Monthly Archives: August 2009

Studio Living

Some people choose to downsize, destress and declutter their lives by moving into a small home, condo or studio apartment. While it may not be your choice to live in a tiny studio apartment, you can embrace the motivation behind the movement and get your small space organized.

The first step is probably the hardest. You have to let go of some of your belongings. When you are in a small space, you need to envision what it would look like if it only had what you needed. Imagine what our ancestors had. They didn’t spoil themselves with lavish items, gigantic beds and homes that would force them to have to work for their entire lives to pay for them. They had what they needed and they probably didn’t stress about organization like we do.

Embrace the simple living attitude. This doesn’t mean that you have to get rid of everything. In fact, most people dealing with small spaces keep two categories of items. One, the things that they need to survive, relax and cook. Two, the things that define their personality; such as art, photos and things with special meaning.

Install shelves for displaying things that are meaningful to you. If they don’t necessarily go with your décor, consider displaying them in your bedroom or near your loft bed. Your art and other décor that go together can be displayed in the living areas that will be seen by guests.

Many people have way too many pots, pans and storage containers. For a tiny kitchen area, think nesting. You will need one good set of nesting bowls for mixing and serving. You will need a large skillet and a small skillet, a large pot and a small pot. You can even learn to use cast iron skillets if you want them to double as casserole dishes for your oven. Measuring cups, measuring spoons, a spatula and a good knife are about all that you really need in the drawer with your silverware.

Inevitably, you will need storage. Think about this when you purchase your furniture. An oak chest or toy box makes for a great coffee table or end table and also offers a lot of storage. You can keep a lot of shoes in one at the foot of your bed. You can put one near the door for people to sit and remove wet shoes, hang coats on hooks and get their belongings organized.

If closet space is limited, you’ll just have to get creative. Once you’ve gotten rid of extra clothes, pair up bottoms and tops that go together. You can use nice velvet hangers with clips to put pants with the shirt that they go with. This makes dressing easier, but it also frees up about half of the space in your closet. Be creative and you can make your studio space work for you!

About the Author: Rick Miller is on the staff of Only Slimline Hangers, a leading online resource for slimlinehangers which are space saving hangers, non slip hangers and slim line hangers. For more information, please visit

Small Closet Spaces

Living with a small closet can become torturous if you don’t get it under control. Organization is a must. There are lots of ways to maximize the little space that you have and make the most of it. There is no room for clutter in a tiny closet and sometimes there isn’t even enough room for your clothes. Using tips like these can help you make the most of the space. When everything has a place to go, clutter stays under control and your closet will once again be your friend.

The best thing to do if you have a small closet is to set up a wardrobe rotation. There is probably no room for a winter and summer wardrobe. So, you’ve got to get a plan. Figure out where you have space around the house. If you have room under your bed, you can invest a small amount in large, shallow containers that slide right under. Some are even designed to work like a drawer so that you can quickly get what you need if you happen to need to get in there. If your bed is not high enough, use risers to lift it. Your dust ruffle or duvet will cover the space and you can make a lot of room for your off-season clothing.

Don’t make the mistake of buying a whole lot of storage bins and expect to organize the closet. If everything is stored, then it becomes hard to get to. In a small closet, you have got to have everything efficiently organized. This means you can’t just buy any closet organizer. You really need to specifically plan for the things that you own. If you have a hundred pairs of shoes, then shoes will be your focus. If you have too many clothes hanging, then shelving will be your main concern. Many shirts do not wrinkle bad and can be neatly folded into a stack and placed on a shelf. It’s easy to see what you have and the space that they take up can be minimal.

Utilize the vertical space. You can install a small shelf above the closet door on the inside. Here you can keep valuables and things that you don’t want children to get into. You can put corner shelves all the way up the front two corners of the closet. You can use a hanging shoe rack on the door, or any other over-the-door organizer for keeping track of everything from ties and belts to gloves and scarves.

Take a look at the space that is wasted near the ceiling. Most people have a good 40-50 square feet just empty up there. Your suitcases are only so tall. Consider moving that shelf up higher and store things like blankets and duffel bags inside of your suitcases. You may be able to add another shelf just below it above your bar and create even more room.

Finish out the closet with space saving hangers, like slimlinehangers, to make the hanging clothes that you have take up as little space as possible.

About the Author: Rick Miller is on the staff of Only Slimline Hangers, a leading online resource for slimlinehangers which are space saving hangers, non slip hangers and slim line hangers. For more information, please visit

Making a Reach-In Closet Usable

A reach-in closet is one that is shallow, with a wide front opening. Most come equipped with a long hanging bar that is about eight feet long. If you’re lucky, there will be a shelf above that. Unless you come up with a plan, then this style of closet will always hold only hanging clothes and not much else.

One big convenience of the reach-in closet is the wide open doorway. This gives you access to a lot of square footage that would have ended up hidden in a standard or walk in closet. You can utilize the space underneath your clothes by installing drawers, bins, shelves and shoe racks.

Your goal should be to determine how much square footage you can free up. It doesn’t really matter if it is a big walk-in or a regular closet, because square footage is square footage. See what happens if you hang all of your shortest garments on one end. Does it create more space below? What if you moved the top shelf and bar up? Does that help to use some of that ceiling space that normally goes to waste? What if you move the bar back closet to the back wall? Do you now have more room in the front corners? Be creative and think outside of the box when you are trying to make space.

Another tip is to think about more than what will look nice. If you’re thinking in numbers, then you are more likely to think of a way to make more room. For example, if you do all of the things listed above, move the top shelf up and move the bar up and back, then did you just make room for a second hanging bar below? What about on one side? If you started out with an eight foot bar, then couldn’t you divide it into two four foot bars and condense them to one side of the closet? If so, then you still have the same number of feet of hanging space, but you just emptied literally half of your closet for additional storage.

On the empty side, you can slide in a dresser, add a closet system or simply add shelves. You may be able to extend your top shelf out to the front wall on each side of the door. Then you may have room to build or assemble book shelves down each side of the closet near the front. You can use this space for storing just about anything that will fit.

The main lesson here is to throw your normal closet thinking out the window and really use your creativity to come up with a useful plan. If you still feel like clothes are crowded, use space saving hangers like slimlinehangers to create even more space. When you are done, you could have the custom closet that you’ve always wanted without having to buy a new house!

About the Author: Rick Miller is on the staff of Only Slimline Hangers, a leading online resource for slimlinehangers which are space saving hangers, non slip hangers and slim line hangers. For more information, please visit