Simple storage solutions for a clutter free home
The key to successful short letting is finding the right balance between creating an engaging home that displays your personality and taste and overwhelming guests with a multitude of personal possessions.
What guests love about short lets are the home comforts and personal touches. For many, staying in a lovely home is so much better than an anonymous hotel room without facilities to cook tasty local food or to lounge on a large comfy sofa watching box sets.
It's also great when large families want to gather together to explore new cities and countries. It beats hands down the homogeneous hotel room or a villa that lacks character and intimate homely charm.
However there is one downside to this otherwise ideal scenario that can turn potential guests off and that is too much clutter!
A property should reflect a homeowner's life, taste and have a distinctive, even quirky, edge. A place where guests soak up the local vibe, enjoy a hint of who you are and what you do. A striking piece of artwork, coffee table books or artefacts from foreign travel are ideal.
What isn't ideal is a disorderly mass of stuff that's seen better days or too many personal possessions on view. Clutter is a turn off and detracts from the experience.
For example, shoes and coats in a hallway don't create a good first impression. Half-used lotions and potions on a bathroom shelf are another turn off as is a fridge full of half-eaten food. You may have a sentimental attachment to your kids' old toys and teddies, but your guests may not.
The solution is a combination of decluttering and safe storage of possessions during guest stays. Decide what you no longer need and either give it away, list it on ebay or upcycle within the local community. Another form of decluttering is clever storage and that doesn't mean cramming stuff at the back of a cupboard!
- Wardrobes. It's likely that you have too much floor to ceiling hanging space when most clothes do not reach to the floor. Install a second rod and you've doubled hanging space. Or box off the lower area for shoes.Fix some shower curtain rings onto a coat hanger and hang light clothing, scarves and ties from them.
A bed can be more than just somewhere to sleep. Next time you invest in a new bed think about an extra deep lift-up storage bed. You won't want to lift it up everyday but it's a perfect solution for out of season clothing and shoes, even books or files that aren't needed regularly.
If this isn't your thing, you could get a bed with built-in drawers or there are loads of storage box options that fit underneath a bed.
Hallway. Invest in a simple wooden chest or cabinet for toys, books, shoes and much more. Paint it in an on-trend colour that matches the rest of your decor.
In the living room. Invest in an upholstered storage chest or even a leather one. It can be used as a coffee table on a daily basis and no-one will ever know it hides your surplus belongings.
In the kitchen. You can never have too many wire baskets in cupboards. Label them to reduce time spent rummaging for what you need. Wire, wicker or even wooden boxes can be stored above kitchen units too and painted in a fashionable or contrasting colour to your units.
Invest in a hanging shoe divider for the back of doors. You can store lots of handy things in them including tape measures, string or napkins or install one in the bedroom or bathroom for make-up, socks or jewellery.