Most of us have hobbies that can take up a lot of space. Dorm room closets and living at home can make it difficult to have enough room to fit everything we love. While having a walk-in closet would be incredible, not every closet is so luxurious. But making your closet fit your life can be as simple as a few adjusts and added shelves.
When you’re apartment hunting, you probably open every door to see what’s behind. Closets mean so much to us that they’re usually a make-or-break when we’re apartment shopping. But, some experts argue you waste more space with a walk-in closet and we can see why.
Whether you’re living at home, moving into campus housing, or getting your first place, you will want to use your storage space as efficiently as possible. Even if it’s your coat closet, you will want to declutter, organize, and clean.
Imagine your most cluttered closet. If you’re picturing your closet right now and your heart rate increased thinking about the way you’ve packed your items in, don’t worry, there is a simple way to increase your closet’s organization while increasing its storage capacity.
Plan, Plan, Plan
If you’re shopping one bedroom apartment rentals and you find one that melts your heart, but its closets are more petite than you prefer, don’t lose out on your dream place! You can plan ahead and make the closet work for you.
Measure the space and draw a diagram of your closet and begin to configure how you can fit the storage system in your space.
If you do not have a hanging bar, almost any closet could benefit from one (the pantry being one of the few closets that may not). You will then want to measure the length of your longest hanging items then add the distance from the hanging bar.
Subtract this number from the height of your closet area. This is your shelving space where you will need a combination of drawers and shelves.
Take a Survey of Your Belongings
Make sure you account for everything you want to store in the closet. You can then combine shoe storage with clothing drawers, or you can find hanging solutions for odd items.
Group your belongings that are the same category, like shoes or hats. Then group similarly size items together. If you can fit your items into a common size box, this will help you configure and choose your shelving.
Decide which items will work best on shelves or if they’d do better in drawers. Usually, anything that could appear untidy is best to hide away in a drawer, while anything that could add to your closet’s appeal could be left out.
Shoes work great on shelving or shoe racks while purses generally do better hidden away.
If you have more items than you have room for, add over-the-door storage on the inside of the closet door or add towel racks that you can hang items from.
Shop Smart and Save Space
Shop for storage systems that will work for your items. Remember to check online shops in addition to local stores. Double check product dimensions before you commit. Make sure you account for the room you’ll need to assemble or place the shelves and drawers into the closet.
Paint Your Shelves
To give your shelves a customized look, and paint them to match your decor. You will want to paint them before installing them to minimize mess and to achieve a better finish. This is great for children’s rooms where they often forget to close their closet doors.
Make sure you use high-quality paint that won’t flake off or peel when you place items on them. Reflective paint finishes will reflect light back and make your closet feel less cramped.
You can also keep them white or off-white for a light, clean look. While black will make your shelves disappear into the background more. Black also has a tendency to create a more masculine look with a darker atmosphere.
Install Your Shelves
Make sure you secure your shelves properly to the walls. If you do not, you will risk your entire shelving system collapsing. This can not only be quite messy and inconvenient, but it can be dangerous. If you rent an apartment, you can find solutions to this, especially if you order freestanding storage.
If you’re unsure of how to install your shelves, or you’re nervous about them appearing messy or unfinished, call a handyman or ask a relative that has carpentry skills.
Organize and Hang Your Belongings
Match all of your items with like others, then hang them near one another. After hanging items on the closet bar, place other items in color and size order in your drawers or on shelves.
Clothing, especially seasonal clothing items are often best rolled for their most compact storage.
Add a Touch of Design and Beauty to Your Space
Even though you want to use every inch of your closet for storage, you may benefit from leaving an empty shelf for a beautiful item or a battery powered lamp. Another great way to make your closet appear light, bright, and bigger is to install a mirror.
Try framing a picture and setting it on a shelf next to a souvenir from your travels or a fresh bouquet of flowers.
When you open your closet, seeing something sentimental and beautiful will brighten your day.
If you’re planning on moving, check out our tips that will help you save time and energy. You don’t have to be buff to bring your furniture to your new place.
After your closet is organized and clean, be sure to keep it organized by continuing to place items back into their appropriate spots and hanging clothing items beside similar lengths. Over time you will love your closet and not even notice you can’t walk into it.
After organizing your closet, you’ll want to continue to update and decorate the rest of your beautiful living space.