No outdoor chores and a smaller living space makes it easier to keep clean, but if you don’t have sufficient storage solutions, the clutter will add up quick. Luckily, it’s easy to declutter your apartment and acquire mental clarity.
Whenever faced with a large task, break it down into several smaller tasks. Find a method that works for you, otherwise start and finish one room at a time. Not only will this keep you on track, but the gratification after organizing a room will be instant.
Chuck it Out
If you want to free your apartment of junk, the best way is to purge. Sentimental items can be hard to part with, but you have to ask yourself three questions. One, does it make you happy? Two, how often do you use it? Third, and most importantly, do you need it? If the answer is “no,” you’re going to have to chuck it! Grab the trash can, a basket, or box and collect all of your broken belongings that need to be tossed. You might as well pickup any garbage in your apartment so you can chuck it all in one sweep. This will clear the way for the belongings you want to keep and need to get organized. Anything intact, such as clothes and shoes, should be placed in a separate bin or box and can be donated or sold for cash. This will remove most of the clutter in your apartment.
Rid Your Space of Physical Documentation that Can Be Electronic
Computers have a ton of memory nowadays and you should make use of it. Taxes and any other paperwork over seven years old can be scanned with a printer and stored on your computer, flash drive, or external hard drive. Once stored electronically, this paperwork can be shredded and recycled, saving your filing cabinet space for only your most recent taxes, bills, and other paperwork. Everyone loves to hang up photos of their fond memories, but space is a hot commodity. Upload your favorite photos to a digital picture frame and display them as a slideshow. You can always change out the photos at any time to keep it fun and fresh.
Similar to multi-function furniture, multi-function technology can help you save space and you should be using it. Why have a seventy-two inch flat screen TV on your wall when a ceiling-mounted projector has the same quality and frees up space? Who needs a DVD player anymore when your Xbox, Nintendo, or PlayStation can play your DVDs? Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home products can condense your entertainment center and control it all in one opposed to having a remote for the TV, a remote for the sound system, and a remote for the DVD player.
Furniture with Storage
Maximize your apartment space by only purchasing furniture with storage built into it. A coffee table with drawers in your living room will go further than a flat top table that can only hold coffee cups. You can even find tables on hinges that can be folded down and placed against the wall to free up space when you aren’t using it. Likewise, furniture that can be stacked and put away or bar stools that can fit underneath your kitchen counter will create walking space throughout your apartment.
If you can’t find furniture with storage, choose multi-purpose furniture. Multi-purpose furniture provides more options for your apartment layout while freeing up space. If you live in a studio apartment, consider lofting your bed and placing your desk underneath it. If you share a room with someone, you can make use of bunk beds or a trundle bed to give the two of you more room.
You can make your apartment appear larger when your decorations aren’t so “busy.” Try not to fill up your apartment with a bunch of tiny trinkets and knick-knacks, as this will look like clutter and not decorations. Don’t clash patterns and textures in your space, as this will come off as “loud” or “obnoxious.” Instead, choose lighter colors for your design and color scheme and avoid dark colors that will make your apartment seem smaller than it is. A few, large decorations will look much better compared against many, small decorations.
Sufficient storage and organization is critical to keep clutter from piling up in the first place. After decluttering your apartment, think of creative ways to organize your belongings and you shouldn’t have to declutter again so soon.
Utilize Vertical Space
The most under-appreciated asset in an apartment is vertical space, don’t let it go unused. Floating shelving or a bookcase are both excellent ways to increase your storage up to the ceiling. Instead of stacking your pots on top of each other underneath the kitchen sink, use a rack to hang your pots and pans from the ceiling. This will free up precious cupboard space.
Make a spread sheet to help you stay on schedule for routine cleaning and decluttering. Frequent cleaning and decluttering lightens the workload and over time it will become second nature. You can download an app to assist your cleaning and organizing tasks. Sort through your clothes at least twice per year, once in the spring and once in the fall. Sell any clothes you aren’t wearing and put cash in your pocket!
Donate or Sell Clothes
It’s easy to keep buying clothes until one day you don’t have enough space in your dresser or hangers in your closet. A simple trick to figure out what you’re not wearing is to turn all of your hangers one way at the beginning of fall and spring. When it is time to clean out your closet at the beginning of the next season, all the clothes still facing the same way as before are the clothes you haven’t worn. Simply take these clothes off the hanger, post a photo of the clothing article on your Instagram or Depop, and get as much cash as you can. If no one is interested, donate them to your local thrift store.
Living in a large city comes with awesome shopping opportunities, however, it is incredibly easy to impulse buy clothing that will be worn once and then clutter your closet. Before you go out shopping, take inventory of what you have. Like grocery shopping, make a list of what you need. When you get to the store and see something you like, you can refer to the list to see if it is a want or a need. If it’s a need, you can get it. If it’s a want, ask yourself if you have the money to splurge. If it’s within your budget, you will have to figure out what article of clothing you’re going to part with so this new one can take its place in your closet or dresser. If the answer to either question is no, then you cannot buy it! Being a mindful consumer will save space in your apartment. That way, the only clutter piling up is the stacks of cash in your pocket.