Three of the most common hacks that I advise my clients to use.

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Toys on the floor are big problem for many families. Photo / Supplied

My job is to help people get the best out of their living spaces. The most common problem I encounter in my profession is clutter. Every now and then I get called out to house that feels as if it belongs on an episode of Hoarders – I’ve even walked out on a few jobs because of health and safety concerns – but for the most part I deal with families who have stuff but nowhere to put it. With that in mind, I have collated three of the most common hacks that I advise my clients to use.

Coats and shoes

The last couple of columns I have talked about the entrance and hallways so this is a perfect continuation on this. Your entrance is a space that makes first impressions for guests, but also is the eye of the storm if you have children or a coat and shoe addiction like me. So why not embrace this fact and accommodate for it.

Simply shop around for stores that have stock standard storage solutions or engage in an interior designer to design a floor to ceiling solution that works for your home and lifestyle. The things we would be looking for is what you need to store? Do you need a seat, and how can we maximize this opportunity to get the most storage for you?

Pocketspace Interiors director Laura Heynike. Photo / Supplied

Think about the finishing material, but remember you don’t need to display everything; this should only be for selective items not an overflow from your wardrobe. A mixture of closed and open functions will decrease the clutter factor.

Televisions

As much we hate to admit it or try to go against the grain, the TV is the heart of the lounge – unless you don’t have one. The one think going for it is that it usually positioned on a nice flat wall that we can turn into floor to ceiling storage. We usually mount the TV on the wall and either floating units surrounding it to make it seem a bit lighter, or a fully integrated wall unit that can house sculptural pieces, books or your music collection.

By thinking vertically, we can also use this as an opportunity to integrate the humble bookcase into this unit too. What is important is to have everything bellow the TV fairly concealed to reduce the clutter and to store electronics.

Lastly, I would locate any heavy or covered storage on the right hand side as we Kiwis tend to look left before we look right. A weightless design on the left pleases the eye and helps with balance.

Toys

There is no use getting antsy at your kids for their toys. An easy storage design that they help in labeling will encourage them to put things away after themselves and be selective.

Quite often we walk into rooms with basic square cubes that seem to be more wobbly than useful. These are actually difficult to store things in unless they are filled with one thing, like Lego. Kids will tip boxes out simply because they can’t find what they are looking for, so choose larger boxes as opposed to many small boxes. It will make the space look less cluttered by minimizing the lines and giving the kids less choice to deconstruct the room.

– Laura Heynike is director of Pocketspace Interiors