BATHROOM IN A CLOSET: “IT COULD SAVE YOUR RELATIONSHIP”
You have only one bathroom in your apartment and sharing it even with your beloved partner can often lead to embarrassment, hurt feelings, harsh words, even a breakup.
Clear out a closet and build an extra bathroom. Even if it is very small, it will provide the privacy you and your partner need to save your relationship.
TIP 5: SPACE ABOVE THE TOILET
I suggest a tissue box for the top of the toilet, plus a shelf for towels above that, and a sliding door cabinet on top for stuff you don’t use very often.
TIP 8: SMALL SINK ON SIDE WALL
Get the smallest wall-hung sink you can find. It should protrude no more than 9″ (230mm) from the wall. In a closet that is 24″ deep, you will have only 15″ left to get by. You will just about fit.
BABY IN A CLOSET: “DELAY YOUR MOVING DAY”
You have a new baby and can't expand your living space, but don't want to move right away.
A baby doesn't need much space - certainly not an entire room. So if you can manage to empty out a closet and find other places for your stuff (see TIP SHEET), this can make a cozy baby room for at least a year, maybe even two or three.
TIP 2: MAKE IT LOOK LIKE A BABY ROOM
Hang up a valance to give the space a feeling of definition. Add a mobile from the ceiling. All these things say: “This is not a closet. This is a baby room.”
TIP 5: LOTS OF DRAWERS UNDERNEATH
Letter-size file drawers are the perfect size. You can even use stiff cardboard archive drawers with metal handles. Paint the drawer fronts different colors. Stacked together, these drawers will be strong enough to support the bed.
CURTAIN CLOSET:“TURN A WALL INTO STORAGE”
You have a bedroom with inadequate storage space, but don't want to go to the trouble and/or expense of building a closet: a particular problem for renters.
Install wall-mounted clothes rails and open shelves on a bare wall. Add a curtain from a rod on the ceiling to conceal your clothes and clutter. Assemble it yourself from hardware items or buy a ready-made kit (see Ikea photo).
BED IN A DRAWER: “POP UP A PLAY SPACE”
Bedrooms are getting smaller and kids are getting more and more toys. So kids’ rooms often become cluttered ‘toy depots’ with little room to play.
While the kids are growing up and need a place to play, it may be worth enlisting a handyman to help you build a platform with “magical beds” that disappear under the floor. Use my “step-by-step tip sheet” as a guide.
KIDS’ TOYS: “Take Back Your Home”
If you have kids, there are bound to be toys on the floor. Not only do they mess up the house, they are also a serious health hazard. How many times have you tripped over your kids’ toys?
Here are 3 that I like:
1. FROM THE CEILING: INGENIOUS AND DECORATIVE
This is an ingenious DIY solution, but you may need some help rigging up the ceiling pulleys and attaching the hanging baskets. Decide which basket holds what (a specific set of animals, toys or supplies) and label them on the wall where the string holding is anchored.
2. ON THE WALL: EASY AND INEXPENSIVE
Get some plastic milk crates and attach them to the wall at a height your kids can reach. Books slide in the crates sideways. Toys go in on top. There’s lots of scope for creative imagination by combining different crate colors and figuring out different wall positions.
KITCHEN IN A CLOSET: “SQUASH IT ALL IN”
You don’t do much cooking and want to use your valuable kitchen space for other things. Or you have a weekend cottage with no room for a normal kitchen.
All you need is an empty closet. With the help of my “step-by-step tip sheet”, you can turn it into a fully functional closet-kitchen.
TIP 8: DIVIDE THE SHELVES
You can get maximum shelf space by using gizmos such as under-shelf plate holders, under-shelf stemware holders and shelf dividers. They usually come in stainless steel or white plastic.
TIP 11: USE TOP AND SIDES OF SMALL REFRIGERATOR
A bar fridge gives you valuable space on the top and sides. The top (below the counter) is a good place for pots and pans and Tupperware containers. On the wall side, you may be able to fit a narrow 3-tier shelf unit for cleaning materials. On the other side (in the gap between the refrigerator and sink cabinet), try stacking large trays.