Storage Savviness And Suburbia Dreamin’

Living in NYC means little living space which means small apartments and small closets.  Unless of course you are among the lucky wealthy folk who reside in the Penthouses and million dollar apartments you see on Selling New York.  When you don’t grow up here and move here later in life, the adjustments you have to make to settle in are remarkable.  Not dissimilar to life adjustments that need to made when your significant other chooses the career path of medicine.  But for NYC – giving up personal/living/storage space, using public transportation, walking everywhere, the hefty price tags, the overwhelming selection of stores, the sites, the celebrities, the fast pace, the people – literally everything is an adjustment.

This past weekend we celebrated our 2nd anniversary in suburbia NY, where we played house for the weekend and did a wine tour along Long Island’s North Fork.  It was perfect.  And for the first time since we moved to NYC…we both had the itch of wanting a real place of our own – with a yard, an upstairs, a downstairs, a driveway, a front door and all that’s in between.  It was peaceful, it was quiet and I knew I wasn’t used to it when I refused to go into another room at night without Mr. Dr. because I was scared that someone was going to jump out next to me and say “boo.”  We are not going to be city lifers, and we know it is just a matter of time until we move onto suburbia.  And after this weekend, I am ready for the next few years to fly by so that we can enjoy that next chapter.  Here are a couple of pictures from our Saturday funday.

Raphael's Vineyard

Raphael’s Vineyard

LIV Vodka Distillery

LIV Vodka Distillery

One thing that our play house had was tons of closet space.  A rare gold mine in our neck of the woods streets.  So we have gotten creative over the years in finding new ways to fit all of our things and make it work.  Especially in the clothing department.  Purchasing these Ikea wardrobes (also shown below) was probably the best investment we made once we moved into the city.  It only took about one day for us to realize that my our clothes were not going to fit in the joke of what they call closet space allotted to most of these apartments.  I could barely fit 1 week of my wardrobe in the space I was given.  What was I to do with the rest of the clothes?  And minor detail…where do Mr. Dr.’s clothes go?  Hell I was seriously ready to pull a Carrie Bradshaw and use the oven for shoe storage.  We were lucky to even have an oven.  It was a massive organization/purge task, certainly one I was not used to, but one I was willing to take on.  So the second best decision we made aside from actually purchasing the wardrobes themselves was getting them with the mirrored doors.  We got the mirrored ones at the time because they were the cheapest but I’ll be damned if they haven’t made every apartment we have lived in look bigger.  People don’t even notice they are there half the time either.  Oh and just to toot their horn a little more, I never had to buy a full length mirror thanks to these suckers.  I would recommend these to anyone living in a space with small closets.  With one small caveat.


Do not move these or think you can move these if you are 5′ 4″ tall with a small build.  Even if you think you are strong enough, you are wrong.  I have vowed after every move that these would not be following us and would be left rather in the apartment for the new tenants.  They are such a freaking pain to move.  After the first move with these things, and one Mr. Dr. and I did completely on our own with zero assistance, the day ended with blood, sweat and tears from laboring over these units.  They were practically the only pieces of furniture we had to move and I was a wreck.  The next day I had bruises all over me as if I was a battered girlfriend.  I would glance at the bruises and shutter with flashbacks.  There I was holding one end, Mr. Dr. on the other.  The sweat was dripping and my clammy hands were gripping for dear life as the heavy corners began slipping through my hands, ripping through my skin and then piece by piece the furniture began falling onto different parts of my poor, little helpless body as we inched down the skinny corridor to our new door.  I could feel my bicep tissue stretching from one side to the other about to burst.  I’m not kidding.  It was one of the worst experiences of my life.  Very.happy.those.days.are.over and we can actually afford some help to move.

But these wardrobes helped me allow so many more desirable pieces into my apparel rotation.  For that I am eternally grateful.*  Thank you Ikea for making affordable furniture that still looks nice and for providing us with a showroom that we can walk through to help us get ideas on how to live in a space smaller than most people’s kitchens.  And specifically, for helping me refrain from pulling every last strand of my hair out when we signed that first lease on a living space that was 500 square feet.  There are a lot of people out there that are against Ikea and think the furniture quality is subpar.  I would say the majority of those people probably don’t live in NYC.  Because anyone that does, knows how much of an asset that store can be while trying to get your life together on a tiny budget in a tiny space.

We are still creative with storage and are constantly trying to be dexterous with our space-saving techniques.  New ideas are always welcome so send the crafty ones my way.  Especially if they have anything to do with storing shoes or clothes.  Those are top of the list…of course.

*We currently still have these wardrobes.  They have traveled with us to every apartment and I am still as in love with them as I was 5 years ago.

12 thoughts on “Storage Savviness And Suburbia Dreamin’

  1. Yes, yes, yes. I feel the same way about growing up in a suburb and then coming to Washington, DC for med. school. If I ever move in with The Lawyer, we’re going to need a wardrobe for my clothes, because his current place just barely holds his stuff. At my apt., lofting the bed with risers has been awesome to free up space under the bed for storage. Other than that, I love over the door hangers for shoes, ironing board, anything really. I, too, am looking forward to future homes with more than one bedroom and a single closet that can fit all of my stuff!

    • You will get creative if you have to downsize. Its a little nerve-racking but its also fun to do it together!

  2. After my lovely weekend in NYC, I was so ready to get back to my spacious apartment! I am definitely with you on moving to the ‘burbs. The city is a fun place to visit, but I start to get serious anxiety after a few days! And those closets look awesome.

  3. My sister has lived in NYC for 12 years and they also have a baby in a small 2 bedroom! She motivated me to live minimally and keep the space looking clean with only essentials. We have the chance to get a bigger place this Spring, and I think I’ll still keep my great IKEA wardrobe and the “less is more” mentality! Enjoy NY while you are there. There will always be time for the Suburbs :)

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