If it’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a cluttered-ass space. I couldn’t tolerate it when life was normal, and I definitely won’t stand for it in quarantine. Many of you joined me on my relocation journey a couple months ago and my DMs were lit with questions and comments about my interior decorating habits. So, I figured I’d share a few of my go-to methods for organizing my space.
As a content creator and designer, I always need my abodes to be both picture-ready and practical. I never want to spend a lot of time setting anything up because with this OCPD of mine, by the time I’m finished setting up for a photoshoot or recording, I’m no longer in the mood to do whatever it was I had planned.
Hide Clutter & Make Open Spaces Decorative with Baskets and Bins
There are some things that I just don’t have the energy to sort through properly, like cords, exercise equipment, first aid supplies and toiletries. I simply find attractive baskets and toss the items in the baskets neatly. See examples below. The brown baskets were purchased from Ikea and the others I bought on Amazon. Other recommended stores with an array of baskets are Michaels, Walmart, Big Lots and Container Store.
My bedroom doubles as my design lab. I wanted it this way on purpose because it would force me to keep the space in tip-top shape. When my craft space was in a separate room it was an open invitation for neglect and laziness after a tiring design session. We’re not doing that in 2020. Anywho, I use clear storage bins to organize my craft space. The important thing for me when setting this space up was that I wanted to have easy access to my frequently used supplies. In addition, I didn’t want the space to look overly cluttered. I think art spaces naturally look cluttered, but as long as it’s organized I think you can get away with it.
The bins I have are stackable, come in various sizes, and were purchased from Uline. This is a wholesale company so you’ll have to have a business license to purchase from them directly. But, good news, you can find similar bins on Amazon. If you want to go the extra mile you can insert custom labels in the front of the bin to indicate what’s inside. I change my mind too much to commit like that so I don’t bother with the labeling.
There are just some spaces that you may have a hard time hiding. My recommendation would be to make the open space as inviting as possible. It should be fairly free from clutter, but also not a complete eye sore. The nook next to my bathroom would be a perfect closet if the architects had just added a blasted door, but no. I’m stuck looking at everything in my faux pantry each time I walk by. To make it less of an eye sore, I bought matching baskets to hide my toiletries that would normally be stored in a bathroom pantry. I threw framed pictures in front of all my yearbooks and photo album, then added a sexy hamper on the bottom (not shown).
Utilize High Spaces
Never forget about the storage space that can be found above cabinets. I started freaking out a bit when I moved into my new apartment because I had way too many boxes labeled “kitchen” and no idea where all those things were going. It wasn’t until I looked up, saw the space above the cabinets and exhaled in relief. Please don’t throw things on the top of the cabinet without “style and grace” (in my Biggie voice)… they should be strategically placed since they are going to be out in the open.
Utilize Low Spaces
I know you may not have raised a bed since your college years but it’s a space-saving gem! Whenever installing a bed frame I always ensure that it’s at the absolute highest. No sense wasting all that good space. I have two beds in my apartment and there is zero space left under each one. I’ve got craft supplies in storage containers under my daybed (shown on the right), and suitcases and seasonal clothes (also in storage containers) under my queen bed (shown on the left). As a finishing touch to hide all the junk you plan to put under your beds, I highly recommend purchasing a decent bed skirt. This is the one I have.
Use Your Walls and Doors
I’m a sucker for behind-the-door storage and unique wall art. As a person with a large-ish hat collection, I like to make the more fragile hats part of the decor. Not only does this help them keep their shape, but it adds to the beauty of the room and helps me remember that I actually own them. I simply stick a removable 3M Command Hook on the wall and toss the hat on it.
I also own a lot of scarves. In the past I’ve tried hanging them on regular hangers, stuffing them in a bin, or dedicating a drawer to them. The most efficient way to store them however, has been my latest method of hanging them on a tiered over-the-door rack. It’s neat, attractive and an easy way to remove and put back the scarves. I purchased all my door racks from Amazon.
Purchase Multi-purpose Furniture
I have two pieces in my apartment that are absolute life savers. The first is my ottoman. I have so much crap in there, it’s not even funny. From soca cassette tapes, to DVDs, to artwork, you name it, it’s likely in there. The other piece of art that saves me is my jewelry armoire. From the outside it looks like a simple mirror, but when you open it up… voilá… jewelry storage for days! I have A LOT of jewelry, and just like the scarf situation, I’ve had my share of attempts at jewelry storage. I even made a few storage pieces myself over the years. A couple years ago I decided to dedicate two hundred and fifty good dollars to this quality piece from Big Lots. I have no regrets about it. My only gripe is the silly compartments they have for rings. At some point I’ll be revamping it to better suit my needs lol. Other than that, I highly recommend a piece like this.
Another gem that came in handy was this closet shelf organizer. I have a walk in closet but didn’t want to waste the extra space under the hanging clothes. Since I have zero closet space elsewhere in the apartment I bought two of these organizers to make room for things like socks, soft hats, and linens. It was a super quick and easy assembling process.
Store Shoes in Boxes
I know this may seem like an expensive organization tip but I promise it is totally worth it. You lose out on a lot of space by having loose shoes all over the bottom of your closet, or heaven forbid, 50+ cardboard shoe boxes of various styles and sizes leaning off the wall like the Eiffel tower. While standing shoe racks are a tad better, they still don’t accommodate all shoe types flawlessly. Over-the-door shoe organizers are also fairly decent but they can be annoying to look at. The most neat and aesthetically pleasing way to store shoes is with the use of plastic shoe bins.
Being able to stack them on top each other is clutch. It’s also great to be able to see exactly what’s in each box without having to open up several cardboard boxes before finding the shoes you want. Y’all think I’m bad? My godmother takes pictures of each shoe and tapes the image to the outside of the box! I’m not there yet LOL. For consistency’s sake, I get my shoe bins from the Container Store. I used to get them from other places but after a while I got tired of looking at different colored tops and bins that weren’t stack-compatible with others.
I hope you found this blog post helpful! Remember these are just recommendations and practices that work for me. Please, by all means, do what works for you. If you take me up on any of these tips please be sure to send and/or tag me in pictures of your organization projects!