Living in a small space or a space without much storage can make organizing and keeping everything decluttered a hassle, especially if you have more than one person living in that same space. My boyfriend and I live in a 800 square foot, one bedroom, one bath apartment. While the two of us are pretty clean people, two people stills means twice the stuff. I’ve gotten pretty good at decluttering when stuff piles up and coming up with ways to organizing things that we do keep. Here are my top tips to decluttering and organizing all your junk!
Step 1: List of things to declutter in your home:
- Clothing (closet and dresser, plus any extra stored away clothes)
- Extra toiletries (shampoo, conditioners, toothpastes, tooth brushes, face washes, soaps, etc)
- Pantry food
- Dvd’s, Video Games, CDs
- Personal papers and documents
- Mail, magazines, newspapers
- Dishes, Cups, Tubberware, Pots and Pans, Mixing Bowls, Water Bottles, etc.
- Junk drawer
- Under the bathroom and kitchen sink
- Cleaning supplies
- Bedside table
Be sure to get boxes, trash bags and/or clear an area to make piles. You’re going to want a place to put items to donate, throw away, recycle, and keep.*Remember when decluttering to be environmentally friendly and if you can reuse or recycle, please do so!
Step 2: When decluttering asked yourself these questions:
- Have you worn or used it in the past year? (If no, ditch it)
- Am I holding on to this for sentimental reasons? (If no, ditch it. If yes, its there a better way to store it?)
- Does it fit my current lifestyle? (If no, ditch it)
- Do I have something similar already? (If yes, compare and ditch the one(s) you haven’t used in the past year or are worn)
- Is it broken, worn, have holes, torn, cracked, or not work? (If yes, ditch it)
- Would I rather have to buy a new one and will it be expensive to buy a new one?
After I’ve gone through everything and put into my piles, it’s time to clear out the donate, throw away and recycle piles and start organizing what I’m keeping. Side note: Organizing can be pricey if you don’t already have some systems in place already. I suggest reusing boxes, shopping thrift stores or stores like Marshalls for cheap solutions.
- Declutter/Organize by category: While going room by room sounds like a good idea, it can make it overwhelming to tackle a whole room at once. I suggest picking a room/space and then picking one category within that room to tackle at a time. (i.e. if I’m organizing the kitchen, I’ll start by organizing the pots and pans before moving on kitchen utensils.
- Storing Upright: Visibility is my NUMBER one tip for organizing anything. Storing everything upright allows you to find items more easily and allows you to know what you have or what you might need. I swear when you can easily see everything in a drawer, basket, cabinet, etc. it will make your life so much easier!
- Keep what only brings you joy: *SPOILER ALERT* This one I got from Marie Kondo’s new Netflix show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, so if you haven’t watched it, drop everything and go watch it right now. It’s life-changing!! If you have seen it, you’ll know that one of her biggest rules is “Keeping only what brings you joy.”
- Don’t keep papers: I am guilty of keeping every single paper, important or not, and eventually it piles up… While keeping some papers is needed, such as tax, business, SOME bank papers, birth certificates, insurance papers, etc., most paper you do not need to keep. For the few paper’s you do need to keep, try to keep them to a minimum and organize them in label folders for easy storage and retrieval. PLEASE SHREAD AND RECYCLE ANY AND ALL PAPER YOU THROW OUT!!!!
- Fridge/Pantry Organization: I am a SUCKER for an organized fridge. Using clear bins to organize different items in your fridge will help use your fridge space efficiently and will help avoid wasting food. This can also be applied to your pantry! Try keeping food items in clear or labeled bins/containers, so you always know what you have or need more of.
- Small boxes: Using small boxes to organize drawers helps organize by category, size, or shape. Small boxes are super great to use in your undergarment, make-up, or kitchen utensil drawer!
- Label: If you have a label maker… great, label away! If not, the cheapest way to label items is cutting pieces of paper, write and tape it to what you want to label, OR you can buy sheets of label stickers and write and stick!
SHOP ITEMS I USE TO ORGANIZE
Glass containers to organize pantry items: I use these to storage flour, sugar, pasta, cereal, and other mixes or dry pantry items.
Command Hooks: Since we rent we try our best not to put holes in the walls so Command Hooks are such a great way to hang things. For somethings that are took heavy for command hooks, like heavy coats, I’ll use these hooks. They are super easy to use, only create a small hole and are able to hold up to 50lbs depending on which ones you use.
Cube Storage Shelf: If you want a slightly more pricey way to organize your things, investing in a cube storage shelf is a great item. Most are between $25-$50 (so still SUPER affordable). These are super versatile and can be used to store so many different things. We use ours a an entry way table, coffee bar, show rack, book shelf, and have a few basket inserts to organize art supplies and extra cords and electronics.
Cube-Shelf Storage Bins: Helps easily and neatly store things in a cube-storage shelf.
Fridge Storage Bins: Keep like-products in your fridge together by using these clear storage bins.
Plastic Storage Bins: Great for keeping your pantry just as organized as your fridge!
Clothing Drawer Organizers: What I use to keep my undergarments drawer organized (see picture).
Catch-All Baskets: Great option for a catch all bowl to put by the front door!
Storage Basket: Great for storing throw blankets, towels, or extra accessories (i.e. hats, scarfs, belts, socks, or slippers).
File Folder: My favorite way to store papers I need to keep is keeping a sorted accordion folder. This one is great because you can use it normally or hang on the wall!
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