Today it made sense as to why I feel so compelled to be organized – especially when moving. As my friend and yoga instructor, Ari Green, explained during class, the act of cleaning out a closet allows you to feel lighter and more open to seize opportunity because you are ‘creating space.’ You can suddenly make objective decisions – the lack of clutter in your physical (mental, emotional, etc.) space translates to increased awareness, agility, and energy.
Now that I’ve had time to reflect on my move, I can comment on what does and does not work when consolidating from a larger to smaller apartment. Below are some tips on ‘creating space’ that I’ve pulled together from both friends and my own trial & error:
1) Go Vertical: I used this tactic most prominently in my hall closet. Here I installed a customizable InterMetro shelving unit from the Container Store. This allowed me to store everything that used to be in my desk and laundry room as well as a couple of jackets. I used Havana Wicker Baskets from the Pottery Barn to store folders that were in filing cabinets previously and are now easily accessible on the InterMetro shelving unit.
2) Go External: If you don’t have enough closet space built-in, don’t shove your clothes to fit as that will only lead to lost clothing, wrinkles, and a huge dry cleaning bill. Instead, research wardrobe closets, like the one I purchase from Ikea. I chose the ELGA 3-door closet because it was the LARGEST one I could find, has a mirrored door, and is similar in styling to my living room furniture (as it could not fit in the bedroom.) Also, I learned that Ikea will assemble its furniture for you (at an added, but very worthwhile cost) so no need to shy away if you’re handy-man skills aren’t up to par.
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3) Choose Your Hangers Wisely: This tip came from Kathleen Ritzel. When hanging scarves and skirts, in particular, there are some super slim, slip free systems available from Bed Bath & Beyond and HSN. Multi-tiered skirt hangers are an absolute must as they fit 4-6 skirts (or shorts) vertically in the same space as a single hanger. For scarves, try Real Simple Large Loop Hangers, which each have five holes to pull scarves through and come in packs of two, thus providing enough room for 10 scarves.
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4) Look Down Under: Storing things underneath the bed is not a new idea, but think about extending the concept to other areas of your home, like coffee tables or end tables. Using the same Pottery Barn Havana Baskets as I mentioned earlier, I added storage under by bedroom side tables without taking up any extra floor space.
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”Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”