Clutter is the mortal enemy of people trying to live a more mindful life within spaces that are just the right size for them. When you live in a rented studio or even a one-bedroom apartment, you have to make a more conscious effort to utilize the space for things that matter, lest you end up unable to breathe and live comfortably while surrounded with things that are not enriching your life.
Here are some practical ways you can transform your cluttered apartment into a small, charming apartment.
Get rid of things that don’t ‘spark joy’
This philosophy has gotten a lot of bad press in recent years, but it is actually sound advice for people who don’t have the excess of space to hold on to things that serve no actual purpose in their life.
Here’s a tip: whenever you find yourself unable to throw away old, broken, or useless artefacts just because of sentimental value, take a photograph to immortalise the thing. This will give you something to remember it by even after you throw it out.
Decluttering is rule number one in the KonMari checklist, so the easier you get accustomed to it, the better. In fact, according to mindbodygreen.com, decluttering can actually improve your life
2. Clean up often
Cleaning up often is not just a chore, it is also a great workout for those looking to shed extra pounds. Make it a habit to fix your bed as soon as you get up. Wash the dishes immediately after using them. Or make sure that you know and practice the words “cable management” in your home office setup to make your apartment look fresh and keep it in a condition that you want to work and live in. There are literally hundreds of ways to clean up, all you have to do is choose
3. Explore space-saving solutions
A small apartment can be pretty restrictive. But oftentimes, in these situations, the best thing to do is get creative. You can create more storage space by inspecting your area and checking if you can build baseboard drawers. You can use vertical space in your cupboards, bathrooms, and even bedrooms to make room for more stuff.
Another way to look at this is by making sure that your space has a dual purpose, like living rooms that can switch to dining areas and beds that can be tucked away when necessary to give you enough space for your fitness routine.
4. Offload your physical subscriptions
Trust me — any paid physical subscription you have right now can be transformed into a virtual one. For instance, instead of receiving magazines and catalogs with your mail, have digital copies sent to your email.
This tip doesn’t only work for printed materials, too. For example, did you know you can trade your portable solar panel system (which, for sure, takes up a lot of precious space in your small apartment) for a subscription to your local community farm?
Digital community solar is a perfect alternative for apartment-dwellers who can’t really install solar panels on their roof and those who don’t have enough space for a ground-mounted or portable solar PV solar system. By enrolling in a local community farm, you can continue using solar power in your apartment while clearing out valuable space where your ground/portable system used to be.
5. Go paperless
You may not know it, but paper is one of the most annoying and useless pieces of clutter in any kind of home. It often gets to be too much and becomes seriously messy when left unchecked. To deal with this, it’s better to just go paperless at home and keep just the essential records. For photos and other mementos, you can easily scan or take photos of them to store in the cloud of your phone or in an external hard drive.
6. Think twice before getting a pet
Let’s be clear, there’s nothing wrong with adopting pets or becoming a fur parent. But it entails a lot of responsibilities that you might not be able to provide, especially if you’re living in an apartment.
Pets have needs and it can get messy sometimes so if you are not prepared for that, then you should really think long and hard about it. Pets can be cute and can give you the companionship that you may be craving, but they can wreak havoc if they are left unattended or untrained.
Never impulse adopt or shop a pet. Discuss it with your partner, family, roommates, and your landlord first.
These days, it’s important to prioritise keeping our homes cozy and clutter-free now that we must spend more time indoors. We have to do our part in doing so for us to have a healthier and happier time at home.
Photo by Harry Page from Pexels