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It’s a new year, a new season, and it may be time for a fresh start. Decluttering an apartment or home can be an overwhelming and, quite frankly, a not-so-fun undertaking.

Decluttering requires you to be physically and mentally present. It is a form of self-care that can have a real impact on your life and well-being.

It is also a way to take control of your home, remove unwanted or unused items and organize your space to best suit your lifestyle.

Although clutter can accumulate quickly and easily between you and your life, decluttering can spark immense joy and accomplishment.

So let’s get started on decluttering your home. Follow along for some of the best tips to help you on this journey.

how to declutter apartment

The Benefits of Decluttering

Make us happier and healthier people – There’s something exhilarating and satisfying about walking into a fresh, clean house. Decluttering will provide you with a sense of peace, calm, and happiness in a home that is free of mess and chaos.

Can reduce stress – According to Web MD, decluttering benefits your mental health by making you feel calmer, happier, and more in control, making for a more relaxed mind.

Improves your focus and productivity – Let’s face it, a lot of clutter can impact our ability to complete tasks and get things done. Visual clutter can be distracting and sometimes exhausting. It can make you feel scattered and unorganized.

Clutter takes you away from the things that matter since your focus continually diverts from one object to another. A mess-free space lets you focus and accomplish important things in your life.

Saves you money – Imagine all the things you didn’t realize you had because you couldn’t find them. Decluttering will help you find your lost gems and things you may have repurchased if you didn’t find them via decluttering.

Enhances your lifestyle and relationships – You may be more inclined to invite friends, family, and neighbors over to your house if it is a clean and tidy living space. Spending time with family and friends will help to bolster your mood and make you feel more loved.

Provides a fresh start – Once you have completed this overwhelming task, it will give you a renewed, refreshed feeling and a new state of mind.

Best Tips on How to Declutter Your Apartment

Tip 1 – Start with Individual Rooms

box on floor

Start by decluttering individual rooms for best results. Get an accurate count of each room you would like to declutter and make a list.

From your kitchen to your bedroom and living room, decluttering room by room is the best way to start decluttering.

Tip 2 – Create a Decluttering Plan

Create a to-do home checklist and decluttering plan for each room in the entire apartment. The decluttering plan will include the areas that need decluttering and how you plan to do so. Make sure to start with the end in mind.

This will give you a starting point and direction for each room. It will help you keep track of the essential decluttering tasks.

Tip 3 – Donate, Sell, or Trash it

unorganized clothing

To help you organize the stuff you want to keep or eliminate, make three piles: donate, sell, and trash. You can use boxes, bins (or even a trash bag) to help organize these piles.

If it is something you haven’t worn or used in over a year, ask yourself if you plan to wear or use it again. There’s no need to keep all the extra stuff you no longer utilize.

If the answer is no, toss it or take the unwanted items to a local donation center like the Salvation Army or sell it online. You can also sell these items and make some extra cash by hosting a yard sale.

Tip 4 – Start Small

Start small with areas in each room that you find most cluttered. This can be where you tend to pile things up or throw undesignated items that don’t have a designated space.

There’s no need to declutter everything immediately, especially if it becomes an emotional journey. You can divide and conquer by starting with the junk drawer, the pantry, or underneath the bed.

Tip 5 – Check the Expiration Date

Check for expiration dates and eliminate expired food, cleaning supplies, cosmetics, and hair products. Combine or get rid of duplicate items.

You’ll be shocked at how much you’ve been holding onto and keeping around that isn’t used or has lost its utility.

Tip 6 – Start Decanting

pantry with decanter items

Consider decanting your loose kitchen items such as flour, rice, and sugar and organizing them with labels. When you put organization methods in place, you’ll be shocked at how much simpler it is to maintain order.

Tip 7 – Find Storage Solutions

clothes on hanger

Find alternative storage solutions that can best fit the items in your home. Examples of this might be the following:

Invest in key pieces of furniture that double as storage. This could include a bed with an under-the-bed storage unit, a trunk or storage bench, an ottoman, or storage cubes. These items also make great dresser alternatives, especially useful when maximizing a small space.

Use baskets and bins to organize items. Baskets are multi-functional and can help to reduce clutter by providing a designated area for undesignated things.

Tip 8 – Prioritize Items Based on Usage

When decluttering and arranging your stuff, store frequently used items where you can easily access them and reserve the back of a closet or top shelves for seasonal items or items that are rarely used.

Tip 9 – Create a System with Categorizing

organized closet

Create a system that works for you and your household. Consider categorizing items in your closet to see everything you have.

When categorizing your closet items, group similar items together, such as sweaters with sweaters, shorts with shorts, dresses, jeans, and so on.

This could also apply to the linen closet and the pantry closet, where you segment similar items together, like linens and towels.

Here are some ideas for categorizing and creating a system:

  • Hang your clothes on matching hangers to look neater and more coordinated.
  • Fold your clothes for easy storage on the closet shelves.
  • Use labels on every bin and basket to know what’s in it.

Tip 10 – Set a Schedule

schedule with calendar and clock

Set aside specific times to declutter areas. Having a specific time set aside to get the work done will help you best manage your time and push you to complete the task within the specified time constraint.

There’s no rule for when decluttering should happen, so if you have little time, you can spread it out over a day, a weekend, or a couple of weeks as long as you keep track of your accomplishments and stick to the decluttering schedule.

Tip 11 – Set Decluttering Goals

organized closet

This will help you to have a goal that is attainable and one you can strive for. When your goal is achievable, you are more inclined to want to accomplish it.

Tip 12 – Solicit Friends and Family

Ask a friend or family member for help. Sometimes, we get emotionally attached to things in our homes and may have difficulty letting them go.

So, it helps to bring in someone with an objective approach or feelings toward your belongings. They can make suggestions on what they think you should keep or toss. Having your friend or family member assist you with decluttering is a great way to connect and accomplish tasks.

If you prefer not to ask a family or friend because the clutter is so severe that it causes embarrassment or you simply don’t want to burden them, it may be time to call on a professional organizer.

There are lots of professional services available on TaskRabbit and Thumbtack that can assist you with decluttering. While it may not be a free service, it is worth the investment.

Tip 13 – Clean Up

Once you have decluttered the area, thoroughly clean up the area removing any debris left behind, and wipe down surfaces to finalize the decluttering checklist.

Tip 14 – Take Before and After Pictures

Nothing beats visually seeing the progress you have made with decluttering more than the power of photography. Taking pictures before decluttering and after photos will allow you to see the impact and progress of your work.

In addition, seeing the after photos may empower you to maintain an organized and decluttered home.

Tip 15 – Reward Yourself

Give yourself a pat on the back and reward yourself. Decluttering can sometimes be an exhausting, emotional journey.

So take a deep breath and try to reward yourself once you’re done with a glass of wine, a spa experience at home, or a celebration with friends. You can do whatever your heart desires.

Shop These Decluttering Essentials

Hopefully, you have found these tips for decluttering your apartment useful. Adopting a mindset that prioritizes your mental health and well-being over material belongings is one method to maintain a clutter-free lifestyle in the long run.

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Do you have tips on how to declutter that are not listed here? Please leave a comment below, letting us know what you think.

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Tamara White is the creator and founder of The Thrifty Apartment, a home decor and DIY blog that focuses on affordable and budget-friendly home decorating ideas and projects. Tamara documents her home improvement journey, love of thrifting, tips for space optimization, and creating beautiful spaces.

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2 Comments

  1. I live in a 664sq.ft. 1 bdrm. apt.
    Your decluttering apt. article is great. It’s the best one I’ve read. Already started the
    decluttering process in the bedroom.
    I’m interested in articles pertaining to apt. living.

    1. Thank you so much Suzanne. I will add you to the mailing list to keep you posted on future content.

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