This episode is all about the five items every home should have. We talk about why these items are so useful, why investing in good quality storage is essential, and how they can make your life a whole lot easier. If you’re tired of rifling around in the junk drawer looking for a fresh battery, this episode is just for you.
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BONNIE: Hello and welcome. I am Bonnie
LILY: and I am Lily, and this is Little Home Organised; the Podcast dedicated to helping you declutter, get organised and reclaim time for the things you love.
BONNIE: Hello and welcome. Today we will be joined by Cathy Player to talk about the 5 items every home should have. We will talk about why these items are so useful. Why investing in good quality storage is not only important but essential and how these items can make your life a whole lot easier.
LILY: Stick around until the end of our episode so you can be in with a chance to win but first we need to introduce Cathy. Cathy is the marketing manager at Howards Storage World, an Australian based company specialising in organisation products. Starting with a Bachelor of Arts Cathy moved quickly into advertising landing Howards Storage World as one of her first clients. She was poached by Howards to run their marketing department and has been designing organising solutions since 2004 and is a self confessed person obsessed with organising. Welcome Cathy.
CATHY: Thank you very much. Little Miss Organised times 2. It is also quite wonderful to be inviting onto the Podcast today and it is lovely to be talking about my favourite subject.
BONNIE: Yes I have to admit organising is one of those things that I could probably talk about under water and in my sleep and there has been many a sleepless night where I have woken up thinking about clients and organising solutions and oh yeah that’s right I have to ring that, and bring that item and it just, my whole life rotates around it.
LILY: Yeah, it is so enjoyable isn’t it talking to like minded people who are like into organising because it is like anything it just gets you a little bit excited and I know some people out there might find that really unusual but no it is really how I get my jollies.
BONNIE: Ok this podcast might need a little ears warning.
CATHY: Do you think sometimes it is around about finding things that actually work though. I think that’s what the exciting thing is, isn’t it.
BONNIE: Yes that is exactly right because
LILY: Making your life a whole lot easier
BONNIE: Yes I remember doing years ago a blog on the Little Miss Organised Facebook page um, I think it is still there, call storage solutions are not the solution because so often people will say: “Oh I have got to get organised” and they will go to their local department store or their local organising store and they will just go nuts buying a whole lot of stuff but they haven’t actually gone through and decluttered first, so they are really just creating more places for the disorganisation to kind of flow over into which
CATHY: We see a lot of that
BONNIE: Yeah yeah and so we go into their homes and I mean it is great because there is a whole lot of baskets and products and things around the house that we can find them and we can reuse them because they are not really being used to their full extent but I think once you have done that declutter first and then you move onto the organising that really sees your home get much more organised, much more quickly.
CATHY: But Bonnie don’t you think that you would have found amongst your clients and so on there are definite triggers in peoples lives that lead them to that point where they realise they need to declutter, they need to change something. So, whether it be moving house, or having a baby um or starting a new job. There is always something that happens that makes you feel like, that’s enough um and I need to change something.
BONNIE: Yeah there is definitely a catalyst and I think, what is the five big events like death, divorce, moving, house moving, job and maybe a new baby. There the things that really are a bit life transition and I think like for me right now I am obviously about to move house and so that is a really good time for us to declutter and even though we are pretty minimal in a lot of our stuff there is still more stuff that can go and what’s kind of exciting for me now is that even though we have had everything organised and really well set up here, we are now moving into a different home that is a temporary solution so I have actually got to kind of tweak all my organising systems over there to suit where we are moving to, so it is like I have got to have them move with me but
LILY: That’s the thing too, you can arrange certain storage solutions for your house and some of them they are like universal, they can be used everywhere.
LILY: And then other things you know it is not necessarily going to work when you move because of different spaces.
BONNIE: Yeah and I have to admit like this is the first product on our list and I have got so many of these around the place, um just baskets, in general are so good and like every day this week when I have been dropping things off at our parents house, because that is where we are moving to, um, if you haven’t listened to our episode on storing other peoples stuff, go back and listen to that one because that’s a good one too. These baskets I have just been filling up my car with baskets from the linen cupboard, you know there is a basket for the togs, there’s a basket for the towels, there’s a basket for this and that is just making it so much easier instead of having to pack all of these smaller items into boxes to take and then unpack. I am just kind of stacking the baskets in the boot of the car and then taking them out and inserting them into the linen cupboard at the other end, and it is making the move so much easier.
LILY: Don’t even get me started on baskets, I just love them too much. Are you passionate about baskets Cathy?
CATHY: I am so passionate about baskets and I can completely relate to your experience Bonnie. I actually did a really interesting more 2 years ago where I went from a 5 bedroom house to a 2 bedroom apartment. Now if ever there was an opportunity to declutter, 5 trailer loads later, having to be distributed to either Vinnie’s etc. and then to your quite horror not even Vinnie’s doesn’t want everything, so you have been living with all of this junk that nobody wants, now it is very expensive storage when you start to look at it like that, but the good news is we are on the other side of that and then I had the wonderful opportunity to then make it work in a 2 bedroom apartment and you know what I could not be happier. It is so liberating get rid of your stuff for starters, so the decluttering a great big tick but then making that move smooth is definitely about containing and organising and probably my absolute hero product from Howards would be the Mimi separators, they come in 3 different sizes and um literally I have them, I will do a quick tally in my two bedroom apartment here and I have them in 6 different places.
BONNIE: Oh wow
CATHY: And you wouldn’t expect that would you.
BONNIE: No but you will have to send us some photos of that because I think one of the greatest things that I see from being on Facebook groups like our Facebook community group, if you are not on it already head to Little Home Organised Community on Facebook and sign up, it is free, um but learning from other peoples storage solutions, like what they do in their houses and like all the different things that you can do with the different products like that blows my mind because I look at something like the Mimi separators which are really tall and long
LILY: For those people who don’t know what a Mimi separator is can you explain it?
BONNIE: Ok so it is basically like a basket that is clear, it is acrylic or some sort of plastic
CATHY: It is actually plastic, so it is a high sided and deep and they come in 3 different widths, so that they separate literally, that is the reason why we call them separators. They separate your stuff and they are using like full depth or your cupboard, so they are a touch different just using an ordinary basket in so much because they are plastic um literally the ones that I have got here I have probably put through 3 or 4 different uses
CATHY: They just don’t die
BONNIE: And they are so easy to kind of stack one, like stack right beside each other, they sit in really nicely, um and for a lot of us who have got these older style houses with these big tall shelves
CATHY: With no storage
BONNIE: Yeah with no storage, that are tall and deep these separators are so good and like I love seeing all the different uses for them. You know some people put cans in them, other people put books in them. Other people just put their packets in them. Like they are just amazing and you can get them from a range of places which is really cool but here in Australia you can definitely grab them from Howards.
CATHY: So I use them in draws, deep draws are always a problem when you have got those huge great big deep draws, I use them on shelving units especially when you then repeat them side by side because repetition creates order. I use them inside cupboards so I have got an entertainment unit and I have got a whole lot of small, I love entertaining so I have got a lot of small um bowls and things like that, like a Japanese dinner set, yet I can store my Japanese dinner set and all the little bits and pieces, it can quickly swallow up your cupboard but by putting into a Mimi and I have got a couple of them for the different types. Rip it out and then you are cooking.
LILY: I feel like I want to go for a walk through your apartment Cathy and just open all your cupboards. Ahhh look at that.
BONNIE: A virtual tour.
BONNIE: That sounds like
LILY: You will have to send us some photos of your storage and everything lined up because I really do find that aesthetically pleasing. Because it is not only just functional but it is really beautiful to be able to open something and it looks orderly, it is like ah I know exactly where that item is and I can just grab it.
BONNIE: Mmmm and what I also love about those ones is they are really easy for you to grab so they are quite ergonomic and that leads me onto the 2nd product that I think every home should have and I really love and that is the baskets that have handles, because
LILY: I don’t have any of these so convince me, tell me why
BONNIE: Ok so if, especially if um you have got some shelves up high and you can’t really you know access them very easily. The handled baskets are so great because you just put lighter stuff in them, so for example my husband has a coffee press and we have got maybe like 4 or 5 stubbie holders, that’s are beer cooler for people that don’t know
LILY: Yeah I was going to say for international lingo there.
BONNIE: Yeah, we call them stubbies holders in Australia. So we have got a couple of those and this coffee press in this long handled basket and once again they are great because they are long and skinny so you can do a lot of them and you have got that frontage sort of thing. Um but you just grab the handle and you pull it out and it is really easy to access like utilise the higher up spaces as well. Especially if you have got people who have got a bit of arthritis or they have got maybe some mobility issues with their hands, they are just so brilliant.
LILY: They are good for light items them.
BONNIE: Yeah they are still good for things that are not terribly heavy, like I would still use them in my fridge for sauces and they are great cause you can go like okay this handled basket has all got sauces, this ones got vinegars, this one has got oils and then yeah really easy to pull it out. It is kind of like making an extra draw
LILY: For you Cathy where would you use a handled basket?
CATHY: Okay so at Howards we call them re-fridge basket and literally that’s one of the oldest products that I can remember that Howards stocked in the start. It did originally start out as well in Howards as a fridge basket but so clearly has multiple uses for high up cupboards etc. They are wonderful in kids craft cupboards and so on. So it doesn’t just have to for up high cupboards for adults, for children it makes it very easy for them to grab, because they are smaller baskets, but it just comes really straight back to the old principle of divide and conquer. You know if you can have a smaller caddy and just break things up into small things and critically put a label on it so that you create some structure and so that things are not just there when you want to find them but they are going back to that place when you have finished with them as well but I definitely use them in my fridge. I often talk to people about how literally for under $20 you can sort out your fridge. The Marie fridge baskets are on top of the lists there because they are such a simple organiser.
LILY: I find it interesting as well is that there are some areas of the house where people are like oh yeah it makes sense to implement storage systems but then there are other areas that people don’t necessarily think of and one of them is the fridge. Like putting all your jars potentially in like a smaller zone and you know dividing things up can keep things cleaner and also making it easier to clean but you know grouping things together so you know exactly what you have got. We had an episode, many episodes ago because we have been producing for years now….
BONNIE: Oh we are old hat at it.
LILY: Yeah, that was pretty um I am pretty impressed with those accents there.
BONNIE: Oh sorry Brits we did it again
LILY: I know it is so hard not to do, but to be fair it is our ancestry anyway so we had an episode and it was organise your kitchen like a chef with Chef Chayil Johnson from the states and he talked about you know like being organised in your fridge is really important because it prevents wastage. You know the wasted money wasted food so like being able to divide things down into something you know like these handled baskets in your fridge can be something that actually helps you save money in the long run.
BONNIE: Yes and funny that we should be talking about the fridge because the third product which um I really love is actually very similar in that it is clear and it is long and narrow and it has got wheels and it is great for your fridge because once again you can divide it up with the sauces, the oils, you know the packets if you are someone who has got a lot like gravy packets and or kids yoghurt, you know the little squeezy yoghurts and stuff.
BONNIE: You can do a whole row of those and then these baskets are side by side but they a like a little draw because you just lift them and tilt them towards you and they come out on their little rollers and then you just put them back so it is like a really cheap effective way of creating draws in your fridge.
LILY: Absolutely. Containers that have wheels on it, is that makeshift draw and it can make accessing stuff easier because you know if you don’t you know in some cases you don’t have to be able to see through it and you can just pull it out and grab from within it and in some cases it is nice to be able to see it but I think wheels is a great way of add some extra practicality to your storage systems in your house.
BONNIE: Yeah and Howards have got a really cute name for this one don’t they Cathy?
CATHY: Absolutely, we call it the Amalie organising, one of the key things for anybody who is listening to this podcast is to try and keep it a bit real when they are doing their organising and don’t set yourself this massive goal of I am going to be organised, you know I think lets just break things down a little bit here
LILY: I mean what do we say Bonnie, Progress not perfection
BONNIE: Progress not perfection that is the motto.
CATHY: Yeah yeah the whole idea of being a super mum is so yesterday.
LILY: So lets talk about the 4th product.
BONNIE: Okay so um one product that I absolutely love, was that a sneeze.
CATHY: I am sorry, I am working from home and my husband is in our small apartment. He is very loud. He’s the one with the-
LILY: You need to pass him a box of tissues. Anyway
BONNIE: That is so funny, Lily just looked at me like; what is that?
LILY: Where did that sneeze come from
LILY: Anyway sorry to interrupt back to number 4.
BONNIE: Back to number 4. So I have this product at home and whenever I have seen it utilised and it has to be a quality one might I add because I think you can get a lot of cheaper versions of this particularly one but um they don’t really last as well, so Howards sells a product called the I-hook and I have got it
BONNIE: Yes it just sounds good doesn’t it. I have got it in the paper towel version on the inside of my cupboard so it is just attached to the laminate and it is so super strong and sticky and like I have moved it maybe once or twice because it wasn’t quite at the right height to close the door and stuff but there are such a range that you can get from the shower caddies to the yeah like baskets that go on the walls, inside your cupboards like especially if you have got under your sink that, there is no storage under there because nobody ever things to actually build proper storage under your stink – sink they just think
CATHY: Oh Bonnie you are so right and what you are really revealing here is that there are so many storage opportunities in your home and I have had a bit of a giggle when people say I have got no storage, I have got no room, they have got plenty of room they are just not seeing the opportunities and ceasing on that opportunity to turn unused space into functional use for space. It doesn’t mean that you have to use every square centimetre of your home, you just need to have usable functional storage solutions in place. So, I-hook is a brilliant, brilliant product, literally revolutionised the way suction worked, it came out onto the market oh probably about 5 or 6 years ago now, and it has evolved quite rapidly. The principle behind it is nano suction, so it is exactly the same principle of a gecko climbing up a wall.
LILY: Do they have gecko’s overseas? It is a lizard that can crawl up the walls for people who don’t know what a gecko is.
BONNIE: Yeah google it. They are cool looking things.
CATHY: They are remarkable, the way they walk up walls and how do they do it. It is because of this suction technology and so that is where they gain their inspiration behind the I-hook and um I think it ticks all the boxes from my point of view from you know a recommendation point of view because it works number 1, it can be used in many different places, it can moved so you can then keep on reusing it and I have got them in my laundry, in awkward spots on tiles etc, to be putting my laundry soaps etc up high because I would use every little space, in my kitchen, in my bathroom, the most fun place I have used I-hooks is actually in the caravan.
CATHY: Because in a caravan, yes absolutely because you don’t want to be putting solutions that drill through a wall in a caravan
CATHY: Because you have to maintain the integrity of the outside.
LILY: That’s a great way
CATHY: And having somewhere to put your mobile phone, extra places to put your teas and coffee so you can reach and don’t fall over. The uses for I-hook are unbelievable.
LILY: You made a good point there as well Cathy like you know the storage solutions, I mean you can literally apply them everywhere but a caravan is a great example of you have a small space and you have got to make every square inch of the space work for you and having storage solutions is a really important thing to consider.
BONNIE: You know I have just had a brainwave when you mentioned the caravan and I know not a lot of us are travelling on planes at the moment but can you imagine if they actually came up with a transportable version that you could stick on the back of the chair in front of you to stick your mobile phone and your ear phones and your like iPad or whatever so that you had it rather than having to pull down the tray which everything slides off doesn’t it. Like could you imagine a transportable version of that that you can just take on the airplane with you or in the rental cars, stick it on the side door for the rental car. There you go, there’s a product suggestion.
LILY: Hahaha we can dream of the day of flying again
BONNIE: I know, I know.
LILY: So this 5th product we are going to talk about I find to be an interesting choice, so I will let you take that one.
BONNIE: Well I think it should be a fairly obvious one that every home needs this but I am not sure you know maybe some people feel like they can get away without it but it is the very under rated and very important toilet brush.
LILY: So enlighten the listeners as to how this is an essential for their household.
BONNIE: Well no one wants to sit on a dirty throne.
LILY: Well that’s true.
BONNIE: That is really what it comes down to and for us at the moment because we are moving um a few months ago we realised that the toilet brush in the master bathroom wasn’t working so and we actually stopped and looked at it and went oh its all you know, the bristles have kind of fallen away or whatever so we chucked it out and we thought oh we are moving in like a month so we are not going to buy another one because we wont need one at the next place where we are temporarily moving to and so we just said oh well we will just use the toilet brush from the main bathroom to clean this toilet and it is funny because now that there is no toilet brush right next to the toilet in the ensuite I am finding that I am letting it go longer than I normally would to clean it because it is the effort of having to walk a total of 10 metres
LILY: OH yeah and there is something about a toilet yeah, them just being like gross in general but I still personally haven’t found the toilet brush the best one around well yeah because like they can come in all these different style storage things for the
BONNIE: It is so confusing, there are so many options. What do you think Cathy?
CATHY: Oh dear o dear ladies. Dear o dear o dear. Ok know it is actually hilarious to be honest with you. I think that the you are totally right um and frankly I suggested this product as a bit of a cheeky way because um I think often we just put up the little cheap $10 one that we get down at the supermarket. That’s all good and well but there is great news about toilet brushes. The world has moved on and technology has hit this space in a big way. No longer do you have to suffer the horrible yucky brush style toilet brush um I think the big things that we have made a bit of study of this at Howards and we have become, we have become a little bit obsessed about having this huge choice. These days you can get the rubberised heads so it is like instead of bristles brush bristles the like little um silicone bristles on it with flexible heads, they can get up and around the bowl. You know things have really changed so I think one of those things um that I tend to think about especially since after I have done my big 5 bedroom house down to a 2 bedroom house, by once by right. So Bonnie when you move into your, when you go into your next place the one that you really want please, please buy once and buy well, you wont regret it. You know you wont be throwing that brush out after a year buy one where you can actually easily replace the head without having to get right down onto one screw, they are horrible. You know you can get these beautiful superhuman ones that actually have um the replacement head that starts much further up so you don’t ever go anywhere near that. There is another one called Luigi for instance that totally has Luigi and Louise we have both of them so yes so toilet brushes have come a very long way.
LILY: You have hit the nail on the head there Cathy, buy once buy well. You do need to buy quality if you do buy cheap you are, it doesn’t pay off in the long run.
BONNIE: No that’s right and that’s why I wanted to talk about some of these products being so essential for every home because so often we haven’t measured the space and so we don’t get the basket that perfectly fits and we have just gone to the cheap $2 shop and we have kind of you picked a few things and thought oh we will just go home and try it and see what works and it is so much better to buy once and buy well and make sure that you are investing in quality in things that are going to last you a lifetime. It just makes so much difference.
CATHY: So when you do move house Bonnie, you will find that you have all of these containers and so on that you haven’t, that you are about to put into your new place, literally you will lay them all out and then work out ways to repurpose things, it is the best thing you can for the environment and for yourself and saves time. So buy once and buy well so that you can reuse is a good solution for the long run.
BONNIE: Yeah absolutely.
LILY: Well unfortunately that’s it for time today Cathy, it has been absolutely lovely to chat with you but for our listeners we have been talking a lot about the specific Howards Storage World here in Australia and we have actually got something in store for you, we are running a competition.
LILY: So to enter this competition you could be in the draw to win a $150 voucher to spend at Howards Storage World. So to enter all you need to do is go to our Facebook page Little Home Organised Podcast and there is a post there with the um competition for this voucher. All you need to do is one of 3 things.
- Like the post to enter
- Share the post to enter
- Tag a friend
For every friend you tag you are going to get an additional entry into the competition so what that means is the more people you tag the more entries you get, the more likely you will win some storage solutions for your household and this competition is going to end on midnight Wednesday 16th September and we will announce the winner 2 days after.
BONNIE: That sounds pretty awesome $150 voucher at Howards, sign me up for that baby. OK Cathy thank you so much for your time today we really appreciate you spending your time with us so thank you.
CATHY: It has been my absolute pleasure, it is really lovely hanging out with you two and best of luck with your move tomorrow Bonnie, I think you are pretty well organised, I think you will have a good time of it.
BONNIE: Stay tunned because things could go awry you never know
LILY: Thanks Cathy
BONNIE: Thanks Cathy
CATHY: Thanks ladies.
BONNIE: To this weeks tidy task, so we have talked about a few different products that are really important for you to have in your home for it to stay nice and organised. Cathy has mentioned that buying once and buying well is the way to go. So your tidy task this week is to look at the list of products we have talked about whether you are in Australia, New Zealand or overseas we would like you to pick one of those items that you feel would make your home a little bit more organised and this week go and find it in your home or in a store near you and implement it and you can send us a photo of that at the Little Home Organised community group on Facebook. Just search Little Home Organised community and join and share your photo with us.
LILY: And that’s all for this week, thanks for choosing to have us in your ears.
BONNIE: And remember PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION.
LILY: See you later
We would love to see the conversation continue, head over to the Little Home Organised Community group on Facebook, ask questions, find motivation and share your before and afters, and if you enjoyed the show please help us going by hitting subscribe on Apple Podcast, Spotify or where ever you listen. It is free and ensures you do not miss and episode but if you really want to share the love leave us a rating and review. Trust me it makes all the difference in the world.