If you are discouraged by your lack of closet space, do not despair. You are not alone. In space-tight Singapore, a large wardrobe is a luxury few can afford. But just because space is limited does not mean your fashion sense has to be cramped. With the right advice, there can be a place for everything and everything can have its place.
1. De-clutter, Re-organise
Take a cold, hard look at your wardrobe and get rid of what you do not need. If you have not worn it or used it in the last 12 months, you are unlikely to. Pack seasonal items – cold wear, formal outfits – away to leave more room for your regular items.
Then, re-arrange what you have left. You can organise them by use, with the clothing that you need daily within easy reach and those that are not often used further back. After which, arrange them by colour. Within each colour section, arrange them from spaghetti-strapped items to short-sleeved ones and finally those with long sleeves. This will allow you to see, at a glance, what you have and easily select what you need.
2. The Sky’s the Limit
Most closets, even made-to-measure ones, do not go up to the ceiling. There is always a 20 per cent gap between the top of the closet and the ceiling. Use that space for those items that you do not need all that often but still want to keep. Spotlight has clear, stackable storage boxes of different sizes – small to extra-large (S$16.99 – S$29.99) - that you can use for this purpose.
3. What Lies Beneath
Once you have looked up, look down. The space beneath where you hang your clothes can be used for so many things. Shirts do not need the entire closet. You can place hanging bars on top and below for shirts. Boxes or bins can be placed beneath as well for shoes, linen, and towels. If you run out of space there, the space beneath your bed can also be used to store boxes of less-used items.
4. Behind Closed Doors
Your closet door can be a goldmine of a place to hang things. A few well-placed hooks and it can be a perfect space for bags, scarves, ties and hats.
Howards also has a Pocket Organiser (S$20.95) you can use to store your make-up. The clear pockets let you see what you have and it comes with a hook so you can hang it on a door or drawer knob. At Spotlight, you can get shoe pockets (S$22.99) that you can hang on your closet door.
Why limit yourself to your closet door? Bedroom doors make fine places to hang your bag collection, too.
5. Manifold Benefits of Folding
Folding is a gem of a space-saver. Items that can be folded to save space include sweaters, jeans, linen, towels, t-shirts and socks. Folding sweaters and t-shirts help them to retain their shape.
One novel way to store t-shirts is to fold them into thirds and arrange them upright instead of flat. Metal bookends can then be used to hold these t-shirts in place. Socks are best folded rather than rolled to retain their elasticity. Towels should be folded lengthwise into thirds then folded in half twice. This ensures that the rounded edge of the towel faces out without making it bulkier than the middle.
6. Divide & Conquer
Drawer dividers are another space-saving contraption when it comes to organising and maximising space in the closet. Drawers with dividers are perfect for small items like socks, underwear and jewellery. The compartments can be organised by colour (one compartment for each colour of sock or underwear) or use (a compartment for rings, one for ear-rings and so on).
You can also get special jewellery organisers at Howards Storage World to store your bling. The Allure 6 Drawer Jewellery Drawers (S$68.95) and the Allure Jewellery Chest with Necklace Keeper (S$209) have see-through compartments making it easier to identify your accessories. There are Jewellery Trays (S$25.95 for the large; S$14.95 for the small) as well that you can stack in your drawer to utilise every bit of space.
7. Tap on Tech
Bulky items like blankets, comforters, bed sheets, towels, and winter wear that are not often used can be vacuum-sealed and packed away. Simply place them into large plastic bags (even a garbage bag will do), cinch the bag and place the nozzle of your vacuum into the bag to suck out the air. This can reduce the bag to half its original size.
8. Loud & Proud
If you have a shoe, hat or bag collection that you are particularly proud out, why not turn them into displays in your home. This lets you move the items out of your closet into other parts of your home. Special shelves or glass cabinets can be used to show off your collection. Draw your inspiration from shoe and bags stores.
At Howards Storage World, you can get wall-mounted shoe racks (S$54 for the white plastic-coated wire version and S$64 for the chrome) that can accommodate 21 pairs of shoes. Alternatively, there are a variety of clear shoe drawers and cubes (S$15.95 – S$24.95) that can let you display anything from 24 to 35 pairs of footwear.
Bags should be slightly stuffed with newspaper to help them retain their shape. Place bottles in boots to help them do the same. A dehumidifier where you store your shoes and bags may also help to save them from mould attacks.
You can also turn an entire wall in your living room into a display area for your hats. It will be wall art with a distinct difference.
9. Expand Your Territory
Storing your items thematically can expand your storage space and make them more accessible. For example, the bathroom presents several nooks and crannies to store bulky towels. Roll them up and place them on trays, boxes or even a dish rack on the cistern. Hang them up or place them folded on shelves. This will make them easier to reach, too.
10. Slim & Trim
Thinner hangers may be another way to increase closet space. Toss those wooden ones and, if you must, reserve those with clips only for clothing that tend to slip off the hanger. You will be surprised how much space this little tactic can save you.
For most of us, our wardrobes are not just a statement of our personal style and taste. They represent a substantial investment of our finances and time. Space (or the lack of) should never come between us and the expansion of our wardrobes. With these space-saving tips, you can surely shop with impunity and step out in style!
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Howards Storage World