Whilst Hollywood’s Mark Wahlberg may have deemed his eleven-thousand square foot mansion claustrophobic, this has certainly been the decade of thinking
small. Last year the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) claimed that new-builds in the UK were not even stretching to the minimum size advised
for a basic standard of living.
As the semester at university unfolds, students will be adjusting to their own modest abodes. The onset of new clothing ranges, student discounts and the glorious arrival of student
loans will likely have many wardrobes spaces shrinking.
Space is typically a scarce resource for students and for the times when you have more cardigans than carpet, there are ways to make the best with what
you've got. Simon Hamilton, founder of Simon Hamilton & Associates, has kindly
agreed to let us in on his twenty years of expertise in interior design.
Maximise your space
Initially the thought of stripping, purging and re-organising your wardrobe can be daunting. But it’s certainly worth the effort. Rail-space rarely gets
used to its full extent. Think beyond the horizontal constraints of the rail. Multi-hangers are a very resourceful way of utilising vertical space.
This particular product from Ikea can hold up to five pairs of trousers, which may even be the totality of the trousers that you own!
Equally, you can take just one regular trouser hanger and add shower hooks along the length of it to hold on to scarves, belts and ties. Adding to these
tips, Simon emphasises the importance of categorising for quick retrieval.
The best way is to use systems which allow you easy access to daily items and also less frequently used items that fall out of sight. It’s also worth
categorising your wardrobe by season. Store winter clothes in summer and summer clothes in winter
When you've got a lot concentrated in a small space, it can be hard to remember where exactly each item is. Pick up a sharpie and label your hangers with
free hanging tags to narrow your search. I advise that you give your handwriting a warm up first! You’ll find that by labelling, your room becomes more
accessible and less likely to be turned upside down for one missing item.
Besides leaving a note of what the item is, you may also want to note other items which complement that piece of clothing, such as flat shoes or low heels.
Ordering the wardrobe by category (shirts, jackets, jeans etc.) and further by colour will take your organisation to a whole new game.
Labelling is equally important for the clothes that you've put in storage, between seasons. In summer, keep those newly unneeded scarfs in a transparent
storage box and label it. Repeat the process on your wool jumpers, wool hats, gloves and sweatshirts.
For Simon, utilising wasted space is key.
“Existing elements such as doors are a clever way of gaining more space without making huge alterations. Where there is space, there is space to store!
Keen tinkerers are advised not to upset their landlord with "well-intentioned" home projects. There are many seamless ways to use space without any added
installations. Remove those post-it notes from your fridge that you have become numb to and add magnetic spice racks. Wrap your bracelets around used vodka
bottles and store matching sheets inside your pillow cases.
Be mindful of the spaces in and around your room and before you throw away used tins, jars and bottles, think "can this be repurposed?" You may surprise
Limit your clothing where you can!
Before looking to maximise space, look to create space. Don't be afraid to throw away unused clothes and accessories. One way to track your clothing usage
is to start off with all your hangers pointing towards you. When you use an item, return it to the wardrobe with the hanger the opposite way. If you wear
it again return it to the wardrobe exactly the same way. After a semester the hangers still pointing towards you will flag up unworn items that have
overstayed their welcome in your wardrobe.
The same idea goes for shopping. If you're on the fence about buying a piece of clothing, ask yourself "when will I be smarter?" This will likely be a week
later at which time if you still want it then buy it. If not, then don't. Your wardrobe and your student loan will thank you later.
Post written by Robert Jones on behalf of BooHoo.com
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