Where do you put the excess???

Your closets are full. Your drawers are jam-packed. You have a hamper to fulfill the intended purpose of housing dirty clothes as they await washing. You’re unable to use the washer because it’s too dirty and have to clean it. You have another that is filled with neatly-folded clean apparel that doesn’t get into circulation often, but they’re not yet quite ready for the Salvation Army. And if you live in a much older small home or apartment – forget about it! They didn’t account for what would evolve as the modern woman’s insatiable need for shoes! It is a reflection of our modern culture that we all need as much storage as possible. But what can one do to accommodate their apparel when it numbers in the legions?

First of all, make sure you’re making the most out of your space. If there’s absolutely nothing else you can do, sort through and organize your wardrobe. Divide and rotate by season. Whatever is apropos should be out front and easily accessible. If you find that despite the groupings, you still have too little space, more drastic measures must be taken.



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Take the off-season apparel out of the closet and move it elsewhere. Pick out as many items that you very rarely wear, and move them too. You want to create as much free space as possible, a light airy vibe easily accommodating new purchases. Of course ‘moving them elsewhere’ is easier said than done, so take some initiative. You can actually buy bins that roll out from underneath your bed. Cram those babies with as much as possible. You’ve probably already packed your old suitcases to the brim. Good, you do what you got to do. And you’ve seen the infomercials for those vacuum storage bags. They really work and allow you hang dozens of items once they have been compacted tightly.

If the situation is really severe you could even take out your closet door and replace it with a curtain that will much more comfortably – and elegantly – accommodate that protruding bulge. Wall space may be conserved where the door once swung. When even a few inches can make a difference, you’ve got to make them count.


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You probably know what the next suggestion is. Wall hooks! And Valet rods! You can even install pegboards for extra wall hanging space. Yup, now we’re getting closer to managing the mess. Heck, it’s becoming less of a mess every second! Hang your most frequently worn clothes here for easy access. Toss off what you’ve got on, hang it neatly and grab what you prepared for the evening for an easy change.

Have you considered redesigning the storage scheme of your closet? A strategic combination of bins, boxes, shelves and hangers will allow maximum resourcefulness. Put the less-likely-to-be-used-this-year stuff in the higher and harder-to-reach shelves. Use bins with an open top for delicate items and labeled shoeboxes to coordinate accessories.

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You may also get the most out of your existing shelves by fitting them with dividers. This may not seem practical at first, but consider how you currently have to push a pile of sweaters deep to the back to keep them from toppling over. That won’t be necessary when they are fitted into their own compartment. Always avoid bulky and think sleek.

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Now here’s a light bulb of an idea that you may not have thought twice about. Is your closet well-lit? Or is it powered by a single 40 watt bulb? A brightly illuminated closet is so much more user-friendly. You’re more likely to be able to find what you’re looking for quickly. If lighting options are limited check out some cheap portable lights. They’re small and can be easily fitted into corners.

Or you can think beyond the closet. Compromise the least-busy corner available by adding a shelf with a short hanging rod attached just beneath it. Since this arrangement isn’t concealed by a closet, use it as a fashion display and put your most decorative wares upon it.

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If your options are just too limited, you could always bring in a garment rack. Something small with wheels could be perfect. This would allow you to roll it (presumably) out-of-sight in a moment’s notice. Its industrial look is universally hip, perfect for the artistic loft-style environment.

What you see is not always what you get. Sure, it may look like there’s no way for all your stuff to fit, but a little space optimization goes a long way. If you are able to make it appear as though you own but a modest few clothes – as opposed to the avalanche it really is – pat yourself on the back for your storage savvy!