Moving from a house to an apartment has gotten me, Emily Robinson, thinking about space, and how to effectively and efficiently use it. (And seeing the number of articles on related topics in home magazines tells me I’m not the only one.) I spoke with some design consultants here at Contempo Closet and then did some of my own thinking to come up with a list of tips to help maximize storage space.
- Use height. A tall wardrobe may have the same footprint as a small dresser or chest of drawers but offers more storage space because it is taller. One option to take this idea even further are storage caps—special storage units that can be added to the top of a freestanding wardrobe thereby giving more storage space in the same floor area.
- Place items wisely. The items people wear most are in the most accessible spot in the closet. This would be the best place for “all-year long” items like t-shirts and tank tops. These items can be worn during the spring and summer by themselves, or under sweaters in the fall and winter. These items can be best stored on shelves.
- Rotate Seasonally. This may sound annoying, but let’s face it, you don’t need all of your clothing accessible all year long—In places like New York, Boston and Chicago you don’t wear bathing suits in December or turtlenecks in July. Therefore, a good idea would be to use the rest of your accessible space for what you need right now. Off-season items can be stored in a harder to reach area (like a storage cap, or underneath a storage platform bed) until the seasons change. Rotating your clothing also allows you to review what you own so that new purchases enhance your current selection, not duplicate it.
- Use Organizational Tools. There are many solutions that can help keep everything organized—even in small spaces. Take advantage of them. For example, installing a scarf rack on a wall in your closet or wardrobe, frees up shelf space the scarves would otherwise occupy. Other ideas include using shoe racks to keep shoes organized and accessible; and accessory trays to keep jewelry organized and handy.
- Find pieces that combine hanging, shelves and drawers. Let’s face it– we need it all. The best way to get the most use out of your space is to have all three components in one place.
- Be Creative. Just because the manufacturer lists something as a nightstand, doesn’t mean you cant use it as a dresser in a small area. Or that an end-table can’t be a night stand. Those descriptions are what they propose you should use a piece for, but you are not obligated to use it in that way. Look at a piece and decide how it will fit your style, space and needs and then determine what its real use should be.
Let me know about any more ideas you might have to increase the efficiency of your space. Happy decorating!
By: Emily Robinson, Contempo Closet Design Consultant