Organized Apartment

Moving out is hard, but moving in is even harder. Recently, I moved out of my parents’ home into my very first apartment. It’s a standard first apartment as apartments go, and I am grateful to have my own room with a real door (my fellow New Yorkers will understand that this is sometimes a luxury). When I first arrived at my new space with all of my possessions, I struggled to figure out where I would put everything. I am not a person who likes clutter or knickknacks, though I do have hoarding tendencies and believe that there is a use for everything – you just have to find it. So, I took baby steps and found some key components to maximizing storage space in my tiny apartment.

The most important space aside from a true closet is under-the-bed storage. If you don’t have it, get it. The space beneath your bed is prime real estate for things you need to be able to access but don’t need day-to-day or even week-to-week. There are bed risers to boost your bed frame, and long flat storage boxes to organize your sweaters, linens, papers and anything else you need to have near by but not necessarily displayed.

Now, let’s talk about our closets. Currently my closet is just a cut-out with no door and a rod to hang clothes from. Nothing glamorous but it’s functional. Especially after I (with help from my dad) cut a board to fit the length of my closet and placed it above the bar that hangs my clothes. Voila, an instant upper shelf space was born for things like duffle bags, purses, and laundry supplies.

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It’s important also to organize your space so that you’re not just shoving things under your bed or to the top of your closet. When I first moved in I didn’t have a bed frame, just a mattress on the floor. As I unpacked, I spread everything out and first tackled my closet. I hung up clothes, organized by season with the winter fabrics at the far end, and I made sure to capitalize on the space underneath my hanging clothes. Instead of just having my shoes take up all the closet floor space, I found some inexpensive drawers from Target that I used to hold my gym clothes and I have a rack to hold sneakers and boots. I also found a hanging shoe rack to put on the back of my door.

Then, when I finally made the trip to Ikea and had my bed frame delivered (hello adult world!) I knew exactly what I wanted to put underneath my bed and positioned it underneath my bed by to the frequency of use. For example, important papers are at the ready, but my winter jackets are in a box under the center of my bed. They’re still at arm’s reach, but out of the way and definitely not taking up any precious hanging space!

Organizing is hard and it’s even more difficult when you feel like you are lacking adequate space. It’s important to take it one step a time – Rome was not organized in a day! Make a list of the things you have and highlight your trouble spots, and then take it corner by corner and room by room.

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Pro Tip: Remember to use your resources! Much of my organizing success has come from trial and error (or “Feng Shui” as some might call it) Don’t be afraid to devote an afternoon to taking everything out of your closet only to put everything back in at a different angle.

For 90s kids, just channel all of the Tetris games you’ve ever played, and get to work! Other helpful resources: Pinterest, Bed, Bath and Beyond (seriously – just perusing their storage supplies gives me ideas!), and friends and family. Sometimes seeing how others organize their own space can give you ideas of how to organize your set up!