Having a perfectly organized and mess-free apartment is easier said than done. Organization requires both an initial planning up front and thorough execution down the line. The perfect organization strategy can quickly become unraveled if unabided a few times.
How can you declutter your apartment and create storage and organization strategies that are easy to follow?
We have you covered with some tips below!
Create Space by Taking Inventory
The first step to every organization project is to take a thorough inventory of the things you have and decide what can be tossed out. Clutter has a way of piling up over the years. Old papers, books, clothes you no longer wear, dishes you no longer use, or an old futon you’ve held onto since college. Start decluttering by going through all of your stuff.
When you are surveying your stuff and determining the items you no longer need, organize the items in three groups: throw away, donate, sell. While the items might be of no use to you, someone else might love to have them. For bigger items, consider posting an ad in your apartment commons to see if someone in your apartment complex is interested. Otherwise, donate the items to the appropriate charity in your area.
By removing all of the stuff that you no longer need or use, you will require far less storage room, which will open up your options for decluttering.
Devise a Storage Strategy that Works for You
Now that you’ve taken measures to rid yourself of old stuff, it’s time to take a step back and evaluate how well your current storage strategy is working. Try and identify the areas of your apartment that are the least tidy. Then, ask yourself why these areas are so difficult to keep organized and clean. More times than not you’re going to discover that the reason that is due to an inadequate storage strategy.
What do we mean by storage strategy? A storage strategy is the means by which you keep organized. So for a bedroom, a storage strategy might be that you store all of your clothes in the closet, some in the closet and some in a dresser, or maybe you do neither and instead use vertical shelving.
If you’re finding that your current process for storage in a particular area in your apartment isn’t working, it’s time to change it up. An important thing to remember when you’re assessing and altering your storage options, is to keep yourself in mind. The perfect storage system is one that fits your unique personality and size and space that your apartment possesses. What is a perfect storage system for one person might not be for you and your apartment.
For each area that you identified as a problem area, devise a storage plan that will improve that areas efficiency and organization. A couple of tips for doing so on a budget is to utilize your vertical space with shelving. Your apartment will have limited floor space, but if you utilize your vertical space you’ll greatly increase your surface area for storage. This can really come in handy in a closet. Steel and epoxy wire shelving is a cheap material that is easy to assemble and offers a ton of sturdiness and versatility.
Examine Your Grocery Buying Habits
Another area of your apartment that can become cluttered and untidy is your kitchen and pantry. Sometimes the kitchen and pantry become cluttered simply through a lack of space, but often times it is because you’re placing too many items in the allotted area.
One way to diagnose whether you can free up some space in these areas is to examine your grocery buying habits. Take inventory of the food and cooking supplies you store in your apartment and look for redundant items or items that either expired or end up getting thrown out.
Whether taking advantage of bulk-buying savings, or buying an item for a singular use, excess food and cooking supplies that you don’t use regularly can occupy valuable space. If you typically fail to reach the bottom of a bottle of dressing, jar of peanut butter, or bag of rice, you might want to change up your grocery-buying habits.
While you might save some money buying an oversized jar of peanut butter, if you end up having to toss it the savings are moot. Factor in that its size is making your pantry or kitchen storage more difficult, and the large jar is doing more harm than good. Identify the items that you can buy in smaller quantities and you’ll quickly notice that your kitchen and pantry storage becomes decluttered.
Labels and Discipline
After you’ve tossed out unnecessary items, created storage solutions that fit you and your apartment, and examined your grocery buying habits, it’s time to finish your decluttering and organizational project by setting up a process for success moving forward. If you don’t maintain the new decluttering and organization tips you’ve implemented, you’ll find yourself with an untidy and cluttered apartment sooner than later.
To plot a course for success moving forward, utilize labels when possible and practice discipline. Labels can be a tremendous ally for an apartment resident seeking to maintain a clean and tidy apartment. They’re really effective within individual storage units such as a pantry or linen closet. If you have a label indicating that a shelf is exclusively for dry foods, or hand towels, you’ll be able to train your brain to properly place items in their respected area. Labels don’t need to be large and ugly either. There are plenty of options that allow for a simple and minimalist approach, such as color coding.
As for discipline, you want to get yourself in the habit of putting things away in the moment. It’s difficult not to slip up and toss mail on the table when you come in after a long day of work, or to shed dirty clothes on the floor instead of into a segmented laundry basket, but a few missteps can quickly snowball and lead to clutter and an untidy mess.
If you get into the habit of always taking the extra 30 seconds or so to place things in their respected spots, it will soon become second nature. Besides, 30 seconds here and 30 seconds there pales in comparison to the hours that you’ll spend if you have to declutter and organize your apartment in the future.
Find Your Next Apartment with Elevate Living
By applying the tips we highlighted here, you’ll be thrilled by how much you enjoy your apartment space when it is organized and decluttered. If you’re coming up near the end of your lease and will soon be needing to find a new apartment, let us help fuel your search. Contact us to learn how we can help find the perfect apartment for you.