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Downsizing Dilemmas – Who Took My Closet Space?
By Colette Robicheau Professional Organizer and Productivity Coach, guest blogger for neatfreak!
Downsizing your home can be downright overwhelming and emotional. Even after you edit your belongings many of us still can’t imagine what it is like to part with any of our clothing items. We have so many things going on in our busy lives, both working and recreation. And we have lots of outfits for each of our activities. It’s also very difficult to know how much will actually fit in the closets in our new reduced space.
Even an average size home can have a large walk in closet not to mention many other closets for each bedroom and in various hallways. Downsizing brings reduced square footage and often a lot less closets. You now need to be resourceful and extremely economical with how you will use your new limited closet space. Many of our downsized living accommodations have such reduced closet space that even some bedrooms have no closets at all.
Where to start:
Do the math. A tip is to count the linear feet you have in your closets right now and in the new home you are moving into. For example, you currently have eight closets in your home and each of them is six linear feet wide. The math would be to multiply eight times six which is 48 linear feet. You know in your new home you will soon only have three closets with your space cut to a compact 18 linear feet. That’s a significant reduction and a red flag that you need a plan.
Time to let go. Purge any items you no longer wear or use. Then, looking at what remains, decide what items you use the most. Think about this not in the past tense but you actually use now and will use in the future. If you find yourself saying I used to play tennis, or I would like to golf again really challenge yourself on why you are keeping articles of clothing that you might never use again. Downsizing often means a new lifestyle. And sometimes our belongings need to adjust to the present tense of what we actually do and need.
See double. Group clothes of similar size together. By hanging shorter items together, you will create space on the floor below or boost usability for a second lower bar to be installed. Instantly double the space in any closet with the Expandable Hanging Bar and don’t waste an inch of your precious closet space.
Look up. We want optimal utilization of our new closet space but be practical. Using the top shelf makes sense but only if you can access what’s there. And you want to get to your clothes easily without everything tumbling on your head. Use these Large Easy-View Bin Drawer with a cut away front so you can clearly see what’s in them and easily remove them from the shelf to pick your favorite T-shirt or sweater.
Don’t forget to use the space on the back of the closet door and side walls to hang hooks and organizers. Use the versatile 20 Pocket Over-the-Door Shoe Organizer for this often-overlooked space that is great for scarves, mittens, accessories, and smaller items.
Think outside the closet. Create a wardrobe solution in a lesser used area of your home. Use the Freestanding Open Storage Closet. Compared to adding a pricey built-in it’s a cost effective and efficient ways to coordinate a new closet.
Avoid having to deal with closet downsizing dilemmas by only keeping clothing that you love and use regularly and let go of the rest. There are many organizations that accept donations so it’s a win win. And remember to always optimize the closet space that you have.