From the perch of my windowsill, I can spot where sun seeps through thick overhead cloud. The sky marbles as winds push weather systems inwards from the coast, and along the sidewalk, I can smell flowers, finally. Indoors, I can smell freshly washed linens.
Spring cleaning seems to instill borderline glee in people; we’ve seen months of grey days and soaked cuffs with waterproof shells that never seem to keep you entirely dry. But now, as the westerly winds encourage warmer days, we have to find somewhere to store our favourite winter knits and layers.
Living in a tiny apartment is tough, and storing your seasonal clothing as well as your luggage is tougher. In combining the two, we save space and create an organizational system that would make Marie Kondo proud.
1. Gather – Get all of your winter items together, and make sure everything is bone dry.– packing damp clothes is a recipe for mold. This will also give you an idea of how much space you have for storage and how many items you need to store. Most of us will find that we own more than we realize. Take the opportunity to toss a few things that you know you don’t need.
2. Sort – First, divide everything into piles: shirts, dresses, pants; and then into layers, from thickest to thinnest. It’s easiest to start with your bulkiest items and tuck smaller and lighter items in around them.
3. Fold – Begin by folding in the arms of your sweaters, tops, and dresses, and rolling each garment tightly. Keep size in mind; try to maximize as much space as you can. Line the bottom of your suitcase with neatly folded denim, and stack your sweaters, tops, and dresses on top, from heaviest to lightest.
4. Fill – Nestle your paired socks, scarves, and toques around the sides of your luggage, filling in any gaps around your other folded clothes. If you’re storing shoes in your case as well, tuck your socks inside to ensure they keep their shape through the summer. Be sure the soles are clean, or tuck them into a shoe bag.
5. Tuck – Utilize the pockets in your luggage to save your smallest items, like jewelry or mittens. Sealing tiny pieces into dedicated pockets is a great way to keep track of them when you unpack for next winter.
Lastly, I add a tissue with a few drops of my favourite essential oil to my luggage before I seal it up. Then, I tuck my Rando suitcase into the corner of my living room, which fits in perfectly in its steel blue. Having a beautiful suitcase allows me to complement the rest of my room when I store it in plain sight.
Every day feels more beautiful than the last — save for a few still reminiscent of winter — and without the clutter and added nuisance of dealing with stray of knits and flannels, I feel like I can really enjoy these sunny afternoons in my apartment.
Written and photographed by Marie Alexander