Design hack

"Home for living: How to store a maximum of things in a small space"

Following Japanese Marie Kondo and her "Magic Cleaning", Lu Wei, one of the leading Chinese designers, urges to clean up the house. The book “Home for Living: How to Store the Maximum of Things in a Small Space” was published at Bombora Publishing House - a simple guide (in pictures!) On how to plan storage systems in any interior. In it you can find a variety of recommendations: from the size, location and filling of cabinets to the arrangement of the economic zone.

Although some of the tips are very local (for example, holding water to a loggia or railing under a window in the kitchen), the rest are quite applicable in any part of the world. In the new "design hack" - retelling of the chapter on why to change cardboard boxes to transparent containers.

Why use containers instead of boxes and bags

The identical transparent storage containers look neat and stylish, unlike a mountain of plastic bags that turn a house into a landfill. Cardboard boxes are not very suitable for storage, because you do not see what's inside. For years, things have been forgotten in dark cabinets and often never see the light.

You can have a bunch of different things and objects, but if you put them all in the same containers, then the pressing sensation of disorder will disappear at the same instant. All that remains is a pleasant feeling that all things are in place.

True, buying containers and organizers without a storage plan, we create an even greater mess. The easiest way would be to buy containers in bulk. However, it is very difficult to immediately assess how much is needed now and how much is needed later. When choosing containers, follow a few rules:

Verified brand

Online stores and supermarkets, as a rule, represent several manufacturers at once, which means that their assortment often changes. In the long run, you may not be able to buy exactly the same containers.


Classic collection

Choose a manufacturer who does not change his classic collections too often. Thus, even after a few years you will have the opportunity to buy exactly the same thing.


Average price category

Friends often complain that well-known brands are more expensive. Yes, but they will last you much longer. In my opinion, it’s better to overpay a little for a thing that will please you for a long, long time.

5 parameters of the right container

To find the right containers and use the maximum capacity of the cabinet, you need to know its internal dimensions. Spend a little time taking measurements and don't get fooled by the variety of shapes. Practicality and efficiency should remain the most important for you.

Rectangular

The rectangular shape is the most efficient: the volume of a rectangular container exceeds the volume of any other format. Irregularly shaped containers are not only difficult to stack on top of each other, there is also a lot of unallocated space between them. This is very irrational.

Stackable

Stackable containers increase storage space by utilizing vertical space. If your chosen containers are made of soft material (fabric), taper up or have non-flat lids, they will “eat” your precious horizontal surfaces.

Transparent

It is ideal to store things in cabinets in transparent plastic containers - so you can see what is inside without opening them. Especially such containers are suitable for objects and things that are difficult to attribute to any category - it is difficult for them to find a specific place for accurate storage, which means they are often lost.

Multifunctional

As in many houses, I have many medicines that I store in a transparent plastic container instead of a special first-aid kit. There are many other things: for example, a sewing kit or rarely used kitchen utensils. The amount of medicine is constantly changing, and if I suddenly need more space for them, then I just shift the sewing kit and kitchen utensils to another place. Conveniently.

Storage bags and reusable bags are one of my favorite containers (we are talking about reusable zip packages, for example such. - Note ed.) I especially like the big packages, more than A4 sheet. Usually I buy 50 pieces, and this is enough for me for a year. They are ideal for taking things with you on the go. Going on a trip, I pack clothes, sneakers, and toiletries in them. When I go for a walk with my son, I put napkins, toys and diapers in them. In the pool - a swimsuit, glasses, ear plugs. In the summer, a shawl is stored in such a bag in my bag, and I'm not afraid to catch a cold from the air conditioner. When I discovered these packages, I stopped using travel bags, storage bags, and the like, and saved a ton of money.

Beautiful

Containers that will be in the public domain should add coziness to the home, it should be nice to look at, but they do not need to stand out so much. It is worth spending a little time and money and choosing the ones that suit your interior. Rattan, metal, glass, paper are good options. Beautiful containers are not so functional, the main thing here is texture. They show your taste and your attention to detail.

How do your containers give out impulses

Starting to use containers, I realized that it helps to maintain order in my things, and I, not things, manage my house. For example, in my shower room there are six reusable bottles in which I store care products. Usually I bought a wash or face mask impulsively, and now I always stop and think: "Hmm, do I have a bottle for this?" As I ponder, the impulse to buy passes.

Now I apply the same rule to shoes, which is my weakness. Like many women, I bought several pairs a season. They were not of very high quality, because, as you know, I do not have much money. And now I have 15 standard shoe boxes, so 15 pairs is my maximum. It is quite obvious that now I am approaching the purchase of the next pair more carefully. Limiting the quantity, I came to the conclusion that it is better to buy less, but more expensive and of higher quality.

So without much work, I got rid of the habit of impulsive shopping and began to save money. The number of my things is decreasing, and their quality is increasing. My house is no longer so cluttered, cleaning and storage are much easier for me.


Photo: cover - New Africa - stock.adobe.com, 1 - romankosolapov - stock.adobe.com

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