Moving to a new apartment is an opportunity for a fresh start. Decluttering plays a vital role in helping you optimize your space and create a comfortable living environment. As someone that has now had 6 different move-out days, I feel like I’ve picked up on some helpful strategies to reduce the stress of moving. There may be different methods of decluttering, but I found these tips to be the most helpful to get started.
Apartments often have limited square footage. It's essential to assess your space to identify areas that tend to accumulate excess junk. In your case this may be a literal junk drawer, or perhaps you find your extra batteries underneath a pile of clothes. Take a thorough inventory of each room, including closets, cabinets, and storage areas, and make a note of items that can be better organized. If you notice that paperwork tends to pile up, you may want to purchase a file cabinet for your next place. Keep in mind that we are creatures of habit. It is more than likely that the same build-up of junk will happen at your new apartment, so make sure to cut down now to help your packing process go more smoothly.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you try to pack while decluttering or sort through belongings while cleaning, you’ll end up taking an hour break looking through pictures from elementary school wearing the t-shirt you could’ve sworn you lost. The goal is not just to create a visually pleasing space, but to cut down on items that will end up being shoved into boxes and packed in your car during the move. Tackle a room, or even part of a room, a day. This will also help reduce the stress of procrastinating.
When decluttering an apartment, people always say to prioritize functionality over sentimentality. However, if you’re like me and can’t muster the courage to throw out that birthday card from your aunt from 2016, digitizing can save you a lot of space (and guilt). In the digital age, it's never been easier to digitize items with sentimental value, such as old photographs, letters, and documents. If you don’t have a scanner, there are plenty of smartphone apps that can render almost perfect scans from simply taking a photo. This allows you to preserve memories on your phone or computer without overwhelming your living space. If you want to keep a lot of photographs and important documents, photo albums and file folders will help prevent them from getting damaged in the move.
We all have that one chair that gets piled with clothes ‘I’ll wear again’ before you give up and throw them in the laundry hamper. Putting things back in their designated place is the best way to prevent clutter from accumulating again. If there is no more room in those spots, that’s your sign to donate or throw away old items — especially when it comes to limited closet space. It will make it easier to keep your apartment clean and organized in the long run. It may be easier said than done because life gets busy, but it will make the next move stress-free and convenient.
Once you've decluttered and organized your apartment, it’s time to pack. The last thing you want to pack besides daily essentials are your cleaning supplies. It’s important to have these things handy to give your old place a deep clean and your new space a once-over before settling in. (Bonus points if you have a roll of toilet paper handy) A new space should mean a new cleaning routine. Dedicate a few minutes each day to tidying up and maintaining order. Just five minutes of picking things off the floor or washing the dishes left in the sink can make a world of difference. If you need some extra encouragement, set a timer and speed clean until it goes off!
Remember that decluttering is an ongoing process. It's important to regularly reassess your belongings and to make adjustments as needed. By adopting these decluttering tips and staying mindful of your space limitations, you'll be well on your way to creating a clutter-free and relaxing home in your new apartment.