There’s No Need To Clear Out The Clutter...

Just find somewhere to store it, says interiors journalist Sharon Dale

I proudly admit that I am a hoarder, a maximalist, a collector of stuff and I refuse to be shamed into throwing my possessions away. They include treasures, keepsakes, lovely bits and bobs and a lot of things that I know will come in handy one day.

So, despite the regular cries to “clear out the clutter” from authors and experts with a minimalist agenda, I hang on to my things. After all, it is a matter of perception. One person’s clutter is another person’s useful and beautiful object.

Before you imagine my home to be like a scene from TV’s “The Hoarder Next Door”, it isn’t like that at all and that’s thanks to my storage strategy. My drawers and cupboards are crammed but the rooms look relatively neat, tidy and spacious.

Here are some of my room-by-room tips.

*The Kitchen.

The best place by far to go for kitchen storage is Ikea. The Swedish superstore has an array of inexpensive solutions, including little Variera shelves you can pop inside a cupboard to maximise space. My jumble of pans and various lids are now neatly stacked leaving plenty of room for my growing collection of vintage plates. Ikea’s Grundtal steel rails and hooks are great for making the most of wall space to hang mugs/utensils.


Slimline console tables are perfect for this space but make sure they have drawers. If you want a cheap solution, do what one friend did and cut down a full-size table, chop the back two legs off and attach it to the wall with brackets. Coat stands are brilliant for bags and coats. If you don’t have space buy a wall-mounted coat rack. I love the Eames design classic “Hang it All” by Vitra, though it is an investment item at £199. If you are on a budget then visit TK Maxx, Ikea, Argos and Wilko for cheaper options.

Hang it All by Eames, £217, from

*Sitting room.

I have a large chest of drawers in this room and it holds copious amounts of stuff including my sewing/craft materials, CDs, placemats, tablecloths, stationery and other items I am bracketing under “miscellaneous”. Multi-functional furniture also works well in here. A large wooden chest holds all sorts and doubles as a footrest and coffee table. A row of open shelves is home to books, candles, framed postcards and photos plus knick-knacks. It is a riot of colour and objects but it doesn’t overwhelm the room as the rest of the décor is neutral.

Scarlet bookshelves, £785,


My home has a large landing and it is home to a retro teak sideboard. This is a piece of storage heaven and where I put my paperwork, board games and the Christmas crackers I bought in the January sale. The sideboard would look equally good in a sitting/dining room. I’ve topped mine with colourful retro ceramics and teak antelopes. My local Emmaus charity shop,, often has sideboards in stock and there are plenty on eBay.


Built-in wardrobes with a shelf at the top are a must for those of us who like “stuff”. Make sure they are floor-to-ceiling and put them on an internal wall to avoid damp/mildew.  I got a joiner to make one from MDF but you can buy them from Ikea or Sliderobes.

Wardrobe from Ikea 

Another must is a bedding box, great for storing sheets and towels. Mine is huge so I also use it for clothes. Fabric baskets are also handy for shoes and coat stands look good trimmed with scarves, jewellery and bags. Don’t forget hooks, behind the door and on the wall. At the moment I am loving TK Maxx and HomeSense along with Dunelm for inexpensive bedroom storage solutions.

Wall baskets, from £6.50 each,


My favourite item is my componibili cabinet by Kartell, which has three compartments, one for me, one for him and one for my children. It holds a serious amount of toiletries.  They also look great as bedside cabinets. Mine is white but I have my eye on a gold one from Heal’s.

Gold componibili cabinet perfect for bedroom or bathroom, £154, from.

Publish date: 21/09/2017