Sometimes There Is A Better Way

For many years, I have been using my cardigan sweater drawer as an example of letting limited space define how much stuff you have. I even wrote about it on my blog just a couple of months ago (see Space as a Finite Resource). Now I’ve violated my own rule — but for a good reason, of course.

Let me give you a little background. I’m allergic to wool. Having it against my skin makes me itch something awful, and it can even make me itch through another layer of clothing in between, depending on the fabric. So I have been wearing cotton and/or acrylic sweaters for decades. It has only been in recent years that I have been bold enough to venture into the realm of cashmere sweaters. I wear them over turtlenecks on the coldest of New York City winter days.

I have many clients who have been driven crazy by moths, and I’ve seen their frustration when we go through their holey sweaters. So I have been keeping my four cashmere sweaters in clear zippered bags — the kind that sheet sets come in. I kept two sweaters in each bag, and they lived in the bottom of my cardigan drawer, under all of the other sweaters that I wore more frequently.

I’ve been frustrated with this setup lately for two reasons. The main reason was that it was a pain in the neck to pull those sweaters out. I had to remove the other sweaters from the drawer, then I had to unzip the bag to get to the sweater I wanted to wear. I had to do the reverse when I put it away. The second reason is that the sweaters were getting wrinkled from me pushing the air out of the bag and fitting it into its assigned spot at the bottom of the drawer.

My professional association had an event at The Container Store a few months ago and I have been on their mailing list ever since. They recently sent notice of a product that caught my eye: the Cambridge Drop-Front Sweater Box. It is a fabric-covered box with a clear plastic drop-front door that has a magnetic closure. It made me think that there might be a better way to store my sweaters. I measured the shelves in my closet and discovered that it would fit perfectly. Due to my concern about moths, I did a little research and then decided to also order the Cedar Drawer Liners.

I set up the sweater box today, and I couldn’t be more delighted! Making my cashmere sweaters so easily accessible is a game changer for me. Now I’m hoping for more cold days so that I can wear them before winter takes its leave! (By the way, the product name comes easily off the box — I just left it on for the photo.)

My husband is delighted, too, because in order to make room for the sweater box, I rearranged some other items in the closet that we used frequently but that were less accessible than they should have been. So we are both experiencing an improvement in the quality of our lives as a result of this change.

What are some of the things about your home that frustrate you? Can you think of how you can improve them by making some small changes? Sometimes it just takes a little nudge.

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