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Decluttering 101: Preparing to Spring-Clean Your Apartment

A cluttered room, filled wall to wall with junk
Need help minimizing and decluttering? Start with this guide.

Life can get messy and chaotic, but your apartment doesn’t have to be.

All too often, we acquire things that sit idle around our homes—taking up precious space in our psyche and our closets. Over the next few weeks, we’ll tackle decluttering your apartment room-by-room, so you’ll be ready for spring cleaning in April!

(Prometheus Neighbors, take note: In April, we’re hosting our annual Go Green for Spring event, when we’ll collect those unwanted items you’ve unearthed.)

Of course, the anticipation of purging can feel daunting, which is why so many of us put it off.  But wrangling your possessions doesn’t have to be so tricky. To kick things off, we’d like to offer few simple ideas to start you on the road declutter your home.

  • Be realistic. Don’t try to replicate those picture-perfect storage systems that can’t be maintained. Rather, focus on creating a user-friendly system that makes sense for you and your specific space.
  • Start small. If the idea of taking a weekend to organize your apartment sounds scary, try taking five minutes each day and do something easy to declutter your home. Create a designated spot for an object, clean out a drawer, or start a new file for loose papers. Suddenly, that mountain of clutter will begin to melt away.
  • Sort it out. Try locating 10 items in your home to throw away, 10 items to donate, and 10 items that need a proper place in your home—and then do it. Before you know it, you can organize your apartment by sorting through 30 things.
  • Recycle it. If your goal is to minimize, give something (even a book!) away each day to a more appreciative owner.
  • Archive it. If you’ve been squirreling away boxes of childhood toys and nostalgic artwork you made in grade school, consider taking a photo of some of these objects and then get rid of them. This method is helpful if you want to remember how a beloved object looked, but you don’t really need to keep the physical piece.