Home is where the heart is, but when you’re a busy gal in a tiny apartment, it’s also where the clutter is. If you’ve just moved someplace new and have a blank slate or are just revamping the home you already know and love, try a few of these simple apartment hacks to make your decorating process as painless as possible.
1. Put all your sentimental knickknacks in one place. One of the biggest clutter-makers in a home is our collection of trinkets and sentimental items we just can’t bear to get rid of but have no real place to store. Consider designating a special shelf for these items so they have a place of honor in the house but don’t clutter up the rest of your functional living space.
2. Upgrade your mattress game. Good sleep is the centerpiece of a functional home because it reminds you that it’s a relaxing space. Find a mattress that actually works for you — and one that you don’t have to hire movers just to get into the house. Helix Sleep provides a personalized mattress for a sweet deal after you fill out a questionnaire about your sleeping habits and body type. For couples, the company can even customize each half of a mattress differently, and – most importantly – the mattress arrives compressed in a nifty tube, which means no lifting and hauling that mattress up a staircase and through doorways. Faster and easier moving!
3. Fold your clothes upright rather than in a pile. This is a trick from Marie Kondo, the genius behind “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” and it makes your clothes more accessible and less prone to damage because they’re not struggling under the pressure of all the clothes stacked above them. It also saves lots of space! A great tutorial is available here.
4. Make sure everything has a place. This may sound obvious, but really think about it: does everything you own have a spot to go on a shelf or in a drawer or in the closet? Objects that don’t have a home are on a fast-track to creating a massive mess. If you don’t have a place to put something, you’re not going to want to expend the energy to decide where to put it when you find it misplaced on the floor.
5. Do away with the junk drawer. This comes right back to point number four. If you have stuff that doesn’t serve enough of a purpose to have its own specific storage space, why do you even want that stuff? Having no junk drawer to shove wayward items into forces you to get more honest about which objects really deserve to be kept in your life and which should just be tossed.
6. Tame the entryway. Your doorway is a magnet for mess, because all incoming mail, shopping bags, and discarded shoes make their way there — especially if you have a table close to the door. Combat this with an organizer like this one or this one to keep your bills, junk mail, magazines and whatever else comes through the door in its place.
7. Make use of your suitcases and other empty containers. No basement or attic? Need someplace to tuck away off-season clothes? Don’t forget that those empty suitcases you’re saving for your next trip make a perfect storage space in the meantime! This also rings true for any unused space within containers, even if it seems like a whacky place to store things. Remember, guests will have no idea that those huge decorative baskets are doing double duty as paperwork storage!
8. Set aside a spot for relaxing. Maybe you love to drink your morning coffee on your fire escape. Maybe your favorite place to find refuge from the day is at your kitchen table. Whatever it is, carve out a small space to acknowledge a space for relaxation. You may use that part of your home for other tasks too, but leave your coffee cup (or whatever else is part of your relaxation process) in that space as a reminder for yourself that you’ve got a haven when life overwhelms you.