Wasted space makes me ragey. Poorly designed closets cause me to seethe. Yes, I realize I need to find more important issues in my life to be upset about, but there you have it.
How many of us have closet shelving that leaves a large amount of space unusable? How many of us have attempted to stack items really high on such shelving, only to have it all come crashing down upon us when we need something out of the middle? It can’t be just me. I suppose some people are able to get rid of things they don’t regularly use, clothes they never wear, shoes that hurt so bad (but are SO pretty!) they are impossible to shove your feet into. I am not one of those people. I have a sentimental attachment to my clothing that borders on co-dependence. The 6-inch pleather platform heels I wore to senior prom and never again? The first pair of “fancy” shoes I got for freshman Christmas ball? How about the plethora of T-shirts from vacations that seemed pivotal to my enjoyment and display thereof when they were purchased and then never actually placed on my body? You get the picture. I have a large amount of stuff. Because of this, my storage solutions have to be creative. While I am very lucky to have significant storage and closet space in my house, there are still easy, cheap ways to utilize space in small living quarters that I employ regularly and will hopefully be helpful to you here.
Unconventional Display Storage
Most of us have an empty wall somewhere, wide enough to accommodate a bookshelf. The space to store all my books, however, is another post entirely (I refuse to get rid of any books because my dream is to someday have a place big enough to build a cozy little library and if I get rid of anything now, how on earth will I fill it when the time comes???). The bookshelf and wall in question for these purposes is used to store/display my pretty, pretty shoes.
I heart my shoes very, very much
The exact model is no longer available at Target, but I just put this similar model together for my best friend’s new place and it was simple, fast and works like a charm.
Jewelry storage is another way to dress up your walls and be functional at the same time. Marshall’s, Ross, Home Goods and the like typically have really cute jewelry stands for around $10, but for longer pieces, I like to use simple wall hooks and hang them above my dresser. There are hooks that screw into the wall, if you can put holes in the wall, and many stick-on options if you can’t or don’t want to.
You can find the screw-in hooks super cheap at Target or any hardware store, usually sold in packs of 20 or so. Don’t worry, I have more uses for them in a minute, so having more than you need for jewelry is perfect.
Unconventional Use of Conventional Storage Solutions
Remember earlier when we were talking about wasted space above closet shelves? Here is my absolute favorite trick: find a cheap curtain tension rod from Target, Home Depot, etc., that will work with the width of your shelf. Hang it close to the ceiling, leaving about 2 inches from the top. Get a pack of rod hooks or some inexpensive shower curtain rings, and proceed to hang your handbags on the rod. Handbag storage is a pain in the ass and can leave your purses smashed, squished, or generally misshapen. By hanging them from the rod, they keep their shape and have less of a chance of getting beaten up (or, if you live in my house, pissed on by the asshole cat). Plus, if you have enough room, putting the rod up high can still leave you with space underneath to stack things.
There are about 30 purses stored up there. Oy. While it looks like a jumbled mess in this photo,
I swear it is an awesome way to keep them sorted!
Over-the-door shoe holders are also a godsend. I use these in my craft and clothing closets and not for my shoes. I prefer the ones with clear compartments because you can see what you have crammed in them. I use this in my clothing closet for scarves, bathing suits, gloves and any other number of random articles that I don’t have enough of to warrant an entire drawer.
I also use the wall hooks from earlier in my closet to hang various items. I have hooks that hold tote bags or over-sized bags that won’t fit on the rod system, random hats and bulky scarves. There is really not any unused space in my closet, unless you count the ceiling. Ohhhh man… what could I hang from the ceiling???
These are a few of my favorite closet and room organizers that make my life much easier. Anybody else have sneaky tips on using something for other than its intended use? I am always looking for new ways to cram more shit into the space I have, so any and all suggestions are awesome!