When short on wardrobe space, turn your favourite accessories into art by putting them on display rather than stuffing them into a closet (just be sure to keep them free of dust and out of direct sunlight). Chanel 2.55 bag and Mulberry bow booties.
As I mentioned on the last peek inside my home, my place might be cute, but it’s also tiny (that would be large by London/New York standards…) – and therefore small on storage space. Alas, I’m still yet to master the art of the 10-piece capsule wardrobe and an abandonment of other worldly goods. As such, I’ve had to be very creative with the space to manage to squeeze everything in in a matter that’s still organised and streamlined (read: not having piles of clutter everywhere).
Regardless of the size of my space, I’m a terrible geek when it comes to organising (I could read Martha Stewarts tips for hours, and happily spend rainy weekends knee deep in clothes having a good wardrobe purge) and like everything to have a home, even if that home happens to be in an unexpected place. My golden rules, especially applicable to all small and/or rented spaces are: declutter (own only that which you love – there’s no point trying to find space for something you don’t actually need/want); categorise (store similar items together, making it easier to find everything you do have); think creatively (if you don’t have the space to store something in the normal way, find a new way to house it, or turn it into an aesthetic feature).
Top-bottom: Sort jewellery and small pieces by style and store in teacups, bowls and dishes (you can pick up pretty, mismatched china for a steal at flea markets and on ebay); turn otherwise unused spaces (in this case the top of the toilet cistern!) into a display for a cluster of pretty toiletries; organise your wardrobe by season, and then streamline by colour/style/occasion.
Wardrobe: Begin by having a good wardrobe purge – donating/selling all those pieces you don’t absolutely love, which are unflattering or that are worn out. There’s no point taking up valuable closet space with things that either don’t get worn or that don’t make you feel good. Second, store all your out-of-season clothing, as well as pieces you’re not currently wearing, in storage boxes (I have inexpensive, shallow plastic tubs that slide under my bed for this purpose – you can buy these anywhere and they are perfect for keeping dust out). With what’s left, hang clothes on good quality hangers (silk padded hangers for delicate clothes, wooden hangers for the rest where possible) by colour and style – this will not only look more streamlined, but make it easier to put together an outfit in the morning. If you have shelves/drawers, adopt a similar approach and fold everything neatly then stack by style and colour.
Accessories: Store most of your shoes in their boxes (stuff the toes with tissue to retain their shape), and stack these at the bottom of your wardrobe. Hang scarves on hooks (either inside the wardrobe, or over the door). Store jewellery in pretty dishes and boxes (I sort mine by style/colour, and store the pieces I’m not currently wearing in golden boxes at the back of my jewellery drawer) - this will not only make it easier to find each piece, but protects them from damage and becoming one tangled mess. For your favourite accessories, why not turn them into art and place them on show? I stack all my Vogue magazines along my wall, and sit favourite pieces atop the piles (that way even when I’m not wearing treasured pieces, I can look at them – some accessories are just too pretty to be hidden in dustbags!). For all other accessories, store them in sturdy boxes in the wardrobe or under the bed (I use my glossy black Net-a-Porter boxes for this purpose).
Toiletries: Given I’m a beauty junkie, I always have far more products than I’ve ever actually been able to fit in my bathroom. As such, I have yet more plastic tubs filled with the excess, and display the rest in the most organised/pretty way I can. In the case of tiny bathrooms, think laterally and use little-used spaces such as windowsills, unused corners, the top of toilet cisterns to cluster similar items together in a nice way (a flower or a candle won’t hurt to make it look nicer). For my benchtops, I’ve got most of my bottles and potions stacked atop a big white porcelain cakestand to keep it from looking cluttered, with lipsticks and eyeshadows in little porcelain dishes, and brushes and lipglosses in vintage Moroccan glasses.
Kitchen: As with your accessories, where you are lacking in cupboard space, then put your favourite items on display and make a feature out of it. I’ve got a little cluster of gorgeous teapots, tea canisters and silly things that don’t fit in my kitchen cupboards, but look beautiful on a bench. Similarly, if you don’t have a bar, then group cocktail ingredients together on a vintage silver dish and turn it into a feature.
Books and other collections: If you’re like the Clever Boyfriend and I, the bookshelves in small/rented places are never adequate enough to house a good collection of books. As with the other rooms, choose a collection of favourites and turn them into a feature by making a big stack of them beside the couch, or to become a mini-table (top with a lamp, and a vase of flowers and it’s practically furniture).
Top-bottom: In the absence of a bar, a vintage print and a silver tray on a corner of the kitchen bench becomes a makeshift cocktail station; over-door-hooks give a home to scarves, ribbons and sashes, as well as a current bag or two (in this case Marc Jacobs).
Do you live in a small place that requires you to be creative with your storage? I’d love to know your savvy tips!
Love, Miss B xx