As you settle into your home, you begin to fill it with things you love. But from furniture and appliances to clothes and decorations, your home can quickly become cluttered with too much stuff. You suddenly own two blenders, and clothing you used to love is now in a pile on the floor. If you are feeling suffocated by clutter, try these tips for decluttering your apartment and adding peace to your home.
5 Reasons You Should Declutter Your Home
Clutter is any object that does not add value or utility to your life. Clutter can be extremely frustrating, as it makes it difficult to find things when you need them and can even make it hard to move around your apartment. The physical presence of clutter can add stress to your life and make it difficult to relax. For some people, this frustration alone is enough motivation to start decluttering.
However, if you need more motivation to start tackling your mess, here are a few great reasons to declutter your home.
- Decrease stress and improve focus: A study by UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives of Families revealed how much stuff you have in your home directly connects to your stress levels — more clutter means more stress. Clutter is also a reminder of tasks you need to complete, which can make it hard to focus on other things. Removing clutter helps you relax, focus and feel at peace in your home.
- Have better physical health: Clutter provides more surfaces for the buildup of dust, pollen and pet dander. Removing clutter can improve your home’s air quality, which then improves your physical health.
- Save time: When your apartment has become full of clutter, it takes longer to find your car keys in the morning or locate that important financial document. Decluttering your apartment saves time in your daily routine, because you won’t have to search through piles of junk every day.
- Improve your home aesthetic: Decluttering your apartment can improve the overall look of your apartment. When you remove unnecessary items from your home, you also create space to showcase decorations or furniture you love.
- Make money: As you begin to remove clutter, you may find valuable items lying around your house. Reselling old items you no longer use puts money back in your pocket.
No matter what your motivation for decluttering your space is, it will benefit you in the long run. Your apartment will become a more peaceful, beautiful and healthy space you will love to spend time in.
How to Declutter Your Home
Decluttering your apartment can be a very daunting task. When diving into a large organization project, it is easy to become discouraged and burn out quickly. Instead, take time to make a plan for decluttering your apartment. Here are a few tips to consider before you get started.
- Make a list: Write down each room or area you want to declutter and rank them from most to least cluttered. This will help you prioritize your time to tackle the most cluttered spots first.
- Break it down: Plan to tackle your decluttering in manageable portions so you can check tasks off your list. You may want to focus on one room at a time, or commit to focused decluttering for half an hour each day.
- Set deadlines: Have a goal for when you want to complete each room and schedule time into your day or week to spend cleaning. If you always find yourself saying you will get to it when you have time, you will probably never get to it. Commit yourself to achieve your decluttering goals.
- Declutter first: It is tempting to begin your decluttering project by buying a lot of containers to organize your things. However, this will only encourage you to save more things you could throw away. Your nice new containers may also end up becoming clutter themselves.
Before you begin decluttering, try to get in the right mindset. If there is clutter in your home, there is probably a reason you chose to keep those items in the first place. Maybe you are worried you might need them in the future or are sentimental about the memories attached to them. Some people are also concerned about the money they spent to buy the item in the past. Keep in mind, you cannot recover t he initial cost of an item by holding on to it. Figuring out what causes clutter in your home can help you fight the urge to keep things you do not need.
Tips for Decluttering
Deciding what is clutter and what is not can be very difficult, particularly if you are a sentimental person. It is never easy to get rid of things you once loved, even if they are no longer valuable to you. Here are a few helpful tips for determining what is clutter in your home.
- Invite friends over: When you live in your home every day, it is easy to become numb to the clutter around you. When you invite friends over to your apartment, it will motivate you to tidy up, and it will be easier to recognize your clutter.
- Take pictures: While our eyes may skim over clutter naturally, it is harder to miss clutter in an image or video. Consider taking pictures of your home and then looking through them to identify high-clutter areas.
- Visualize the room: Take a few minutes to visualize what you want each room to look like after you finish decluttering. This will help you see where you need to remove clutter.
Establish a Sorting System to Tackle Clutter
Start by creating a sorting system that allows you to organize items as you go through each room. An easy system is to grab three boxes or bags and label them “keep,” “store” and “toss.” Return items you want to keep to their place after you finish decluttering, put items you want to store neatly labeled in storage bins and donate or throw away items you want to toss. You may also want to use two bags to organize items you plan to toss, making one pile for actual trash and one for donations.
If you do not own a storage unit or lack the space to keep extra boxes, you may want to eliminate the storage category entirely. If you are planning to move some items to storage, be picky about what you choose to toss into the “store” container. It can be helpful to have specific guidelines for things you will allow yourself to store, such as only seasonal decorations, clothing or outdoor equipment.
As you go through your clutter, consider each item individually and decide how to sort it. Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you create a declutter-your-home checklist.
- When was the last time I used or wore this? If the answer is more than six months ago, toss it in the donation or trash pile. Your aim is to only keep things that currently serve a purpose in your home or life.
- Do I have more than one of these? If you own two almost identical shirts or multiple baking sheets of the same size, you can probably get rid of the duplicates.
- Does it work? A survey by ClosetMaid revealed 31 percent of people admit to having at least one item in their home that is broken and unusable. While it can be difficult to throw things away, a broken item is not useful to keep around. Get rid of any broken appliances or clothing that has holes or stains.
- Does it fit? For many people, it can be hard to get rid of clothes or shoes you once loved, even if you do not wear them anymore. However, if an item no longer fits, there is no reason to hold onto it.
- Does this bring me joy? Author and professional organizer Marie Kondo recommends a decluttering system of getting rid of anything that does not definitively bring you joy. This is an effective way to remove clutter from your home, while also boosting your happiness.
If you are having a hard time sorting a particular item, put it in the “toss” pile for now, but allow yourself to sleep on it. When you wake up in the morning, you will usually know if you want to keep it or not. However, keep your clutter personality in mind — if you know you are the type of person who has a really hard time getting rid of things, it may be best to toss things right away, so you don’t feel tempted to hold on to clutter.
More Practical Tips for Removing Clutter
As you move from room to room decluttering your home, you may face challenges and obstacles. There are a few specific spots where many people get stuck when trying to declutter their homes. Here are a few more tips to try as you tackle those problem areas.
- Turn your clothes hangers: After you have initially purged your closet of damaged or outdated items, each time you wear something, hang it back up with the hanger facing the opposite direction. Only turn your hangers around after you wear something, not if you only try it on and then put it back. At the end of the month, you will be able to see everything you have actually worn and what you have not touched. You may be surprised how many things you do not wear that continue to take up space in your closet.
- Put your utensils in a box: If your kitchen has become cluttered with hundreds of utensils you rarely use, this cardboard box technique can help you decide which ones to let go of. Take all the utensils out of your kitchen cabinets and drawers and place them in a box. When you use a utensil from the box, put it back in your kitchen. For one month, commit to only keeping utensils you have taken out of the box and donating everything else.
- Scan documents: Home offices and living rooms can gather a lot of unnecessary papers and documents. Rather than holding on to stacks of papers you may or may not need in the future, scan those documents and store them digitally. That will clear space in your home, while also making it easier to locate documents on your computer in the future. Keep other important documents, such as your passport or birth certificate, in a designated drawer, box or safe.
- Save your memories: Consider taking pictures of things that have sentimental value to you. Rather than holding onto old clothes or toys, a photo will help you keep the memories without keeping the clutter.
- Keep countertops and tables clear: Flat surfaces in your home can accumulate the most clutter, as it is easy to let things pile up. Commit to clearing off your countertops, tables and desks each evening before you go to bed. That will encourage you to throw away unnecessary mail and put things where they belong. In your kitchen, only keep appliances you use a few times a week on the counter. Keep things you use daily on your desk, and put everything else in a drawer.
How to Get Rid of Your Clutter
Once you decide what you want to get rid of, it leaves you with the question of how to get rid of it in the best way. Here are a few steps to follow for getting rid of clutter in a way that is good for the environment and for your peace of mind.
- Sell anything valuable: Many excellent websites allow you to resell things you want to get rid of, such as Facebook Marketplace, Letgo and Craigslist. This option requires a little more work, but puts money back in your pocket.
- Donate anything in good condition: Donating gently used items such as clothes or toys is a great way to give back to your community. When you donate to a local thrift store or community center, that item can go to someone who needs it more.
- Recycle what you can: Before throwing things away, recycle anything you can, including plastic, glass and cardboard.
- Trash what you must: If a donation center rejects something, or you cannot sell it, you may need to throw it in the trash.
Organizing What Is Left
Once you have determined what you want to keep in your apartment and have gotten rid of your clutter, it is time to start organizing. Clutter will quickly return if you do not designate spaces to store each item in your home. Here are a few new organization techniques to try for keeping your apartment decluttered.
- Group similar items: Organize similar things together so you will be able to find them more easily. Make sure everything has its place.
- Label everything: While it may seem ridiculous to cover your apartment in labels, it can be extremely helpful for staying organized. Even if you prefer to label each drawer or shelf mentally, try to identify one or two specific things that belong in each place. If you cannot label a particular drawer, it probably contains clutter.
- Make sure things belong: It is easy for items to travel around your home as you use them. When organizing, ask if an item belongs in that particular room or if it might be more useful elsewhere. Always return items to where they belong.
- Use containers and dividers: Large drawers or cabinets can easily become cluttered as you take things in and out. Try adding dividers to drawers to keep them organized, or organizing items in smaller containers.
How to Keep Your Apartment Decluttered
Your newly decluttered apartment should now feel like a breath of fresh air. You will be able to find things more quickly and enjoy peace of mind in your clean and organized home. If you want to keep your home decluttered, try to build habits that prevent clutter from entering your apartment. You should also get into the practice of putting things away after using them and doing small decluttering tasks each day. Take time to clear off flat surfaces, put dishes in the dishwasher and toss dirty clothes into your hamper. Here are a few more tips for keeping your home free of clutter for good:
- Don’t buy anything that doesn’t bring you joy.
- Don’t buy something if you find yourself wondering how often you will actually use or wear it.
- Follow the “one in, one out” rule, and give something away each time you buy something new.
- Plan a decluttering day each month to get rid of things before they build up.
Breathe Easy in Your New Apartment from Triple Crown Corporation
If you want to declutter your apartment, now is the time to get started. Clearing your space will help free your mind and make your home more enjoyable. At Triple Crown Corporation, we believe your home should be a place where you love to spend time. Triple Crown Corporation offers beautiful rental properties in the Central Pennsylvania area. Our properties offer a variety of amenities, sizes and locations so you can find an apartment that truly feels like home. Explore our rental communities today to find the perfect home for you.