Living in an apartment — especially one that’s limited in space — can be challenging for all sorts of reasons, particularly when you’re hoping to achieve that cleanliness appeal many of us strive for. If you want to master the art of keeping tidy, there are tips to keep your apartment organized that you might want to consider. The tips can be helpful in not only getting your apartment organized, but keeping it that way moving forward as well.
It’s tough being a working girl no matter how you slice it. Whether you’re in an office all day, chasing around little ones, or studying until you're blue in the face at school, at the end of the day you’re likely beat. The last thing you probably want to do is spend a few hours reorganizing the mess you just cleaned up the day before. For those who have been in this scenario — or feel like they’re faced with this scenario every single day — there’s a way around this. If you get your apartment organized the right way, you won’t be faced with rounds and rounds of cleaning each week. (Admittedly, I can’t speak for those who have kids playing with toys and ripping apart a playroom every day, but hopefully some of these tips help you as well). By taking some of the steps discussed here, you could find yourself a very happy woman without a sense of clutter in her way. Here are eight tips for keeping your apartment eternally organized.
1. Invest In A Storage Unit
Let’s begin by discussing a rather obvious way to keep your apartment organized. If the ratio between the amount of stuff you have and the amount of space you have is skewed, this could result in blatant overcrowding in your apartment. If you have the luxury of a garage, basement and/or shed, use these to your advantage. However, if you live in a city, it’s likely your available space for storage is lacking, so where are you left to put the rest of your stuff that just won’t fit in? Try a storage unit. You can find affordable ones all over the place if you look hard enough (a website like Storage.com is incredibly helpful). You’ll be thankful you did when you’re not stepping over the guitar and amp you never use to get out the front door every morning.
2. Use A Laundry Hamper With A Lid
This is a personal trick of mine that I find works quite well. I’m incredibly busy during the week so don’t often have time to do laundry until the weekend. However, I know how dirty clothes spilling onto a floor has the power to quickly change a room’s cleanliness factor from very good to very bad. To avoid this, I went and got the Diamond Bamboo Hamper from The Container Store. It’s a good size so it holds more than a week’s worth of my stuff, and the lid allows all of those dirty garments to stay covered until I have time to get to them. I also love the design, so it acts like more of a decorative piece than the traditional, bland hamper.
3. Don't Leave Dirty Dishes In The Sink
It’s a difficult habit to form, but once it’s ingrained in you you’ll never look at your kitchen the same way again. If you have a family or a roommate you tend to eat dinner with, the habit can become really easy if you try out “The Golden Rule Of Dishwashing.” This rule is essentially that if you did the cooking, you get a pass on the dishwashing, according to Kelli Foster, Assistant Food Editor at TheKitchn.com. This is not to say that the dishes will just sit there, though. Someone else who participated in eating the meal will take responsibility for washing them. This method doesn’t work for everyone, as discussed by TheKitchn.com, but it is at least some alternative to the dreaded cooking and then dishwashing process. Either way, in hopes of giving your kitchen that clean feeling, try to avoid leaving a mess in the sink.
4. Sort Your Mail Daily
One of my close friends always tells a horror story of a college roommate who never threw away her junk mail. It would pile up and up and up until my friend would reach her breaking point and an argument would ensue. Then, it would happen all over again. Not to bring up dust again, but… I’m going to bring up dust again. Imagine how much is collecting in that old pile of envelopes and flyers! To avoid the pile up, make it a habit to go through your mail every day and get rid of what’s not needed. Sad at the thought of trashing that Bed, Bath & Beyond coupon, but aren’t sure when you’ll realistically use it? That’s the beauty of websites like RetailMeNot, which help you find the most recent coupons for any given store at any given time right online without having to dig through old, dusty flyers.
5. Always Make Your Bed
If you parents trained you to make your bed growing up, they’re extremely wise. According to Good Housekeeping, there any many reasons why making your bed in the morning in a good habit, one of which is that it helps keep things clean. Having a tidy bed every day will keep your bedroom organized visually, and can even minimize the area on which dust can collect.
6. Avoid Knickknacks
The primary reason I’m anti-knickknacks is because they tend to collect so much dust. I’m not crazy in thinking this to be true. According to Woman’s Day, one of the ways to prevent dust is by minimizing dust-gathering knickknacks. Microbiologist Mark Sneller said this is especially helpful to do in rooms where you spend a lot of time. The dust factor aside, knickknacks everywhere tend to exude a sense of clutter. If you’re someone who can’t resist those flea market tables covered in random tchotchkes, go for it if your must. However, if you’re looking to keep your apartment looking undeniably organized, you might consider keeping your flea market finds to a small, designated area of your place.
7. Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet
According to HGTV.com, your medicine cabinet should be exclusively for things you need and use regularly. If it’s outdated or a product you haven’t touched in longer than you can remember — get rid of it! Perhaps your medicine cabinet always seems to be a disaster because you try to cram all of your beauty products in there as well. If that’s the case, instead try clearing out a drawer next to or beneath your sink and designating that for everything beauty related. Then, the medicine cabinet can be used just as it was intended… for medicine. You’ll be incredibly happy the next time you open the cabinet to get medicine without the fear of millions of things crashing out onto you.
8. File That Paperwork
Paperwork can make your place look cluttered, and can also make you feel straight up unorganized. According to Care.com, a great way to begin conquering the growing pile of papers you’re collecting is to limit what comes into your home. For instance, opt out of paper bills and pay online instead. Once you’ve bandaged the wound in that regard, go through the pile(s) of paper you have and throw out what you don’t need. Invest in a small filing cabinet or explore filing cabinet alternatives, like this from Pinterest.
If you start now with some of these organization tips, you’ll be far ahead of the Spring Cleaning curve. Then, while your friends and family scurry to clean next season, you’ll be outside soaking up the sun and warmth knowing that when you return home it’ll be organized as could be.