Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Small Space Sweater Solution: Shoe Shelves

As small a space as it is, for years my closet shelves were beautifully tidy with a place for everything. 

Yes, it was work to get those sweaters in there perfectly (and without snagging on the crates!), but it was worth it to be able to see every one at a glance. Then last year, I decided to finally upgrade the black milk crate shelves I've been using in one capacity or another since the beginning of college. While the milk crates were useful for different arrangements in different spaces over the years, my heels would often fall through the holes. More importantly, I thought I could get more pairs on a standard shoe shelf, and get the shoes living in boxes out. I searched for the right fit, and discovered that this flat shelf style holds the most pairs. The shoe shelf was a perfect fit, and it does hold more pairs than the milk crates were able to hold. Unfortunately, the length of the shoe shelves cut down on how many milk crates the closet could hold, which made it difficult to stack knits.

Resulting in this more days than not...

It was just too tough to get every folded knit back into its perfectly tight spot.

Organizational magazines are always suggesting that sweaters not be stacked more than five high for ease of pulling out the sweaters and putting them back, but I tried going one easier and tested out some bins instead. Using bins was fine for lighter summer knits, but as the fall approached, I began to imagine trying to stack sweaters above the milk crates all the way up to the ceiling of the closet.

Considering the sweater stacks in the first picture were difficult enough to keep up, I realized my thick winter sweaters needed a new solution. So, I added a second set of shoe shelves -- this time, intended for sweaters.

The great thing about using flat shoes shelves for stacking sweaters in a small space is that the space between each shelf is pretty little. This means that only a few sweaters can be in each stack, which results in shorter stacks of sweaters, and therefore fewer sweaters that need to be pulled out. Even reaching the sweater on the every bottom only means pulling it from a stack of five sweaters. Also, the smooth bottoms of the shelves that keep my heels from dropping through on the right also keep my sweaters from being snagged on the left -- very important, indeed!

I have a total of four shelves stacked in the closet, giving me five shelves across to worth with. Here's the shoe rack I have and another for a little less if you have a bit more space to the width of your closet. Mine barely fit, but I'm so glad they did because they are already making sweater weather even better.

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