Apartment living can be fun, but there are some marked differences when we compare it with living in a regular house. Most apartments have limited storage spaces, which could be challenging in many ways.
Some apartments might even be so strapped for space, which may leave you needing to decide between having a coffee table or side tables for your flat surfaces. This means that you have to make the most of your space and find ways to reduce clutter. Learn more on how to maximize apartment space here.
Is it Possible to Declutter an Apartment?
It can be quite difficult to organize and declutter your home, especially if you are learning how to downsize from a house to an apartment. However, too much clutter can feel overwhelming, especially if you like everything clean and passably presentable at all times.
Why Should You Declutter Your Apartment?
With apartments usually being smaller than most houses, they are more likely to have disorganized clutter very fast. This is why it is not just necessary to declutter your apartment, but organize it in a way that keeps your valuable space from disappearing again.
Here are just a few reasons why you should aim to declutter your apartment as soon as possible:
● It is easier to locate items: whether it is the medicine cabinet or the kitchen cabinets, finding what you need will be much faster when you declutter
● A higher level of comfort: with a nice open space, you can feel more at home, entertain company, and generally enjoy your apartment without feeling bothered/uncomfortable
● Save money: When you know where everything is and how much you have of it, buying multiples of certain items will be less likely; for instance, some people may end up buying a can opener several times when they can’t find one in their kitchen drawers
● Easier to keep the place clean and dust-free: Reducing the items in your home is just one way to reduce dust in your apartment, along with other issues like pest infestations and moldy growth
Where to Start with Decluttering an Apartment
If you are ready to start decluttering, you have already taken the first step. A small apartment needs some proper sorting and clearing on a regular basis. With that said, the key is to start organizing now rather than later.
The exact starting point of decluttering your apartment will vary according to your goals and needs. Some may want to start with a particular room and go from there. Others may want to clear away the immediate visual clutter first. Even decluttering your junk drawer is a small, but effective step that can jumpstart a whole process.
Whatever your end goal may be, there is no doubt that decluttering can help you enjoy that living space much better than before. Even if you have a small apartment, know that it is possible to have a neat, organized space that feels like home. Here are some organizational tips for a small apartment.
How to Declutter Your Apartment
Your decluttering goals should include not just doing away with extra stuff, but also staying organized in the long run. To this end, the following decluttering tips might come in handy:
1. Schedule Certain Days for Decluttering and Deep Cleaning
It is too easy to say that you will organize a certain area of the apartment tomorrow, not today. However, what first-time apartment renters may not realize is that this “tomorrow” may never come if they don’t buckle down and get the job done. Procrastinating can lead to even more clutter, so it is best to get right on the task right away.
Put the Decluttering on Your Calendar and Make Preparations in Advance
One way to ensure that you declutter on a regular basis is to put it on the calendar. This way, you have made a commitment and can work on following a declutter plan.
Formulate your own customized step-by-step guide, purchase cleaning supplies beforehand, and think about what you need to do. When the day for decluttering comes, you will know just what to do at the time – pack away seasonal items, sort old photos, or get rid of extra knick knacks, just to list a few examples.
It might be necessary to force yourself into this routine a few times. Once you get into the swing of it, however, you will see how consistent decluttering does not let things pile up and actually allow you to lead a better lifestyle.
2. Try to Get Multi-Functional Furniture
You just have one apartment to store all your belongings, but you also need furniture to make it livable. Huge storage bins might hold a lot of items, but they are not exactly aesthetically pleasing. A storage unit might be a smart storage option if you have a lot of stuff, however this is not a viable option if you want to keep your belongings close at hand.
Examples of Furniture that also Serves as Storage
See if you can get furniture that doubles as storage. Several multi-functional options are available, such as ottomans that you can open up or full-length mirrors that slide aside to reveal shelves.
There are also shoe racks that double as benches; you can keep these near the front door or the foyer if you have one. Many shoes now also provide beds with sliding drawers that can hold bulky items, such as extra blankets.
Make Sure Not to Overstuff Storage Spaces
Even though you might expand your apartment’s storage space, it is important to remember their correct usage. Just because there is some space inside your ottoman does not mean that you put more unwanted stuff in there.
3. Utilize Vertical Space with Pocket Organizers and Hooks
Some apartments may only consist of one room, so you have to get really creative here. Many people may overlook the fact that they have a lot of unused vertical space on their room doors, closet doors, and walls.
It is fairly easy to purchase inexpensive yet strong hooks. Pocket organizers can hang from clothes hangers; these are great for storing pairs of socks, underwear, etc. This way, you don’t have to deviate a whole separate drawer or shelf for these small items.
4. Focus on Moving Things Out
It is not always about how much space you free up, but also how you utilize it. Make a rule about new clothes and other items; if you buy one, you have to move one out. This way, you get rid of the old stuff while moving in the new and can feel good by donating to those in need.
Keep Only What “Sparks Joy”
A lot of things strewn about a room will probably not make you feel good on a daily basis. However, we can not deny that at least some of these things do make you happy and are important in your life. This is why it is a good idea to follow the Marie Kondo method of sorting.
According to Marie Kondo, the organizing and decluttering genius, we should ideally only keep those items that spark joy within us. The best way is to take everything out at once (starting with a single room) and go through everything one by one.
Basically, anything that does not make you happy or gives you joy in some way should be under consideration for throwing away or donating. This is apart from the necessities that we need on a regular basis.
5. Decluttering Your Office Space
More and more homes now have a space dedicated to work from home. This could be a whole room or just a corner of one room in your living space. Since this is probably your livelihood or an important source of extra income, decluttering this area should be a top priority.
With a clear space to work within, your productivity is likely to be higher than before. Here are just a few tips that can help you get that space clear and ready for some serious work:
- Go for digital options whenever possible: See if you feel comfortable with going paperless for bills; your bank and cable company can help with that by sending only electronic statements and bills. If you have documents taking up too much space, see if you can scan them and shred the hard copies.
- Shredding and recycling: Sit yourself down and sift through all the bills, receipts, and notes that take up all that space on your desk; safeguard the ones you need and shred or recycle anything that is not wanted or sensitive.
- Get some organization staples: A small organizer can do a lot to make things neat in your space for the office; a pen cup, magazine file, or even an accordion file can do the trick instead of a huge filing cabinet.
6. Calling in Professional Help
At times, you simply need to call in the experts. Even if the clutter is not that bad, some people just may not have the time, energy, health, or opportunity to deal with it on their own. Parents of small kids may also want fast, professional results, but not have the stamina to begin this task on their own.
Where to get Professional Help for Decluttering your Apartments
A qualified professional organizer should be available through online listings, recommendations from your friends, or just a quick Google search.
These experts can bring in an unbiased attitude, help in freshening up your place, and provide ideas to make your apartment look amazing. If you are having issues in how to arrange furniture in a small living room apartment, they can be of help in that area as well.
For more organizing tips, see the redfin article we were featured in 11 A+ College Apartment Organizing Tips | Redfin
At the end of the day, staying consistent and patient is the way to go. Your apartment probably has a lot of stuff to clear out, so don’t get frustrated if it is not all done in a day. Focus on the goal of getting a bit more organized with each day, and don’t give up on making an effort. Do not put off the decluttering any longer; start on the nearest project and see how well you can finish it!