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Too Many Clothes and Not Enough Bedroom

The commercial and residential buildings of today are more about more living area space and less bedroom space. Where an apartment complex has to compromise – the large bedroom and its accompanying clothing wardrobe space will be the first to go.

Inadequate wardrobe space is a flash from the past, when storage was not built-into walls or placed on shelving but hidden away in massive pieces of furniture and grouped in ways that they seemed to take up the whole room. If you’re renting – it’s up to you to supply your own clothing storage.

What’s the solution?

Consider how Europeans used to live. Small bedrooms were a thing way back before the fifties, when people owned fewer things and consumerism was less focused on the individual and more on what benefitted the family. That changed substantially after World War II and the birth of the “Me” Generation – otherwise known as baby boomers. Excited nations lavished on new goods bought cheaply from around the world on its families, children and grandchildren, and consumerism has never looked back. No longer were people happy with owning just one of everything (one winter coat, one TV) – now people have become used to owning a wide range and variety over value.

Increased availability and reduced prices for consumer goods has created an enthusiastic consumer for collecting small goods – clothes, trinkets, and accessories. For those who love to shop and can afford to buy a whole new wardrobe every season, lack of closet space and smaller bedrooms can be a real inconvenience.

If space is a problem, look to the past on how to solve it and make it work for you in the meantime.

1. Revamp Your Wardrobe.


How did our grandmothers manage with those tiny closets and fancy carved wardrobes that we now use to hold our TV’s? The answer is simple – they had fewer clothes and they took better care of them.
Throw out anything you have not worn in over a year. Be brutal. Clothes hanging in your closet won’t give you any additional value, they just keep getting limper until you never wear them at all.
Assess what is left for wear and tear. Weed out some more. Again be brutal.
Try to make a mix and match plan with what remains. Any item that doesn’t go with at least two or three other items, you don’t need. A blouse should go with at least a skirt and a pair of pants, and perhaps, jeans. A sport coat should complement at least two different pairs of slacks. Some clothes can traverse the seasons and work layered under other things. A T-shirt can add warmth to a medium weight sweater that will get you through most cold days.
2. Buy fewer clothes and take better care of them. Any new item you buy automatically makes at least two items in your wardrobe obsolete. Don’t believe me? Do the math. You’ll likely wear a new item as often as twice in the first week you own it, then you might wear it as often as once a week or more for a few weeks more. You’ll also stop wearing items from the same “era.” Why? The psychological associations are simply too strong. If you really want to buy something, look at how long the season is to wear it – 3 months to six months depending on the climate in which you live then divide the number of wearings (once a week) into that period. That is a quick way to decide if you realise that the great blouse you just found is going to cost you £20 a wearing because the seasons are about to change.

3. Decorate with some of your favourite wearables. Is your hat collection taking up too much room? Hang one on your bedpost, make an arrangement on the wall. Accent with bunches of upside down dried flowers. No way to keep your ties neat? Create a rack on one wall or use as a headboard. Ties can add colour and style.

4. Put everything on the walls that you can, including lighting. Lamps take up a lot of room on small bedside tables, room you may need for other things. Brace small shelves on the wall on either side of your bed and present your lamps like works of art. Invest in shelves that you can take down and take with you when you move. Create vignettes on the shelves that can be useful and bring colour and urban wit to your bedroom – books, memorabilia. Decorate with items that are distinctively you.
One of the most charming decorative items from the past are wall shelves, brackets and sconces. If you go into new furniture stores, you will see that wall storage is making a huge comeback and at very expensive prices.
5. If your bedroom isn’t large enough to accommodate the kind of furniture you really want, paint a version of what you want. One decorating style book suggests painting a canopy on the wall and ceiling behind and above the bed to give the illusion of elegance. Rooms with small windows can be similarly fooled with paintings that feature windows and pictures of beautiful views.
6. Change the way you study, pay bills, or work at home. Move the “home office” out of the bedroom and find a convenient place in your more spacious living room area.
Psychological studies show that when you study, read or do work that requires concentration, you will perform better away from areas associated with relaxation and sleep. The reverse is true also. You will sleep better away from demanding reminders of projects due.
7. Keep it simple. A few large pieces of furniture will have more utility than scaled down versions of more items. Use one nightstand instead of two, but make it a large one. Use a large dresser that can accommodate all your little items. Out of season items can be stored in boxes and put in the closet or under the bed.

Originally posted 2016-06-24 20:24:30.