“I like my money right where I can see it…hanging in my closet”. –Carrie Bradshaw
If you’re a fashionista (or fashionista) who lacks closet space in your New York apartment, not to worry; with a little creative thinking, you can find a home for every last item of your every-growing wardrobe, and keep your city pad uncluttered. Here are six ways to eek storage out of even a closet-less apartment.
1. Stand-alone furniture
Furniture is a fantastic way to create movable storage. Not only can you move the pieces around in your space as needed, but you can take them with you when you can finally afford that sprawling two-bedroom. Think storage ottoman (the top can be removed), nightstands with drawers, dressers, armoires, and a bathroom vanity rather than a pedestal sink. At least half of your furnishings should offer storage.
2. Install Shelves
Shelves are a must for books, and also a great spot for accessories as well as liquor, dishware, and glassware. Hang above a sofa and arrange your favorite hardbacks with artwork and a few accessories. Install shelves in your bathroom and use for toiletries; install in your kitchen for olive oil, dried herbs, and spices.
3. Under the bed
This option may date back to caveman times, but it’s practical and very inexpensive. Purchase long, flat storage containers and keep seasonal clothing as well as holiday decorations out of sight. If you have a queen-size bed, you should be able to fit at least three, if not, four containers under it. Your single closet will feel roomy in a New York minute, making space for your new threads.
Boxes may be small, but they are great for tchotchkes such as jewelry, sunglasses, keys, bills and other paperwork, remote controls, and more. I am a firm believer in decorative boxes, and just about every surface in my apartment has one, or several. Choose boxes that coordinate with your color scheme. Decorate and organize at the same time.
5. Kitchen cabinets to the ceiling
The higher your cabinets go, the more you can store. High cabinets are the ideal place to keep those items you use a few times per year, or other belongings as long as you don’t mind an occasional climb. For access, purchase a small folding stepladder that you can easily hide behind a piece of furniture.
Although this is the most expensive option, for those with zero closet space, create custom storage with built-in units. Use a dead corner, or an entire wall, if you can afford the space. I recommend a combination of shelves and hanging above, with drawers below. Come up with a solid plan and request bids from several carpenters. Your Manolos will have a special home next to your Louboutins in no time, and your Celine Bag and Chanel suit will be close by.
Note: I might mention that it’s not a bad idea to purge your belongings before you add storage. Before purchasing or installing anything, rid yourself of the items you don’t need or haven’t worn in two years or longer.