We have about three weeks left until we move to the beach and my excitement is building. I’ve been browsing the beach-themed accessories of every home shopping website I know, and revelling in the fact that the days of hand-washing our juicer are over for now.
Of course, before we truly settle into our new place, we have some work ahead of us. When I moved in with my boyfriend, we cleared out a lot of the major duplicates– we had two beds, two couches, two dining room tables (though mine was miniature– I lived in a studio!), and two of almost every small kitchen appliance. Still, I’ve noticed that there is so much in our apartment that we never even think about, let alone use! So I’ve been sorting my little heart out.
Here are a few of my favorite tips for cutting down on clutter.
- Be thoughtful about sentimentality. I am a huge sentimental mush-ball, when it comes down to it, which is by far the biggest hurdle when I’m getting rid of things. I don’t think this is really going to change, and I think it’s worth it! I love having a home full of memories. One of the things I’ve noticed, though, is that sometimes I mistake guilt for sentimental value. I’ll keep a present from our neighbors that I received a few years ago– not because it fits my style or because I’ll use it, but because it was a generous gift and I feel guilty giving it away. I remind myself that it’s better to donate it so that someone can actually use it, rather than hoarding it away at the back of a bookshelf. Ultimately, sentimental items should make you feel joyful, not cluttered or guilty.
- Be mindful of space requirements. I really believe that the easiest way to keep your space clean and clutter-free is to have a place for everything. So when you’re sorting, keep that in mind. It’s not important to get rid of your beloved books if you have a bookshelf that displays them all. But if you have an old bean bag chair that takes up space that you don’t have? That’s when you have to crack down.
- Consider the cost of replacement. There’s a difference between ditching a tablecloth you never use, and donating your old skis. If you have to replace the tablecloth a year down the line, it’s likely that it won’t be a big deal. But those skis? You might really wish you had held onto them.
- Count em’. I was going through our living room ottoman a few days ago and realized that we have eight blankets. Now, for a one-bedroom apartment with two people living in the desert, that is just crazy. Even with guests we won’t use them all! So I held onto a few of my favorites, and let the rest go to someone who will actually snuggle under them on a regular basis.
- And finally, if you’re not sure, set it aside. Whenever I’m doubting whether or not I should keep something, especially in my closet, I just pack it away for a month or two. I’ll put a few summery tops and some old jeans in a grocery bag, hide it at the top of my closet, and revisit it after time has passed. If I’ve gone through all of summer without a thought in their direction, it’s time to donate them.