Make the most of your Hong Kong home.
No matter the size of your family pad, it’s safe to say that there will never be enough space. But fear not as there are always tips and trick to help you make the most of what you have. We’ve rounded up a few home hacks that’ll help in most rooms, as well as for your next trip to the beach!
Never underestimate the power of a coat hanger for home hacks. Whether bendy metal (we once made one into a Christmas wreath), wooden or plastic, you’ll find many uses. They’re a great way to hang numerous items that will tuck away neatly in your wardrobe or display on the wall if you so wish – this works particularly well with pretty jewellery. Loop long necklaces through themselves and hang on the bottom rung and if you’re feeling extra crafty try adding some small metal screw loops to the underside of the shoulders on wooden coat hangers to hang dangly earrings! You could also add plastic shower curtain rings to hangers and loop through scarves, ties or baby swaddles.
Soda can ring pulls
We love quick yet incredibly effective home hacks and this one will double up the storage space in your wardrobe in a jiffy! Before recycling your soda cans, take off the ring pull (being very careful of course!), wash it in warm soapy water and then simply hang over the top of your coat hanger hook. This will allow you to put another hanger underneath. Perfect for hubby’s shirts or baby’s clothing collection (which seems to be larger than yours!).
These genius wall racks started off life in a chef’s kitchen (as far as we know anyway) to store knives and other metal kitchen objects for space-saving, ease of use and storage. We keep knives, kitchen scissors, peelers, the can opener and even – rather amazingly – the cheese grater on ours! But have you considered using one in a different room? How about in the bathroom to store all your little bits and bobs that tend to get lost in the bottom of a drawer – seriously, where do all our bobby pins disappear to?!
Metal hooks and rails
As home hacks go, this is a lifesaver for many tiny Hong Kong kitchens! As there is literally no wall cupboard space in this Sassy Mama’s kitchen, the use of metal hooks has been invaluable. You’ll need secure bars on the walls to take the weight, especially for larger kitchen items like pots and pans, but once in place you can hang more than you’d think. Utensils (spatulas, cooking spoons etc.), chopping boards, cups, sieves, oven gloves…the list is endless! And it doesn’t have to stop in the kitchen. Add an extra extendable shower rod in the bathroom and use the hooks to hang sponges, kids washroom toys, baby baths, products in showerproof baskets etc.
Storage under crib
As most Hong Kong homes are tight for space, including the nursery, maximise what you have by using all cubby holes available! After installing our crib, we found a plastic storage container that fits snugly underneath (height-wise) but is as wide and long as the crib so it fits a plethora of goodies that we don’t want to be seen (baby carrier, nappies, breastfeeding pillow, mama diapers…for real). Maximise your dead space and, even better, it’s all hidden away out of sight!
On the topic of nursery storage (or your own bedroom storage for that matter), we also highly recommend drawer dividers to make your drawer space work harder for you. Not only do they neatly separate items by type (think nappies, baby wipes, cotton wool and creams for the top drawer, then baby grows, socks, clothes, accessories etc. for middle and bottom drawers), but it’s also a great way to see more clearly what you have available – a la Marie Kondo.
Paddling pool playpen
This little hack can be used inside or outside the house as a quick and easy way to make a safe playpen for your little ones – while keeping toys and mess contained! Once you’re done with it, simply let out the air and store neatly away for next time. This also works well if you have an outdoor space or patio, or you could even take it to the beach or local park. Another good alternative for playing on the beach without getting sand everywhere is an old fitted bedsheet (with waterproof material would be ideal). Simply put four heavy items in each corner (cooler box, handbag, towels etc.) and sit baby inside. There’ll be no sand getting into places it shouldn’t!
Store bibs on the back of highchairs, burp cloths in the nursery, hanging fairy lights as nightlights…you name it! Sticky hooks are a saviour for home hacks and super easy to install. Just don’t use them for anything too heavy (always check the weight restrictions on the packet) – and think twice before sticking them on the wall above a cot, just in case they come loose and whatever is hanging on them lands on the baby! They can stick pretty much anywhere – think inside wardrobe doors for handbags, in the kids’ room for toys, or the kitchen for washcloths and tea towels, and they’re readily available at JHC and local hardware stores or stationers.