The Problem: Not enough storage space for all my things.
The Solution: At least a week of clearing out rubbish I haven’t needed over the last four years from my cupboards and replacing them with things I actually need.
The Result: All my clothes fit inside my wardrobe and I have an elegant little vanity shelf.
Moving back in has been a seriously difficult task for me. And it’s mostly because my bedroom has been used as a storage cupboard for four years. (Okay, a lot of it was my stuff that I couldn’t bear to part with but definitely didn’t use over my university years). I literally had a box labelled “Sentimental Crap”! So after much complaining and moaning to my mum that there was no space for my things, we made a deal: she’d clear me some wardrobe space and I would clear the storage cupboards.
It took a while. A Long while. I literally spent an entire day clearing a single shelf. But once I got into the swing of things it got easier to throw things out and to really determine what I did and didn’t need. My process went a little something like this:
- Choose an item to remove from the shelf
- Have I seen this item in the last four years? If no, donate to charity/throw away
- If I’ve seen the item, have I actually used it in the last four years? If yes, what for? Am I likely to use it again?
- If no, does the item provoke a profound sentimental feeling? If yes, remember the attached memory.
- Is the memory worth keeping a token of? – This was difficult to qualify but to be honest, most of my sentimental souvenirs were wristbands from first year, or birthday cards/cake wrappings (don’t ask), so it was quite easy to make the decision to throw those bits away. I have photographs from all those nights so it’s not like the memories will be lost to me forever.
- Repeat for the next item.
Once I had cleared the cupboard of all the sentimental bits and odds and ends (there was so much jewellery from when I was 7, I can’t begin to describe how many bracelets and necklaces and fake earrings I found), it was time to piece together what exactly I wanted the cupboard to look like. As I don’t have a vanity table or any kind of shelving in my bedroom, the cupboard space was essentially for all my books, make-up and other bits that I’d brought from uni and wasn’t ready to part with yet (are you noticing the pattern here?). It’s a compact space, but it’s enough. And how to maximise it? Well…
- All the large bottles that are used infrequently are in a little box off into the corner
- All hair accessories (again, not used very often) are in another box
- Jewellery is confined to boxes as well, but these are at least more decorative
- Make-up takes up the majority of the shelf space, but even that is as minimal as I could make possible, with brushes in a pot and bottles lined up together
- My hair heated-tools are wrapped up to one side in a magazine holder (I saw this tip on pinterest and it changed my life.)
I’ve made it all homely with a string of fairy lights and a scented drawer-liner, and it’s truly the only part of my bedroom that I can really say is my own. Even though it’s hidden behind a cupboard door, it’s given a new feel to the room, and it’s helped me feel less stressed by removing a ton of clutter from my life. It has also resolved a lot of the tension at home because I actually have space for my things!
Of course, this is just one little area and there will always be rough waters to navigate; coming back home is a big adjustment! But hopefully having my own space will make it that little bit smoother sailing.