While streamlining our belongings and freeing ourselves of unnecessary burdens is liberating, sometimes life forces us to find ways to make more stuff fit into less space. When my partner and I decided to move in together last summer, we had to do just that when we realized we’d have to consolidate our closets.
We had to find a way to support two sets of clothes and miscellaneous items we were used to storing, from linens to shoeboxes filled with memories. Patience aside, the project required a combination of flexible options that emphasized smaller spaces.
Our most recent purchase was the AmazonBasics Closet Storage Organizer with Bins. The $21 organizer is actually a bundle since it shows up with two collapsible fabric drawers that fill up its bottom shelf, leaving you two more for open-air use. The unit itself is easy to put together. The top shelf is just a few inches lower than the bottom of our hanging clothes, so I definitely suggest leaving that for flatter items like books or the boxes your tech came in (if you keep those around). And while we stuffed the drawers full of linen and my various fitness accessories, you could certainly fold them up and slip them behind the unit, leaving you to use the shelves as you please. If, on the other hand, you want even more shelves like we did (if you haven’t heard, boxes are all the craze right now), you can get six AmazonBasics Foldable Storage Cubes for under $17. We got the unit in black (which is more of a very dark gray to my eyes), and you can get yours in beige, brown, grey, blue, and red.
Well before I even met my partner, though, I was using a hanging closet organizer, which completely optimized my stuff in a section of closet I would’ve otherwise kept empty or only really utilized to allow more space between my hanging shirts and pants (which don’t need a lot of space). The bronze Hanging Closet Organizer from Simple Houseware gives you five shelves for anything you want quick access to (you can get it in gray, too). I use these shelves for wearable tech, headware, underwear, etc. Bonus component here is the attached mesh pockets on either side of the organizer, perfect for delicate documents, keys, and small personal tech like headphones or charging cables.
While hanging closet organizers and a free standing unit are on the smaller end, some of us need much more comprehensive solutions. If you want more flexibility while maintaining a free-standing model, check out another AmazonBasics staple: the $89 Expandable Closet Organizer. This will fill out and completely upend your closet’s utility without requiring any additional hardware or tools. You can expand it to its maximum 63 inches by 72 inches — perfect if you want to divide your closet into different lengths: dresses or coats on one rod and and shirts or pants on the other. There are ten shelves on this unit, which can each hold up to 100 pounds, meaning this can handle most, if not all, of your belongings. It comes in both black and chrome.
Finally, if free-standing is less an issue for you and the style of floating shelves entices you, take a look at the Configurations Custom Closet Deluxe Kit from Rubbermaid, If your walk-in or reach-in closet has a wall somewhere in it, this unit can give you up to 20 feet of shelves and 12 feet of hanging rods (which telescope to fit your needs!). This is by far the most flexible option and, to be honest, the most aesthetically pleasing.
Whatever your solution is, my advice is to stay positive and open to change. Our closets maintain our most important valuables and what we throw in there today isn’t necessarily what we will try to fit in tomorrow.
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