I love a good recommendation. Products, services, local businesses, online groups, you name it. If someone has done the hard yards to test something out and is willing to share what they know, I am all for it. When it comes to organising your home, there are a few key items that I have loved using over the years. All of them reduce stress in your everyday and make life just that little bit easier. Here are my favourite items that get The Everyday Organiser through thick and thin. Tried and tested by me over the years.
1. Beach Bags – to carry everything in (except family members)
If you are a beachgoer or a dump-and-run kind of organiser, large bags are the handiest thing ever invented. You may love those massive IKEA bags (or THAT Balenciaga bag if that’s your drill) but they are a little bit toooo erm, blue. And those spaghetti strap handles that cut into your shoulders (ouch).
Well, your problem has been solved.
Introducing Project Ten.
I have to thank one of my ah-mazing clients for introducing me to this brand. Based out of Geelong Victoria, Jacquie is at the helm of Project Ten and creates these delightful and fun bags. Yes, you can have style with your beach and shopping bags, including these wee produce bags!
The sewing on these Project Ten bags make them super strong and the wide straps are comfortable to use over the shoulder – yes you can carry all your groceries in one trip. The actual bag material is durable, waterproof which makes for an easy rinse out (yasss!) and folds down easily – I tuck mine in the car boot. Plus there are a variety of different sizes and gorgeous designs to choose from to suit your household needs.
So if you are like me and having a million pockets in one bag makes you wince a little, these large-dump-and-run bags are for you. Banish ugly bags and get on board with this small business.
Perfect for: gathering up stuff in one bag and getting out the front door!
Extra LOVE: Project Ten bags are now made from recyclable materials – go green with a little bit of colour.
2. A decent vacuum (or hoover)
But that’s not an organising item! True. This will not come up as a search result on Pinterest.
But cleaning your home is the most time-consuming element of running a household.
I have used those cheap (and very cheap) vacuums over the years that “work” for the first few cleans and then slowly die every clean as the suction disappears and it starts to overheat. How?! Your vacuum should always have EXCELLENT suction and never overheat. If it sounds like it is wheezing and heading towards an early grave (no matter what that sales guy said), start saving pennies for a decent one.
My two favourite vacuum brands (sorry I couldn’t pick one – I’ve always liked bending the rules)
I am a Miele fan at heart and I always will be. The durability and ease of using their vacuums have changed my life. There is nothing like running a vacuum and seeing it actually pick stuff up. From working in clients’ homes and using it on their carpets the first time, they are always amazed at how much stuff comes out of the carpets. Miele is the go-to brand particularly if you have pets and need to do regular deep cleans of your carpets.
The small, easy to pivot barrel ones are my favourite as it is small and compact and easy to roll around the house. So instead of buying 3 cheap vacuums over the next 5 years, save up and buy one which will last you for ten years.
Their customer service is also amazing.
Notably, this one didn’t come first. I have used several of these over the years and truth be told, I am not a raving fan. HOWEVER, the stick model is amazing for busy families and all the spills, accidents and crumbs that come with kiddies. It is also great for running around the house each week and the pivoting head makes for light work. There’s no cord, which is a huge bonus.
I have tried their other models, but find them to be quite heavy and to the point where vacuuming just becomes hard work (when it shouldn’t). If you dread having a heavy vacuum and want a lightweight, run-around vacuum, Dyson is the one for you.
Tip: stay small and lightweight when choosing your vacuum cleaner. It will make life much easier.
3. Slimline coat hangers (flocked or wire)
We access our wardrobes every day (or at least the pile at the end of the bed). Having slimline coat hangers means you can fit more into a small space and they’re easy to access as they are not heavy or cumbersome like wooden hangers. It may seem insignificant, but having hangers that are 1-2cm wide will quickly add up, even in capsule wardrobes. Ditch the wider hangers for the slimline hangers of a few millimetres wide. Slimline hangers not only give you extra space but provide a uniform look for your wardrobe. I am always amazed at how just switching out the coat hangers can overhaul a wardrobe!
My two favourite types of slimline hangers are flocked and wire. In my wardrobe, I have a mix of both flocked and wire hangers, with only 1-2 larger hangers for the exy suit jackets.
Flocked hangers are perfect if your wardrobe has lots of floaty tops, dresses, and silky fabrics. Your lightweight clothes will actually stay on the hanger instead of constantly falling off and settling at the bottom of your wardrobe. The velvet texture on these hangers keeps even the teeny spaghetti straps in place. Just keep in mind if you aggressively pull down on a flocked hanger, it can snap. To look after flocked hangers, avoid dragging clothes off the hanger. Great for adults, but perhaps not great for kids and teens who may not be able to reach the hanger completely and therefore may pull on their clothes to take them off a hanger.
If you have more shirts, t-shirts, and pants in your cupboard, the slim wire hangers (like you get from the dry cleaner or as shown here from Target, with a grip cover) are incredible at taking up minimal space and are great for hanging pants. Heavier items like jeans and winter jackets are better suited to wire hangers as they do require a hanger that is stronger than the typical flocked hanger.
If your wardrobe is feeling a bit small and tightly packed, invest in switching out your hangers to free up room.
4. The Dymo Labeller
This little machine is a powerhouse.
Here are my 3 reasons why you should label items in your home:
– Your brain hates making decisions. It longs for auto-pilot and will take shortcuts every day to try and minimise decisions. You’re a busy person. Make it easy on yourself.
– When introducing a new system in your home, it can be hard to keep it that way. Having labels on items creates a ‘rule’ that only that item and that item only goes into that container. This means you are less likely to shove socks into a container labelled ‘singlets’.
– It’s rarely just you in the house. You may have a partner, a small tribe, nannies, babysitters, cleaners, housekeepers, in-laws, aunties, uncles. When they pop over it’s makes life a lot easier when you ask them to get your little one’s long sleeve top from the 3rd drawer down, and that they open the drawer and see the label. It also means the washing and pantry items get put away in the right spot. This is what dreams are made of right? Support your home team or home office team and pop a label on it for them.
TIp: You have my permission to go nuts and label everything!
Extra LOVE: Dymo Label Makers require no ink cartridges, just batteries!
5. IKEA drawers dividers – with labels
If your drawer resembles one of those toy machines in an arcade with a claw and you never can quite get what you wanted out of it (it NEVER works! #childhood) you need to meet the IKEA SKUBB box range.
These nifty dividers keep everything in its place and if you loathe folding clothes (great minds think alike), you can simply drop them into their own box.
Measure your drawers and look at the measurements of each SKUBB box. It’s a bit of a game of Tetris to get the best configuration but will make your soul sing every time you open the drawer.
Tip: choose all one colour for a visually cleaner look.
Extra LOVE: the SKUBB boxes have a fabric casing meaning they feel nice and have a little bit of flex so you can stuff that extra pair of socks in.
And there you have it! These are my personal favourite items that I use for my home as well as my clients. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!