How to Share a Closet and Avoid the Battle for Closet Space

shared closet

When you share a closet, patience, making some compromises, and being selfless towards your partner or spouse are the keys to organizational harmony.

That’s all easier said than done, of course. Even two people who have previously always been able to keep their closets tidy can find sharing a closet very challenging.

The different dynamics of how the storage space is used takes some getting used to. Some people never quite figure out how to successfully share a closet, even after years of being with their significant other.

Here’s how hard it can be to share a closet

How much can someone’s organizational habits (or lack thereof) get under the skin of their partner? Clutter was the cause of 48% of the arguments between couples who lived together, according to a survey by SpareFoot, a self-storage company.

You can guarantee that a healthy percentage of those clutter-related disagreements were sparked by the untidy state of some shared closets.

The stress of managing a single closet space being used by two people is very real. There are plenty of things you can do to end the battle for closet space in your bedroom, however.

Here are some practical solutions to help any couple share a closet peacefully.

woman sorting clothes in reach-in closet

If you share a closet, prioritize storage

When you’re attempting to overhaul a dysfunctional shared closet, space considerations will be your biggest concern before you even begin to figure out how much room each partner will get.

The logical place to start with a closet revamp is to have each person reduce the number of items they want to keep in the closet. Prioritize using your respective storage spaces for important things only, not things that can sometimes go a year or more without being worn.

We’ve previously written about what items shouldn’t be taking up space in your closets. A few of them include:

  • sale items you’ve never worn
  • unfashionable clothing
  • damaged and old clothing
  • clothing that doesn’t fit

Agree on how you’ll share a closet space

Author Heidi Catherine Culbertson wrote, “Your abundance is not measured by what you have, it is created by what you share.”

That’s a selfless, ideal mindset for both parties to have as they hash out a plan for how to improve their shared closet situation.

Once you both have a better idea of what will be going in the closet, come up with an equitable and agreeable split of the closet space, whether it’s 50/50, 60/40, or 75/25, etc. If it’s the latter in your favour, congratulations – your generous partner is a definite keeper!

That whole “compromise” thing factors heavily into this step. Hopefully, the individual with fewer clothes sees the practicality and fairness of making some space concessions to the partner who requires more room for their wardrobe.

man holding shirt in front of closet

Hire a pro to custom-design a shared closet

Two heads are better than one, right? Then why not follow that logic and add another head to the mix when envisioning your shared closet’s design? Not just any head, though. We’re talking about someone with lots of closet design expertise who can help you and your partner create the perfect shared closet space.

A professional closet designer brings more to the table than what you’ll get with DIY closet organizer systems you can buy in stores or online.

Mass-produced, one-size-fits-all closet organizers like these can’t compare to the level of design flexibility offered by a custom closet organizing solution.

Custom closet systems are built just for you

An experienced designer will tailor the closet’s design for each person. Factors like the heights of each person are taken into consideration so the heights of hanging rods, shelving, and other storage areas are more easily accessible.

Your individual functional needs are met with smart design choices like adding a hanging rod below the traditional upper closet rod to double-up on your hanging space.

Remember that hanging rods don’t have to go across the entire width of a closet. We can add shorter rods on one side or both sides of a closet in one of those narrower spaces that might otherwise be underutilized. Those other “dead space” closet areas that can get wasted, such as in corners or up high, can also be put to work for you.

Design for style and function

A pro won’t just help you come up with a smart shared closet layout that satisfies everyone’s functional needs. They know that the closet space you’ll be using every day needs to look appealing, too.

Here are some of the stylish decorative touches that can be included in a reach-in or walk-in closet design:

  • crown moulding
  • cabinetry finishes that complement your bedroom décor
  • under-mount LED lighting
  • elegant decorative hardware

Share zones in your closet

A shared closet should be just that and not necessarily a space where each person’s things are exclusively in separate zones and never the two shall meet.

If your items can co-exist in the same area of the closet (or more accurately, if you and your partner can share the same zone of a closet and maintain the peace), by all means, team up.

Sharing zones in the closet is an effective way to maximize your storage space, especially if the closet is smaller.

Use a pullout pant rack and split the hanging space with each other. The same applies for the upper rod in the closet, which each of you can use for hanging your longer clothing items. A shoe rack and belt rack can also be shared.

shared closet shoe rack

Sharing storage zones with your partner helps maximize your closet storage space.

Add a closet storage tower

For clothing items that are better off being folded instead of hung (like sweaters), having some drawer space and open shelf space in the closet will come in very handy.

Adding a storage tower to the closet with a few drawers on the lower half and open shelving and cubby dividers on the top half keeps all of your wardrobe items in the same area. That allows you to free up space in the bedroom by getting rid of a wardrobe closet or dresser.

Give yourself a drawer or two and your partner gets the rest. Organized Interiors can incorporate drawer dividers or jewellery drawer inserts into the storage tower’s design to keep both of you more organized.

A custom closet storage tower can be designed to be freestanding (sitting on the floor) or wall-mounted, which leaves space underneath the tower.

Make use of helpful closet accessories

We’ve already mentioned a few great closet accessories like pullout belt, tie, and pant racks. They may be small details in a closet’s design, but these convenient helpers have a big impact on the space’s overall functionality.

Here are a few more closet accessories you might want to consider including in your closet’s design:

  • retractable valet rods
  • necklace hooks
  • versatile four-position hangers
  • pullout laundry hampers to keep dirty clothes sorted and tidy

All of our closet accessories are designed to save space, make your daily dressing routine more efficient, and add a sophisticated decorative touch to any closet with their sleek metal finishes.

Venture beyond the closet border

Even with the best closet organization and storage systems in use, it’s just a reality that sometimes you can’t fit 10 pounds of potatoes into a 5-pound sack (to paraphrase an expression that uses slightly more colourful language).   OKAY TO USE?

Downsizing and decluttering may only get you so far. If the number of clothes you and your partner own simply won’t all fit in one closet, it could actually turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

If your bedroom has some open floor space, setting up a separate wardrobe space for one of you may be the best and easiest solution. This is especially true if one of you is, shall we say, a closet slob.

There are a variety of ways to create more space for storing clothes outside of the closet. Here are some bedroom storage ideas that go beyond the borders of a traditional closet:

Any of these bedroom storage solutions are better than hanging extra clothes on a garment rack in a room corner, which can look unsightly.

White wardrobe with open doors

If you and your partner have too many things to fit into a shared closet space, look for other bedroom storage solutions to help out like a wardrobe closet.

Respect each other’s space

Those three noble virtues we listed in the very first sentence (patience, selflessness, and being willing to compromise) will serve you well as you share a closet with your better half. We’ll add “respect” to that list, too.

Even with a seemingly sound closet-sharing strategy in place, things from one partner’s side may slowly start to encroach into the other person’s territory.

Try to respect each other’s space. After all, both parties agreed to the allotment of closet space each of you would get.

Make an effort to keep your portion of the closet tidy. Even if everything is contained in someone’s designated area of the closet, if it all looks like a disaster zone, it can fester negative feelings and lead to an argument.

And be flexible and willing to make improvements to your shared closet space if things aren’t working as efficiently after some time has passed. There are always ways to tweak and modify a closet’s functionality based on your changing storage needs.

Make it easier to share a closet with your partner

If your efforts to share a closet with your significant other just aren’t working out, Organized Interiors can solve your closet-sharing problems. Read about how we helped a Toronto couple with a custom shared closet design.

We know that having a closet space with a smart design makes maintaining a shared closet significantly easier.

Organized Interiors has been designing shared closets for over 40 years so couples can enjoy their main clothes storage space, not argue over it.

Organized Interiors customer review

A review left on Facebook from a satisfied Organized Interiors client.

Schedule a free design consultation with us to get your shared closet space design plan in motion.

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9 Clutter Hotspots in Your Home To Conquer Once and for All

Clutter hotspots abound throughout our homes, attracting all types of miscellaneous items like bees to honey.

Essentially, they’re the dumping grounds in our living spaces.

Junk drawers, closets, front entryways, and garages are just a few of the common clutter hotspots that restrict your home from functioning at peak efficiency.

A Professional Organizers of Canada study found that 83% of Canadians described themselves as “extremely disorganized”. 91% of Canadians believe that their life is negatively impacted by clutter.

clutter hotspots hero

Photo by Curtis Adams from Pexels

The causes of our clutter hotspots

Those numbers are alarmingly high. It’s no wonder we’re drowning in so much stuff – and unhappy about it.

We live in a time where you can’t drive more than a minute or two without seeing a Walmart, Costco, or dollar store dotting our suburban landscape, luring shoppers with aisle after aisle of cheaply priced merchandise.

The massive growth of online shopping makes it easier than ever to buy almost anything. Jeez, who knew that being able to purchase something in only a few seconds by tapping a phone screen (without even needing to get out of bed) and having it delivered to our front door might be too much of a good thing?

Clutter starts to multiply in our homes because, let’s face it, the vast majority of us dislike spending our cherished free time doing tasks as admittedly tedious as decluttering. We also let clutter accumulate because we get too attached to things and have a hard time letting go of them.

But you can’t ignore clutter forever.

Why your home clutter shouldn’t have a home

Allowing too much clutter set up permanent residency in your home affects your life negatively in a number of ways that are costly (literally and figuratively).

Clutter costs you wasted time searching for things. When things get misplaced, they get purchased again…only to have the misplaced item mysteriously turn up shortly thereafter with frustrating frequency.

Clutter is costly to your mental health and can cause stress and contribute to poor sleeping habits.

A home’s ability to run efficiently is limited when there’s too much clutter around. Trying to function in a messy garage, laundry room, or bathroom simply isn’t as easy as it is to function in the same spaces if they’re organized.

Tackle these clutter hotspots

Target the areas of your home where clutter always seems to end up.

Dealing with these clutter hotspots is only half the battle. They’re the most sensible places to start, though, as you work your way towards organizing your home once and for all.

Here are 9 common clutter hotspots in your house or condo to focus on fixing.

1. Garages

Garages are perhaps the most popular go-to space in a house for stashing clutter. Ironically, clutter often ends up in the garage because it’s such a large space, but that extra space is there because the garage is designed to accommodate vehicles for parking.

Instead, junk that collectively isn’t worth more than probably a few hundred or a few thousand dollars (at the most) occupies prime real estate in many garages.

Meanwhile, vehicles that are worth tens of thousands of dollars sit parked in the driveway or on the street where they’re far more vulnerable to theft and vandalism.

Garage remodel experts Garage Living have a number of helpful articles on their blog that can help you get the room more organized and functional.

Get started by following their guide listing 15 different things you can toss from your garage that you won’t miss.

clutter hotspots garage

25% of people with 2-car garages don’t park in them at all. A third can only park one car. (U.S. Dept. of Energy study)

2. Junk drawers

Anyone living in a country in the Western world who disputes that we’re a wasteful, consumerist society has to defend the junk drawer. We’re pretty sure they’re a foreign concept in countries like Japan, where they wouldn’t even think to attach a name with the word “junk” in it to an area of their home.

Junk drawers may not take up a lot of space (unless you have a few of them spread throughout your home), but there’s no reason these notorious clutter hotspots are even a thing. Most of the stuff in a junk drawer is, by definition, junk.

Turn your junk drawers into odds and ends drawers

Spend an hour or two tossing out or recycling all those grease-covered delivery and take-out menus. Bookmark the websites of your favourite restaurants on your phone or computer.

Those menus will probably be faster to find online compared to hunting through your junk drawers for a particular menu. Some of those businesses likely have a phone app available to make ordering from them even easier, too.

Clear out that collection of junk drawer pens (soooo many pens) and figure out which ones still even work. The same goes for the assorted batteries that most junk drawers contain. All of those plastic cutlery packages, condiment packets, outdated cables and cords for your electronics, and loose change can take a hike, too.

Now you’ve gotten your odds and ends drawers (which has a nicer ring, doesn’t it?) down to a manageable number of items. To keep your drawers more organized, add dividers and keep the items you’ll use most at the front.

3. Closets

The National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professional’s (NAPO) Public Survey of Residential Organizing Attitudes found that closets ranked first as the most disorganized storage area in homes.

55% of the 1,005 people polled in the NAPO’s revealing 2019 survey gave that response. Garages, cabinets and shelves, and attics/basements also took the top spots in this category.

Cultural shifts like the aforementioned online shopping boom and the rise of fast fashion (when high-fashion clothing is mass-produced and sold for low prices) has led to our closets becoming overstuffed.

A different NAPO survey found that about 80% of your clothes are only worn 20% of the time. To streamline your home’s closets, edit their contents at least once a year to prevent them from becoming clutter hotspots.

Maximize the storage space in your closets by having a closet design expert like Organized Interiors give them a makeover. Closet organization systems and accessories for added functionality will help make your wardrobe and other items stored in your home’s closets easier to manage.

woman in walk-in closet

Closets were the most disorganized storage area in homes, according to a survey conducted by home organizing professionals.

4. Kitchen cupboards

Kitchen cupboards and pantries tend to harbour a lot of clutter. Some examples include:

  • expired condiments
  • appliances you never use (we’re looking at you juicer, slow cooker, and waffle maker)
  • plastic food storage containers
  • more glasses, mugs, bowls, and dishes than you ever use
  • tote bags
  • stale dry food and old canned goods
  • expired spices

You can only use so many food storage containers, so recycle what you can and only hold onto your favourite items. To cut down on the amount of plastic in your home, consider investing in some microwave-safe glass food storage containers.

Thin out your kitchen pantry by getting rid of spices you never use and spices you’ve had for a while. Ground spices have a shelf life of about three years and whole spices are good for around four years before they lose a lot of their flavour.

Tote away those extra tote bags

shopping tote bags end up in clutter hotspotsReusable shopping bags are a fantastic concept that are so ultra-practical, it’s a wonder it took us so long to embrace using them without a second thought, as most of us do nowadays.

They’re way more reliable than using paper or plastic shopping bags and can hold more groceries. And most importantly, of course, tote bags keep billions of plastic bags from ending up in recycling facilities, landfills, and nature every year.

That being said, the rise in the usage of tote bags has resulted in virtually every company on the planet giving away bags with their logos on them willy nilly. Now our kitchen cupboards, closets, and cars are filled with more bags than we’ll ever need.

Clear out the bag clutter by donating them, using them when giving things to friends, having the tote bags recycled, or tossing them out when all else fails.

5. Entryways

It’s logical that our entryways accumulate clutter because they’re the first point of contact when anyone enters the home.

Your front entryway, in particular, should always look organized because it’s the area visitors to your home see first.

First impressions count

A survey by The Independent Network powered by VEKA (a UK organization representing window and door manufacturers) found that guests judge your home within 38 seconds of entering it.

Your home’s entryways shouldn’t just be kept tidy for the benefit of visitors, however. Anyone living under your roof should appreciate entering their living space and being greeted by a clean, organized doorway that gives them that home sweet home feeling.

Assign homes for your kids’ school bags, sports equipment, apparel, and footwear. Wall hooks and cubby storage systems are ideal for keeping the space tidy. If necessary, use labels with your kids’ names to encourage them to put things away properly.

Ensure out-of-season clothing is stored anywhere besides your high-traffic entryway areas. Set up a doorway spot for placing car keys, house keys, and mail.

To keep your home’e entryways tidy, ask Organized Interiors about our mudroom design and storage ideas.

6. Home offices

The 2019 NAPO survey shows that home offices were the second-most disorganized living area in our homes, just slightly below the kitchen.

More people are working from home and numerous studies over the years consistently find that one of the biggest factors that lowers workplace productivity is clutter. Messy desks and workspaces impede our ability to focus and slow down our productivity.

Set up a paper management system

Excess paper is one of the main things that clogs up your work area and makes an office look untidy. Set up a practical paper management system that includes a shredder and filing system. To simplify things even more, make your paper management system one that involves handling barely any paper at all!

It’s the 2020s, so most of the statements you receive that outline your monthly expenses, due payments, and financial portfolio should be getting to you via cyberspace, not your mail carrier’s truck.

Desktop computer screens and monitors also come in large sizes like the latest iMac’s 24″ display. That lets you have multiple documents and windows open on your computer desktop at once, instead of having paper documents spread out on your desk.

If you’re working full-time from a home office now, you have every reason to optimize your work setup to encourage better productivity.

files in home office

Create an efficient paper filing system in your home office.

7. Bathrooms

It’s no surprise that bathrooms, one of the busiest rooms in our homes, end up as a clutter hotspot.

We use a lot of different products to clean and groom ourselves and most of them are kept in the bathroom.

Go through your medicine cabinets and bathroom storage cabinets to get rid of expired medications, first-aid products, and beauty products. Your skin can have a bad reaction to expired makeup that is applied to it. Most makeup products have a shelf life of about three months to two years.

Also get rid of any mini-sized shampoos, soaps, or other toiletries you’ve accumulated that never get used. Call a local homeless shelter or charity to find out if they will accept them.

Avoid storing extra bath towels and linens in the bathroom

If you’re coming up short on bathroom storage space for all of your toiletries, you may wish to reconsider keeping your extra bath towels and other linens stored in the room. The reasons for why you shouldn’t store linens in the bathroom may surprise you.

Old bath towels lose their softness and absorbency over time and can start to fray. Get them out of the bathroom and use them as rags. Some veterinarian clinics and animal shelters will welcome your old bath towel donations, which can be repurposed as bedding for their furry patients and residents.

There are lots of practical reasons to have a linen closet in your home that is located in a hallway or somewhere else outside of a bathroom.

8. Nightstands and dressers

The tops of nightstands (or bedside tables if you prefer) don’t have much space, so whatever items are put there can make them look cluttered in a hurry.

Most nightstands have at least one drawer, which should be used whenever possible to keep the surface organized. Prioritize keeping only essential things on top of a bedside table, such as an alarm clock, sleep mask, reading glasses, and lamp. It’s also nice to have a little room beside the bed to place a hot beverage or glass of water.

Things like magazines, night creams, tablets, and phones should be put away in the nightstand drawer(s). This makes extra sense for your phone, so alerts or late calls don’t disturb you as you fall asleep.

Professional organizers recommend keeping any flat surface beside the bed as clutter-free as possible, which can help you get a better night’s sleep.

Another area of the bedroom to look at is the top of your dresser. This space is another clutter hotspot that can become an eyesore that is covered in things like:

  • spare change
  • jewellery
  • car keys
  • watches
  • wallets and purses
  • sunglasses

By all means, make use of this handy space. All it takes to keep things tidier is to use some drawer dividers or a few organizing trays and mini storage bins on the top of the dresser.

plant clock lamp on nightstand

The tops of nightstands don’t offer much room, so only use the surface for keeping essentials. (Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels)

9. Kids’ bedrooms and playrooms

A list of home clutter hotspots wouldn’t be complete without including our kids’ bedrooms and playrooms.

Try as they might, most youngsters don’t have it in them quite yet to keep their spaces tidy on a consistent basis.

If you’re frustrated that your kids’ rooms can’t stay clean, see if there are any ways to make it easier for them to keep their rooms more organized. Adding better storage systems and making the storage they use for their toys, craft supplies, clothing, and other things more accessible can help.

For their bedroom closets, parents should be working with their growing kids by going through their closets and dresser drawers together at least once a year to remove outgrown clothing.

Conquer your clutter hotspots. Need some help?

Identifying the clutter hotspots in your house or condo is a positive first steps towards ridding your home of the unnecessary things that cause you to feel weighed down.

One of the questions from that NAPO survey was “What prevents you from effectively addressing the clutter in your home?”. The top reason people gave for not dealing with their home clutter is, “Dealing with clutter is overwhelming.”

Yes, it is. But that’s why professionals with home organizing solutions like Organizing Interiors exist.

We specialize in helping our clients feel a lot less “whelmed” when they’re making the effort to get their homes organized.

Schedule a free design consultation with us to get your home on the path to becoming a tidy, clutter-free space you can enjoy more.

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This Tiny Space Is Carefully Customized For Comfort

All Brian Care cared about was having a home base in Canada that was comfortable and maintenance-free.

Brian’s occupation as a designer involves international travel that can have him away from home for months at a time.

tiny space living room

Owning a condo or house wasn’t practical, considering how little time Brian would get to spend in his home during the year. Brian didn’t need much space, nor did he want much. A tiny space was all he required.

Brian shared a home with good friends for many years. When they moved, they made sure that a dedicated space was available for him. On the lower level of their new house, Brian was offered an area that was just shy of 274 square feet.

What Brian needed for his tiny space

Brian’s tiny space just had to be functional and include certain essential components that made it feel like home.

With the help of Organized Interiors design consultant Micheline Young, the two embarked on transforming an unfinished space in a new townhouse into a safe, comfortable place for him to land each year.

The finished space had to accommodate Brian when he came back to Canada for a few months, which included making space for his most cherished possessions.

Downsizing for a small living space

To start with, Brian had to get rid of a lifetime of possessions. Large, antique, pine furniture pieces went to friends. He pared back his wardrobe to just the basics.

“I sorted everything and didn’t bring anything that I questioned about ever needing or using again,” says Brian.

“At some point, I came to realize that if I was to put anything in storage, I might as well get rid of it. I’ll never remember where it is or never bother to pull it out again. It was actually very liberating.”

small pine bench coffee table

Brian decided to keep some mirrors, a pine bench, a chaise, and an easy chair.

Bringing Brian’s design to life

From day one, creating the tiny space design was a collaborative effort. “Since Brian is a designer, he was able to convey his ideas very clearly,” says Micheline. “My job as a designer for Organized Interiors was to interpret his thoughts into reality.”

Lots of sketches of possible layouts were drawn up before exact measurements helped to determine the best possible options.

custom bathroom cabinetry

Custom bathroom cabinetry provides all the room needed for storing toiletries and supplies.

“Often, architects and designers don’t know how a space needs to function for a client,” says Brian. “Functionality was the key to creating a totally livable and workable space under 274 square feet.”

Good communication was key

For much of the project, Brian was in Mexico and he and Micheline connected on a regular basis.

“Not knowing the engineering aspects of custom cabinetry, it was really helpful to have Micheline troubleshoot,” says Brian. “Communicating with her was easy and I always felt that she had my best interests at heart.”

There were lots of back-and-forth emails, many site visits, and numerous changes, according to Micheline.

One example of adjustments that were made involved a wardrobe. A standard wardrobe is 24 inches in depth, but the placement of the pot lights was 22 inches from the back wall. Micheline was able to alter its positioning to solve this dilemma.

She was also able to size the drawer depths and cabinets to Brian’s specifications to accommodate specific items.

Getting the kitchen space ready

Brian pre-ordered a refrigerator and a sink so that they had the tangible items and measurements to work around.

Panels were added, adjustments were made, and unexpected solutions actually provided more space in the food prep area.

tiny kitchen space

He got rid of his blender and food processor and bought a Magic Bullet®, which does both functions and takes up little space.

kitchen sink and induction stove top

Brian uses a single induction cooktop, which also saves space and slides out of the way easily. A combination microwave/convection/broiler/air fryer oven covers the rest of Brian’s cooking needs.

Customizing the storage cabinetry for a small living space

The custom overhead cabinets were perfect for storing items that weren’t required on a daily basis.

Baskets and wooden boxes were included in open spaces above the bed and under the television for easy access.

custom overhead-cabinetry

The advantage of custom cabinetry is that you can customize each piece for what you want it to contain,” says Brian.

Refining the tiny living space’s décor and lighting

New rugs were purchased to complement the furniture that Brian decided to keep. He only kept photos and mementos that he couldn’t bear to part with.

Instead of a backsplash in the kitchen, he plans to incorporate cherished pottery pieces.

Remote-controlled downlights were added above the bed, as well as on the cabinets to light Brian’s workspace at night.

remote-controlled lighting and upper builtin cabinets

Remote-controlled downlights and upper cabinets above the bed keep the small space functional.

Because Brian chose to limit his wardrobe to a black palette, he needed excellent lighting in his closet. As Brian says, “Nothing looks good under poor lighting.”

The finished space is really comfortable and cozy, according to Brian. “Everything has its place. My things fit perfectly into the cabinetry. I couldn’t be more pleased with the overall functionality and how it all turned out.”

5 crucial tiny space custom design considerations

Brian’s experience with Organized Interiors taught him that there are five things anyone looking at having a tiny living space designed should consider:

  1. Design: When working with a knowledgeable designer, a plan will naturally evolve, and ultimately reflect the client’s tendencies towards a specific style.
  2. Function: When dealing with limited square footage, consider how a space is to be used and adapt all design sensibilities towards that outcome.
  3. Materials: When choosing materials and finishes, considerations like functionality, cost, availability, and personal preferences will all come into play. Assess all pros and cons before making a final decision.
  4. Plumbing and electricity: It’s ideal to work with your existing infrastructure. If your utilities aren’t conducive to your design plan or add to the aesthetics of the overall space, it’s best to have them modified by a professional.
  5. Trust your designer: Brian’s last piece of advice is, “Carefully choose your professionals. Check references and reviews. Be open to suggestions. Be clear about your expectations. Be patient and be appreciative.”

Get started on your tiny space design

Just like Brian, Canadians are increasingly embracing small space living.

Brian is happy he worked with Organized Interiors on his tiny space design and you’ll love what we can do for you, too.

From concept to completion, we can reconfigure your tiny space for maximum efficiency. Schedule a free design consultation with us.

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How To Do a Wardrobe Refresh for a Post-Pandemic World

green and white walk-in closet

So many things have changed in the last year and a half, to the point where we’re not sure if we’re coming or going.

When will we be going back to the office or be able to start travelling again?

Do we still need all the clothes that are currently in our closets? How do we assess what might be needed in the future and determine what clothes we can get rid of?

As life slowly returns to normal, doing a wardrobe refresh will be one of the tasks calling for your attention.

Take it slow and easy with your wardrobe refresh

Some of us are a little worse for wear after more than a year of pandemic life. A lack of natural light and fresh air has us craving outdoor activities. However, our lack of physical movement may hinder some of those ambitions.

Make sure to take it slow and easy with your wardrobe fresh and other activities. If gardening or exercising, do so in short spurts. Give your body a chance to recover so you don’t end up back on the couch with back spasms.

As a result of the enforced cocooning and new-fangled cooking aspirations while on lockdown, certain items in your wardrobe may not fit quite like they did pre-pandemic.

We’ve been living under a false sense of reality, where elastic waistbands, stretchy fabrics, and kick-off slippers became the uniform of the day.

We won’t even go down the road of unattended hair growth. It’s likely that the sales of soaps and shampoos were down from 2019. As for razor blades, chances are that they are going to benefit from a summertime buying spree.

Reconsider the Marie Kondo wardrobe refresh approach

Marie Kondo suggests that we discard everything in the house that does not spark joy.

There’s no doubt that she’s a master organizer and Organized Interiors can get behind her philosophy of designating a space for each item. If you can see what you have, you can appreciate all that you have.

At this time, we’re going through a transitional phase and don’t quite know what the future holds yet. That makes it difficult to make final decisions on whether some wardrobe items should stay or go.

Until the fog of uncertainty with the future lifts a little more and your needs become clearer, take a more conservative approach to curating your wardrobe.

woman sorting clothes reach-in closet

There is still uncertainty about what a post-pandemic world will look like. Taking a conservative approach to curating your wardrobe right now is a good idea.

Throw out the “one-year rule”

When organizing your closet, many professional organizers recommend using the “one-year rule”. That means getting rid of a piece of clothing if you haven’t worn it in the last year.

But hold on – we haven’t even had the opportunity to wear most of what we own for well over a year. Our business attire has sat untouched and we haven’t dressed up to go to a party or worn select pieces that we’ve saved for special occasions.

What we have to do now is a “test-of-time assessment” and ask ourselves the following questions about what is in our closet:

  1. Does it still fit?
  2. Is it still in style?
  3. Do I still like it?
  4. Have my tastes changed?
  5. Are there any moth holes in the clothing after sitting in the closet for so long?
  6. Do I have a friend who would be better served by this garment, purse, or shoes?
  7. Has my job changed?
  8. Will I ever be going back to an office? If so, has the dress code changed?
  9. What is practical and will I need this item moving forward?
  10. Do I have space to hang on to things that I’m not sure about?

This litmus test will help you to prioritize and reassess, rather than doing a full purge of what you haven’t worn in ages.

As a result, you may have to re-organize your possessions in a new way, so that you can reconsider their importance. Also, it will give you a renewed sense of appreciation for items that you haven’t paid attention to in a very long time.

man choosing tie in walk-in closet

Some of the usual methods of deciding what clothes to keep or get rid of aren’t ideal in this unusual time. Ask yourself a few new questions when assessing your wardrobe needs.

Refresh to impress

We’re heading into uncharted territory with our closets and “excavating” for the best possible outcome.

Even though we haven’t worn a large percentage of our wardrobe in many months, certain things may require cleaning since they were last hung up.

Better yet, go through your closet and determine what should be sent to the dry cleaners so that the items that need it receive a refreshing boost.

You’ll feel better when you put them back on and leave a much better impression with others when socializing returns to normal.

Back to front, front to back

Did you even switch up your winter and summer clothes last year? Or are the pale shades of summer still hiding in the back?

It is time to rearrange what you have. Pull out forgotten pieces and coordinate them with unsuspecting pairings.

When you have distance from something (and we’ve had lots of distance from some things) we tend to see them in a new and positive light.

Clothes shopping as part of a wardrobe refresh

As part of your wardrobe refresh plans, you might be planning on enjoying a shopping spree at some of your favourite clothing retailers that have been closed for much of the last year and a half.

You’re not alone. 65% of Canadians plan to buy new clothing as pandemic restrictions become more relaxed, according to a recent NPD Group survey.

28% of the Canadian adults surveyed between the ages of 28 and 34 said they planned to buy and wear only new clothing.

This enthusiastic attitude from consumers is welcome news to the retail and clothing industries, who have experienced their most challenging period ever.

There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to a few new wardrobe items after such a difficult year and a half. Hold off on that spending spree until you’ve taken the time to properly assess your wardrobe needs, however.

Reorganizing your closets first can lead to discoveries of misplaced or lost items that have barely been worn. Once you have a better idea of what items have passed the “keep or toss?” test, then you can make a more informed decision when buying new clothes.

shirts in clothing store

Organize your closets and get rid of things you no longer need before buying any new clothes. (Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels)

Get your wardrobe refresh started

In many ways, the pandemic was a wake-up call to re-examine our lives. Our priorities were measured against life and death scenarios, in some instances.

Our mindset was required to regroup and to rearrange into a new way of thinking – and a new way of doing. With a renewed gratitude for the belongings that you’ve decided to hang on to, it will also help you to re-evaluate what’s important in life when moving forward.

At this point, you may require pros like Organized Interiors to give you help with a wardrobe refresh by transforming your closet system.

From concept to completion, we can reconfigure your wardrobe storage spaces for maximum efficiency. Schedule a free design consultation with us to get your wardrobe refresh started.

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A Storage Bed Has It All: Comfort, Functionality & Style!

Storage bed with bedroom cabinetry

What if you could instantly gain more valuable storage space in your bedroom that was easily accessible?

And what if the solution to finding more bedroom storage space lay directly below the spot where you lie down every night?

The solution we’re talking about is a storage bed – the bedroom storage solution that is hiding in plain sight.

A bed with storage goes beyond being just a useful dual-purpose piece of furniture that provides a comfortable space to sleep and additional room to store items. It becomes a triple-purpose asset in the bedroom. That’s because modern storage bed designs update a room’s look with stylish décor.

Why the storage bed concept makes so much sense

A bed is the single largest object in most bedrooms. Therefore, taking advantage of the space it occupies for an extra task is very practical.

Queen-sized mattresses are the most popular size for a bed and take up about 32 square feet.

You won’t gain a full 32 square feet of extra storage space with a queen-sized storage bed, mind you. Some of that square footage will be lost when you factor in the space taken up by the bed’s design (including the bed and drawer frames). Regardless, that still leaves a lot of handy storage space you can make use of.

Not only can more bedroom storage space lighten the load of your closet, you’ll also have more room to stash those assorted items that end up on dressers, side tables, or the floor.

By incorporating surrounding built-in cabinetry pieces into the bed’s design (such as bedside tables or wardrobe closets), your bedroom’s storage capabilities can expand even further.

Let’s dig a little deeper into why a storage bed makes a great addition to any bedroom.

How comfortable is a storage bed?

The idea of having drawers underneath your sleeping surface may have you asking one question: how comfortable is a storage bed?

Instead of a box spring, storage beds (which are also known as platform beds and captains beds) have a support system made from slats or solid panels. The mattress sits on this support system and the drawers are located below the supports.

The biggest factor that determines the comfort level of a bed is the mattress. As long as you have a supportive mattress that feels comfortable, you’ll still get a satisfying sleeping experience on a storage bed.

bed surround storage

Storage beds have a support system made from slats or solid panels that is just as comfortable to sleep on as a box spring.

What’s the best way to use the bed drawer storage space?

A bed with storage is ideal for storing a wide variety of items. If your closet is bursting, you can get some relief by moving some of your less frequently worn things to the bed drawers. You might even be able to get rid of a dresser altogether by moving everything to your underbed storage space.

Items like comforters, extra pillows, pillowcases, and other linens are perfect for storing beneath a bed. Out-of-season clothing can also be kept in the drawers to ease the burden on your closets. Shoes and toys are also ideal for underbed storage.

Not everything going into a bed drawer has to fit into the “not often used” category. Your everyday clothes can be stored there. If you don’t have or want a night table, the drawers can hold items you’d like to be easily accessible, such as books, magazines, or a tablet.

Update your bedroom’s décor

Most people use their bed frames for many years. Mattresses will usually get replaced several times before a new bed is purchased.

Old bed frames might clash with any decorative upgrades you’ve done over the years simply by looking, well, old.

Because the bed is the focal point in a bedroom, updating its look with a more contemporary design can give a room a welcome décor refresh.

There are different design approaches you can take. One is to have your bed designed to complement your existing décor. Another approach is to go with a bolder design that makes the bed stand out as an accent furniture piece.

One reason to have a custom cabinetry specialist like Organized Interiors handle your storage bed’s design is that you’ll have many options to choose the finishes, trims, and types of decorative hardware you want.

Add more storage and functionality around your bed

Your bedroom furniture can have even more of an impact on the room’s look by building surrounding cabinetry around the bed.

Side tables, wardrobe closets, overhead cabinets, open shelving above the headboard, and a desk can all be incorporated into a custom bed’s design. Overhead reading lights or LED accent lighting can be included as well.

These additional furniture pieces add even more storage and functionality to the room. And because everything is being designed and manufactured at once, each piece of built-in furniture integrates seamlessly with one another and has a clean, consistent look.

bed surround cabinetry

Everything from storage cabinets to a wardrobe closet to a desk can be incorporated into a storage bed’s design.

Free up more bedroom space for other things

Here’s another reason that built-in bed storage is so practical – it allows you to save space in the bedroom for other things.

Using the space under a bed more efficiently can eliminate the need for a dresser, wardrobe, or storage bins as a supplemental storage space for your closet. That makes it perfect for small bedrooms or bedrooms where you want to have space for a:

Keep your bedroom cleaner

We’ve established that a bed with built-in storage helps you get more storage space in a bedroom.

That’s important because having too much clutter in a bedroom can negatively impact your sleep quality. Studies have shown that excess clutter in a space slows down our ability to focus.

Cluttered office spaces contribute to less productivity. Messy bedrooms have a similar effect on our brains. Both consciously and subconsciously, too much clutter registers in our brain as something that will eventually need to be dealt with. That can make it harder to get a good night’s sleep.

Another benefit of not having a large open space below your bed is that it leaves less space for dust to collect. How often does the area under most beds get a thorough cleaning? Not often enough, we’d guess.

Replacing that open space with drawers will keep your belongings cleaner, give you less floor space to vacuum, and eliminate those nasty dust bunnies that lower the air quality in your bedroom.

The benefits of bed storage drawers

The open space underneath beds is commonly filled up with rollout underbed storage containers made with plastic or fabric. Bed storage boxes and baskets are also often used, as are vacuum-sealed clothing storage bags.

Proper bed storage drawers are a much better option than these cheap underbed storage products (and certainly better than stashing loose items that don’t have a home below the bed).

If you’re planning to buy a bed with storage, make sure that the drawers are mounted on tracks. Cheaper beds advertise that they have drawers, but they may be “loose” drawers that only roll on the floor. Talk about a bait and switch!

Storage bed drawers typically open on either side or at the foot of the bed (or a combination of both). Another reason to buy a made-to-order bed is that it can be customized to fit your space and needs.

For example, if you wanted to have the bed up against a wall, it can be designed to have extra deep drawers that open on only one side. Other drawer dimensions like the width and height can also be customized.

open storage bed drawer

Storage bed drawers are better than using rollout underbed storage containers. Your belongings are more accessible…and there’s no dust bunnies, either!

A storage bed will transform your bedroom

A bed with storage underneath gives you everything you could want from a furniture piece: convenient functionality, visual appeal, and comfort.

Hopefully, the storage bed ideas presented here have shown you that storage beds aren’t just for kids. Anyone can always use more storage space in the bedroom, regardless of their age.

Here’s a testimonial left on HomeStars by one of our satisfied customers who ordered custom bedroom cabinetry:

Bedroom cabinets HomeStars review

Just as this client did, transform your bedroom with our storage bed designs that are customized to suit all of your needs.

And don’t worry about the hassle of assembling and installing your bed. Organized Interiors takes care of your entire project, from the initial design consultation right through to the installation.

Schedule your free design consultation and we’ll contact you shortly to begin crafting a plan to help you get more out of your bedroom space.

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