Stressed out at the very thought of straightening up your apartment?
If you have a tendency to be messy, it can seem like an insurmountable task. But if you take an organized approach and know what you’re doing, it can be an easy (and oh-so-rewarding) thing to do.
Are you ready to achieve organizational bliss? Check out these 5 secrets from the pros to de-clutter your apartment in two weeks.
Identify What is Actually Clutter
Before you start organizing any room, you have to ask yourself a key question. Is my apartment full of clutter or are things just out of place? To know the answer to this question you have to define what clutter is.
Dictionary.com defines clutter as “a disorderly heap or assemblage; litter”. Is your mess just an unorganized assemblage of random things you need to keep or is it actually trash?
To start the process of de-cluttering your apartment, take a picture of a messy area and analyze it. Is that a pile of old magazines or are those books that you can organize on a bookshelf? Is that a stack of old, expired coupons or are those important papers that you need to file away? That notebook on your coffee table…are you ever going to use it?
Once you’ve analyzed your stuff, go room by room, pile by pile. Determine what you can organize, what you can trash, and what you can donate. Reuse and recycle as much as possible, but don’t let things pile up simply because you don’t know what to do with them.
Let Things Go
If you want to live clutter-free, you’re going to have to learn how to get rid of things. “Things” can easily take over your life and your space if you don’t know how to part with them.
The clothes that no longer fit you. The birthday cards your friends gave you last year. The random papers that have collected in a pile on your coffee table. Do you really need those things? The answer is probably no.
Don’t allow yourself to get attached to meaningless things. Chances are, your elderly aunt isn’t going to stop by to make sure you kept the card she gave you last Christmas.
Keep things that are sentimental, but don’t be afraid to trash what’s not. Grab a trash bag or two and work on one pile at a time. Create a trash bag and a “keep” bag. You can worry about organizing your “keep” bag later.
Get Rid of Things Before You Hit the Container Store
Don’t stock up on storage containers until you know how much stuff you have to contain. There’s no need buy storage boxes to organize things that you don’t plan on keeping.
If you know what you need to organize, you’ll know how many storage bins you need to buy. Otherwise, you’ll end up with extra storage bins that will become more unnecessary clutter!
Figure out an organization system that works for your specific apartment. Do you have lots of papers that need filing? Magazine file boxes that stand upright on a bookshelf may be your solution.
Do you have bulky items or an excessive amount of shoes that you’re not ready to get rid of? An under-bed storage box might be the thing you need. Think about what you need to organize and where you can put it before you ever go shopping for a storage bin.
Focus On One Room at a Time
It’s natural to want to clean your entire apartment in one afternoon. But if you have lots to organize, you’re only setting yourself up for disappointment.
Make a plan and focus on completing one room at a time. When you tackle one room at a time, you’ll get to enjoy real results.
Rate the priority of what room you should organize first. We often recommend starting with the dining room, as it’s usually the easiest room to de-clutter.
When you’re done in the dining room, step back, take a good look, and enjoy the work you’ve done! This should only inspire you to move onto the next room. Once the dining room is complete, start on the kitchen.
Toss the old food containers from the fridge. Trash the half-eaten bags of snacks that are filling up your cabinets. Tackling one room at a time can help relieve some of the stress of a full apartment clean out. It also makes it easy to enjoy the progress you’ve made so far.
Maintain a Routine
The easiest way to keep your apartment clutter-free is to create a cleaning schedule and stick to it. To avoid having to do a major de-clutter again, put things away and throw things out on a regular basis. Once everything is in its place, keep it in its place, and you’ll live a less stressful life!
To make a routine, set aside 30 minutes every Saturday or Sunday to throw out junk mail and dust your cabinets.
Make a point to put away your laundry and trash those uneaten leftovers in the fridge. Look for things that are in spaces where they don’t belong. Decide right then and there if you’re going to dispose of them or organize them in a way that makes sense. Before you know it, tidying up your apartment every weekend will become more of a habit and less of a chore.
Everyone has to deal with clutter at some point, but no one ever wants to spend an entire weekend doing so. Do yourself a favor by de-cluttering on a weekly basis.
Don’t be afraid to throw things out. Have a place for everything and keep everything organized in its place. Set aside a specific time every week to organize your apartment until it becomes part of your regular routine.
Don’t let an unorganized room stress you out, take over your apartment, or take over your life. Take these tips from the pros to heart and you’ll be on your way to enjoying a life that’s clutter-free!
About the author: Miro Brickell ensures you won’t need to venture far to satisfy all your professional and social desires. Live up your lifestyle, surrounded by first-class shopping, dining, arts and entertainment. Come tour this stunning Miami property, where life is truly exquisite.