I like a tidy house but I'm far from obsessive about it. During the summer I'd much rather be out and about than wasting time on the housework. I'm not a person who is tied to it, I have no real routine and I don't freak if something is a bit messy. My house is very 'lived in', as long as it's clean and reasonably tidy then I'm happy. When the house is tidy it does lift my spirits and makes the home much easier to run and a more comfortable place to be.
Even though I like a lot of things around me, mainly books and photo's I keep any clutter to a minimum and have regular de-cluttering sessions. I get rid of all the things I don't use, it is surprising how quickly clutter builds up. I have to do this because my house is quite small and storage is limited. I am forced to use the space wisely. ie: My house is an old one so the family bathroom is downstairs, I have no airing cupboard so we have a corner bench dining suite with lift up lids perfect for storing our towels. We have to improvise what we have into usable space. I am constantly thinking of ways to utilise the space in our living areas. Everything in my home has a place, it certainly makes rushed early mornings easier to cope with.
(Our dining area doubles up as an airing cupboard)
So what can you do to save on space and keep mess to a minimum? Here are a few tips.
The Kids Toys - I never freak out if the kids make a mess, I let them enjoy playing even if I do have a moan at the end of the day as I'm picking up millions of shiny beads or crippling myself on yet another piece of Lego.
When the kids were little I would keep a toy box in the lounge and only have that one box rather than a ridiculous amount of toys shewn everywhere simply to be trampled all over. I would empty that one box onto the lounge floor every day and not worry about the mess. I would rotate the toys every few days for constant interest. The benefit of sticking to the one box would mean less breakages and if you did need to tidy in a hurry it is much easier to quickly scoop everything up into the box and pop the lid on. It also meant that come the evenings when (hopefully) the kids were all in bed the lounge easily become a 'grown area' area. I had friends who would have the entire contents of their child's bedroom in their lounge then complain that they felt overwhelmed by the mess. Stick to one box, it makes life so much easier.
Using Doors & Hooks for storage - I use doors as storage. Every door in my house have hooks. In the bathroom I have a oilcloth tote bag hooked up that I use for storing toilet rolls, in the kitchen I have hooks for my brolly's, handbag, shopping bags etc. I also have small hooks on the door frame for our keys. I have hooks screwed into each step under the stairs for school related stuff ie: P.E bags, swim bags, lunch bags etc. The bedroom door hooks are used for jackets and dressing gowns. I have hooks everywhere.
Shelving - I'm big on shelving. The interior walls of our house can easily be used for storage, for our books, DVDs, family photo's and even our log storage. I have shelves for everything even my cups in the kitchen.
( Making use of our walls and alcoves)
Under stairs storage - So many people do not make good use of their under stairs. Our house is so small that half of my bathroom is actually under the stairs, however I still make good use of it by hooking up our school essentials, coats and storing shoes.
So do you have any great space saving tips for me? I'm always on the look out for new ideas.