Living in NYC comes with its struggles, especially if you don’t have a townhouse or penthouse. Even then however, it can be easy to run out of space. As with most things, individuals grow to match their environment, including the belongings one holds onto. If you have a four bedroom apartment vs a one bedroom apartment, you still may find yourself running out of space. This is due to the fact that individuals with larger apartments tend to accumulate more than those with smaller apartments, though the proportions of clutter in the home could be similar, if not the same. So, what can you do?
The first step I would advise is decluttering. Go through your belongings and get rid of what you can. If after decluttering, you still find yourself overwhelmed with your belongings, you can do two things… One, hire a professional organizer to help you get rid of more, and two, maximize your space. Although I recommend hiring help to maximize your space by either a professional organizer or a contractor, I will offer multiple strategies to confront your clutter so you can pick one or several options that resonate best with you.
Maximizing your space…
One of the easiest and fastest ways to gain space, especially for photos, books, collections, and more, is to add shelving. When I say, “shelving” I am referring to all sorts of shelving. This can include floating shelves, open shelving, bookshelves, cabinets and more. For open shelving I recommend placing decor rather than papers and small trinkets, which could make your space appear further cluttered. If you need to store many things, like electronics, wires, tchotchkes, and other small items, I recommend using bins to organize them and a closed cabinet to store them so to keep your open spaces and surfaces clear of clutter.
UNDER THE BED STORAGE
Another beneficial area that is typically under utilized is under the bed. Depending on the height of your bed, it can be great to store larger items like suitcases and air mattresses or under the bed storage bins that hold off season clothes and shoes. Although it can be tricky to store things under the bed as it can quickly become cluttered and disorganized, I recommend having everything contained and labeled. If, for example, you are storing off season clothes and it’s the summer, get a bin for all of your coats, another one for your sweaters, and another for your long sleeves/pants. This categorization will allow for quick glances to determine where your items are as opposed to sifting through all of your containers looking for “that one shirt.”
FILE FOLDING DRAWERS
Although file folding may not free up an astronomical amount of space, it will give you more accessibility to your clothes. There are three common ways of folding your clothes in a drawer, the pancake style, file folding, and my least favorite, stuffing. The most common style is the pancake style. This simply means that each piece of clothing is folded on top of the other. In this version of folding, you can only see the top one or two garments of clothing. The file fold, the most preferred in the organizing community, basically sets up your clothes in the drawer like they are in a filing cabinet. Each piece of clothing is sitting up vertically as opposed to horizontally, you can see the example of this in the photo above. The last and my least favorite way to put away your clothes is to stuff them in the drawer. Yes, this will save you time on the initial side of putting things away but when it comes to finding a particular clothing item… good luck.
I typically do not recommend storage units since a majority of them are underutilized, untouched, and expensive. That said, if you have organizational systems set up, usually with metro shelving, then a storage unit could work. You could easily store off season clothes, holiday items, baby clothes, etc. If you utilize the storage unit, then I think one can be justifiable but if you find yourself running out of space in your apartment, look first at decluttering, not at spending $500 a month just to store items with little to no use or monetary value.
Written by Brennan Reid
Hi, my name is Brennan Reid. I am the founder of Aristotle Organizing Inc and the primary writer of this blog.
We specialize with young professionals and successful individuals looking for help when it comes to unpacking and organizing their busy lives. By incorporating beauty and function into each project, clients are able to not only see the changes, but feel them. Learn more about what we do…
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