When I moved to Minneapolis three years ago, I had to get creative with storage solutions. I had accumulated a lot of possessions from when I lived in Las Vegas where I had a three bedroom house which is more than twice the size of my new 900 sf apartment (still pretty large by most standards for a single person). With more than 200 pairs of shoes, countless articles of clothing, several hats and a substantial accessory collection, I needed to make it work as Tim Gunn would say.
Donate, Donate, Donate. I started by purging all the items that no longer worked for my sense of style and donated them to a local women's shelter. While almost everything I owned still fit me, I just couldn't see myself wearing those wide leg corduroy pants that once seemed so fashionable or those Nike Air Max sneakers with the huge bubble sole that used to be all the rage.
Be ruthless about what items need to be hung versus folded. The next step was determining what items needed to be hung and what could be stored in dressers. While my apartment came with a walk in closet in the bedroom, it wasn't large enough to accommodate all my dresses and shirts (5x6.5 feet). I ended up installing a second hanging rod under what was a long hang rod to accommodate my shirts and skirts. For hangers, I swear by the Joy Mangano huggable hangers. They look great (I go with the black velvet) and give you twice as much space since they're so thin. As you can see on the long hang section, I also use the cascading hooks to squeeze in even more clothes (yes I know I need to join shopaholics anonymous) LOL.
For all my folded items, I purchased two identical dressers from West Elm. The center dresser used to be in my guest bedroom in Las Vegas and luckily West Elm still carried the line though not in the exact finish that I already had. This worked out perfectly though because it created some visual contrast in color and height while still providing the much needed storage space in a relatively small bedroom (11x11 feet). Now everything from socks to tees has a space of its own.
3. Command Hooks to the rescue. For my hats, handbags and jewelry out of sight almost always means out of mind, so using 3M Command Hooks was a no brainer. Not only can I quickly see what I own and put an outfit together, my accessories act like artistic wall coverings all while causing no damage to the walls (a priceless advantage for all the renters out of there). In addition to the hooks, I draped some necklaces across some decorative vases and purchased acrylic jewelry stands for my bracelets from The Container Store.
4.Out of sight out of mind. The Container Store saved the day again when it came to my shoes. Given that the only location to store my shoes was a shelf in my closet, I chose to purchase clear boxes that I could stack yet still allowed me to see what was in each box. With so many shoes however, I had to use to my hall closet and laundry room as well to store everything but it works, but just barely LOL