The amount of stuff we collect over the course of our lifetimes is truly staggering. We live in large houses, and yet manage to cram them full of our possessions, filling every single room.
As you might imagine, this state of affairs can lead to all sorts of problems. The average person, for instance, spends a couple of days every year just looking for items in their home. That’s 2.5 full days that could be spent on something else. What’s more, many of us actually lose the things that we know that we have kicking about somewhere in the house, forcing us to replace them to the tune of £2 billion a year.
The good news, though, is that inventors and innovators are coming up with funky gadgets that help us fight back. These clever devices and concepts make it easier to stay organised and reduce the likelihood that you’ll lose the things that you need.
So what funky gadgets are out there? Let’s take a look…
Do you have a bunch of odds and ends floating around your home that doesn’t seem to have a natural place anywhere? If so, you could benefit from pocket organisers.
Pocket organisers look like large, practical wallets. They feature a host of pouches for different objects, including pens, pencils, notepads, clips, jewellery, and even medical supplies. They typically retail for around £20, but you can find cheaper importer versions in most stationery stores.
Here’s a pro tip: look for organisers that have expandable mesh pockets. These stretch and warp to the shape of whatever you happen to put into them.
Urban commuter bags are becoming all the rage these days. They help you keep all your work stuff organised and negate the need to take a briefcase to work every day.
The best are self-described “all-in-one” systems. These have special padded compartments for laptops as well as ports for headphones and even drinking tubes.
Commuter bags need to be large enough to hold all your work notes as well as any other accessories you need. Check that there are compartments for things like valuables, sunglasses and keyfobs. Don’t spend more than around £100.
Portable Charger With Battery Pack
If you’re like a lot of people, you can sometimes forget to charge your phone. You only find out when you desperately need to make a call but only have one battery bar left.
The solution here is to take a battery pack with an accompanying phone charger with you. This way, you can always supply your phone with power, regardless of whether you remembered to plug it in the night before.
The charger is for when you have access to a socket – either on the train or in the office. And the battery pack is reserved for when you don’t have any access to mains power outlets at all.
Instead of keeping a bunch of tools in your kitchen drawers, you can save space by consolidating them all into single objects. So, for example, instead of using up a whole tray for various kinds of kitchen knives, you can get tools that contain all the objects you need in a single product.
The upfront cost for these tends to be a little higher, but the benefit is that you save storage space and don’t require so many kitchen drawers. You can do a similar thing with coffee machines, water dispensers and even rice cookers. In many cases, you can consolidate all the functions into a single object.
Bluetooth Locator Tags
Bluetooth locator tags are all the rage at the moment. These handy devices make it easy for you to find your misplaced items around your home, negating the need to purchase new ones.
The way these systems work is simple. You start by fixing tags into objects in your home and then connect them to your smartphone. Then, simply turn on your device’s Bluetooth and use the app to call the object you want to find. It’ll start ringing, telling you where it is.
You can use locator tags for anything. Most people use them for their valuables, wallet and keys. However, they’re equally at home on books, stuff for the bathroom and even kitchen ingredients.
Stackable Can Rack
Dumping a bunch of cans in your kitchen cupboard generally doesn’t work. Almost always, you wind up with a bunch of tins stuffed at the back – and you don’t know what you have.
Can racks can help. These funky devices arrange your cans on shelves and allow you to easily see what you have to hand. Most racks have space for up to 27 standard cans. Some also have room for larger cans.
Pull-Out Spice Rack
It’s a similar story for spices. Many people simply dump their spices in drawers or boxes and then spend ages rummaging around to find the ingredients that they need. However, with tiered pull-out racks that you fit in your drawers, you can avoid this issue entirely. These display all your spices in a logical manner, allowing you to identify the ones you need faster.
Does your coffee table have five remotes sitting on it? If so, you’re not alone. Millions of people all over the country are suffering from bad cases of remote inflation. These days, we have remote controls for everything: TV sets, DVD players, Roku devices, set-top boxes and games consoles. It makes the living room far more chaotic.
The good news is that you can now get master remotes that work for practically all devices in your home. You simply set up individual profiles for each device on the remote and then switch between them as you need them. This way, you only need to find room for one remote on your coffee table, not half a dozen.
Headphones are annoying objects. You can’t really tidy them away while keeping them accessible. Either you leave them lying around, or you store them in a drawer, neither of which is ideal.
However, things are changing. The humble headphone stand is leading to a revolution. These clever devices help you tidy up your desk while ensuring that you have continued access to your listening devices.
Home Gym Equipment Rack
Home gym equipment is another major cause of mess in the home. Not only are things like foam rollers, weights and mats quite bulky, but they are also notoriously difficult to put away.
Home gym equipment racks hope to solve this problem. These come with hooks and supports for all your yoga equipment, foam rollers and resistance bands. They mount on the wall, allowing you to use more space in your home.
Can you say in all honesty that you know what is inside every box in your home? If you’re like most people, you can’t. Instead, you wind up wasting time, looking through each box first to see if it contains the things that you need.
Organisation enthusiasts have a solution: the label maker. These clever little devices allow you to make labels quickly that you can then stick on all your boxes. All you do is type the label using the in-built keypad and then the label maker will print it out on a special reel of sticky labels.
Label makers are super easy to run and operate. Most come with rechargeable batteries and spare label reels for when you run out.
The fridge door is the noticeboard in most family homes. It’s here people communicate with each other, writing messages as they deem appropriate.
Holding messages on the fridge door, however, is more challenging than many people think. Most magnets aren’t strong enough. That’s why it’s always a good idea to use mighty magnets. These small magnets use particular elements to maximise the strength of the magnetic field.
Installing new lighting is usually a lot of work. You first have to rip out the old light, rewire them and then install the new ones. Installing spotlights is notoriously labour-intensive because you have to drill holes in the ceiling.
However, stick-on lights offer a quick fix. These lights are for low-use settings, such as the area under the sink, and don’t have any wiring requirements at all. Instead, they run on battery power. What’s more, they look neutral, making them appropriate for virtually any home.
Knowing what to do with kids’ toys and books is always a challenge. During the course of their lives, they accumulate so much stuff that it can eventually overtake your entire home.
To stop this, invest in some collapsible cubes. These striking and beautiful storage options have enough space for books and toys and will also fold down neatly when not in use.
Lastly, if your closet is overflowing with clothes, then a hanging closet organiser might offer a solution. These don’t require any installation. Instead, they simply hang from the walls in your bedroom, giving you access to all your clothes. Put your knitwear in here, freeing up space in your wardrobe.