I can remember being pretty stoked when Adam (my beau) wanted to move in together. I was excited to say goodbye to roommates and hello to my soul mate. Not that my roommate wasn’t great but it’s just different. With Adam, I get to share everything, walk around the house in the buff (if I want) and you just can’t get away with all that when you have a roommate. I mean, technically you can but it isn’t advised.

Unfortunately, the only thing I didn’t want to share with Adam was a closet. Even with my minimalist wardrobe, it can be tough to share closet space with a loved one. In Los Angeles, it’s even more of a challenge because the closets are about the size of a phone booth. So even if you’re both starting out with a paired down wardrobe it’s probably going to be an uphill battle (it’s best to know the truth now).

When Adam and I shacked up in our first place in Echo Park, we were fortunate enough to have an extra bedroom, which functioned as his office space. His clothes took-over that closet and we thrifted a dresser which housed all of his undies, socks, T-shirts and shorts.  I did the same thing in the bedroom and added a dresser to house undergarments, PJs and the like.  But I know a lot of friends aren’t as lucky as we were with two closet spaces to parcel our clothes in between. When you are stuck with only one teeny closet between the two of you, here’s what is possible:

  • Take inventory and take measurements of the hanging clothes. How much space will you need to create to make it all work?
  • Sometimes it’s easier to look at your stuff as inventory and your job is to make it fit within the constraints you are given (in this case, your closet). View it as a challenge and one that you will conquer with ninja like acuity.
  • Scanning your entire closet for things to donate can be overwhelming. When making decisions, it’s this or that. It’s simpler to decide between two shirts to donate than the entire lot all at once.
  • Get curious! What can be folded? Bob Villa a shelf above the closet rod for folded jeans and shirts to land.
  • The only things that really need to be hung are clothes that are impossible to fold (think dresses, pants and blouses that wrinkle). And coats. You definitely can’t fold coats.
  • You can also add a dresser to any room (as long as it fits), which will help tremendously. Yes, that tip is sort of a no-brainer.
  • Can you put hooks on the back of the door and in the entry way for all of your jackets? They take up a ton of room and might do better elsewhere. You could also store them in a bin when it’s summertime to save even more space.
  • You should also take advantage of The Container Store’s Elfa closet design system. You can design your closet (just take measurements of the space and input them to create a plan).  Instead of going into the store to make adjustments, call their customer service team and they will gladly adjust anything on the closet plan. You can then order the Elfa Closet or go to Home Depot and pick out a Rubbermaid Closet utilizing the same design. The latter route is way cheaper if you don’t have the cash to fork over for Elfa. But man do I love me some Elfa.
  • Compromise. He donates one thing, you donate one thing and so on and so forth. Whoever donates the most gets the best side of the closet (and you know there’s always a better side to every closet).
  • You can also create a totally open closet in the actual bedroom (again,if there’s enough space). You don’t have to be limited by your closet—even if it is trying to limit you and your partner from sharing it.

Are you in the process of merging closest with a loved one? What is your plan of action if the closet sitch is kinda terrible?

BNeatoBar2c_BcmykAbout this blog: Space. Finding more of it isn’t always easy. That’s why each Wednesday at Bneato Bar, we try our darndest to give you more space all while helping you K.I.T. (aka keep it together).

image via Flickr


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