De-cluttering To Make Your Apartment More Livable

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De-cluttering To Make Your Apartment More Livable

Eva R. Marienchild · Sep 24, 2015

declutter

Many apartments are big on character and tight on space. That’s just the nature of the beast. If you’re in a large building complex, these units have been designed to be situated closely together to allow for the building of more rental space – very often back-to-back (or side-door-next-to-side-door).

This maximizes profits for the owner and makes maintenance easy, as an upkeep sweep through such edifices can be accomplished fairly easily. Such visits are conveniently scheduled to coincide with visits to nearby units.

The upside: renters appreciate knowing in advance when maintenance will visit their unit. The downside to such “cluster” units is that there is usually limited or no storage area.

Indeed, whether you’re living in one of those beehive-like structures or whether you’re renting a bedroom in a house, space is usually at a premium. In such apartments, it’s necessary that furniture fall into the vertically modular category, such as floor-to-ceiling wall units, elongated tables, floating shelves and interlocking boxes stacked one atop the other.

If you have accumulated a lot of “stuff”, it’s inevitable that you’ll run out of storage space before you run out of items, which can easily lead to clutter. Clutter is not only unattractive, but it makes your apartment unlivable, as you won’t have easy access to anything, and your possessions will hamper your living style. You simply won’t know where half your items are.

How to avoid having your apartment dubbed “the clutter zone” by friends? You can follow a few simple steps:

  • Think “cozy”, not cramped. You’re fortunate if you have to start from scratch as you’ll have less stuff to give away or throw away. Buy light, mobile, modular pieces that can be moved from room to room by one person. If you’re already saddled with years’ worth of possessions, imagine you are an outsider assessing your items. Would your items be termed essential or non-essential? This sort of objectivity will help you separate the “stuff” into two piles: “Stays” and “Goes”.
  • Do not decorate your apartment with knick knacks – except for one or two very meaningful pieces. Your space is at a premium. Everything you display will have to be utilized. You have no room right now for old text books that you’ll never refer to or winter coats, if you’ve moved to Florida.
  • Unsure of what to do with those items you will likely only have sentimental value for? How about earning a bit of cash for your items by holding an apartment sale? Ask your management office if you can use a grassy spot near the mailboxes early on a Saturday morning. Everyone has to pick up their mail, so there will be plenty of foot traffic by your “stuff”. Arrange your items attractively on a tablecloth on the grass or on a picnic table. You can even set up a card table for your small pieces. Don’t let a potential customer leave without selling (or giving) them at least one item…no matter how much you both have to haggle. By morning’s end, you’ll have divested yourself of all your unwanted clutter.
  • Don’t leave your smaller items in see-through boxes. There are plenty of containers with covers or lids (like Tupperware boxes) that can store multiple items that you don’t need to display or leave out in the open. In this way, you conquer messiness! Consider, also, storing non-cardboard storage boxes underneath the bed. (Cardboard attracts insects.)
  • Don’t let clutter into the house! I recently heard a friend declare, in exasperation, that she had no idea how she and her husband could have “collected so much junk” in one short year. Well, it didn’t come in of its own accord. She and her hubby gave it a home. Try this rule: whenever one item comes in the door, one item must go out.
  • Hang as many items as you can on the walls. Use colorful thumbtacks or get a little more artsy and put up decorative hooks. Hats, bags plants and baskets can go up, in lieu of paintings and posters.
  • If all else fails, and you absolutely must get the “Goes” pile out of the apartment, don’t fall back into living with the clutter. And don’t try sticking the items in plastic bags and hiding them in closets or in corners! Instead, bite the bullet and lease a storage unit. Pay the under-a-hundred-dollars-a-month to house your superfluous items. Think of it as an addendum to your monthly rental amount, in exchange for an expanded living space. It might just be what finally opens up your apartment and lets you live a clutter-free life!

 

Remember, think positively

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