By Alexandra Anastasio
Living in a city filled with fashion and amazing places to shop leaves a woman who loves it all with the task of figuring out how to make it work within the confines of a limited space.
FOX 5 “Where’d You Get That?” reporter Christal Young, who describes herself as a “lover of everything,” has organizing in a small NYC space down to a science! Refusing to rent storage space to contain the extra stuff that might not seem to fit into her 750-square-foot apartment, Young has gotten creative in figuring out how maintain a beautiful home.
She jokes that her motto is, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit,” and believes it’s key to ask yourself, “How do I make this work?” Since she’s a collector of all the fun stuff women enjoy (shoes, clothing, accessories, handbags), Young’s come up with ways to utilize every ounce of space while eliminating any sign of clutter.
From labeling all her shoeboxes with photos of what’s inside to color-coding the clothes in her armoire, there’s a rhyme and reason for everything, she says. She’s even turned hampers from Bed, Bath and Beyond into storage space in her bedroom to contain off-seasonal clothes, shoes and other loose items she doesn’t want lying around. Adorned with pretty candles on top, one would never know what lies beneath.
“What matters most is that whatever you use to store your possessions, [it should] look like it fits in the room,” says Young.
Other creative organizers she uses for her jewelry, specifically earrings, are ice trays. Instead of digging around a drawer for a pair that’s been separated, plastic trays from the .99 store keep each set in place. The trays are hidden in decorative boxes that sit on Young’s dresser and look aesthetically pleasing in her room. As for her necklaces? They’re stored on decorative hooks along the wall and even inside a closet.
Young’s advice is to “edit what you own” every six months to a year. She diversifies the things she gives away, and finds joy from donating to places such as her church, Goodwill or the Salvation Army. She likes knowing where her things are going.
In another effort to not just throw things out, and to make cleaning fun, Young organizes what she calls “Swap & Ditch” parties with her girlfriends. Every so often they’ll get together, each bringing some food to share as well as a variety of items they no longer want, for a swap-fest. “It’s fun seeing friends pick items I no longer need but clearly they love,” she says. Any unswapped items at the end get donated to a charity location closest to the host’s home. “It’s a great way to organize and get a few cool things in the process.”
The one room where every item is used in Young’s house is her kitchen. A self-described “foodie” who loves to cook, she won’t even consider the common city-storage trick of stashing unused sweaters in the oven. “The kitchen is for food and eating, and that’s it!”
Home is a reflection of you, believes Young. “As my mom once told me, ‘If you have too much stuff that you never get rid of, you’ll have no room to allow new things to come to you.’”
By Alexandra Anastasio