Seven smart storage solutions

Top tidying ideas to try in your home.

Making it as easy as possible for family paraphernalia to be cleared away is a major help in the war against mess.

1. Doorway shelves
Ideal for books, bottles or ornaments in hallways, bathrooms and other small rooms. Where wallspace is limited, fix one or two shelves securely above a door frame.

2. Hook up
Wooden batons and butchers hooks are great in the kitchen but they can be used stylishly elsewhere too – above a computer desk with pencil cases, notes or calendars hanging from them, or in the laundry to keep brushes etc off worktops. For something easy to hang hooks off, use a pretty towel rail and it'll look good in any room.

3. Under-sofa storage
If your sofa has a draw below it, use this for boardgames and other toys that never make it back to bedrooms, or buy a large, low-level plastic tub to throw toys into and slip under the sofa.

4. Bag it up
Apply the peg-bag theory to other clutter – pens and scissors, hairbrushes, clips and hairsprays, or Lego! Fit nice-looking hooks up in the hallway, kitchen or on the backs of doors then sort your muddle into little fabric bags.

5. Use odd spaces
Don’t be scared to fit shelves into sloping wall space under stairs, around basin pedestals or around your bedstead – a little bit of home carpentry goes a long way.

6. Cool containers
Store small bits and pieces on shelves or on the floor (eg by a fireplace) by gathering them all together in good-looking tubs. Choose patterned cardboard designs or use charming old leather suitcases and hat boxes from charity shops, stacked by size.

7. Busy box-beds
If your spare room is usually a junk store, kit it out with a box-bed where a double or single bed sits on a wooden frame with drawers and cupboards below.

Savvy tip
Choose cupboards and drawers rather than chests which require top surfaces to be kept clear for access.

Pass it on – savvy storage tips
Check out more ideas for the lounge and bedroom, and for DVDs, CDs and toys.