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Everyone wants a tidy home, yet tidying things up may be a big challenge for some people as they do not know where to begin. In view of this, we have collected some home storage tips to help you maintain a tidy home.
 
Rule of thumb
  • Check if an item is still useful to you before putting it away.
  • Leave 20% empty in all storage space.
  • Put similar items together and label them if they are put in a bag or in a drawer.
  • Keep frequently used items in places that are easy for you to reach (without standing on tiptoes).
  • Make use of items stored at home before buying new ones.
  • Buy storage containers of the same colour so that they look neat and harmonious when displayed on shelves.
  • Use storage racks not too deep to allow you to see them at one glance.
 
Near home entrance
  • Shoe cabinet is usually placed near the front door
  • If there is a high compartment in the shoe cabinet, do use it for keeping umbrellas and use carboards to divide it for maximum usage.
  • Add a tension rod to the shoe cabinet to increase the storage capacity.
  • If there is not enough space inside the shoe cabinet, hang a slipper holder on the side and put all slippers inside the holder in an upright position.
  • If shoe boxes are used, put a piece of cardboard diagonally into the box for keeping an extra pair of shoes in the box.
  • Small containers can be placed on top of shoe cabinet for keeping keys and other small items.
  • A mirror fixed on the wall above the shoe cabinet is always handy to check how you look before going out.
 
Living room
  • Place a holder next to the sofa for storing newspapers and magazines. Avoid stacking books, newspapers and magazines on the coffee table or the floor.
  • If you use the coffee table also as a dining table, do find a top which is easy to clean and use placemats as far as possible.
  • Storage baskets can be kept under the coffee table for placemats, etc. so that the room looks neat.
 
 
Dining room
  • Try to separate the dining area and dining-storage area.
  • Dining table must be clean, neat and free of debris like fixtures for holding tissue box so that it can be used for other purpose when not dining.
  • Storage near the dining table should be confined to items used for dining. Less frequently used eating utensils like spare chopsticks, forks and knives, plates and soup bowls can be placed in drawers or shelves with doors in lower compartments.

  • If food items need to be stored in cabinets in dining room, confine those items to dried food such as dried mushrooms, dried noodles, uncooked rice, etc. and keep them in air-tight containers placed neatly on shelves.

  • Avoid placing unnecessary items on table tops in dining room or kitchen.
 
Kitchen
  • Storage in kitchen is for items used for cooking, dining and cleaning. Designate specific space for such items and keep items for the same purpose together.
  • Try to use sliding drawers to hold kitchenware, dining-ware and make sure that they are visible and easily retrievable. If there is space for storing less frequently used dining-items in the dining room, only keep essential ones in kitchen.

  • More frequently used cooking utensils can be hung on kitchen wall or kept in large holders near the stove or sink.

  • Space for storing seasonings (such as soya sauce, salt, pepper, sugar, etc.) should be close to stove or above the table top for preparing food. Less frequently used seasonings which do not require refrigeration can be placed on a shelf for that specific purpose in the kitchen or dining room.

  • For tips on storing things in a refrigerator, please read the article ‘Making good use of the refrigerator to store food’ (click here).
 
Bedroom
  • Separate clothes which can be hung on rail and those which must be placed flat on shelves. Keep as much clothes on rail as far as possible as it saves space and is easy to retrieve items for mix-and-match.
  • For large cabinets, upper part can be used for keeping light items which can be kept in large containers, such as hats, less frequently used bags for travelling, etc. Lower part can be separated into a space to hang clothes up to knee-length skirts or coats, and a lower compartment with shelves to hold woolen clothes or transparent plastic holders for inners and socks.

  • For cotton matching tops or scarves, they can be rolled up and placed in one row for easy retrieval.

  • If storage is not enough for both summer and winter seasons, do use the space underneath the bed to keep large storage bags for keeping clothes not for the season. Arrange the items in the wardrobe according to their lengths or nature.

  • Put bulky items in vacuum bags to save storage space.
  • Cut old stockings horizontally. Use them as rubber bands to hold small objects such as handkerchiefs together or fasten loose clothing items.
 
Study
  • Not many households can afford to have a room designated as a study. So it can be a guest room or just a corner of the sitting/dining room or the bedroom.
  • A study is a working area comprising a table top large enough to hold a desk-top computer or a notebook, a small cabinet with lockable drawers, or simply shelves strong enough for holding folders and boxes with labels, and a drawer to hold stationery and small loose items.
  • It should be well lit. If not, there should be space for a lamp. The power socket should be handy and good enough for two to three items including one for the computer and one for a charger.
  • Space for a printer may not be affordable but if such can be provided, it can be placed on a rack so that the lower parts of the rack can be used as a storage area for folders and stationery.
 
Bathroom
  • Keep only sanitary items which are in use in the bathroom and keep spare unopened ones in other storage area.
  • If storage in bathroom is limited, you may use rubber suction cups to hold items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, cup, etc., or install a rack for hanging such items.
 
Please remember to tidy up each time after use and always keep the items in the same position. If you are keeping your living place tidy and clean at all times, there is no need to rush yourself for cleaning it up within a short time when a visitor is expected. You also feel good each time when you are having a cup of coffee at home enjoying what you have achieved after so many years.