Keeping Your Apartment Neat: Tricks For Not Letting the Mess Pile Up

by Nick Livermore

Living in a city apartment can be tough. Once advertised as “cozy”, your space is now nothing more than cluttered. Here are some helpful hints on how to keep that Sunday clean feeling riding through the week.

1.  The “One In, One Out” Rule

It’s as simple as it sounds. For every item you purchase (except for maybe, let’s say…groceries), you get rid of something. Here’s an example: you buy a new coffee table book, you get rid of an item of clothing you haven’t worn since 2006. This way, you never pile up more than you can handle. And let’s be honest, you’re not going to miss half the stuff you get rid of. Feeling guilty throwing things out? Donate them!

2. Don’t be Lazy

It’s 6:00 pm and you roll in from a long day at the office wanting nothing more than to cozy up in some sweatpants with a glass of wine and some DVR. In you go into the sweats, leaving those work pants smack in the middle of the floor. “Oh, it’s just a pair of pants,” you tell yourself, promising you’ll fold them during a commercial. Not only do you break this promise, but those pants soon find the company of some socks and a strewn towel. Before you know it, you’ve got yourself a full blown pile, and once that starts, you’re toast. Take the extra minute. Fold the pants. Even better, hang them up! The wine will just taste that much sweeter.

3. Reusable Bags

It sounds simple, but those Whole Foods paper bags can take up a lot of space. Especially because you always keep them, promising they’ll come to good use, but there they remain, taking up room. Buy a few reusable bags. It’s greener, it saves space, and you might even be able to find one with some kind of witty saying on the side. Abes Market even sells reusable produce bags to cut down on the plastic ones at the super market. Yes, we’ve thought of everything.

4. Dishwasher Promptness

First of all, how did we ever live without a dishwasher? Right?? Now that we’ve got that out of our system, here’s the trick. As soon as that dishwasher dings its little bell, up you should jump to unload it. Why, you ask? Because we know that there are new dirty dishes already waiting in the sink! By consistently having the dishwasher on “dirty”, you have no excuse to let those glasses and plates pile up in the sink. Plus, it feels really good to have an impromptu dinner party and have plenty of clean forks.

5. Unconventional storage spaces

You’re creative. Come on…sure you are. There are so many places in that small apartment where organized storage would save you from out-of-sight-out-of-mind shoving.

a)    Under the bed storage…ding ding ding. Those shoe storage compartments are genius because first of all, your shoes are no longer scattered around the floor waiting to be tripped over (see #2) and second of all, you will save yourself so much time searching for a match. Vacuum seal bags. Around April, you take all of those sweaters, stuff them into those puppies and suck the air right out of them. Your winter clothes can hibernate down there for the summer.

b)   The walls. No, we’re not suggesting you adhere Velcro to all of your belongings. We’re talking shelves. Hang shelves in the kitchen to free your cabinets of plates and bowls. Hang shelves in the bathroom for folded towels. Hang shelves in the bedroom for sweatshirts and other bulky items. Plus, Ikea sells shelves for cheaper than a jug of milk so….no excuse! Låt oss komma igång!

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