Pardon my French, but storage in New York City is a b*tch. If you live in a studio or a one-bedroom apartment (and you're not filthy rich), you can forget coat and utility closets. You can also forget pantries. Oh and you're going to have to decide between the second dresser for clothing and room to walk.
I highly recommend storing your winter coats during the summer; my dry cleaners ship them off to New Jersey and they come back nice and clean for very little storage cost. Although this provides a temporary feeling of more room in your closet, it's good to remember that, just like winter, the coats will return.
I've known people that loft their beds in order to make either an office or a living space underneath. (Yes, the size of a bed does constitute as a room in this crazy city) A. that won't really work for my four poster antique bed, the one nice piece of furniture I own, and B. the thought reminds me of sleeping on top bunk in my sorority house and deliriously wondering how bad it would hurt if I accidentally rolled over and fell off.
Every type of storage is also mini-sized. Yes, my toilet room (if you're not familiar with this phenomenon, please refer to post #1) has a garbage can. But what is this actual garbage can to most individuals? Oh right, it's a basket small enough in which to perfectly wedge CD cases. I line it with a grocery store baggie and am forced to empty it after I put one cardboard toilet-paper roll inside. Why? Because that is all it fits.
Although I'm somewhat strategic about where I store things, nothing makes sense. My bathing suits are stored in the same under-bed bin as my cowboy boots. Why? Because neither of those things has a better place to go. Hmph.
This all explains why I was so happy to find what I did this afternoon. I took the trash out and walked by the skinny 7-foot shelf that has been sitting downstairs for the past couple of weeks. Even though I've seen it plenty of times, it never really registered that I could give it a home...I could adopt it. Saddened and abandoned, the shelf just sat there and stared at me. I gazed at the five open shelves and thought of all the many things I could store. I then entered some type of beastly hypnosis where I grew muscles (think Jacob in Eclipse) and I managed to carry the thing up the stairs. After what seemed like 27 attempts to wedge the too-tall/too-long shelf inside my front door, I got it in! I rearranged to better utilize space (I will forever hear my mom saying: "use your vertical space!" in the back of my head) and am very happy to now have extra storage. Ta-da!