Storage Solutions: Apparel

[Frontspiece: Shopping Girls know that having a suitable amount of space to store everything properly matters. What good is it to own delightful things if they end up marred or, even worse, damaged beyond repair, due to being poorly stored? And what is the use of a spiral staircase in a closet, you may ask? Why, of course, it gives Shopping Girls the opportunity to practice ascending and descending gracefully in their outfits. Rehearsals are everything! Photo via thebuilderfix.com.]

 

With a new year comes a new motivation to get organized! The best place to start is usually with a Shopping Girl’s wardrobe. Why? Because getting your apparel act together helps to make you feel pulled together. Save yourself time and reduce stress with some of these well-considered storage solutions for your closet, dresser, and vanity.

 

Superior Cedar Coat Hanger. Containerstore.com.
Superior Cedar Coat Hanger. Containerstore.com.

Your organization tools are not something to skimp on. Why invest in great fashion, only to ruin your clothes through improper storage? Make a life-long investment in your coats, blazers, and other heavier apparel by using these Superior Cedar Coat Hangers. The sturdy shape will keep that most-important shoulder line looking good. Hang matching slacks, skirts, or accessories from the trouser bar. If you dislike the scent or look of cedar wood, never fear; there are several options (although cedar famously provides a beneficial insect deterrent, which you can refresh over time by lightly sanding the wood or oiling it with a touch of fresh cedar oil…being sure to let it dry and wipe off any excess before replacing your clothes on the hanger!)

 

All-In-One Hangers garner rave reviews for being truly reliable and useful. Containerstore.com.
All-In-One Hangers garner rave reviews for being truly reliable and useful. Containerstore.com.

By now, many Shopping Girls have learned that those skinny flocked hangers that were all the rage for a while are so wimpy that they fall apart if you blink in their vicinity. Truly useful storage supplies must be functional, not just compact. Consider these All-In-One Hangers. If you have a piece of clothing that won’t fit conveniently on one of these, then you are surely an astronaut, in which case, I recommend the cedar hanger shown above for your spacesuit. Joking aside, multi-functionality is a valuable aspect of organizational gear. The perfect storage item hits the right balance between being multi-functional, sturdy, and perfectly fitted to its intended setting. These go a long way to serving the needs of many Shopping Girls, no matter what the season or fashion.

 

Natural Hanger Belt Organizer. Containerstore.com.
Natural Hanger Belt Organizer. Containerstore.com.

This is the best way to store a collection of belts (or necklaces, or scarves). Since each belt hangs from its own hook, they won’t tangle, which means less wear and tear on the leather or fabric, and less chance of scratching metal buckles and embellishments. It also makes it easy to grab one belt, move the whole assortment to your dressing area, near a window for color comparison in daylight, or to hold them all up against your outfit to evaluate the best choice for your look. Even though this organizer is generously designed to hold a dozen belts individually, you can, of course, stack more than one belt on each hook. Doing so will only cost you a second or two in convenience. But do keep in mind that your belts will hold up better over time if they are properly stored separately on their hooks.

 

Ariana Ost Star Jewelry Hanger. Urbanoutfitters.com.
Ariana Ost Star Jewelry Hanger. Urbanoutfitters.com.

 

Speaking of necklaces, and hangers, this option is designed for jewelry, although it would work for your belts and scarves too, of course. Featuring a starry, celestial theme, it provides several storage options, including S-shaped hooks for necklaces and bangles, alternating with star-tipped posts that are great for rings, pierced open stars wherein you can hang earrings and display brooches…or just fasten your clasp bracelets and necklaces around the body of the hanger wherever you like. This is designed to be displayed, and I think it would be particularly charming wrapped in a small strand of fairy lights, but it will also stash neatly on a closet rod, or in a bunch of other locations, should you wish to conceal your booty during a party or while you are away.

Close-up view of the Ariana Ost Star Jewelry Hanger shows the many possibilities it offers for storing your jewelry in a pretty, practical, compact, and decorative way. Urbanoutfitters.com.
Close-up view of the Ariana Ost Star Jewelry Hanger shows the many possibilities it offers for storing your jewelry in a pretty, practical, compact, and decorative way. Urbanoutfitters.com.

 

Umbra Stash Organizer. Containerstore.com.
Umbra Stash Organizer. Containerstore.com.

Many of us are indoctrinated into thinking about storage in certain ways. For example, the common approach is to sort everything by category. All of the shoes go together; purses go together; and the like. However, another way to approach apparel storage is to arrange it by outfit. This handy tool is perfect for that approach. It simply slips over the top of your clothes hanger, and tucks inside of the top or jacket. It features generously sized pockets and an easy-access opening for adding and removing all of the accessories you wear with that item of clothing. Nothing obligates you to stuff this inside a coat though; you could also use it to hang coordinating accessories next to your outfit on the closet rod. Either way, it’s a great option, especially for Shopping Girls with abundant closet rod space, but less shelf and drawer storage. It’s also a nice way to corral specialty items, such as formal accessories, with your gown, all tucked into a garment bag and ready to go when needed.

 

Natural Cotton Garment Storage Bags are available in several shapes and sizes. Containerstore.com.
Natural Cotton Garment Storage Bags are available in several shapes and sizes. Containerstore.com.

And speaking of garment bags, you will want several, preferably made from breathable cotton. They are a necessity for keeping your out-of-season apparel in the best condition. Not only that, but they will also ensure that your daily-wear clothes stay dust-free and don’t fade from light exposure. They also add a very neat, fresh look to your closet, and help you to sort out-of-mind those clothes you can’t bear to part with (or that don’t fit), but that you aren’t currently wearing. They are also good for hiding clothes from friends, relatives, and roommates prone to borrowing. They aren’t Fort Knox in that regard, but out of sight, out of mind.

 

SetReady Wedding Garment Bag. Containerstore.com.
SetReady Wedding Garment Bag. Containerstore.com.

An excellent investment for a wedding, prom, special event, or vacation, this specialty garment bag is designed to corral your gown (and a dress or two for the reception or other activities), accessories, and sundry necessities in one easy to carry, hang, and keep-track-of package. After the big event, put it to good use making your mornings easy by throwing your outfit together the night before.

The SetReady Everyday Garment Bag in Black. Containerstore.com.
The SetReady Everyday Garment Bag in Black. Containerstore.com.

Take pity on the groom, and give him one too. You have a choice of colors, ivory or black, handy if you want to use one color to differentiate the bridal set from the ones you gift to your bridesmaids.

 

Our Tall Shoe Box, also available in other sizes. Containerstore.com.
Our Tall Shoe Box, also available in other sizes. Containerstore.com.

There is a unique frustration that comes from being motivated to finally get organized, only to be thwarted by storage gear not suitably sized for the job. Shopping Girls have long hassled with this issue in regard to their high heels, since most shoe storage options simply don’t fit. After spending so much on your beautiful heels–not to mention the lengthy search you likely undertook to find the perfect pair in the first place–don’t give in and store them improperly, leading to dust embedded in seams and stitches, scratches, and other damage. Get these properly sized, fully enclosed, stackable boxes that not only will store your heels safely, but your booties too! They are clear, so you won’t waste valuable time opening cardboard box after cardboard box hunting for the pair you needed 20 minutes ago. And sure, they are multi-purpose. Buy them individually or in sets of five. If you end up with extras, they will work great to store gear anywhere in your home. Or, just go out and buy some more shoes.

 

Our Boot Box. Containerstore.com.
Our Boot Box. Containerstore.com.

Boots are especially vulnerable to damage from improper storage. Yet they often end up deteriorating from poor storage as they may only be used seasonally and suitable storage options can be expensive. A see-through, enclosed box will keep your boots clean, unfolded or crushed, and ready to go when boot season returns.

 

Cedar Boot Shapers. Containerstore.com.
Cedar Boot Shapers. Containerstore.com.

Boot shapers are a necessity. If it’s a financial toss-up, you’d be better off buying good quality boot shapers and foregoing the storage box but, ideally, you can do both. These boot shapers will keep your boots fresh and deter insect pests because they are made with cedar wood. They will last a lifetime, making them a good investment. Although I will confess for frugal Shopping Girls that rolled-up old magazines will also do the job in a pinch.

 

Under Bed Drawers. Containerstore.com.
Under Bed Drawers. Containerstore.com.

Under-bed drawers are excellent options for Shopping Girls who are short on space or want to stash needful things nearby but don’t want or have room for nightstands or the like. It really is easier to pull out a drawer than an entire storage box from under the bed,  especially since the drawer comes out already open and ready to use. In tight quarters, having to fiddle with an extra storage container lid can be a real annoyance.

 

InterDesign Clarity Hat Boxes in several sizes. Containerstore.com.
InterDesign Clarity Hat Boxes in several sizes. Containerstore.com.

Like shoes and bags, hats should be properly stored in enclosed, rigid containers, to protect them from dust, moisture, pests, and crushing. Still, even though plenty of Shopping Girls adore and wear hats, it is surprisingly difficult to find suitably strong, useful and attractive hat boxes. Finding such hat boxes in cute, see-through containers with charming scallop-edged lids is frankly amazing. And, like most of these items, the hat boxes aren’t limited to storing hats. May I suggest further enhancing these by stuffing some archival-quality tissue paper inside the hat to help it keep its shape, and laying some more tissue down in the bottom if needed to properly support the brim? Or select a pretty colored tissue paper for display purposes, if you don’t have any concerns about the archival issue with the hat you’re tucking away.

 

Classic Stackers Lidded Eyewear Storage Box. Containerstore.com.
Classic Stackers Lidded Eyewear Storage Box. Containerstore.com.

An acknowledgement that Shopping Girls have sunglasses wardrobes. These sensible, stacking boxes with see-through lids come in a couple of colors, and will keep your fashionable eyewear clean and unscratched.

 

Northfield Jewelry Suitcases, in two charming pattern options. pbteen.com.
Northfield Jewelry Suitcases, in two charming pattern options. pbteen.com.

Latching boxes with handles make excellent storage containers for lots of things. These adorable jewelry suitcase boxes are well designed for adaptable accessory storage, and wouldn’t be limited to jewelry whatsoever. One might make a wonderful scrapbox for a lovely little Shopping Girl. They are super-decorative for display as well.

 

Gemstone Ring Holder. pbteen.com.
Gemstone Ring Holder. pbteen.com.

Jewelry storage is a very personal thing for a Shopping Girl. Many like to take advantage of storage containers that display their jewelry as well as corralling it, such as this sculptural looking homage to a natural crystal cluster done in silvertone metal. While it’s compact and simple, it offers a surprising amount of stash space that will also show off your treasures. When not draped in your jewels, it still looks pretty and makes a nice paperweight too.

 

Mele and Co Leighton Picture Frame Jewelry Box. Urbanoutfitters.com.
Mele and Co Leighton Picture Frame Jewelry Box. Urbanoutfitters.com.

This jewelry storage solution also creates a framed photo or sketch collage for your wall. It comes in Chocolate, or paint it whatever color your heart desires. The mat is removable, so you can change that out with different mats too.

Inside of the Mele and Co jewelry box. Urbanoutfitters.com.
Inside of the Mele and Co jewelry box. Urbanoutfitters.com.

Inside, there is lots of space to stash your jewelry wardrobe, along with a few other trinkets, some cash, or even your keys.

 

Fol-D-Rack. Containerstore.com.
Fol-D-Rack. Containerstore.com.

Getting organized is enhanced when you have multi-use tools you can rely upon to give you a hand. A stashable rack like this one will handle a lot of tasks. Use it as a guest closet, to sort out clothes for donation or seasonal storage, to take with on a vacation, or to sell your vintage or handmade wares at fairs, festivals, and swap meets. How about drying bundles of herbs, your kid’s paintings, or towels next to the swimming pool? Other uses–many of them–will occur to you.

 

LED Fast Track Light Strip with Remote. Containerstore.com.
LED Fast Track Light Strip with Remote. Containerstore.com.

It’s tough to keep your closet organized when you can hardly see in there. Individual stick-on lights help but, well, oftentimes, they don’t help much. Consider this little problem-solver instead. It runs on six AAA batteries and, since it uses LED light bulbs, those should last a good while. Each of the four lights can be rotated to the perfect angle to light up your entire closet. Even if you block one of the lights when you lean in there, the rest should see you through. Even better, it runs on a remote, so you can place it on the closet ceiling for maximum light coverage including the oftentimes murky top shelf.

 

Lynk White Solid Shelf Dividers Set of 2 in several sizes. Containerstore.com.
Lynk White Solid Shelf Dividers Set of 2 in several sizes. Containerstore.com.

Shelf dividers are one of those storage solutions that might look dubious. How much of a difference could they really make? Quite a lot; if you have never tried them, you will likely be surprised–and pleased–with their ability to keep bags, piles of sweaters, and other stacked gear neat and easy to access. They tend to be one of the less expensive storage solutions available too so, if you are struggling with closet shelf disarray, give them a try. Frugal Shopping Girls can buy one set, and use one divider at each end of the shelf, with the wall forming the other supportive side, rather than using both in the middle of the shelf.

 

Protege 32-Inch Compactable Rolling Duffel Bag. Walmart.com.
Protege 32-Inch Compactable Rolling Duffel Bag. Walmart.com.

Speaking of frugal: Do you want a do-it-all, adaptable, tough, portable, storage solution for your closet (among many other areas in the house)? Then head on over to Walmart (or online), and hit the duffel bag department. There, you will find unbelievably useful and affordable storage possibilities for the lowest possible prices. The example above is currently priced at only $18.88. Not only is it huge, it features a rectangular shape that will park nicely on closet shelves, floors, under beds, or even in the garage. It has multiple handles, carrying and shoulder straps, outside pockets, and even wheels. Need a bag for travel, the beach, or what have you? Temporarily empty the contents into a box, and you are set with a great travel luggage solution. Invest in inexpensive duffel bags, and make your storage and organization life easy and affordable.

 

Next time, we’ll look at storage and organization gear to help you get your kitchen whipped into shape for the new year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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