It is chaotic evil that two wardrobe/fashion-loving people have such alarmingly limited closet space. Of course, like most things in life it is not the end of the world nor is it a deal breaker, but it is difficult to manage. To top it off, I am a disorganized person by nature and am quite positive this won’t change over night (but if you have any tips or magic spells, let me know). But regardless of lack of natural ability, even the most disorganized among us love to bear witness to a closet with every article of clothing neatly sorted and tucked into its place. Closet organization is unbelievably satisfying and we all crave it.
Unfortunately, my lack of organizational instinct goes hand in hand with my design agony. Here’s the scoop: My boyfriend Rocky and I moved into a new place last August and we were smitten. Now some 5 months later, we still love our tiny little home as much as we did when we first saw it, besides one design flaw: there is only a single (5’x3’x8′) closet in the entire place. To be fair, the place itself is small (800 sqft) so there really isn’t room for another closet, but boy are we feeling spatially challenged. I probably don’t have to tell you it causes unnecessary tension but most importantly it causes clutter and mess by an already cluttered and messy girl. Guys, the fun is just getting started.
You may be wondering who the heck I am, and who this Rocky fella is and I hear ya. Let’s get properly aquatinted. Here’s us:
Now, before we continue (and now that you can put faces to your design agony victims), it’s only right to give you a peek into our closet (did we just become best friends???). Feast your eyes on the “before” and please forgive me for not having a satisfying “after” to show you… yet:
It’s your standard (STUFFED) single door closet, so there are things in there that we haven’t seen in months. Part of the problem should be alleviated once a larger dresser is purchased because hanging clothes up is unfathomable to me after a long day (again, disorganized person here), but I think we require a little more help than that. So now that you’ve seen the beast let me explain our biggest problems and pose some professional EHD approved solutions.
Problem #1: Ineffective use of space – aka WASTED SPACE
There are no built-in shelves or hooks, and the top shelf is super high up so it’s hard to stack clothes up there without them falling. Plus, it’s incredibly hard to reach anything when clothes are exploding out. Aside from hanging our clothes (and the fact is we simply don’t have the space hang everything) this closet has no intuitive or easy storage options.
The Solution: Invest in products that will maximize space.
1. MALM 3-Drawer Dresser | 2. SKUBB Shoe Box | 3. Two Shelf Horizontal Cube | 4. 8 Bin Shoe Organizer | 5. Over the Door 26 Shelf Shoe Organizer | 6. 10-Compartment Hanging Shoe Organizer | 7. Drop Front Box | 8. 10 Pack Hooks | 9. 5 Tiered Pants Hanger
We want to add in a small dresser like #1 to store socks, underwear, swimwear, and possibly other foldable clothes (like t-shirts). You may have noticed a lot of these are shoe storage options but I think they can be used for other purposes too. Like #2 can easily store clothes or shoes, and same with #4.
We are not done. Not even close, my friends. Now I am going to invite you to my very unfinished home. Here goes nothing.
By the way. showing thousands of people a photo of my unfinished bedroom feels like I am baring my nude self for the world to see. There is something so intimate about it so know that if you feel uncomfortable looking it at, I feel 10000x more uncomfortable thinking about you looking at it. But here we are! Now onto our next problem…
Problem #2: Bulky clothes hogging all the space
I’m talking to you, sweatshirts and sweaters. Have you noticed how men tend to own a lot of sweatshirts? It’s because they are lucky and can wear sweatshirts and look very cute in them all the time. The thing is, I too, have a fair amount of sweatshirts and sweats (a lot of them from sports I played in high school) and these things are BULKY and hard to store. And before you ask, yes we do donate clothes but we also know that donated clothes often end up in landfills. So we’ve decided to stop donating so much and instead sell them or gift them directly to people we know. We are also trying to simply buy less 🙂
The Solution: Under bed storage
Well guys, it’s been three years and I guess it is finally time to get a bed frame. I went back and forth on whether I wanted a storage bed or not but ultimately decided against it because of the layout of our place. It is already so boxy, so a boxy bedframe seems visually stifling. Instead, I am opting for a bed frame with enough space underneath to implement some storage solutions. The key for us is to have under bed storage that we can easily access, as I will be wanting to pull out a sweatshirt from time to time when I get chilly (and I am also a monster that wears hooded sweatshirts to sleep when it’s cold). Here is what I am thinking:
Simple enough right? I like the idea of #1 a lot because it is see-through so I would be able to see whatever is in there, but I am not confident I will love having to keep things perfectly folded. Sounds like a lot of work. #2 is something EHD has used before (remember this incredible satisfying org post??) and I am really into how it folds open at the top for easy access. Same goes for #3, so I think we have our winners, folks.
Problem #3: Lost or misplaced clothing (overflow insanity)
It’s a shame that the only time you can flaunt your favorite clothes is when they are on your body. OR IS IT?
The Solution: Use a cute clothing rack or wardrobe for your pretty clothes.
I personally love the idea of an open clothing rack so I can actually see my most beautiful clothes and shoes. I am an extremely visual person, so I imagine being able to see certain pieces will help me get ready in the morning. Here are the ones I am considering:
Now it is living room time with a very special surprise guest…
That’s our dog Gus and as you can see he is a good very good boy.
One thing you should know before we move on (besides that Gus is a very good boy) is every piece of furniture we have will be replaced at some point. When we moved out of our last place we purged all the furniture we did not absolutely need and all we had left was either thrifted or free. The couch was gifted to us by the previous renter of our apartment, Rocky made our coffee table out of a wood pallet, our dining table is from Craigslist, our chairs were found at Goodwill, and both dressers we have were also free. I think the only thing we bought brand new are the nightstands (both from Target). This is coming off as a “humblebrag” but really I am overcompensating for the fact that I know my place is nowhere near “done”and thus giving you the freedom to hate its current state. No worries, we hate it too!
Problem #4: Two people with different morning routines and only one tiny closet.
You’ve probably guessed by now that we have a lot of clothes collectively. I won’t deny it. We are fashion-loving people who like to express our personal style, so we invest in clothes (clearly more than we invest in furniture which I am trying to change. Bear with me).
The Solution: Utilize media cabinet or credenza for clothing in the living room.
It is not lost on me that it may seem bizarre to want to store clothes in the living room but it actually works out perfectly for us. Rocky gets up way earlier than me, so having him getting dressed in the living room rather than in our bedroom is the ideal situation. It’s what he does now, only at the moment his clothes are draped over various pieces of furniture. It’s just lovely.
All these picks are aspirational and out of my budget, but I find it super helpful to search online so when I am at flea markets or scouring craigslist I have a sense of what I am looking for. I chose some vertical and horizontal options here because I am open to either but let’s be real, #4 has my heart.
Problem #5: So many shoes, zero shoe storage
Do you guys do that thing where you walk into your house and immediately kick off your shoes and in doing so create hazardous obstacles? I am sure I am not alone here and if you’ve learned anything so far, it’s probably that I am the type of person who needs EASY ways to tidy up so I don’t put myself or my loved ones in danger.
The Solution: Get a small space friendly (and pretty) shoe rack or basket.
I really love the idea of having a shoe basket for my everyday mules, boots, and sneakers. Right now those shoes are thrown in a cardboard box and I have been loving the ease of this system so much, but I think some of our shoes should be kept on shoe racks so they don’t get ruined. You get it.
- Oak Shoe Stand | 2. 31″ Stackable Shelf | 3. Shoe Shelf | 4. Storage Basket | 5. Alina Storage Ottoman | 6. Mid-Century Shoe Rack
And just like that, almost 2,000 words and one awkward invitation into my home later, I am a smidge closer to becoming an organized person. Ha. Now that it is over, look out for my Makeover Takeover likely coming to you around the year 2030. See you then 😉
Now, what do you think of our small closet storage solutions? Does it seem ridiculous to keep clothing in such odd places? Do you have any secret organization tips you are dying to pass on? Tell me everything.