We get it. Decluttering your apartment is a huge undertaking.
But, it doesn’t take a professional to get the job done. If you’re currently stressed out by the thought of organizing everything, don’t abandon ship just yet.
We’re here to tell you about some secrets that’ll help you take a messy apartment and transform it into a work of art.
Okay, not literally a work of art — but pretty close!
In this article, we provide five expert ideas to start with. Even better, these tips will help you get the job done in less than two weeks!
Keep reading, apply these tips, and your apartment will be clean and organized before you know it.
1. Schedule a Decluttering Weekend
Does the thought of organizing stress you out? If so, approach the job in small increments.
Instead of wearing yourself out, try to tackle it over a weekend. If Living Well, Spending Less experts say it’s possible, then it is!
Set aside some time to work on it during the weekend. You’ll be able to prepare yourself mentally on weekdays for the undertaking. Plus, you don’t have to worry about doing after work when you’re already tired.
See if any family or friends can come over to help you. They could help you tremendously!
Without setting unrealistic expectations for yourself, start cleaning up and throwing clutter away. By the time the weekend ends, you’ll be able to sit back and admire your hard work.
2. Talk to Your Roommate
If you share your apartment with a roommate, the issue may not be you, but them. It would be nice if everyone wanted to keep the apartment clean. But sadly, that doesn’t always happen.
If that’s the case, you may have to have a tough conversation.
Not sure how to start the talk? Don’t worry. Just approach it in a calm and casual manner, and it should go fine.
During the talk, don’t attack them. It’s best to stay encouraging and positive so that they’re more willing to put in the effort.
Hopefully, they’ll realize that pitching in will benefit them as much as you.
3. Clean in 5-Minute Increments
Every five minutes, take a break to text, have a snack, or step outside. Then, get right back to it.
This approach makes the task much less overwhelming. All of your time will add up to an organized apartment before you know it. You’ll have to do this for a few days if you want to clean the whole apartment, but it might help you conquer the job.
Here are a few of the five-minute tasks you can start right away:
Clear Off a Counter
Start with one counter in your kitchen. Clear off everything you don’t use regularly. If there are random papers, toss or save them.
As for appliances, you might have a blender you only use once a week. If so, store it in a cupboard until you need it. Do the same for other appliances you don’t use often.
Create a “Maybe” Box
Everyone comes across items they have no idea where to put. When that happens, put it in a “maybe” box. This box should contain things that you need to throw out or find a home for.
Don’t store too many “maybes” in the box. Otherwise, you’ll just end up with a box of clutter.
But, do use it to speed up the process. When you’re done sorting, go through the box and sort it out. Who knows, you may decide you don’t need any of it!
4. Get Rid of Things That Don’t Bring Joy
Do you have a bunch of junk floating around? If so, ask yourself if that stuff actually makes your life better.
Tidying expert Marie Kondo educates people on how to simplify and organize a home. One of her main tenants is the “Spark Joy” technique, where she recommends interrogating every object in your home. If it doesn’t have an important place in your life, throw it out!
This is hard for some people, but it’s a surefire way to declutter your apartment.
Do you really need those books on your shelf that you’ve never read? Maybe not! What about all of those pants under your bed that you haven’t worn in years? It could be time to toss them!
If you can’t decide whether to keep an item or get rid of it, hold it in your hand and look at it for a while. Think carefully about it to decide if you can live without it.
Besides functional items, only keep things that make you smile and improve your home. It doesn’t make sense to keep things that are only going to add to the clutter.
5. Donate Your Stuff (Or Give it to Friends)
Personally, donating things helps me push myself to declutter. It always feels good to give things away to people who need them.
Let’s face it:
Even if your not a hoarder, you probably still have a lot of stuff you don’t need. There’s always someone out there who would appreciate those things.
Oprah offers some great donating tips. One of her tips is to take everything that’s not useful to you and give it to someone who can use it.
- Outdated tech (Do you really need that VCR?)
- Excess toiletries (5 boxes of Q-Tips in your bathroom…really?)
- Books (Someone out there would love to read ‘em)
The papers, receipts, and junk mail in your cabinets can go in the trash. But the rest of your clutter should find a new home with someone else.
The idea of simple living is exciting, and it’s a lifestyle you can easily achieve. And even if you’re not trying to go full-on minimalist, it’s still nice to have a clutter-free home.
If you want to organize your apartment in two weeks or less, start by applying the tips above. These pro secrets sure are helpful.
As you’re working, don’t forget to figure out a few techniques that work best for you. Often, different methods work better for certain people. Find out the best way for you personally to declutter your apartment, and go for it.
Soon you’ll be marveling at how great your apartment looks!
Ryan Sundling is a Group Marketing Manager at Cardinal Group Management. He has over 10 years of experience in the student housing industry and works with Dwell The Statesider on a daily basis to help them with their marketing efforts.