When I moved into my three-bedroom Lower East Side apartment I fought for the big room with the two big windows. My two roommates put up a good fight, but I’d sell my soul for natural light. I have lived in some tiny spaces where sunlight was the only reprieve from a dark, gloomy NYC apartment.
I won out, but had to give up one key feature: This room didn’t have a closet.
At first, I didn’t think the closet-less room would be an issue. I was going to get a dresser, hanging rack, and use the space under my bed as storage. It was a foolproof plan.
And generally, it’s all worked out — except for the under-the-bed part. For a year and a half, I’ve let stuff under my bed pile up, and going through it all seemed like a task too big. So the mess kept growing and growing, and I convinced myself I was making it work under the guise of "organized chaos."
Then, I started to see the negative consequences of living in a state of perpetual mess. Even though I roughly knew where everything was under my bed, I had anxiety about going under there. Since the system clearly wasn’t working, I started piling things on the floor of my room. I had to strategically tiptoe around my belongings to keep myself from crushing or breaking anything. There were times when I didn’t want to go home, finding excuses to stay out of the apartment for longer. I was drowning in my own stuff — and it wasn’t healthy.
So I decided to seek some help. My co-worker Meghal offered to help me go through all my stuff and organize it, and I (warily) took her up on it. Before we started, I kept telling Meghal, “It’s a mess down there.” But as we started pulling things out, I started to realize how much of a mess it truly was. Turns out, I’d been hoarding beauty products — and the extent of it wasn’t apparent until it was all out in the open. We were shook by everything we had to go through, and I was embarrassed at how much stuff I had been holding onto, thinking it was important or valuable. The next day I canceled my Sephora Play box (sorry Sephora I love you but I can’t use all those samples in a month) and started curtailing my shopping habits.
The first step was emptying the space and seeing all the clutter in one spot. Then, we cleaned the space and got rid of any dust monsters. After that, we sorted through all the items, determining what I was going to keep, donate, or throw away. That part was the most overwhelming, but also the most rewarding. Finally, we applied the solutions that Meghal had brought in for me.
I was shocked by how perfectly everything fits in my room now. I’ve been living with it for a couple of weeks and it is so seamless and easy. I am finally starting to feel like a real adult. Watch the video above to see the incredible transformation, and maybe get inspired to revamp your own storage problem, too.