How to Create Zones to Organise Your Home
Organisers often talk about “zones”, but what does this mean, and why are they helpful?
From crafting and painting as a kid, to artwork as a teen, to knitting and sewing as an adult, arts and crafts may play a big role in your home.
There are so many different and tiny pieces that indulge our creativity, it can be difficult to keep it all together, never mind organised. But doing so will make it easier to access, and nicer to look at.
Start by gathering all the many elements together and viewing it as a whole. Once you know how much you have, you can then plan how to organise it.
Next think about storage. Lidded glass jars or fishing tackle boxes with separate sections will catch all the fiddly little things, such as ribbons, feathers, bows, thread, needles and thumbtacks.
For larger items, use storage boxes, which come in a variety of shapes, sizes and designs. Try magazine files to store pictures, photos and any other inspiration.
Once you’ve stored everything, you’ll have an idea of the amount of space you’ll need. Now you can “zone” it. If you can place everything in one area, like this dedicated room, that’s fabulous. Alternatively, a shelving unit or large cupboard in the living room, hallway or kitchen could be set aside for all the boxes and containers.
Failing that, you might need to split the zone up, but still try to keep related items together. So tuck the kids’ craft kit on dedicated shelves in their bedrooms, and store the knitting and sewing near the place you like to do it. Items are best homed close to where you’re going to use them, so if you enjoy knitting in the evening, a good place to store your yarn and needles is in the living room.
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Most of us already have an area where we keep our household cleaners, and that’s generally under the sink. So without knowing it, you’ve probably started setting up a zone. Your cleaning supplies are near where you use them, in the kitchen.
But “under the sink” can be a large space with no clear definition, and generally we just dump things on top of each other. Or perhaps some of your laundry items are near the washing machine, and others under the stairs. Keeping track of what you have, and what you might need, can be difficult.
To create your zone, bring all the products together. Separate them out according to their job, for example laundry, dusting, and bathroom cleaning, and then examine the items according to how often you use them.
Place items you use most often closest to you. If they’re high up on shelves, use storage bins with handles to make it easy to get at them.
Don’t forget about the laundry in your planning. You’ll need baskets for dirty and clean laundry. When items are ironed, do they go straight back to bedrooms, or do you need an interim rail for hanging clothes? All these considerations go into planning this zone.
Stationery often gets scattered in various places around the house. Then, when we need a pair of scissors or some sticky tape, we just can’t find them! If that sounds like you, it might be time to create a zone.
If you’re lucky enough to have a home office, you can put the majority of your stationery in there. But even if you do have a dedicated study, it’s a good idea to have small stationery zones in other rooms, too. The kitchen is a good place for this, as well as your children’s bedrooms.
Think about items you use most frequently, such as pens, pencils, and paperclips, and allocate a small corner or drawer for storing them. Buy attractive boxes, jars or baskets to tie in with the rest of the room’s colour scheme, and don’t forget to place a folder or file in each area to store away any paperwork or drawings.
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Every single home needs to sort out this zone. We all have a lot of paperwork in our lives, from passports and birth certificates to manuals and school information. When your household documents are disorganised, it can cause all sorts of last-minute chaos, so keeping it in shape can really reduce stress levels.
A folder or expanding file near the kitchen is a good spot for a household administration zone. Place the papers you frequently need to access in there.
For items you need less often, a filing cabinet in another room will keep it organised and out of the way. If you want it to look good in your living room, bedroom or hallway, be creative about your choice of filing cabinet. Hunt around for a vintage drawer unit or dresser, or use an ottoman or shelving unit.
Try to go through your expanding file or folder as often as possible and relocate everything that doesn’t need to be in there.
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Whether you’re rushing the family out of the door to school or trying to leave for a family picnic, there are some items it would be really handy to have on hand. These could include hats, scarves, gloves, sunglasses, wellingtons, coats, shoes, rain gear and even tissues.
The perfect zone for these items is, of course, in the hallway. However, anticipate that with this category you will probably need more space than you think, as items can be very bulky.
Even the smallest hallway can be organised. There are plenty of dedicated hall storage benches on the market, which usually consist of a shelf, some hooks, and seating with a shoe rack below.
Alternatively, install a separate hook for every member of the family and place a basket under each one. That way, everyone can take responsibility for their own things.
If you don’t have the space for this, place each person’s outdoor items near the door in their bedroom. It’s not quite one zone, but you will be creating a smaller zone within each room.
Do you have any zones to add to the list? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.