If you’re anything like me, you’re coming home from holiday celebrations full, happy, and with a bag or two of holiday gifts from family and friends. From little stocking-stuffers to bigger gifts, one of the least fun parts of coming home is trying to figure out how it all fits back into your life and apartment! Instead of letting the piles build up, try to take time and de-clutter your space over the holidays! Here are a few tips to ensure you keep your apartment straightened up, despite adding more items!
Replace the old with the new
This one’s easy. If you received gifts that upgrade items you already have, get rid of the old and replace it with the new! New cookware, vacuum cleaners, and appliances are great examples. Instead of keeping extras, replace your old items. Take them to a thrift store or sell them online to quickly get them out of your apartment! Do the same for clothing items. For every new item you get, try to get rid of something you don’t like or wear, which will save major space in your closet. Doing this now is much easier than keeping everything, becoming too cluttered, and having to devote a day to cleaning out closets, kitchen drawers, and under the bed.
Invest in organization
The start of the year is a great time to commit to being organized. Consider what you can invest in organization tools, including your time and effort as well as money! Some free options to keeping your apartment organized include:
- Completing any cleaning/pickup task that will take :30 seconds or less immediately
- Choosing a “place” for every item that feels cluttered (i.e. keep earrings in a small dish on your dresser, instead of leaving them rolling around; make room in your closet for your vacuum; keep TV remotes and all charges in a small basket, etc.)
Other great organizing techniques don’t have to be expensive! Think about creative uses for file folders, or simply promise to clean up after yourself every day. The most important part of organization is that old saying:
“A place for everything, and everything in its place.”
Thoughtfully choose “places” for your new items (i.e. not the junk drawer), and they won’t add to the clutter in your place!
The waiting game will only make this process worse, so instead of leaving your bags on your kitchen counter for weeks on end, try to get new items put away soon after receiving them. Not only will they get better use that way, but your apartment will feel less cluttered immediately.
Only ask for items you truly want and need
After your apartment swallows up your new items, consider the importance of only asking for items you want, need, and will use regularly. As we get older, those items may get more boring than when we were kids. For example, instead of Barbie dolls, I now want throw blankets, comforter sets, and kitchen gadgets…but it’s all part of growing up and gaining independence. During the year, make notes of apartment items that would make a difference in your life, and keep it handy for holiday wish lists. If you only receive gifts your truly need, your apartment should always have a place for them.