The Adventures of Graduate Life: Moving In

The Problem: Not enough storage space for all my things.

The Solution: At least a week of clearing out rubbish I haven’t needed over the last four years from my cupboards and replacing them with things I actually need.

The Result: All my clothes fit inside my wardrobe and I have an elegant little vanity shelf.


Moving back in has been a seriously difficult task for me. And it’s mostly because my bedroom has been used as a storage cupboard for four years. (Okay, a lot of it was my stuff that I couldn’t bear to part with but definitely didn’t use over my university years). I literally had a box labelled “Sentimental Crap”! So after much complaining and moaning to my mum that there was no space for my things, we made a deal: she’d clear me some wardrobe space and I would clear the storage cupboards.

It took a while. A Long while. I literally spent an entire day clearing a single shelf. But once I got into the swing of things it got easier to throw things out and to really determine what I did and didn’t need. My process went a little something like this:

  1. Choose an item to remove from the shelf
  2. Have I seen this item in the last four years? If no, donate to charity/throw away
  3. If I’ve seen the item, have I actually used it in the last four years? If yes, what for? Am I likely to use it again?
  4. If no, does the item provoke a profound sentimental feeling? If yes, remember the attached memory.
  5. Is the memory worth keeping a token of? – This was difficult to qualify but to be honest, most of my sentimental souvenirs were wristbands from first year, or birthday cards/cake wrappings (don’t ask), so it was quite easy to make the decision to throw those bits away. I have photographs from all those nights so it’s not like the memories will be lost to me forever.
  6. Repeat for the next item.

Once I had cleared the cupboard of all the sentimental bits and odds and ends (there was so much jewellery from when I was 7, I can’t begin to describe how many bracelets and necklaces and fake earrings I found), it was time to piece together what exactly I wanted the cupboard to look like. As I don’t have a vanity table or any kind of shelving in my bedroom, the cupboard space was essentially for all my books, make-up and other bits that I’d brought from uni and wasn’t ready to part with yet (are you noticing the pattern here?). It’s a compact space, but it’s enough. And how to maximise it? Well…

  1. All the large bottles that are used infrequently are in a little box off into the corner
  2. All hair accessories (again, not used very often) are in another box
  3. Jewellery is confined to boxes as well, but these are at least more decorative
  4. Make-up takes up the majority of the shelf space, but even that is as minimal as I could make possible, with brushes in a pot and bottles lined up together
  5. My hair heated-tools are wrapped up to one side in a magazine holder (I saw this tip on pinterest and it changed my life.)

I’ve made it all homely with a string of fairy lights and a scented drawer-liner, and it’s truly the only part of my bedroom that I can really say is my own. Even though it’s hidden behind a cupboard door, it’s given a new feel to the room, and it’s helped me feel less stressed by removing a ton of clutter from my life. It has also resolved a lot of the tension at home because I actually have space for my things!


Of course, this is just one little area and there will always be rough waters to navigate; coming back home is a big adjustment! But hopefully having my own space will make it that little bit smoother sailing.


Published by

Anamika Talwaria

Anamika is Editorial Assistant at Build It. When she's not writing about bespoke homes, she can be found travelling the world and drinking cocktails wherever she goes!

4 thoughts on “The Adventures of Graduate Life: Moving In”

      1. I can understand that… In the UK it’s pretty unusual to share rooms, I’ve only seen it happen in university halls where they’ve clearly advertised the rooms as shared… Thanks for taking the time to read my post 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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