Letter From a Reader

Letter from a Reader: Help me Maximize storage in my shared city apartment

Dear Kuzak’s Closet

Thank you so much for your patience and help! I’m really excited to be working with you and appreciate your time.

My girlfriend and I currently share our flat with 2 roommates and we are struggling with storage.  I took some photos today — it’s hard to believe this is what our room looks like even when it’s clean! As you can see, we’re doing a lot of piling in the corners, especially when we have backpacks to set down after work, etc.

Right now, the closet is so packed we can barely pull out dresses or shirts. We’ve done a decent job of pairing down and perhaps the space of the additional room (which will become available in a few months) will help with this.

My shoes and boots are living underneath my bed currently and are partially out-of-the-way.

As you can see near the window, we’ve put a desk there that’s not really accessible or useful, except to serve as a catch-all for other little items.

We would like your advice on how to maximize the space for storage, thanks again for your help!

In appreciation,

Charles

Location: Waller & Ashbury (a block away from Haight Ashbury)

Panoramic shot:
Letter from a Reader: Help me maximize the storage in my shared city apartment

A disorganized (but excited) Charles looks on…

Letter from a Reader: Help me maximize the storage in my shared city apartment

I still don’t know what to do with these corner windows!

Letter from a Reader: Help me maximize the storage in my shared city apartment

Letter from a Reader: Help me maximize the storage in my shared city apartment

Letter from a Reader: Help me maximize the storage in my shared city apartment

Letter from a Reader: Help me maximize the storage in my shared city apartment

Letter from a Reader: Help me maximize the storage in my shared city apartment

This trunk is always overflowing with my shirts and pretty much whatever else…

Letter from a Reader: Help me maximize the storage in my shared city apartment

Dear Charles,

Thank you so much for your question and your patience, it’s been a busy few weeks here. I’m so glad you send along so many great pictures to illustrate the storage situation that you are struggling with.

After reviewing the pictures and your letter the main issue I see is that you are only taking advantage of horizontal storage space 1-2 feet off the ground.  The key to maximizing storage in your situation is to take advantage of all that wall space.  You’ve got at least 5 feet to deal with on 3 of the 4 walls in your room.

I’ve done some research online and found some great ideas to help maximize the storage so you can keep the room organized and functional.  Here we go!

I love the idea of using vintage suitcases to double as furniture and storage.  I used this idea in my first apartment (Marshall Michigan, circa 2002).  I filled the cases with extra linens, movies (probably VHS back then), and seasonal clothing. If you like this idea you can find vintage cases at local antique shops in the city or at one of my estate sales in Silicon Valley.

Suitcase Storage

I love the idea of creating a gallery wall with metal shelving.  You can find systems like this at the hardware store, the container store, ikea, and sometimes on Craigslist.  This type of system can be customized to your needs and can grow with you.  If you move you can easily uninstall it and take it with you.

You could repurpose cardboard boxes covered with fabric or paper to house socks, undies, and t-shirts.  Use shelves for shoes and bags.  Get creative and color coordinate the hangers to match the room or your style.  Simple touches will make it look custom and high-end.

Via

Kuzak's Closet Letter From a Reader

I’m slightly obsessed with this idea of using poles to create custom storage.  I love how the clothing is hung to look like art on the left side.  The system on the right side is really neat too, pair this with a platform bed from ikea and you’ll be all set on a budget!

Via

Kuzak's Closet Letter From a Reader

I wanted to share this idea just to remind you how much value all of your wall space has to offer.  This person created an entire office with simple white shelves with painted polka dot trim.  You could create something similar with brackets and pre-cut shelves from the hardware store, I bed you could find someone on task rabbit to help you with it.

Via

Kuzak's Closet Letter From a Reader

This image is a crazy organized studio in NYC.  It has a master suite, gym, home office, and deluxe kitchen all in just a few hundred square feet.  They are able to do this by thinking vertical…

Via

Kuzak's Closet Letter From a Reader

One of my clients had this platform bed from ikea with drawers and storage cubbies on the sides.  If you are a bit hesitant to add storage on your walls this idea might help give your storage needs a boost.

Via

space-saving-storage-furniture-small-rooms-4

And my favorite for last!  I love this gallery wall of storage.  If you replaced the wall with the red dresser on it with something like this it would be amazing.  This particular system looks to be from The Container Store.  Systems like this are really easy to install and often go on sale for 30% off.  If you installed wall shelving like this think of it as an investment.  You could repurpose it in an office or garage someday!

Via

Kuzak's Closet Letter From a Reader

Via

I hope my suggestions help you realize that clutter isn’t what you’re struggling with.  By maximizing all that square footage on the walls around you, you will be easily be able to storage all of the things you need.  Let me know if this helps!  Thanks!

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1,892 Responses

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