small space solutions: the walk-through closet
Yes, that’s right: walk-through. That’s how our landlord described the closet when he was showing us the condo, and if you’ve been here, you know what I’m talking about. It’s a little difficult to explain, so take a look at the floor plan I drew up (for furniture arranging purposes, as we awaited our move-in date) and you’ll see what I mean about the closet. (You’ll also note the paucity of closet/storage space in general.)
According to the Craiglist ad for this condo, this space is “perfect for a single professional.” If a single professional can comfortably fit his or her wardrobe into just over 7.5 feet of closet space, s/he has my utmost respect. Getting two wardrobes in there is a real challenge, even though only one of us is a clothes horse. Because we didn’t want to subject our guests, on their unsuspecting way to the restroom, to the sight of our crammed clothes and shoes, we put up curtains (from the bedroom windows of our former apartment) across the space – à la my college dorm room. Admittedly, this closet wasn’t in horrible shape to begin with, or at least not compared to some closets I’ve been responsible for. But it wasn’t pretty, either.
OK, I’ll admit it. I staged the before pic. I tried to resist, but my shoes (if you can believe it) were even more jumbled, and the brown cube containing my belts was overflowing with additional nonsense. And if it looks like there’s extra space on Daniel’s side, that’s because more than half of his shirts were in the laundry at the time. At any rate, my process for Operation Organization Jubilation was fairly simple. I’ve become pretty good in the last year or two about editing my wardrobe regularly, and I just took a bag to Goodwill last week. So the goal here was to put things in order, maximize space, and make the closet a little more aesthetically pleasing. No big deal. It just took forever.
The biggest investment was in new hangers. This felt, on the one hand, excessive and wasteful, and, on the other, like a necessary evil – and one that I’d been putting off. The other hand won in the end, and I got these slimline hangers. Not only do they do wonders for the aesthetics of hanging clothes, but they also really do maximize space. In an effort to contain the jumble, I got a shoe rack, a shelf organizer, and a double hang closet rod. One day and 10,000 hangers later, I have a much better looking closet. The change may not look dramatic, but it surely feels dramatic.
All in all, Operation Organization Jubilation was a success. And I discovered, among other things, that I need more pink in my life. Daniel has more pink shirts than I do.
Note: I hate hangers, especially the mismatched mess I had pre-makeover. My grandfather once said that if he ever fell off a cliff, his best hope for surviving the fall would be a handful of coat hangers to inevitably snag or tangle with something along the way. After the closet makeover I ended up with piles of old hangers, and as much as I wanted to throw them over a cliff, there’s no way I’m sending them straight to the landfill. I commit many consumerist sins, but even I can’t do that to Mother Earth. Instead, I’m going to trawl the local thrift stores for someone in need of 10,000 mismatched hangers.
UPDATE: The hangers found a new home at the Salvation Army Family Store.
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