Is your apartment room starting to feel a bit cramped? Are you finding yourself tripping over piles of clothes and textbooks every time you walk in? If so, it might be time for a decluttering session.
College students are notorious for accumulating clutter. From clothes to books to keepsakes from home, it can be tough to keep your space tidy. But there are some easy ways to downsize and declutter your area, even if you're short on time and storage. Here are a few tips for doing just that!
1. Donate Or Sell Items You No Longer Use Or Need
One of the easiest ways to downsize your belongings is to get rid of things you no longer use or need. If you haven't worn something in six months, chances are you won't wear it again.
So, consider donating clothes and other items to a local thrift store.
You can also hold a garage sale or sell your items online to make a bit of extra cash. Just be sure to eliminate things you know you won't use again. If you're not sure, err on the side of caution and get rid of it.
Don't forget to go through your desk and bookshelves, too. Chances are you have textbooks or other materials you no longer need. Consider selling them back to the bookstore or online. The same goes for any furniture or knick-knacks you might have in your room—if you don't love it or use it regularly, it's time to toss it in the bin.
Avoid: Letting sentimental attachment get in the way of eliminating things you no longer need or use.
2. Invest In Multi-Purpose Furniture And Storage Options
Another easy way to declutter your space is to invest in furniture and storage options that serve more than one purpose. Doing this is particularly helpful for those who are tight on space.
Ottomans with hidden storage are perfect for storing blankets, pillows, or extra clothes. If you have excess books, opt for a bookshelf with drawers or cabinets for additional storage.
There are also plenty of creative storage solutions you can DIY if you feel crafty. For instance, you could hang a shoe organizer on the back of your door to store toiletries, jewelry, or other small items. Consider using Command strips to hang baskets on the wall for extra storage. Just get creative and think outside the box.
Avoid: Letting your things take over your living space. Be intentional about what you bring into your apartment, and make sure everything has a purpose.
3. Use Vertical Space
If you're tight on space, start thinking vertically. Utilizing the vertical space in your room is a great way to declutter and open up some additional room.
One easy way to do this is to invest in a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf. It will allow you to store all of your books, notebooks, and other materials without taking up too much space. You can also use wall hooks to hang coats, hats, purses, or towels. Or install a pegboard to store jewelry, belts, or other small items.
Another great way to use vertical space is to invest in a loft bed. It will raise your bed off the ground, giving you plenty of extra space to store things underneath. Just be sure to measure your room before purchasing a loft bed, as they can be quite large.
Avoid: Letting your things pile up on the floor. Whenever possible, put things away, stay tidy, and keep things in their place.
4. Store Seasonal Items Off-Site
Seasonal items can take up large amounts of space in your room, so it's best to store them elsewhere when they're not in use. If you have off-campus housing, consider keeping things like winter clothes and holiday decorations in a storage unit or at your parents' house.
If you don't have off-campus housing, see if your school has any on-campus storage options. Many colleges and universities offer storage units for students at a reasonable price. And some even have temperature-controlled units, which are perfect for storing things like holiday decorations or winter clothes.
Avoid: Cramming your closet full of clothes that you only wear a few months out of the year. Store them off-site and free up some much-needed space in your room.
5. Don't Bring Too Much Stuff With You In The First Place
One of the best ways to keep your apartment room clear of clutter is to avoid bringing too much stuff with you in the first place. When packing for college, be intentional about what you bring. Only pack the essentials and things that you know you'll use regularly.
And when it comes to decor, resist the urge to go overboard. A few wall hangings, photos, and throw pillows are all you need to make your apartment feel like home. Any more than that, and your space will start to feel cluttered.
Avoid: Bringing things you don't need or won't use. Stick to the essentials and resist the urge to over-decorate.
6. Create A Schedule For Cleaning And Decluttering
Dedicate some time each week to tidying up your space and removing any clutter. It will help you stay on top of things and prevent your apartment from becoming too cluttered, thus making it easier to keep clean.
Set aside time each week to vacuum, dust, and wipe down surfaces. And take some time to declutter as well. Go through your closet and get rid of any clothes you don't wear anymore. Donate books you no longer need, and get rid of any other items that are taking up space.
If you don't have time to declutter every week, try doing it every other week. And if that's still too much, once a month should be sufficient. Just ensure you're regularly getting rid of clutter to prevent unnecessary build up.
Avoid: Missing your scheduled cleaning and decluttering time. Set reminders and make it a priority.
7. Keep A Trash Can And Recycling Bin In Your Room
Tossing your trash in the nearest garbage can be convenient, but it's not always the best option. If you have a lot of waste, it can quickly pile up and become a smelly, cluttered mess.
Instead, keep a small trash can and recycling bin in your room. That way, you can quickly and easily get rid of the trash without leaving your apartment. And if your room doesn't have a lot of space, look for a slim trash can that can fit easily in a corner or under a desk.
Avoid: Mixing recyclables with your regular trash. Keep a separate bin for each so you can properly dispose of everything.
8. Don't Hoard Freebies And Swag
It's tempting to want to keep all the freebies and swag you get from college, but try to resist the urge. Most of it is just going to end up in a landfill, and it's taking up valuable space in your room.
Instead, only keep the things you know you'll actually use. For example, if you're given a t-shirt from a school event, only keep it if you know you'll wear it. Otherwise, get rid of it. The same goes for anything else you're given. Only keep what you need and get rid of the rest.
Avoid: Keeping things just because they're free. If you don't need or want it, toss it.
9. Label Everything
Organization is key when it comes to keeping your apartment room clear of clutter. And one way to stay organized is to label everything. That way, you'll always know where things are, and you won't have to search through piles of stuff to find what you're looking for.
A little bit of labeling can go a long way in keeping your space organized. Use labels on your storage containers, shelves, and even in your closet. And if you have a lot of electronics, label the cords and chargers so you know which goes to what.
Color-coding can also be helpful. For example, you could use different colors for different types of items. Red for clothes, blue for school supplies, etc. It will make it even easier to find what you need and keep your space organized.
Avoid: Not labeling things or using a system that doesn't work for you. Find a labeling system that works and stick to it.
10. Keep Your Desk Clear
Your desk is probably one of the most important places in your room, so it's important to keep it clear of clutter. That way, you'll always have a clean and organized workspace to study and do homework.
Invest in some desk organizers to help keep things tidy. And be sure to put away any papers or other materials when you're done with them. Don't just leave them out on your desk. Put them away in a drawer or file folder so they're out of sight.
Avoid: Letting your desk become a catch-all for everything in your room. Make an effort to keep it clean and tidy.
11. Don't Keep Too Much Food In Your Room
Pests can become a real problem in small apartments, and one of the main ways they get in is through food. If you have food stored in your room, it's only going to attract pests. And once they get in, it can be very difficult to get rid of them.
You can avoid this by not keeping too many edibles in your room. Just keep enough for a few meals and snacks. Anything more than that should be stored in a fridge or pantry. And be sure to keep all food in airtight containers so pests can't get to it.
Avoid: Storing food in your room. Keep it to a minimum, and be sure to store it properly.
12. Use Under-Bed Storage
If you're looking for a place to store things out of sight, look no further than under your bed. There's generally a lot of space under there, so it's perfect for storing items you don't need to access regularly.
A great tip is to use storage containers with wheels. That way, you can easily slide them in and out from under your bed. And be sure to label them so you know what's inside. You can also use this space to store seasonal clothing or other items you don't need all the time.
You can also use mothballs under your bed to help keep pests away. Just be sure to use them in a well-ventilated area so the fumes don't bother you.
Avoid: Not utilizing this valuable storage space. It's the perfect place to keep things out of sight.
13. Get Rid of Expired Items
We all have that one drawer or cabinet that's full of expired items. But holding on to expired items is just creating clutter. What's more, you can get sick from using or getting exposed to them, so it's not worth the risk.
So go through your room and get rid of anything expired, including food, makeup, medicine, and anything else with an expiration date. If it's expired, toss it. Don't wait until it's close to the expiration date. Get rid of it as soon as it expires.
Avoid: Not regularly checking expiration dates. Get into the habit of checking them so you can get rid of expired items immediately.
14. Keep Your Closet Organized
Your closet is probably one of the most cluttered places in your room, so it's important to keep it organized. That way, you can easily find what you're looking for and save your clothes from getting wrinkled.
There are a few different ways you can organize your closet. One way is to organize by type of clothing. Keep all your shirts together, all your pants together, etc. Another way is to organize by color. That way, you can easily find what you're looking for.
Avoid: Just shoving everything in your closet. Take the time to organize it so you can easily find what you're looking for.
A college room can be a great place to call home, but it's important to keep it organized. Following this article's tips, you can avoid clutter and keep yours clean and tidy. So take some time to declutter and organize your space. Your future self will thank you.
If you're ready to start living in a clean and organized space, contact American Avenue. We offer BYU-I-approved housing with several floor plan options. Visit us online or give us a call today for more information!