The #1 storage hotspot and how to tackle it
If you’ve ever heard the phrase ‘a place for everything and everything in its place’ then you’ll know what we mean when we say well-planned storage makes us happy.
Life runs a little smoother, our home feels less cluttered and not being able to find the mixing bowl/curry powder/dog’s lead/phone charger becomes a thing of the past.
Being able to rethink your storage is just one of the benefits of renovating or remodelling your home. Not only can well-designed storage help keep clutter at bay, but you can also find what you need, when you need it. And put it away again quickly and easily, ready for next time.
Here are five top tips that cover the basics of good storage:
- Store items where they will be used.
- Items used together should be stored together.
- Store heavy items in lower storage spaces.
- Items that are used the most should be the easiest to get to.
- Factor in a degree of flexibility so your storage can change as needs change over the years.
But what about those storage hotspots that our design professionals pay extra attention to?
First up is the kitchen.
The kitchen is usually considered the nerve centre of the home and as such its storage needs are large and varied, from the everyday essentials, to the items that are useful, but used more infrequently. From mugs and muesli, to serving platters and spices, kitchen storage needs to work hard day in, day out.
If you’re adding a new kitchen as part of your home improvement project, it’s handy to think of storage in terms of three zones:
The food zone:
With the fridge/freezer looking after the bulk of the perishable food items, the pantry will keep all the non-perishables neat and tidy. In many cases, the traditional walk-in pantry has become a bigger, larder-style pantry where thin shelves make it easy to see – and get to – everything stored there.
(Kitchen storage | Ryden display home)
The prep zone:
Chopping boards, knives, baking trays and saucepans are typically stored close to the oven and cooktop, along with oils, herbs and spices so that it’s easy to add that extra burst of flavour to your cooking.
(Prep zone | Mt Hawthorn transformation)
The clean-up zone:
This zone includes the sink and the dishwasher. It’s a good idea to store plates, mugs, bowls, glasses and cutlery nearby so they can be put away quickly and efficiently. The rubbish bin and recycling bin are also in the clean-up zone.
(Clean-up zone | Marley display home)
Kitchen storage options have come a long way in recent years, with drawers the go-to solution in the majority of new kitchens. There are deep drawers, wide drawers and spice drawers, as well as options for drawers-within-a-drawer, corner drawers and drawers to fit around plumbing.
Bag drops, drop zones and e-zones have also become popular storage solutions in the modern home.
Often integrated into the kitchen, or close to it, an e-zone or drop zone is an area where the laptop or tablet can be charged. A bag drop also works well close to the kitchen, providing a dedicated space to leave the keys, phone and handbag, and to drop off the shopping after you’ve done the grocery run.
The ensuite is another area where good storage can keep everyday ‘stuff’ and paraphernalia from spiralling out of control. Hairdryers, make-up, styling products, toothbrushes, toothpaste and sun cream can easily start cluttering up the benchtop if they don’t have somewhere to live.
Drawers can come to the rescue again here, providing organised storage that you will want to use. A mirror-fronted medicine cabinet above the vanity will also keep bathroom essentials organised and within easy reach.
You don’t need to have a lot of ‘stuff’ to make good storage a priority. It’s more about keeping what you do have neat, tidy and easy to get to.