The Over-Packer’s Guide to Unpacking

How to make the most of limited space and resources.


When I moved in with my host family here in Spain, I couldn’t wait to start unpacking. I hated the two and a half days of living out of suitcase while staying at the school.  A problem that I immediately noticed was that there were very few hangers (9 to be exact). I thought that I would have to choose the most important shirts and dresses to hang up and fold the rest. BUT there was also limited drawer space. What was I going to do!? Well… I found a solution that I must say, I am very proud of.

“How?” you may ask! It may seem impossible considering that I packed about 23 shirts, 6 jeans, 5 Nikes, 4 dresses, 4 t-shirts, 3 skirts, 2 leggings, 2 tights and only received half a closet. Welcome to the over-packer’s guide to unpacking!

I think we can all agree that it is important to hang your nice shirts as well as your dresses. All of mine happened to fit into 5 main color groups: red, white, green, blue and black. Each hanger is assigned a color and the clothes that are in that category are all hung together, for organizational purposes.

I started off by putting either a dress or a long sleeved shirt on the hanger first because it is easy to see despite what I put on the hanger next. I then put a short sleeved shirt, then a tank top, and finally a sleeveless of the shoulder shirt. When you organize each hanger in this fashion, you are able to see every article of clothing in one way or another.


I would also like to inform you that even though I have 9 hangers, because of my amazing organizational techniques, I only “needed” 8 and I save the 9th for special occasions.

You may also be wondering, “How did you organize the rest of your closet/ where did you put the rest of your things?”. Well do I have an answer for you!!!
Sophia (my friend that I came to Spain with) and I have to share the closet and thus hangers, drawers, shelf space, etc. That means that I get half of the very small, 3 drawers. This was why I had to hang so many things. I decided to use my personal drawer for my t-shirts, nike shorts, leggings, and tights. There is a lot of space left over in this drawer because I brought very few of these articles of clothing compared to the amount I have at home (people don’t dress like that in Spain). My half drawer, which I obviously share with Sophia is used to hold my jeans as well as my 3 skirts. That drawer is stuffed as much as it can be.

What about my under garments? There is a shoe holder on both mine and Sophia’s side of the closet. Mine has 6 compartments. I use the compartments for bras, sports bras, undies, short socks, long socks, and one is empty. My floor space is reserved for my shoes and some of Sophia’s. And finally, My one shelf, I use to hold a random assortment of swimsuits, bathroom products, vitamins, makeup, and basically anything else that I couldn’t find a place for.

Maybe I’ll do a video room tour soon. I can’t imagine that it would be very interesting, but I’d be glad to showcase my amazing organizational skills! Thanks for reading, I hope that this will be of help to anyone who may face a similar situation.



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