May 19th, 2017
When you rented your apartment, you knew there was a certain amount of closet space. Of course it hasn’t grown, but is it possible since you moved in that it’s actually gotten smaller? And now your whole system of apartment organization is suffering? Use these tips to reclaim what’s yours, and perhaps give you space you hadn’t known was there before:
Don’t imagine that you can remove a few shirts and say you’ve done all you can. It’s time to pull everything out of your closet and give yourself a clean start. Decide consciously that every item you put away is something you use all the time. Effective apartment organization depends on you keeping only those things that you use all the time in your apartment with you. If necessary, make use of outside storage for seasonal clothing, sports gear you use occasionally, and so on.
Return your reduced wardrobe to hangers and look at the size and shape of all empty volume under and above the hanging clothes. Organize hanging clothes by length so that you end up with a block of space you can use for other storage. For now, leave out anything that still needs a better storage solution, such as shoes and accessories. Use these open spaces to identify how much room you have for the apartment organization tools you’d like to add.
Shipping companies use standard containers because they make the best use of available space. Apartment organization in every room works better when you work within straight lines. From the closet contents you removed, throw away all unevenly-sized boxes, totes, and cartons and replace them with stackable bins and/or drawers. Add shelf dividers to keep folded clothes in straight stacks. Otherwise, they collapse into one big tangle. Finally, spring for matching hangers so that clothes hang at the same level and let you see what you have.
There’s no such thing as a single-purpose container, so look for novel ways to adapt apartment organization tools to your needs. A hanging shoe organizer has a multitude of uses. Picture it filled with neatly rolled sweaters or t-shirts. Or as a place to store wonderfully organized underwear and socks, or workout wear, or even shoes. A tie rack is certainly useful for ties, but it will do just as good of a job giving you easily visible access to your necklaces or camisoles. Maybe a collection of wallets and clutches will stay upright in a file rack, or desk organizers could be repurposed for jewelry or spare buttons.
Getting (and keeping) things off the floor is key to apartment organization, and the closet is no exception. Walls are an underutilized resource, so look at interior walls in your closet for good places to add hooks, racks, and rails. Put a pantry rack on the backs of any swinging closet doors for jars, bottles, and toiletries. Hang heeled shoes from a towel bar or rail. If necessary, the ultimate way to expand your closet is to add shelving units to your bedroom, where you style the shelves with decorative containers and accessories, turning storage into bedroom decor.
Taking back your closet will be a boon to apartment organization and give you back the apartment you loved when you first moved in.