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DECOR ADVICE: Solutions for storage

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Moving house? Have too many books? Children’s toys a mess? Our gurus offer ideas to help you organise your home

EXPERTS: Instagram sensations Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, of Home Edit, work with celebrities, including Reese Witherspoon and Gwyneth Paltrow

Q We don’t have a playroom, so most of our toddler’s toys are kept on the first floor and are visible as soon as you walk into our house. The first floor is open so there aren’t many places to hide them. We use a storage ottoman for most of his toys, but how should we organise his little kitchen and trucks?

A For this situation, we recommend possibly getting a small furniture piece with closed storage. It’s always fun to set up a “parking garage” for larger vehicles inside a cabinet as well.

Q What’s the best way to organise a new house when you have a lot of stuff?

A Edit first. Make sure everything you are bringing into the new house is what you want.

Q I’m looking for a clever and convenient way to organise my jewellery. Any suggestions?

A Use vintage tea cups for necklaces or rings. They can be a beautiful counter display.

Q What are your suggestions for organising board games? The boxes they come in are always breaking and of varying sizes.

A Use shoe boxes with cups inside them to contain any small pieces. For larger boards that won’t fit into a shoe box, use an acrylic magazine sorter to stand the boards on a shelf. Turntables with dividers are also great for holding small game pieces in one area.

Q I have an open kitchen and small pantry to store food, dry goods, sauces, coffee and so on. It is impractical to keep quantities of the same item due to lack of space. Do you have suggestions for making foods that are different sizes and colours look good together? I am having a baby in a month, so tips that are sustainable and easy are appreciated.

A Use the same type of bin to store the food and it will look beautiful, despite the food not being the same.

Q How do you encourage children, partners and helpers to keep up the systems and organisation?

A If there is a system in place with labels, it is easier for others to know where to put items. Keep it simple, with general categories.

Q I am a single mom of two girls, aged 4 years and 3 months, living in an apartment. How do I preserve hand-me-down toys for my younger daughter while keeping the elder’s toys current and clutter-free?

A Use storage boxes meant for shoes or boots, which can be stacked and placed under beds.

Q I just moved into a new apartment which has no linen cupboard. Is it worth installing shelving in a closet or building a linen closet?

A If it’s possible to place a free-standing shelf unit in the cupboard, that may help. Use baskets to store linen and towels.

Q How many books should you keep? If they are in boxes, should you get rid of them?

A Open the boxes and do an edit. Keep only what you love. Display them, read them and get rid of the rest.