One of my biggest issues since moving to Toronto from Montreal, besides the serious lack of quality bagels and the TTC requiring me to sign over the souls and naming rights of my children, was having to give up my walk-in closet. While my TO flat has some serious swag in its own right, no other big city in Canada does dirt-cheap, gargantuan apartments quite like MTL. (On a side note, I’ve always loved the word gargantuan. I so rarely get the opportunity to use it in a sentence.)
Given that my new bedroom is about a third the size of my French one and has only one little closet, I had two choices: either I resist change and find my mummified cat under a pile of skinny jeans on my own episode of Hoarders, or I embrace my lack of space and become creative with organization. Like any queen removed from her palace by forceful revolution, there were, literally, tears and tantrums. In the end, however, I decided to go into civilian life with grace and set myself on the task of making it work. While still a work in progress (there are still periodic tantrums, believe me) here are some of the ways I did it.
As somebody who was skipped over by the Puberty Fairy, I have remained more or less the same tiny size since I was 14. As such, like many people, I have done some incredible feats of logical gymnastics to justify keeping clothing that I never wear based solely on some strange sentimental tendency. And like, really weird stuff. We’re talking the nylon cat-suit I bought to be Catwoman a couple years ago. Consequently, I had to confront the literal skeletons in my closet and exorcise everything from Bart Simpson boxers to the entire American Eagle 2006 Fall/Winter collection (it was high school, aight?). Besides the literal weight on your floorboards, I recommend doing a good purge periodically for yo’self as all that clothing is really just über stressful clutter. My disposal criteria was things that I hadn’t worn in the last six months and the ways I used to get rid of stuff included donating to charity, giving away to my favourite charity cases (aka my friends), and selling it to second hand stores like The Kind Exchange.
Something I really had a hard time coming to terms with was not having all my clothes available year-round. When it’s so hot out that even thinking about wool makes me perspire, I still like knowing I can have my favourite Christmas sweaters whenever I want. I have literally enough pull-overs to keep a Siberian orphanage warm through the winter (scientific fact, FYI). In the name of preserving space, however, this worked. The way I did it was picking my eight favourite sweaters that I actually could see myself wearing on a summer night. After that, I went and got those giant plastic bins (I refer to them as my fashion tupperware), loaded them up with all my sweater and scarves swag, and stacked them away at the top of my closet. It was tough, but we will somehow survive.
I love hooks. Daresay, I may even refer to myself as a hooker. But back to clothing… Since I do not have much horizontal space, I have realized the only direction to go is up. Getting those hooks that go over the top of doors has been great for storing the bags and jackets that I use on a regular basis and allows me to show off my favourite blinged-out murses.
Super Cute Storage
I have found some cute ways to store things that need awkward amounts of space. At IKEA, I found this super adorable little rubbish bin that allows me to hide and store my socks and I am constantly receiving compliments over it. I also got an external clothing rack where I get to hang all my favourites, stack my spare murses on top, and organize all my dress shoes at the bottom. Chic, c’est la vie.
Black and White
I honestly don’t know why I bought anything with colour in the past year. As somebody who works in fashion, I pretty much only wear patterns, black, and white. As such, I have committed myself to purchasing only clothing that falls into one of those three categories for the next year. While not an organizational solution per se, I see it as a preemptive strike in keeping my space more free of clutter. Less is more in terms of what I wear on the daily and there is no point buying stuff to collect cat hair.
Another behavioural change that I have made is doing my laundry more often. This means I only need to have one laundry bin in my closet and I always know how much storage space I have for new stuff. I think the best way of going about it is integrating it into your hangover Sunday routine and getting a Netflix account to ease the boredom. Think of it as a commercial break between episodes of Orange is the New Black, amirite?