Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Hallway Dilemma

I’ve been writing a lot about the importance of organization on here, especially when it comes to saving space and attaining some semblance of a clean, clear aesthetic in your space. Well, the chicken came home to roost for me a few weekends ago when a friend of mine, a NYC handyman who works around Dumbo, pointed out that my hallway closet was literally bulging due to overstuffing.
 The hallway closet has been, for all intents and purposes, the junk drawer of my home, where I cram sleeping bags, summer/winter clothes, plastic bins for moving, blankets…the list goes on. And for awhile, I was gleefully unaware that it looked like it was going to burst forth, unleashing an avalanche of clothing and trinkets that would likely put me out for good. My NYC handyman friend urged me to take care of this mess sooner than later.

We began by tossing a great deal of the plastic bins. Most of them ended up at my mother’s house, whose junk drawer has spread to include an entire garage at this point. The rest of them went to my downstairs neighbor and the local recycling center. When I inevitably move, I will likely partake in those super-cheap fold-up boxes that most movers offer. We then inventoried what I needed to put in the closet and what I could store elsewhere. We decided to put shelves in and make it something like a linen closet for all manner of useful things.

There was already a top shelf build into the closet and that’s where I put my luggage: Gym bags, duffel bags, suitcases, backpacks, messenger bags and roller cases. We measured each following shelf two feet from the previous, giving space to fold things and store blankets, jackets and clothing easily. As it turned out, my NYC handyman friend was also a laundry expert and he instructed me the proper way to fold jackets for storage; I have, after many years of struggle, learned how to fold a t-shirt and a pair of jeans.

At the end of the day, I had two entire shelves left empty. (I have since used them to store old video game consoles and piles of old New Yorkers and Film Comments that I don’t have the heart to toss quite yet.) This was a marginally simple project to handle with my friend, and most NYC handymen can do this for relatively cheap. It’s something worth looking into, lest you enjoy looking like you’re trying to store an entire department store in your hallway closet.