The stuff we accumulate over time ends up overrunning our precious living space, if not controlled. Old baseball card collections, piles of unfashionable clothes, mountains of books and more, if left unchecked, can quickly take over your apartment and make it feel cluttered and unwelcoming. However, with a few simple steps inspired by Japanese tidying guru and organizing consultant, Marie Kondo, you can easily transform your apartment into the stress-free living area you deserve.
Don’t Delay — Start Today!
There will always be a reason to put off your need to tidy up your apartment. However, if you continue to delay, the job will never get done. Pull out your calendar and find a day in the coming two weeks on which you have no obligations. Circle it and devote the entire day to improving your apartment’s living space through decluttering and organizing.
Imagine Your Ideal Living Space
Cluttered living areas not only tend to stress us out, but they also reduce the amount of usable space in our apartments. How would your apartment look if it was thoroughly tidied up and decluttered? How much more living space could you unlock?
Take a Step-by-Step Approach
If the tidying process seems overwhelming, don’t fret. The steps below, based on teachings from the tidying expert and award-winning author, Marie Kondo, will help keep you on track to creating the living space you’ve always wanted:
1. Focus on categories of things, instead of tidying up one room at a time. You likely have clothes, books and other items accumulating across multiple areas of your apartment. Instead of decluttering and tidying up room-by-room, tackle one category of things at a time. In clothing, for example, you can even focus on one subcategory, such as hats or shoes, to make the process even easier. It may also help to make a list of the categories and subcategories of stuff cluttering up your home and then check them off one-by-one as you tidy them.
2. Examine each item to determine what value it brings to your life. As you dig through mountains of shoes, old paperwork, magazines and more, you’ll face some hard choices. At this step, you’ll need to be honest with yourself about the value, if any, each item brings into your life. If an object has outlived its purpose or no longer brings you any joy, as Marie Kondo says, it needs to go.
3. Commit to getting rid of the stuff cluttering up your apartment. What do you do with all the stuff you decided to remove from your life? Resist the urge to tuck it all in a closet or rent a storage unit to house the items you committed to releasing. Instead, separate them into categories including:
- Recycling for paper and packaging materials
- Donation items including clothing, shoes, books and more
- Items to sell at second-hand stores such as jewelry, electronics or collectibles
How to Store Your Belongings to Give Your Apartment a Tidy New Look
The stuff which was cluttering your apartment’s living space is gone. What do you do with the belongings which are left behind? Consider some of the best practices below to keep your apartment neat, tidy and clutter-free for years to come.
- Neatly fold clothing and place it into drawers upright instead of flat to save room
- Use stackable, square store containers to give a tidy appearance
- Create a home for every one of your belongings and return it after each use
- Leave breathing space between your items to avoid a cluttered look
- Keep surfaces clean and clear of accumulating items