Tools for Organised Living

Resolved to fix your mess—and your life—once and for all? Here are some great tips and tools you’ll need to get started.

Updated on June 09, 2017 9:06 am

Camille Besinga

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Before you begin organising your life, you must first assess the space you’re living in. It’s important to intimately know the space you’re in, as you will be basing your organising decisions on how a room is run, used, by whom, how often and when, etc.

Study design by Crescendo Interior & Lifestyle

In her book Organized Living: Clutter-Clearing Strategies and Creative Storage Solutions, Dawna Walter wisely says, “A chaotic house results only in muddled thinking and wasted energy. Call it good karma, good feng shui, or just plain common sense—the message is the same: if your house is clean, uncluttered, and calming, you will find your state of mind to be the same.”

That said, assessing and knowing your space helps you choose how to organise your things accordingly. She adds, “Think about each room not only in terms of colours and styles, but also of what you expect from it and whether it serves its function well.”

Study by Momo + Partners

After making the assessment, consider your own time and budget. Yes, organising may mean spending a bit—whether to add or take down walls, build or buy storage units, and so forth.

As for time, evaluating what you own and have may and will take up a lot of time. Remember when you tried clearing out your closet and spent hours poring over long-forgotten clothes and accessories? It’s best to do this spring-cleaning over a long, lazy weekend—this way, you won’t be bogged down by work or family obligations and be able to focus on the task at hand.

Get tips on effective spring-cleaning here.

“Once you’ve scaled down what you own into a more manageable amount, you have to tackle the way in which you and your family use the home. Find systems and routines that work for all of you,” advises Walter.

Does dirty laundry pile up in the hamper for a couple days before anyone notices and puts everything in the washer? Are personal belongings often left on the unused formal dining table? Is the kitchen counter being used more as a study or school projects area than for food preps? Answering these questions and analysing how you and your family move around and use the space will definitely give you a clearer picture as to how you can organise your home.

Tim and Kristine’s home

Below are some furnishings and organising tools that may help you keep your clutter at bay—and possibly give you your life (and peace of mind) back.

White cabinet by Lim’s Arts and Living

Louvred or slatted doors let air circulate within a cabinet, keeping the contents mold-free. This is great for linens, towels, or even for dry food in the kitchen.

Poggenpohl base panel system by Kitchen Culture

Instead of spending a few precious minutes looking for that darn spoon, separate the spoons from the forks and knives with these cutlery inserts for your utensils drawer in the kitchen. (Come to think of it, you can also use such inserts in your study drawer.)

Poggenpohl crosswise and bottle dividers by Kitchen Culture

Dividers help compartmentalise your cabinets and drawers further, whether in the kitchen, your vanity, or study.

Indian cabinets with shelf by Originals Singapore

If you want to create pretty displays of your personal belongings, go for cabinets that also have a few levels of open shelving.

Dona bookshelf and cabinet by Knock Knock

You can also get a combined bookshelf with cabinet to display your extensive book collection yet still be able to keep un-display-able stuff behind closed cabinet doors.

Read up on the pros and cons between using open shelves and closed cabinets here.

My Space, Mastella Series by The Equip-Bathrooms Company

Modular cabinetry is a great way to customise your wardrobe: The amount of space you have is considered, and there are many options as to the kind of cabinet and closet systems you wish to include.

Captain Cozy day and night bed by Cellini

A day bed with drawers underneath is perfect for a kids’ room (to store toys) or a guest room (to store linen).

Bluform pull-out by Kitchen Culture

Pedestal sinks are nice, but using a sink with a vanity lets you stow toiletries in drawers. More space on the sink counter!

Bluform mirrored wall unit by Kitchen Culture

For renters who have to make do with sinks without vanities or storage, a medicine cabinet is your next best bet.

Antique Mandalay vanity box by Knock on Wood Asia

Whether you’ve got an heirloom piece or a store-bought one, a vanity box is a great piece of storage space for special items like jewellery and other personal knick-knacks. It looks great out on display, too.

Baby drawers by Soopsori

Keep your child’s wardrobe arranged and under control in a combined cabinet and closet system.

Antique colonial by Knock on Wood Asia

Some people have dressers and bureaus. Why not have them both in one piece of furniture? This way, you save on space, and get to keep your toiletries and clothing in one place.

Gold bedside tables by Paris Home LLP

The bedside table is not just a surface where you can place your book and warm glass of milk at bedtime. It’s also a great spot to keep your must-haves-at-all-times: glasses, keys, and wallets.

Skip Hop Zoo storage bin by Pupsik

Control toy clutter by storing them in fun bins like this one. Your kids will love packing away as much as they do actual playtime.

Slab console table by Le Muebles

Consoles aren’t considered can’t-live-without items, but when you do have them, they provide additional storage in narrow spaces, like hallways.

Wicker baskets by Bungalow 55

Baskets are another place to keep belongings, which you can place in any room (or even all of them!). Assign one per family member at the entryway, where they can drop their bags, shoes, etc., then at the end of every week, everyone clears up his or her own basket to prepare for another busy week ahead.

Click on this link to learn more ingenious organising tips and tricks.

Need to get rid of sentimental clutter? Watch this.

Cover photo courtesy of Story of Us

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