Little boxes

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Where would magazine editors, or even blogs, be without endless features on storage? Let’s distil the wisdom down a little, so we can save time finding things. In theory, anyway.

  • Try to avoid keeping things under the bed, or if this is essential due to lack of space elsewhere in the home, use under bed boxes that can be easily dusted and pulled out for hoovering. Small children are particularly well shaped to send under beds to carry out this task.
  • If you put a rack at the bottom of a cupboard, this is ideal for keeping shoes neatly in pairs ready for wearing, and if you remember to put shoe trees in them regularly, so much the better. (If you have more than about 25 pairs of boots and shoes, you have been too heavily influenced by the mass media, in my humble opinion). Consider storing a bit of clear shoe polish and a duster near where you keep your shoes, so you remember to clean them regularly, which is best done just after they have been taken off and are still warm.
  • Accessories such as scarves and necklaces can be looped around a coat hanger so they stay organised, rather than knotted up in a drawer. Plus this means you can rifle your fingers through them and think of thrilling new ways to accessorise your capsule wardrobe, carefully purchased after reading my blog on ‘Parisian Style, Pauper’s Budget’.
  • Tights and socks should be bought in bulk and kept in different groupings – navy separate from black in particular, so you can find them on a dark winter’s morning. Keeping a bottle of clear nail varnish near your tights stash means that you can deal with any minor ladders as you put them on, allowing the tights to fight for another day, rather than having to dispose of them. In a particularly inspirational moment, I installed a daylight bulb near my cupboard to check clothes colours underneath on dark mornings, and I thought this was a particularly nifty use of technology.
  • In terms of organising clothes, only keep the things you will really wear in the future. Consider grouping separates together on hangers in outfits to save time getting dressed for work.
  • A small sewing kit should be stored near where you get dressed, so you can deal with running repairs such as lost buttons as you take clothes off.
  • Be obsessive, and I mean really obsessive, about using padded hangers for knits and jersey items, and thicker wooden hangers for other things. Metal hangers from the dry cleaners are fit only for shirts and if you use them with knitted garments, you will give them embarrassing little angel wings that poke up from your shoulders.
  • Being a bit of a neat freak, I am a great fan of special trouser hangers that clip around the bottom hem and hang the trousers upside down, as then you avoid getting a crease at the knee – very annoying if you have ironed them carefully.
  • I know this hanger fetish is somewhat sad, but then I am the kind of person to write a blog about housekeeping in my spare time, so humour me.
  • It’s usually a good idea to have what’s known as a ‘pending wardrobe’, effectively a hook on the back of a door, where you can hang clothes awaiting pressing, stain removal, more major repairs, or delivery to the dry cleaner’s. That way gorgeousness lies.

Image: Phiseksit /


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