There are some practical ways to make living in an apartment more enjoyable. They take a little time at first, but eventually these practices will become habits. If you involve your roommate in making decisions, the process is more likely to succeed.
Decluttering Without Sacrificing What You Love
We’ve all heard by now that decluttering is the path to simpler living. However, this isn’t really that easy. Individuals tend to have more stuff than an apartment can hold. Why should they throw away or give away things that matter to them? Shouldn’t they be planning for a day when they are in a bigger home and have a place for their favorite memorabilia and family treasures? If you do this project with your roommate, they can help you make decisions about what is most important to you and what is most valuable in the long run.
It is inexpensive to rent a closet-like 5 x 5 storage unit. You’ll have a place to put extra items. If you are a collector, it gives you an outlet for your collecting passion while keeping the apartment from becoming overcrowded with items that don’t contribute to everyday living. This extra closet-like unit can be used for your winter items during the summer and vice versa. It’s the place to put holiday decorations so that they don’t take up space in your small apartment.
However, there should be things you can get rid of. So, realistic decluttering must include recognizing which items aren’t valuable to you. Roommates can help each other recognize which things aren’t valuable, important or useful. The easiest way to start this process is to compare your items. We often have two or more of the same thing, if we’re honest. The pop-up toaster isn’t needed because there’s a toaster oven. The jacket isn’t needed because it is older than the other two you have. With two people making the decision, there’s a great chance of getting rid of the things that are cluttering up the place.
Redo Your Closets and Cabinets
While reducing, you should also think about the best way to maintain organization in the closets, cabinets, and furniture you have. Each drawer and shelf has multiple uses. Since you are doing the job with your roommate, you can bounce ideas off of each other. This should help speed the process.
This requires you to think creatively about how you use existing storage spaces. That bookshelf is for books. That cabinet is for kitchen items because it is in the kitchen. The desk drawers must have desk items in them. And on it goes. In fact, in each of those examples, you’ll find that there are different ways to use that space.
The key is to figure out which items are used the most. These should feature prominently. If items are seldom used, they can go in the back of the drawer or closet.
To make the apartment organization more permanent, use dividers. You can make dividers out of stiff cardboard, separating items within each drawer. There are, of course, all manner of organizational tools you can buy over the internet or from the hardware store. The key is to keep organizing until there is a specific place for every item.
Perhaps there are items that can be hung rather than stored. You can put multiple, removable hooks on the back of doors to keep your coats. You can install a ceiling hook to hang your bike. Sports equipment and memorabilia may look great if hung on the wall. If you really want to keep it close, these ideas will put your favorite things in reach, yet out of the way.
Retrain Your Thinking
One last note: the tidiest apartment is still crowded. Usually more than one person lives there. That is often the cause of stress. A roommate may look at the situation this way: “your junk is interfering with my stuff.” There’s just a natural frustration, and it is usually aimed at the other person. So the first rule of apartment living organization is to take responsibility for your own thinking and your own stuff. It is helpful to recognize that different people value different things. That way you can have respect for the other person’s belongings and their lifestyle.
When you get your apartment organization, you’ll have more time to live your life and spend less time working around clutter. Best of all, you know where to find (and where to put back) those occasional items that are needed once a week, once a month or once a year.