Drink Bottles

Sometimes drink bottles have a habit of getting out of hand, from taking a drink bottle to the gym, to work, out on walks, for your child’s school lunch or to sporting activities it’s amazing how within a family you end up with so many. Children often end up with 3 or 4 – for school, for sport, for being out and about, and in that early morning rush to get lunches prepared and school bags packed the last thing you need to do is be rummaging around your kitchen cupboards not only looking for the drink bottle, but also for that elusive lid.

A very simple solution to this problem is to buy, or if you have a spare over the door shoe holder simply attach one to the inside of your pantry door, but instead of storing shoes, use those roomy and deep pockets for drink bottles. This way you can store everyone’s drink bottle safely – and with the lid attached, you can even have set lines for each family members drink bottles, no more fighting as everyone knows which drink bottle is theirs. This is a very simple storage solution that allows you to see all the household drink bottles in one glance, and when you have that early morning rush all the bottles are easy to see and to reach. Try and buy an over the door shoe holder that has clear pockets this makes it easier to see the contents.

If you want you can get your children to label their *pouches* or add cute stickers it’s a great way to have your children enjoy putting their bottles back and to know where to go when they need one. No more loose bottles falling out of the cupboard or getting lost never to be seen again

Fridge Bins

Everyone has a fridge and we go to them countless times a day, unfortunately when you are a busy working mum, you don’t have time to reorganise the contents every time your children have raided the fridge. Fridge Bins are a handy way to help you keep your fridge sorted. While most fridges come with a standard cheese storage section, a place for your eggs, vegetable crisper, storage on the doors for sauces, jams and condiments and perhaps a quick chill area, keeping everything else sorted can be extremely hard.

Fridge bins can come in a range of styles and are clear allowing you to easily see the contents. When organised efficiently you could have a bin full of yoghurt, one full of sandwich fillers, storage for soft drink cans, packets of small fruit juices, and even storage for an *over-flow* of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Fridge storage keeps your fridge more organised, it makes writing the shopping list a breeze – you can see easily what you do and don’t have, and when you do buy new items, you can put them at the back of the storage bin ensuring you use up the older products first, this helps eliminate items going out of date, while something with a longer use by date is open and in use.

Fridge bins also help make cleaning or reorganising your fridge simple, one bin filled with products is a lot easier than pulling items out of the fridge one at a time, restocking the fridge when you are finished is also a lot quicker. From a stay at home mum to a working mum balancing family and a career, our time is important who wants to waste it constantly dealing with clutter, spend a few hours to sort your fridge and chances are you’ll never have to do it again!

DIY Shelves

While some people use shelves for decoration they can also be used for home storage and organisation. Thanks to the D.I.Y craze you can purchase shelving of different styles, colours, shapes, materials and textures from any hardware store. You can buy shelves already made – that you just attach to the wall, or you can make the shelving yourself – this way you can make it to the shape or size you need. Shelves can be suspended from the ceiling, be free standing in any part of the room, or attached to the wall. If you want to *think outside the box* you can use storage crates or boxes nailed, or glued together to make a unique display.

Shelving can be fancy and used as decoration and can be installed in any room in the house – kitchen, bathroom, bedroom or laundry; shelves are great for providing extra storage space – rather than your floor, desk or bench top. You can also add extra shelving to your pantry, linen cupboard or wardrobe. You can help keep your baby’s room tidy by adding shelving for their books or toys.

Before beginning any DIY shelving project you will need to consider the room you want to add the shelves to, and choose the colour, style and material to match the room. Take your measurements and work out exactly where you want the shelving to go, and check that any brackets or mounts are suitable for your wall and that you have all the necessary tools for the job.

You can use shelving to store shoes, books, photos, works of art, flowers, magazines, toys, in the laundry to store cleaning products, recipe books in the kitchen, towels in the bathroom. DIY Shelves are a great way of both complimenting your homes décor while providing a practical storage solution – after all who doesn’t need a little more organisation in their busy life?

Entry Way

The entry way is usually the first room, a visitor sees when they enter your house, and no doubt you’d like to keep it as clutter free as you can, however sometimes it’s hard to do, between working and children it can be hard to keep on top of things, sometimes items need to be left close to the door, for easy access for school, work or sports, the good news is your entry way doesn’t have to be a *mess*

It is possible to create a good impression for your visitors and this can be achieved by some creative storage solutions. Make a start with some coat hooks ideally one per person, and one for the dog lead (if you have a dog) here each person can hang their school bag, raincoat, whatever you need to have handy by the door. A nice big box for shoes is a must, encourage your family to remove their shoes when they get home and place them neatly in the box, this way they’ll know where to find their shoes in the morning. Alternatively you can use the box for just rain boots so mud and water doesn’t get tracked through your home.

If you have the space a chalk board, note board or magnetic board can be mounted on the wall, you can write reminders or messages, missed phone calls etc, pin messages, or even the mail to remind you a bill needs to be paid. By making a message centre – right by the door, no one can say they forgot!

And finally – if your family needs it you can consider installing some small storage baskets/shelves for extras like sports uniform, sporting equipment, school books, books or DVD’s that need to be returned. Spending an afternoon adding some extra storage to your entry way will keep the area neat and tidy, organised and most importantly everyone will know where their things are when they need them, no more screaming and yelling and running through the house when a shoe can’t be found.

Laundry Ideas

We all want or need more storage space in the laundry, depending on the size of your room and the available area and space you have, why not do something so different from everything your friends and family have. If you have the time and a little Do It Yourself knowledge you can make your very own unique storage unit for your laundry!

Do you have an old wooden ladder hanging around in the shed or garage – if you do that’s perfect. If not probably have a look around your local garage sales or online classifieds and track one down. It doesn’t really matter what *condition* it’s in – that part doesn’t matter – in fact the older looking the better. Simply remove the front steps area from the back support – you only want this side of the ladder. Now, you can paint it if you want, the same colour as your wall, so it blends in, or something bold so it stands out, or you can simply keep it just as it is for a *rustic* look.

Lean it against your wall. Head down to your local storage store and buy a few narrow baskets – they need to be short enough to sit on the rung of the ladder – so measure your rung sizes first. When you get home simply nail – or screw a basket onto each rung, this is so when you add contents you don’t run the risk of the basket falling off. Depending on how many rungs on your ladder you could have between 5 or 9 extra shelves. Baskets are great for toilet paper, towels, tissues, cleaning products. The ladder can be easily moved out of the way if needed and as ladders are usually narrow they will fit into a tiny space. By attaching the baskets to the rungs if you do move the ladder you don’t have to worry about the baskets falling off.

Linus Pantry Bin

The Linus Pantry Bin gives you a second pair of helping hands in your pantry. This wonderful range from Howards Storage World is a god-send for the working mum. When you finally get home from grocery shopping you want to be able to pack your groceries away as quickly as possible – placing each item where it should be. If you are organising your weekly shopping list you need to know what is in your pantry and these bins make it so easy to find items fast, you can easily see what you do or don’t need to buy.

When the children are hungry and looking for a snack or you are preparing a meal, it’s great to know where everything is, no more scratching around, pulling half the pantry contents out to find one item. Linus Pantry Bins are clear and light weight so pulling them out of your pantry is a breeze, being clear allows you to see easily at a glance what is in each bin to help save you time.

Some bins come with a divider so you can section the bin for those little fiddly items, like jelly packets, fruit juice, chocolates, spices, packet sachets etc. As bins come in different sizes you can arrange them to fit your pantry perfectly, from storing tins and jars to packet mixes. Bins help make your pantry look neater, helping the pantry to function better, from rushing to organise children’s lunches to preparing dinner, it’s helpful to have things right at your finger tips. While it might take the better part of a day to re-organise your pantry once you do you’ll be kicking yourself you didn’t do it years ago.

Under Bed Storage

For those living in a small unit or house or for anyone who just doesn’t seem to have enough space in their wardrobe or linen cupboard under bed storage is perfect! Simply put under bed storage are just large storage boxes, often on wheels that are long and wide and designed to fit perfectly under your bed. These containers are often made out of clear or transparent plastic and have a lid – either one that completely fits the base in one solid piece, or one with a split lid, that allows you to open one end of the box, without the need to lift the whole lid – which is perfect if you don’t want to roll the whole box out just to put the lid back on.

Under bed roller boxes are great for storing linen, pillows, blankets, that winter doona, shoes and handbags, clothes you want to keep but don’t wear often or for seasonal clothing to free up space in your wardrobe or linen cupboard. Being clear or transparent plastic you can easily see what is inside and for the kids room they are great to store toys, spare blankets, extra clothing or just for your child to *hide* their little treasures.

Often the space under your bed is wasted and these boxes make good use of that unused space, and coming with a lid keeps the dust out, wheels make it so much easier to pull out and put away your under bed storage box. If you have a guest bedroom an under bed storage box is perfect for keeping the guest linen, blanket and towels, if you have an unexpected guest everything is together and ready for making the bed, no more hunting through the linen cupboard for a nice towel or matching sheets.

Lovely Crate

Crates are a great storage option for your home or home office; crates are usually quite strong and are perfect for heavy books, lots of paperwork, children’s toys, for use in the garage or around the house. Crates also come in a variety of styles and shapes, some with casters on them making them easier to move around, some with lids, making them stackable which means they take up much less room, or colourful plastic crates to help you colour co-ordinate your room. Crates are great for children’s’ bedrooms to store toys, or you can use them in your wardrobe to store that extra bulky winter clothing.

For the home handyperson, or someone with an artistic flair you can also buy plain wooden crates, also known as fruit crates that you can then paint and decorate yourself. This is a great weekend project for the children; they can paint and decorate their own crates to use in their room – getting them involved they will love their very own crate so much, they’ll be sure to use it to help keep their room tidy.

You can paint and design your own crate to fit the décor of the room you want to use the crate in paint them the same colour as the wall, or cover them in bold wallpaper, from storing extra bedding to books, the uses of crates is endless. You can buy smaller crates for the bathroom, to hold guest towels, soaps or make up. If you only need some temporary storage why not have a look at the Jaclyn Collapsible Box from Howards Storage World – it folds flat when not in use and opens up to form a nice sturdy box when you need extra storage and doesn’t take up much space when not being used.

Laundry Idea

If you are fortunate enough to have a large laundry but you seem to lack storage space and you would like to add a down home country or rustic feel to the room, a smart idea and cheap storage solution is to pick up an old pallet and 4 wooden crates. The more weathered and old the pallet and crates look the better. You can sometimes pick up pallets from hardware stores – free, for the older style fruit crates try second hand stores or little speciality shops. Bunning’s do sell fruit crates – these are brand new, but you can paint them, or wallpaper them anyway you want.

Simply stand your pallet up and attach it to your wall, at the front add 3-4 towel hooks and you have an instant drying space for towels, wet coats, umbrellas etc. Next get your crates and nail 2 of them onto the top of the pallet by their side once done, nail the remaining two on top – this gives you 4 separate areas for storage and a flat area on top for more storage.

If you want you can cover the pallet and crates in wallpaper, or paint, sand them back and stain them or leave them just the way they are, after all it’s your house – you have the look you want. You now have 4 extra spaces for towels paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning products, pet’s items, rain boots etc. The great thing about a storage design such as this is – you have made it yourself and even if friends or family copy your design, yours will still be different to anyone else’s.

We all want structure in our life, storage helps make this possible and if you are a busy working mum anything you can do to help save some precious time along the way is good.

Magazine Crate

Magazine crates are perfect for the home or office, and look great! From a Doctors waiting room, an office to your lounge room or bed room. Magazine crates come in many styles, from coloured wire and fabrics to water hyacinth and are a perfect way to store all your magazines neatly. For the home office, it’s the best way to hold onto those work related magazines without them ending up becoming that pile of magazines on the desk you are constantly moving around to make space. In the waiting room they store all your magazines for patients to read, all neat while making it easy for clients, customers or patients to flip through. Magazine crates can be kept inside cupboards, on shelving, desks, bench tops, or on the floor, making the magazines a lot easier to move around.

Who hasn’t picked up a pile of magazines only to drop them scattering them on the floor so you have to go through them again to put them back in order? Thanks to magazine crates you no longer have to worry, picking them up and moving them about the room – or to the recycle bin is so easy. Magazines crates are stylish and look good in the home or office and are perfect for your child’s room to keep comics and magazines neat and tidy, children can also use them to store their books or toys.

Magazine crates are a great way to store your magazines and newspapers at home or at the office – after all the last thing you want is them getting out of hand. Magazine crates are still a stylish yet functional item in any room.