As I prepped to move from my studio apartment with two tiny closets to a one-bedroom with six of them—my boyfriend and I were making the leap into cohabitation—I believed I’d found the holy grail of storage.
I imagined it would go a little something like this: I’d get two closets in the bedroom (one with a hanging rack and the other with shelves), while my boyfriend would use a large double wardrobe just outside our room, across from the stacked laundry cabinet (which would house cleaning essentials along with brooms, mops, and stacks of paper towels). The entryway cupboard would be reserved for coats, shoes, suitcases, and outerwear, which left the linen closet for everything else: towels, bedding, napkins, spillover beauty products, and the like. It was a foolproof plan—or so I thought.
When I unpacked our last box on move-in day, all our closets were filled to the brim. I had no space for my pajamas, intimates, or gym clothes. Woven baskets, which I brought from my old apartment (and I thought were the best organizing investment I had ever made) took up the bulk of the room in the linen closet, packed alongside mismatched grooming products that were impossible to organize. There was no way our extra set of sheets would fit anywhere.
How was this possible? Well, the two main closets had only four shelves each, each a gaping two feet apart, starting at around three and a half feet above the ground. If you do the math, that means a 5-foot-4 person like myself could really only comfortably access two of them. Not to mention all the wasted space below. I had to come up with a better solution. I purchased two IKEA mesh storage pieces (one for each closet), which freed up a ton of shelf space, but it wasn’t enough.
I still couldn’t reach our towels or my sweaters (which was becoming problematic with the dropping temps), and above all, I couldn’t stand endlessly sifting through our bins to find a single moisturizer, eye mask, or bottle of dry shampoo. That’s when I was inspired to go down an Internet rabbit hole to find a new solution. I found The Home Edit’s collection of clear stackable drawers. Each of them has two compartments, and I discovered I could fit up to six per shelf. I ordered 12.
The night they arrived, I was like a kid in a candy store (except I’m now a boring 30-something getting excited about storage). I sorted every last thing I owned by type and neatly labeled everything. The drawers’ stackability meant I could fit twice as much per shelf and everything was finally on hand: extra conditioner bottles, linen napkins, vitamins. This time, I really did hit the organization jackpot.
More closet-organizing ideas right this way:
How Two Pro Organizers Prep Their Closets for Cold Weather
Here’s Where Pro Organizers Stash Their Summer Items
There Are Lots of Under-$25 Storage Pieces Hiding in Urban Outfitters’s Sale Section