DVD and stereo.
5. Toy time
To stop kids’ stuff from taking over, give each of the little ones their own storage crate to hold playtime essentials. For an easier clean-up, colour-code a crate for each child.
6. Love your laundry
Don’t let that overflowing hamper get you down. Organize in advance by separating whites, colours and darks into three or four plastic laundry baskets, one for each wash, placed in the bottom of a closet. As soon as one’s full, grab it and do a single load, rather than waiting to do a marathon of laundry.
7. Bathing beauties
Simple chic glass kitchen canisters can easily be moved from room to room, to help with clutter. In the bathroom, use large ones for skin and hair care products and smaller ones for makeup, cotton pads and Q-tips. You can nestle them under the sink, but they’ll be pretty enough to leave out on the counter.
8. Hardware hidden
Don’t waste precious time searching through a tool box crammed with tools, nuts, bolts and accessories. Give your gear some breathing space with a pegboard; it’s a retro solution available at most hardware stores. Buy it by the sheet and hang it on the wall, the back of a door or inside a closet, then purchase the attachable accessories designed to keep your bits and pieces organized. That way, you’re guaranteed to find that Robertson screwdriver when you really need it.