Even a small amount of clutter can be overwhelming when you live in an apartment. Clutter in the home has been linked to anxiety, depression, stress and difficulty concentrating, according to an article in the Journal of Environmental Psychology. If you’re ready to de-clutter but aren’t sure where to begin, these simple steps will help you keep clutter under control in your Central New Jersey apartment.
Create a Catchall Spot Just Inside Your Front Door
Keep clutter from spreading throughout your apartment by placing a small table near your front door. Once you arrive home, drop your keys, mail, shopping bags, backpacks, laptop bag and other items on the table. Although you probably won’t want to keep these items on the table permanently, designating a drop-off space can help you contain the clutter.
Make Sure All of Your Belongings Have a Home
Remember the old saying “A place for everything and everything in its place”? The phrase has helped countless people over the years keep their homes neat and tidy. If you don’t have a designated spot for keys, shoes or sports equipment, your apartment can become cluttered very quickly. When every item in your apartment has a home, it’s easy to keep clutter from overtaking your apartment.
Sort Your Mail Everyday
Like most people, you probably receive a never-ending supply of junk mail. Recycling or disposing of mail you don’t need the day you receive it is the best way to prevent a mountain of mail from accumulating on your kitchen counter or dining room table. Use a box or bin to store mail that requires your attention, such as bills or that invitation to your cousin’s wedding.
Don’t forget to shred or tear up credit card offers, bank statements and other mail with personal details before you trash it. Unscrupulous people could use the details to steal your identity or open credit card accounts in your name.
Clean Out Your Closets and Cabinets
Freeing up a little space in your closets and cabinets is a simple way to keep clutter under control. Although experts have their opinions regarding when you should get rid of seldom used things, you’ll need to create your own criteria for your purge. Getting rid of unused belongings after 60 days or a year may be a good solution for some items, but what about your ski equipment or tuxedo? Although you don’t use those items often, it may make sense to hang on to them and other seldomly used things, particularly if they would be costly to replace. If an item of clothing is out of fashion, uncomfortable, stained, damaged or too small or too large, it’s generally safe to dispose of it.
The same principle applies to kitchen items. If you haven’t used your bread maker in three years, your dishtowels have holes in them, or your blender no longer works, getting rid of them is a good choice. Toss items in bins labeled “sell,” “donate” and “trash” to make cleaning and organizing easier.
Think Before You Buy
Newer isn’t always better. If you have perfectly good dishes, towels or shoes at home, ask yourself if you really need an item before you add it to your collection. Some people find the “one in, one out” rule helpful and only buy something new if they’re prepared to donate or sell something else to make room for the new purchase.
Put Extra Items in Storage
Renting a storage unit for items you don’t need every day can help you avoid a clutter problem. Some apartment communities, like Fairway 28, even rent on-premise storage units. Storage units offer a good place to store holiday decorations, out-of-season sports equipment, extra furniture and other items.
Do you have a storage problem in your current apartment? Older apartments were built at a time when people had much less stuff and were perfectly happy with small rooms and tiny closets. Fortunately, that’s not the case with modern luxury apartments. In fact, Country Classics’ Central New Jersey apartment communities offer generously sized living spaces and large closets, including walk-in closets in some bedrooms. Contact us for information on current availability.