10 steps to an organised home

Read Shira Gill's top tips for organising and decluttering a home.
A light living room with couch, coffee table, lamp and chairs

Are you in the market for storage solutions? Check out these 10 tips from queen of home organisation Shira Gill, and minimise clutter to the max in your home.

1. Own fewer linens

One of the things that shocked me the most was how minimal most organisers are when it comes to the quantity of linens they own. We’re talking one to two sets per bed max. Owning less means less to launder, fold and store. If you’re short on storage space, this is one of the major storage solutions you can utilise. Ditto for the towels. Toss ’em. And by “toss”, I mean keep your favourites and donate the rest to your local animal shelter or textile recycling centre.

2. Ditch the packaging

The fast track to making your home look like it was touched by a professional organiser? Ditch the packaging! Get that toilet paper out of its plastic wrap. Remove printer ink from its cardboard packaging. Shop the bulk bins and pour pantry staples into airtight glass jars. Less is always more when it comes to plastic and cardboard packaging.

3. Make it a station

If there’s one thing that is guaranteed to make an organiser giddy, it’s centralising frequently used items into a dedicated zone or “station”. Think breakfast station, smoothie station, pet station, homework station, work-from-home station— the possibilities are endless.

4. Move it, shake it

Organisers love to get creative when it comes to redesigning spaces: Moving furniture around; repurposing bookshelves, dressers, or credenzas [cabinets]; adding, subtracting, or adjusting shelves; installing wall-mounted or over-the-door solutions. Customise your space to fit your needs.

A light, airy, white lounge room
Credit: Vivian Johnson

5. Display & conceal rule

Organisers love to display items that are lovely to look at – like vases, ceramics, framed photos, plants and art – on open shelves. We love to conceal utilitarian items, like charging cords, tools, house paint, vitamins and first-aid supplies, in bins, drawers or deep storage.

6. Stylish storage

Whether repurposing or sourcing new products, the pros like to be highly intentional when it comes to storage vessels. Choose bins, baskets, boxes, and organisers that create a cohesive aesthetic throughout your home and reflect your personal style preferences.

7. Shop your home first

Most pros like to “shop” their client’s homes before hitting the stores. Most people have an assortment of bins, baskets, boxes, pouches and other vessels that can be repurposed for all sorts of organising and storage needs. If you do need to fill in some gaps, make sure to shop with a specific list and a plan (note quantities and measurements) before you hit the shops.

8. Elevate the most neglected spaces

It’s easy to overlook styling in the tucked away areas of your home, like your linen closet, laundry room or even your wardrobe, but pro organisers take great pride in sprucing up the hidden spaces behind closed doors. Elevate your own utilitarian spaces by adding plants, art, textiles, stick-on patterned wallpaper, or even just a coat of fresh paint. Organisers also love styling closets with design books, candles and pretty objects found elsewhere in the home. Get creative and give the spaces behind closed doors a little love.

9. Put things away, right away

If there’s one habit all organisers can agree on, it’s simply to make it a routine to put things back after use to prevent a massive pile-up (and headache) later. A five-minute tidy before bed is another common practice of the pros.

10. Respect the physical limits of your space

As professional organisers Home + Sort say, “Don’t shop for a mansion if you live in a cottage.” Organisers like to embrace and celebrate the space they have. Storage solutions should work for the space you have.

Book cover of Organized Living

This is an edited extract from Organized Living: Solutions and Inspiration for Your Home by Shira Gill, Hachette.

Photography by Vivian Johnson 2023.

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