5 Ways to Clean and Clear the Clutter in Your Apartment

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Ah, Summer is in the air – and so is the smell of your favorite lemon cleaner. It’s time to open the windows and dust until you sneeze. You can sweep and scrub until your apartment looks like a cleaning supply commercial, but cleaning just isn’t complete until you confine the chaos. Read on to learn five ways to clear the clutter from your apartment and your life.

1. Rearrange a Room (or Two)

An awkward furniture arrangement can make any room look cluttered and clumsy. Moving just one or two items can open up a space completely. Sketch out a couple layouts before you get down to it. Remember, you have a lot of work ahead of you.

What to Keep: Plan around the open space you already have. According to Better Homes and Gardens, “[a] dynamic arrangement of furniture keeps the focal point in mind but also directs people through the space.”

What to Reconsider: Stay away from unbalanced layouts. Furniture that appears to be placed haphazardly can cause an illusion of clutter.

2. Rethink Art and Knickknacks

Face it: some art is classic; other pieces are just a ticking time bomb on your wall. It’s no secret that excessive wall art and knickknacks can lead to a cluttered look. There’s a difference between a stylishly “staged” look and an apartment full of flea market favorites. How do you decide what makes the de-clutter cut?

What to Keep: Keep items of sentimental value, as well as classic pieces that may gain (monetary) value of the years. Do consider repositioning the decor for a “less is more” look. Design expert Phoebe Howard believes there’s a formula for styling just about anything.

For open shelves, she recommends stacking books horizontally and combining them with objects. For art, she recommends keeping frames consistent.

What to Reconsider: Like Howard says, ditch the mismatched frames. It can make a gallery display look unorganized and random. When it comes to your shelves with knickknacks, think again about over filling them. Be sure to leave plenty of space between objects.

3. Clean Windows

Windows are meant to open up your apartment to the outside world. A dingy, dusty window is no better than an overcrowded gallery wall. Skimp on scrubbing them, and you may find your newly cleaned apartment still feels stuffy and cluttered.

What to Keep: Keep up with cleaning them. Enough said.

What to Reconsider: Those musty old curtains that are blocking the view from your shiny new window. There’s no better way to ruin a good clean window, then to cover it with linens that are even worse.

4. Reorder Your Closet

The disorderly state of your closet isn’t doing your daily routine any favors. It’s time to de-clutter your life, starting with your wardrobe. A few simple tricks will have you sorting with sanity in no time.

What to Keep: Consistency. All of your hangers should be the same color and generally the same size. This ensures your clothing has a clean look across the rod.

What to Reconsider: Reduce your clutter by getting rid old or unworn clothing – a true no-brainer. The trick is to keep the leftover items organized. Go back to the basics: arrange the items by color. If you’re color blind or allergic to obsessive behavior, then consider simply rearranging items by type instead– all pants go together, all t-shirts, etc.

5. Revisit the Refrigerator

While you’re in the mood to revamp your life, take the mess out of your mealtimes too. A cluttered refrigerator can really kill your cravings – good for weight loss, bad for your nose. Tackle the fridge today, to get rid of what expires tomorrow.

What to Keep: Anything you purchased in the last week. Period. According to the Mayo Clinic, even that may be too much. For most food items, Mayo recommends three to four days tops.

What to Reconsider: Food that doesn’t fit the above criteria. Next, reconsider what led you to back stock all those expired items. You can better organize your fridge to stay informed about what’s good to eat. Remember, you aren’t confined to the shelves inside. Add bins for consolidating and grouping similar items.

What are some of your favorite tips for cleaning to reduce clutter? Share your tips in the comments below.

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