In Storage: Get Organized, Terence Conran helps us tackle the two demons of the disorganised home: clutter and poor storage*. Section One is a thorough education in assessing our belongings, our space and our personal requirements. We are walked through this essential first step, laying the foundation for improved organisation within the home. Section Two is a comprehensive analysis of storage problems and solutions in the different parts of the home, area-by-area. Throughout the book, we’re offered both practical information and creative inspiration, to help us simplify our homes and streamline our lives. Considerations include; ergonomics, life stages, storage conditions, hoarding-habits, efficiency, hobbies, family, aesthetics and productivity. With over 200 pages of beautiful interiors, combined with sound, practical and inspiring advice, Storage is an informative read and suitably well-organised book.
* For any of you who are also vexed by that devilish third offender – the messy housemate – you can get my take on the matter here.
Why I liked it
This book is a visual treat. If you were to merely flick through the pictures, you would still find much to motivate you to bust your clutter or get to grips with your home organisation. The interiors and the photography are as stylish and sophisticated as you would expect from a book bearing the Conran name, but there is an impressive amount of variety, too. Contrary to (my) expectations, the featured spaces are not all pristine, minimalist Zen roomscapes, (though there are a few of these, for anyone who does aspire to that level of ‘thinglessness’.) Many of the photographs, though, are more eclectic, showcasing the homes of people who clearly love to have ‘things’ about the place. But these are not the ‘before’ pictures, the featured residents all appear to have mastered the tricky art of practical, yet aesthetically-pleasing storage. So Storage is a joy to casually leaf through (and I find I keep doing just that). But to only scan the pictures would be to miss out on the wealth of knowledge that Terence Conran has garnered in his half a century at the forefront of interior design. The text is a very readable distillation of this wisdom and experience – there seems to be a helpful tidbit or insight on almost every page. There are inspiring tips and ideas for all the main areas of the average home; kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom, as well as the optional extras such as home office, dressing room and utility room (or as my Twitter friend @Karamina calls it; the futility room, which I can relate to…) But Terence has remedies for all the the usual suspects that descend on our living spaces. We are guided through the process of assessing our homes and considering what we give room to, suggesting every item ought to justify the space it occupies. (One particularly enlightening paragraph on decluttering caused me to completely reconsidered my habit of keeping things ‘just in case…’) Then, once we’ve ditched or donated any extraneous ‘stuff’, we’re then shown how best to store what remains. This room-by-room analysis makes it easy to tackle home organisation in manageable chunks (making despair and/or defeat much less likely…). Although Mr Conran is in the enviable position of owning a number of exquisite homes around the globe, his advice and instruction happily bears the ‘common touch’. His solutions address issues faced by the vast majority of people in average-sized homes. And in case we’re tempted to believe that a bigger house is the ideal solution, Terence shows us how shortage of space need not be an issue – the real culprits being too much ‘stuff’ or inadequate storage. (Or both.) Helpfully, whichever is the offending criteria in your abode, Storage has the relevant techniques or advice, leaving you not only inspired and motivated to organise your home, but also equipped for the task. A great addition to any bookshelf . (Especially a messy one.)
You’ll like this if you:
• need some advice on getting to grips with your clutter or storage issues • would like some expert advice on how to keep a home looking its best • are curious about what Terence Conran’s own homes look like • need some inspiration or motivation to become more organised • want to learn how to live harmoniously with the things you love • are a collector and want to find better ways to store your treasures • enjoy pictures of beautiful homes