Whether you’re shopping at Howards Storage World, The Container Store or the $2 shop, making the right choice in storage makes your life easier and makes your spaces work hard for you.

So you’re all inspired to get organised, you’ve got a 45 minute window and you’re chomping at the bit to buy something! The tendency can be to jump at the gorgeous container on the shelf in front of you but then find it doesn’t work when you get home.

These seven tips will help you choose the best storage solution for your organising challenge and I hope they save you loads of time, energy and money, like they have for me:

  1. Size really matters: Grab that tape measure and always measure your items and the space where the container will need to fit before buying any storage container. (Tip: keep a tape measure in your shopping bag ).
  2. The style factor: Will your containers be on display? If so, what decor do they need to compliment? Consider colour, texture and material (like rattan or metal). If they’re not going to be on display, you’ll have more options of type and price.
  3. Visibility of contents: Consider whether you want to be able to see the contents through a clear container, or prefer them to be concealed. I love clear containers for behind cupboard doors (e.g. in my pantry and ensuite) because I know at a glance what’s in the container. For containers on display, labelling and indexing becomes even more important.
  4. Space saving: Square or rectangular containers use space much more efficiently than rounded containers. I got rid of my round canisters in the pantry years ago for that reason. Also remember the stack-ability of a container and whether you can stack multiples on top where necessary.
  5. Ease of access: Think about how you’ll use the container and make it as easy as possible for yourself. If you don’t need a lid on your container, you’ll have less moves to make to retrieve your items in a hurry. So think about whether you really need the lid. Also, could other features like wheels or handles make the container more portable?
  6. Always remember the UFF (User-friendliness factor): containers get messy and dusty over time, so think about the shape and how easy it will be to clean. It might be pretty but if it has lots of grooves and hard to reach bits, it might be tricky to clean. And if it’s fabric, make sure it can be washed.
  7. Divide and conquer. You might want to separate items in, for example, a drawer, or a vanity cupboard, or a pantry. So consider whether you need divisions within the container for sub-grouping items. The golden rule of keeping ‘like with like’ saves a ton of space and makes things easier to find. If a container you like doesn’t have ‘dividers’ then think about how you can work around that with drawer dividers or other small boxes placed inside, or plastic bags.

Mention: The gorgeous basket above is from www.crateandbarrel.com who now ship to Australia. This image is on my Storage board on Pinterest. Follow it here.

Please feel free to share these tips with anyone you know who’s on an organising spree! I’d love to hear your tips and favourite storage solutions.