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A simple plan to get organised

28 March 2016
‘Mess makes me less focussed,’ says Paula, a trend forecaster from the Netherlands. ‘We often think it takes energy to be tidy but why waste time looking for stuff?’ She has a point – reports say we can spend up to 55 minutes a day looking for things. Use Paula’s tips to bring some order to your home and get some precious time back.
Shelving and storage in one colour creates a more cohesive look
Personalise your storage systems with attractive labels

Make space for everything

When everything has a place, it really is easier to find things and put them away! ‘Start with the base – a mix of open shelves, closed drawers, boxes, files and jars that feel right for all the different kinds of things you need to organise,’ says Paula. ‘Then personalise them. For me, that means good-looking labels so everyone can get involved, and keeping it all white – I find white calming and it helps with the sense of order.’ 
Use the full height of a wall to add extra storage solutions

Make the most of your space: store high and low

Turn overlooked spaces into storage for out-of-season items and things you rarely use. ‘I downsized when I moved to this apartment. Less space makes you think why not have shelves over doorways or up by the ceiling, or boxes under the bed? If you add wheels to the boxes and keep a step stool handy, everything stays easily accessible,’ says Paula.
Lay out all of the practical items you need for the next day in a clear space
‘You have to find your own rhythm and go with it. For me, when things are clean and ordered I get energised, feel happier and want to put flowers out!’   
Paula, trend forecaster, The Netherlands
Open storage in the kitchen looks nice as well as being practical
‘I like encouraging the children’s independence. Our home is arranged to make it easy for them to help themselves, with lots of open storage so it’s easy to see what’s where’  
Adapt home storage systems to suit your needs

Make design work for you

Try seeing instruction manuals as the starting point. ‘Have fun with the things you bring home!’ says Paula. ‘Yes, follow the instructions but don’t be afraid to cut bits off or use bathroom things in the bedroom and bedroom things in the kitchen. Storage systems like STOLMEN are my best friend – you can pick and mix bits to fit your life.’ The new ELVARLI range is a great alternative for beautiful mix and match storage ideas.
Keep commonly used serving spoons and utensils in a container on the kitchen counter
Add interior fittings to drawers to prevent a build up of mess
Clear storage jars are great for storing ingredients and knowing how much is left
A portrait of Paula, The Netherlands
‘I’m trying to create a home that makes us all feel good. Where there’s room to enjoy the small but important things’ 

Made by

Photography: Daniel Farmer  
Styling: Åsa Dyberg