Organizing 101: Utilize Vertical Space

Most organizing challenges are due to not having space to put items.  Therefore, the solution to all of your organizing problems is creating space.  NBD.  And when you figure out how to do that, get working on creating time.  Because I could really use some more of that.  Then put them together and make a continuum.  #lamesciencejoke #friendscopycatjoke

Actually, creating space, in the form of surface area, is one of the biggest difference-makers in organizing a space.  When organizing a space, it’s easy to just default to whatever is already in the space as far as shelving, but creating more surface area to put stuff on can be the difference between ‘I’m going to post a picture of my awesome closet on Instagram’ and ‘Don’t open that closet door!’.

The key is to utilize the vertical space.

This is especially true in small areas where you need to really make the space work harder for you.

Start by looking at the entire space.  Find empty wall space.  Take some measurements to figure out what the entire area is that you have to work with.

Putting this idea into practice does often require purchasing and/or building something.  But if you decide going into it what you want the space to do and you know your space constraints, then this is a time when making an organizing purchase is a great idea.

In our new house, the upstairs bathroom is on the small side.  There is small space between the end of the vanity and the side of the toilet.  When we moved in, I put the toilet paper basket in that spot.  This is a basket that has sat next to the toilet in each of my residences for over a decade to store extra rolls of TP.  After living in the house for a few weeks, I started to feel the constraints of the small bathroom, and wanted to make the space work better, but was limited due to space.

My sister-in-law has this stand in her bathroom, and I thought of it immediately.  It is more narrow than my old basket and it uses the vertical space along the wall between the two fixtures.

*Please disregard the towel as window covering.  As previously mentioned, we are in the middle of a remodel and window coverings have not yet been ordered.  In the meantime, extra towels (thus the ugly burnt orange color) serve that purpose.  

The bottom shelf stores the extra toilet paper (twice as much as my old wicker basket), and then I have four more shelves to store stuff as well.  I was able to put small items that had previously been on the bathroom counter on the top shelf, so that freed up counter space, which is huge, because we don’t have much of that.

In addition to adding a lot of practicality to the space, this also allows me to warm up the space by using a little decor.  I haven’t done that yet, because I’m super lame at decorating.  But, someday, I will either see a picture on Pinterest and copy it or one of my friends will come over and do it for me.  Until then, this shelf’s decorating potential is unmet.  But it’s purpose is completely fulfilled.

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