If you need to de-clutter your apartment after a move, you probably do not need to be reminded that you did it wrong. No one needs to tell you that you could have gotten rid of a ton of stuff beforehand so you had less to pack, and you are probably well aware that your small apartment movers could have been done in less time if they had fewer boxes to carry. You know all this already, right?
Don’t worry; if you packed stuff you should have gotten rid of, you actually make up the majority of the moving population. Ideally, de-cluttering should be done before a move, but seriously, who has the time? Quite often a move is last minute (or you left everything until the last minute), so de-cluttering has to be done after. The longer you wait, the less likely you are to do it, so it is not a bad idea to partake in this project as you are unpacking.
The first thing you need to do is designate boxes, such as:
- Sell – If you want to make a little money to help offset the cost of the move, selling stuff you do not need is a great idea. If you moved out of an apartment and into a house, you can have a yard sale. Otherwise, list the items on Craigslist, eBay or in the local paper.
- Donate – It just feels good to donate items to those who are less fortunate.
- Trash – These are the items that you know nobody will want to buy, and you wouldn’t feel right even donating them. Your odd socks fall in this category; you will never find the match!
Stay in One Room
It can be easy to get side-tracked when you unpack and de-clutter. This is especially true if you pull something out of a living room box that belongs in the bedroom. Then, you go in the bedroom and open another box and pretty soon, you have boxes open in all the rooms. The problem with this is that you are less likely to really evaluate whether to keep each item if you have to go back and forth to the original three designated boxes. If you unpack items that belong in another room, put them in a pile and deal with them after.
Make Use of Storage Containers
Small apartments and homes look cluttered very easily. Even a few papers, remote controls and a random dog leash will make a smaller space look like a mess. Invest in storage containers! These can range from Rubbermaid containers to decorative boxes to wicker baskets to ottomans that open up. The more storage areas you have, the better you will be able to hide everything.
Everything Has a Home
The most important aspect of de-cluttering is organizing and making sure that every single thing has a designated home. This means that you may want to make labels too, if you have a significant other and/or children in the house. This way, there is no question where everything goes. Otherwise, you will end up with clutter piles that grow on the table, by the door, at the bottom of the stairs and on the desk. You likely know these piles very well; they often consist of a few bills, one lonely mitten, a half-eaten flip flop, keys, etc.
If you did not de-clutter before your small apartment movers arrived, take the time and unpack them the right away. You will better enjoy your new place if you start out with everything organized and wipe the slate clean of unnecessary items.