I first met Melissa Meyers (@MelissaMeyers), The Glow Girl, when we were both mothers of young children in NYC. Over the years, we’ve worked together, collaborated together, and even carpooled our children together. When Melissa moved to the west coast, we stayed in touch, and I was thrilled when she contacted me this summer for help with a challenging project. Her daughter, Rachel (@rachel.leigh.meyers), an influencer, would be moving to NYC and trading her spacious two-bedroom apartment in LA for a Tribeca apartment with a “cozy” (read small) bedroom and an even “cozier” closet. Thus, Rachel would be experiencing one of the great paradoxes of New York City. Fashionistas flock here. Yet, like Carrie Bradshaw in Sex in the City, the closets are often so small that shoes may be stored in the oven.
Rachel’s optimism, chill personality, and flexibility were the key assets to making her room work. Prior to our first meeting, she sent me photos of the space, so I could do some advance planning. My first suggestion was that she have the closet professionally outfitted. While this may seem frivolous in a rental apartment, adding additional shelving and hanging cost a fraction of the monthly rent and was necessary for her clothing to fit in the space. I also insisted that Rachel replace her mismatched hangers with uniform ones to eliminate the visual noise in her closet (critical in a small space).
Rachel and I met three times to get her bedroom and closet in working order. And, while we were able to leave her oven free for cooking, I did need to get creative in using every inch of space to properly accommodate her extensive collection of clothing, shoes, and bags. Here are my tips for ORGANIZING A SMALL SPACE and pictures of Rachel’s bedroom and closet from beginning to end.
Properly folded clothing takes up less space than piles of clothing. Having a dresser with drawers instead of piles on the floor also helps!
Think vertically. We had floor to ceiling shelves built in what would otherwise be a wasted corner of the bedroom.
Store what’s used most frequently in the most accessible places. When we reworked Rachel’s closet, we traded long hanging for a combination of short hanging and eye level shelving for her jeans and sweaters.
Out of season should be out of sight We stored Rachel’s summer shoes and bags on a top shelf of her closet.
Organize by color. By ordering the clothing by color, Rachel can easily find what she needs to get dressed each morning.
Think outside the box. Although blocking her windows with a high headboard wasn’t our first choice, it was the only way to avoid walking into the bed when entering the room. It also enabled us to take advantage of a cut out in the wall where we placed her dresser.
Storage furniture is key. The two drawers on the end of Rachel’s bed were handy for her in season bags and pajama sets…two categories of clothing she reaches for daily.