Have a tiny space that always seems cluttered, no matter what you do? This is what we call “more stuff than storage.” Basically, there are two solutions to this problem: more storage, or less stuff. Less stuff is almost always the better option. So first, see what you don’t need, what you can get rid of, what’s not necessary, and clear it out.
If you still have a more stuff than storage situation after that, you need to maximize your space. Start thinking about unconventional storage options. Make sure you’re using all of your available space: under things (the bed, the couch, etc.), behind things, and all of your vertical space. People always forget about vertical space. This is especially relevant in closets, where you end up wasting an awful lot of space if you don’t figure out how to use all the way up to the ceiling, and all of the “dead” spots, like those against the front wall of the closet.
Keep in mind, too, that the more stuff you have “out” and on display, the more cluttered your space will appear, no matter how well-organized that stuff is.
Use vertical storage if you can. Get some stackable shelves you can use in there to double or triple your usable surface area, and maybe designate the worst of the two cabinets for stuff you rarely use and reclaim another area for your pans and such.
You may need to get creative with your storage. Are you using all of your underbed space? how about your vertical space? Behind stuff, in other stuff; find every available square inch and figure out a way to use it. Closets almost always have a ton of wasted vertical space. See if you can do something like that.
Otherwise, we’re looking at more stuff than storage, and if the answer isn’t more storage, it’s less stuff.
Move the sweatshirts to the hanging organizer (they take up a lot of drawer space), and see if there are baskets that fit into the hanging organizers that you can put the socks into. The hanging organizers are also really good for things like jeans, too.
reichenbachtorwho asked you:
Do you have any general tips on unfucking a dorm room? A lot of the tips for cleaning a house don’t apply.
(Making this answerable/rebloggable)
The same general principles (20/10s, put stuff away rather than down, make sure you don’t have more stuff than storage) applies no matter what your living situation. With a dorm room, you’re dealing with extremely limited space and possibly another person, so every little bit of mess is magnified and seems so much bigger. Make sure you have a good system for your clothes. Having clothes strewn about is probably the most common dorm room problem. Make the most of whatever drawers and desk space you have. Create extra storage if you need it. Use the space under your bed. Use vertical space. Get creative.
Team UfYH, what suggestions do you have for dorm rooms?
It’s my birthday yesterday! (It’s nearing 1am here, but my birthday is August 17.)
I had a great time: going out for sushi; playing a party game mashup of: pictionary, charades, name that tune!, taboo, and other such things; eating lots of tasty snacks and popsicles. My friends are the best of all possible friends.
I’m also super proud of what we (A. and I) did before the fun and games began: cleaning our vestibule.
Witness our vestibule, a (often very dark) narrow strip of room that was this morning filthy as all get out:
Closeup of the shelves:
Magic: the Gathering cards, water bottles, dirt, shoes underfoot, the perpetual tangle of scarves, more filth… we’d basically ignored the vestibule for months hoping it would go away.
Then we decided that damnit, we were going to clean the darn thing!
Out went the shoes! Not pictured: the cobwebs and one live spider inside the boots. (I got A. to clean those; I’m not ok with spiders.)
I swept the better part of a year’s worth of grime, washed and vacuumed and even wiped down the shelves, which had all of their contents removed and reorganized.
And then, finally, an hour and a half later: BAM!
Oh yeah. Look at that.
Shoes neatly organized.
Our fedoras and sunhat in a row. (There’s a ballcap and beret hiding under the sunhat.)
And the star of our vestibule, the scarf organizer!
That’s a tension rod over which I threaded all of our scarves—and colour coded them! Gloves and additional scarves that didn’t fit are hiding, neatly laid/folded, underneath. I got the tension rod idea from StorageGeek. SO GOOD.
The board games are there because, uh, we lack storage so we make do with where we can put things. But don’t let the Battlestar Galactica box fool you: all the expansions come in the same size box, and we only use one for the actual game. We play BSG (which takes on average 3 hours) at least once a week.
That wood thing on the right in the main shots? That’s a wood coat hanger that looks like this:
We love our Nerf swords! (And the suitcase in some of the previous shots holds A.’s ten Nerf laser tag guns. Yeah, that’s right.)
We also did some other stuff: A. did a bunch of reorganizing in the living room, swept the bathroom floor, I vacuumed—but our basement suite is TINY so none of that took a long time. And I think we followed UFYH’s principles fairly well, even though this was more marathon-y than I’d like: we took breaks. And thanks to UFYH, the kitchen didn’t need any tidying at all, because we’ve been keeping up with it! Ditto on most of the bathroom!
Best part? We both had a lot of fun! We even argued over who got to vacuum, because we both enjoy it so much.
tallandignorantservants asked you:
I know you’ve posted about makeup before, but do you have any hints for storing/organising bottles of nail polish? That’s probably my biggest makeup indulgence and right now they’re just all jumbled in a box. I can’t see what colours are there, and any time I want to use one, I risk the structural integrity of the whole mess. Please tell me there’s a secret-women’s-business solution that I’m just not seeing.
I went to the beauty supply and bought a nail polish rack like they have in stores or salons. That may not be the best solution for everyone, though. So let’s hear it, people, what are your suggestions for nail polish storage?