Super smart storage solutions

Here are some top tips to keeping your house spick and span. From reusing an egg carton to using a pizza box for storage.

How to clean out a drawer

To organise a drawer in the most efficient manner, you need to have a plastic bin bag and three shoe boxes or similarly sized containers by your side. Dump the contents of the drawer onto the bed or floor or a table and start sorting the bits and pieces, distributing them like this:

  •  Put anything you want to throw away in the bin bag.
  •  Place anything you want to store elsewhere in the first box.
  •  Put anything worth giving to charity in the second box.
  •  Save any candidates for a church fete or a jumble sale in the third box.

Now put everything that’s left over back in the drawer. Then take the bag and the boxes and plan your trip to the dump, the storage facility, your favourite charity or an upcoming fete or jumble sale.


No cheese, please

The next time you order a takeaway pizza in person, chat up the cashier and ask if you can have an extra box. Pizza boxes make excellent containers for everything from road maps to souvenir newspapers to children’s artwork.


Special storage for special stuff

Turn shoe or hat boxes into a treasure box for each member of the family. Covering the boxes in differently coloured contact paper will distinguish them from one another and make them more durable as well. You could also let a child use acrylic paints to paint his or her box. The boxes will ensure that all medals, ribbons, special greeting cards and any other bits and pieces worth keeping don’t get submerged amid everyday clutter.



Wine and spirits boxes usually have 6–12 compartments, each about 30cm high and just made to hold rolled-up posters, Christmas decorations and other kinds of flotsam and jetsam that you want to keep in order. The boxes are always easy to come by, since wine merchants are more than happy for you to take a few off their hands.


Marvellous mini containers

Some common items found in the average home have achieved such status among organised housekeepers that we’ve inducted them into the Mini Container Hall of Fame. Buy an indelible marker and a roll of tape that you can write on and label all your items. When the contents change, peel off the old label and make a new one.


6 simple storage saviours

Cigar box

These are hard to find, but when you do, they’re worth their weight in gold. Look for them at second hand markets.

cigar box

Fruit basket

This small, ventilated plastic basket from the supermarket is good for storing anything that needs a little air, such as kitchen scourers and sponges.

Fruit Basket

Film canisters

Soon to be extinct, but not yet. Hoard film canisters and use them to hold rings and earrings, small change, fishing flies and garden seeds.

Film Canisters

Hanging shoe bag

One of the best all-purpose holders ever created. Hang it on a wardrobe door, in a bathroom, in a home office or in a child’s room and use the roomy pockets for just about everything.

Hanging Shoe Storage

Ice-cube tray

The plastic ice-cube tray has more compartments than an egg carton but no lid – which makes it the perfect drawer divider for tiny odds and ends. Fill it with small office necessities or rings and earrings.

Ice Cube Tray
Egg carton

Six to 12 small compartments and an attached lid make this lightweight container a great choice for buttons, washers, tacks, paperclips and drawing pins.

Egg Carton