Keeping your closet organized is hard enough when it's just your clothes in there, but what happens when it's shared by two people? When you have to divvy up precious wardrobe room with someone else, things can get a little stressy, fast. So rather than turn your bedroom into a battleground, try these tips for splitting the storage so everything stays fair and tidy. From assessing who needs more space to jumping into DIY solutions, it can be done, read on to learn how...
How Do You Divvy it Up?
The first thing you need to do is decide how you'll divide and conquer (or not).
Split It Straight Down The Middle
If neither you, your partner, or your roomie have any elaborate clothing needs and have a fairly basic wardrobe, then divvy up that closet space straight down the middle. Their clothes on one side, your clothes on the other—no sleeve or pant leg breeches over. It's as if there's a tape line going down the middle and to the floor. Easy peasy.
See If You Can Negotiate Fractions
Does one of you have triple the amount of clothes the other has? Do you have a Barneys-sale-amount of dresses, and pants, and blazers, and knits... but then they only have enough clothes to dress a cartoon character? If so, see if you can strike a deal and take up three quarters of the space, and make it up to them by giving them more drawer space or shoe room.
Remember: "Sides" Don't Have to Be Sides
Your closet doesn't have to be uniform. Take into account what kind of clothes each of you owns, and set up the wardrobe accordingly. For example, does your partner own long dresses or a bevvy of coats? Then give them the tall bars, because plenty of vertical hanging space will be necessary on their "side." But do you own more knits, tees, and items that could be folded? Maybe you'd like to lay claim to the shelves in the middle.
Keep Like With Like
The smart, space-saving way to split things up? Forget the division and share everything. If there's a belt rack, you can both throw your belts there. Both of you throw your maxi dresses on the tall bar, and both stow your pants on the low-hanging bar near the floor. This sort of non-division ensures that you're not wasting any space by storing things where they best fit. If you worry about your clothes getting mixed up, try color-coding your hangers and hooks.
Make More Fit
Once you've got the organization down, your next mission will be making the most of the space that you do have.
Snag Extra Slim Hangers
Replacing your old, plastic pieces with a set of velvety, grippy, extra thin hangers will instantly make your side of the closet feel twice as big. And if things get really tight, these cascading hangers can go the extra mile.
Install Pull-Out Racks
Don't be afraid to address your needs and ditch the symmetrical look. If you need drawers on your half of the closet, you can grab some slide-out wire baskets to customize your side. Or if you're more of an accessory person – owning lots of belts, scarves, and sunglasses – you can install a bunch of small pull-out racks, too.
Make The Most Of Dead Space
If you don't have a lot of closet space, make sure to use up every square inch of it to make the most of your storage. For example, you can hang a plastic shoe holder from the door to store flats or accessories. You can also install upside-down crown molding towards the ceiling of your closet to hang heels, you can get rotating belt hangers or five-tier pant hangers to save more space vertically.
Get Stuff Out
If you still need some extra space, think outside the closet.
Get An Extra Wardrobe
Does your bedroom have an extra space for a standalone wardrobe? Or maybe even a garment rack? You can turn it into décor by displaying your favorite clothes on the racks – from your most impressive dresses to sleekest jackets – and even use the rack to bring color or texture into the room. For example, you can DIY your own rack and add a copper pipe, or paint it in bright neon colors. You can also hang planters from the side, and give your room a boutique-like feel.
See If Your Sweaters Can Live Somewhere Else
Do you have items that could be folded and not necessarily put on hangers? See if you can put those items somewhere other than your shared closet. For example, you can get sleek storage boxes and put them on top of your dresser or stacked next to your desk. You can store tees and knits in pullout boxes under your bed, or get an attractive storage chest to put against the wall.
Decorate With Storage Boxes
If you don't have room to stuff storage boxes into your space, try seeing if you can turn them into décor, too. Install floating shelves and decorate them with chic cartons, working them into your aesthetic and allowing you stow away jeans, sweaters, and simple tees in a cute place. Just make sure that you mark these accordingly: "Shoes" could be anybody's shoes, so make sure to put a name when you label each box.
Sharing a closet with another person is hard, but it can be done – and painlessly!