IF YOUR kitchen benches are covered with the kids' masterpieces and a stack of unopened bills, if you can't see the back of the pantry or only open the linen cupboard just a smidgen because you are afraid everything will fall out, there's a problem.
If you can't tell the dirty clothes from the washed ones in the laundry or can hardly find two shoes that match, or are still stumbling over the Christmas decorations every time you go out into the garage, then let's face it, it's time to declutter and find more effective storage solutions.
Create more space by using shelving boosters in your cupboards ($29.95 from Howards Storage World).
They will keep your pantry organised and keep those items that usually get lost at the back of the cupboard in sight.
Save counter space by adding a spice rack to the inside of a cupboard door while a stylish dish rack ($30.95 from lifespace.com.au) can bring some order to your benchtop.
Put dishtowels on hooks, tidy up cooking implements with utensil holders and sort out that junk drawer with drawer organisers ($32.95 from Howards Storage World).
Stackable, BPA-free plastic containers (Snapware, 42-piece for $39.89) are a boon in the pantry, fridge and freezer.
Over-the-door hooks ($6.99 from Bunnings) are excellent for shoe organisers ($23 at Target), belts and ties, while dresser drawer organisers ($36.95 from Howards Storage World) will allow you to find things at a glance.
Storage boxes can maximise space on the top shelves of your cupboards, while fancy boxes or baskets (from $19.95 at Freedom) are good for clothes and knick-knacks. In kids' rooms, try multi-purpose tubs for toys and books (from $8.87 at Big W).
If it is summer, pack away your warm clothes in space-saver bags (from $5 at Kmart), remembering to pack a sachet of silicone to absorb the moisture.
This room can be a disaster, with general electronic equipment doing battle with books, some toys and general knick-knacks.
A wall-mounted television with a smaller unobtrusive cupboard underneath for the other electronic paraphernalia is one option.
Rustic baskets and colourful, fabric-covered boxes not only make lovely display pieces but they also create ample storage for smaller items.
If the budget extends, you could invest in storage cabinets customised to your needs and tailored to your appliances.
Otherwise, free-standing units easily found in large furniture shops would do the trick. Use ottomans ($199 at Super A-Mart) or trunks (from $199 at Freedom) for clever out-of-sight storage.
Storage ladders ($129 at Ikea) or shelves with baskets are all the rage in bathroom design.
Here you can roll up your spare towels (that are colour co-ordinated with your bathroom of course) and hide extra shampoo, toilet rolls and the like in baskets, while displaying some relaxing candles also.
Shower caddies ($27.41 at Bunnings) or suction baskets ($7.95 from Kmart) make it easy to reach for the shampoo in the shower, while storage racks above your toilet or below your basin will add much-needed space to the bathroom.
This is a space that often goes unused. Wide hallways are excellent for book shelves while narrow tables are great at the front door.
Wall-mounted coat racks are also good for tight spaces.
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