Have you looked around your apartment recently and decided that you have way too much stuff? That is not unusual since many Americans have accumulated more things than they can store, and all that excess is encroaching into their living space.
The clutter can turn into a problem in a full-size house, even with an attic, basement, and perhaps a utility shed in which to store belongings. But in an apartment, with its compact size and without that extra space for storage, it is essential to develop a plan to declutter and keep the messes at bay.
Here are some suggestions on how to declutter your apartment:
Start by purging
Too many people treat their apartment as a storage unit. They hang onto things on the off-chance that someday they will come in handy. As a result, all of us own plenty of things that we no longer need or use. An ideal way to start decluttering is to get rid of them. Fortunately, there are multiple methods for discarding things:
- Trash them
- Donate them
- Sell them
- Recycle them
Begin the process by looking for broken, ripped, expired or otherwise useless items. You can donate many of the clothes you do not wear anymore. Other things, such as expired medications and cleaning products, should be thrown out properly. Everything else—toiletries, cosmetics, food, etc.—needs to be tossed out.
As you go through your apartment, you might find a few items that could be useful to someone else. Post them online, but don’t expect to become wealthy off the sale. Instead, think of it as another step toward decluttering your apartment.
Use furniture pieces that have more than one function
Flexible furniture is another spacing-saving idea that you could consider. For instance, a full wall bed kit features a folding double bed with drawers and hanging space along the side. During the day, it folds neatly into the wall, utilizing both storage and functionality.
Think about a floor lamp with three bookshelves. Or maybe you prefer a drop-leaf console table that can seat six for entertaining, then folds down to one foot wide and stands against a wall for everyday storage.
With a bit of research, you can find many similar items that serve multiple functions and help keep you from having a cluttered apartment.
Take advantage of vertical space
Since many apartments are short on floor space, you can turn to vertical space to help you organize the clutter in a small space. Practically every room in an apartment is a candidate for leveraging vertical space:
- Hanging pots and serving bowls on a kitchen wall
- Mounting photos on the wall instead of setting them around on tables
- Installing floor-to-ceiling shelves in any room
- Mounting the TV on the wall
- Making use of pegboards
Remember that you make the most of your vertical space, and avoid a cluttered apartment by focusing on getting things off the floor and surfaces and onto your walls stylishly.
Put the 90/90 rule into practice
Minimalists have a method for purging things: ask yourself if you have used the item in the last 90 days and whether you will use it in the next 90 days. If you answer “no” to both questions, throw it out. While the 90-day period is flexible, the structure will help you decide if an item is necessary.
Keep the clutter away
Once you declutter your apartment, the next task is to keep it that way. Clutter is insidious and has a way of sneaking back in if left unchecked. Put reminders on your smartphone to go through your clothing and donate anything you have not worn in a year. At the start of each month, look at the expiration dates on toiletries, cleaning products and condiments. Throw out anything that has passed its expiration date.
Think before buying
Many people buy impulsively and on emotion. That leads to having things you don’t need and a cluttered apartment eventually. The next time that you are shopping, think about liking an item without buying it. It is okay to pick something up and examine it, but put it down and walk away when you are finished. You will be spending time accumulating experiences instead of possessions, and soon you will realize that window shopping is every bit as enjoyable as buying.
Renters insurance is always a smart purchase
Even though you might have decluttered your apartment down to the bare necessities, you still need to protect everything within it adequately with renters insurance. Talk to one of our insurance advisors to find out how White Cloud Insurance can help you. Fill out our contact form, call us at 305-556-1488, or send us a message at email@example.com.