Moving to a condo in downtown Bethesda? Our closet designers explain how to address four common problems that come with limited square footage.
It’s hard to miss all the new construction in downtown Bethesda. Every time you blink, elegant condos like The Lauren, Hampden Row, and Stonehall have sprung up. And it makes perfect sense—Bethesda is a great, DC-convenient location with major perks (like the excellent schools, or the more than 200 restaurants for those nights you don’t feel like cooking). And if you keep up with housing trends, you might have noticed that downsizing is the new normal. Plenty of people are trading in their mansions in areas like Potomac, Maryland in favor of condos that require far less maintenance than a house—and offer a variety of urban amenities.
But if I happened to be downsizing from a six bedroom home to a two bedroom condo, you absolutely know that my first question would be “where do all my clothes go?” If you’re in this boat (or thinking about downsizing), here’s how to overcome a few common challenges:
My Clothes Just Don’t Fit
Downsizing means less space—for everything—which means a clothing purge is in order. Think about the last time you wore each item in your closet. If it’s been at least a year (or it’s had price tags on it for a year), get rid of it. If you’ve still got too many clothes, take a look at your current lifestyle. Weekly gym visits might have been high priority back in January, but if you’ve only been once since then, you probably don’t need 15 workout tops.
This purging process is especially helpful if you’re planning to install a custom closet in your new condo. Our storage systems are based on the contents of your closet, and we can design a much more personalized, easy-to-use system if we know what you actually wear.
My “Storage” is Cluttering my Closet
There are some things that just don’t belong in your closet. If you’re tight on space, don’t try to cram bulky items like luggage and spare comforters into your walk-in. It will be impossible to keep organized, and your closet will end up looking like one of those downtown construction sites.
Instead, we can install a wardrobe unit in your bedroom, utility room or—if you’re looking at townhouses—even in your garage. This is an efficient way to house items you want to keep but don’t use every day. These cabinets are durable enough for all-purpose storage, and you can choose from a range of attractive finish and hardware options so that the piece complements the rest of your decor.
My Closet Only Came with One Long Bar to Hang Clothes
In a situation like this, I’d suggest a custom closet system right off the bat. This will give you a lot more storage options. We can incorporate double hanging sections, shelves and drawers for everything from jeans to jewelry, adjustable shoe racks for your heel collection, slide-out laundry hampers, and even a fold out ironing board. It doesn’t matter how small your closet is, either. Our design team is used to challenges, so we’ll have plenty of suggestions for how to maximize the space.
I Secretly Feel Like I Need to Keep Everything
We add sentimental and emotional attachments to clothes, which makes it hard to get rid of them. But remember, you moved into a smaller home to have less space… that concept applies to your closet, too.
I find that the downsizing process goes more smoothly if I’m able to categorize items and examine them together. For instance, maybe you have special memories of that black t-shirt from a weekend beach trip. But if you empty your t-shirt drawer and sort everything by color, you might realize you have a half-dozen very similar black t-shirts—and you probably don’t need all of them. Sorting through your wardrobe like this will help you refine your collection, so that you can keep pieces that are truly special and get rid of everything else. This helps you capture the clutter-free, minimalist look of a truly elegant closet.
A Custom Storage System for Your New Condo
The big takeaway? If you’re downsizing your home, don’t forget to downsize your clothing collection. It might seem counterintuitive, but custom closets are essential for small spaces. Get in touch with us for a free design consultation, and we’ll help you make the transition from Potomac to Bethesda with ease.
Lead Image Credit: Flickr user Payton Chung (CC BY 2.0)