The Art of Decluttering
July 31, 2018
It doesn’t matter if you rent an apartment in Manhattan, Brooklyn, or Staten Island, or anywhere else in any city across the world — you’re going to want to make the most of your available space. Having room in an apartment is a valued (and scarce) commodity, and even for those with spacious living arrangements, the tendency for homes to get overrun with personal items can cut what room you have in half.
Which is where the art of decluttering comes into play. There are plenty of tips around that give you a good idea on how to change your mindset and follow through with steps that will rid your life (and apartment) of those masses of excess stuff. While many of these tip guides focus on the things you should be doing, we’d like to offer a different perspective today, and take a close look at some of the things you might be prone to doing that will hinder your progress. Nix these habits from your decluttering routine, then watch the results pour in.
Step 1: Don’t Get Sentimental
Do you really need that old fishing rod your father gave you when you were a kid? Maybe you do, but the point is that you shouldn’t let sentimentality trick you into holding onto items that are doing nothing but stealing space from you. Remember to ask yourself it what you want to keep around really serves a purpose. If it can be replaced by something else you have or taken out of the equation entirely without any impact on your lifestyle, chances are it’s time to say goodby.
Step 2: Don’t Try To Do It All At Once
Have you ever tried to bite off more than you can chew, perhaps at the gym or when starting a new job? It’s difficult, right? The same thing applies to trying to declutter — if you’re doing to much at once, you run the risk of not getting anything done at all. Break your work into bite-sized chunks, try to go room by room (or even smaller, if you need to). This will increase your focus, and your will to do what you have to do when it comes to cleaning.
Step 3: Don’t Try To Run Before You Walk
A big mistake a lot of first-time declutterers make is trying to go out and get all of their storage stuff before they even survey their apartment and figure out what needs to go. This is, to put it mildly, putting the horse before the cart, and you should take care not to fall into this trap. Do your cleaning first, then, once you’ve figured out what you need to put away, get the containers you need to do so.
Step 4: Don’t Forget To Plan
Another rookie error is forgetting to plan your decluttering operations. All that extra space will quickly evaporate if you don’t at least have an idea of how you want things to look once you’re done. At the minimum, you should try to envision your ideal space before you get started, then devise a step-by-step plan to get you to where you need to be. Remember to keep the principle of “dividing and conquering” in mind, and be prepared to toss anything that doesn’t fit the vision of your new, decluttered home.
Step 5: Don’t Be A Perfectionist
At the same time, you don’t want to get so wrapped up in how your finished space should look that you lose sight of your goals. You want your apartment to look better, true, but you also need to stay motivated in order to make this happen. If you’re obsess about every single detail, then, in the end, what you’ll find is that you tire yourself out to the point of not caring enough to execute on your decluttering plan. Remember, most of the time, 85% is good enough, and you don’t have to get things perfect in order for them to be considered successful.
Step 6: Don’t Be Lazy
If you let your guard down, clutter can creep back in almost instantaneously. Stay a step ahead of your nemesis here by staying vigilant and adopting some strategies for long-term success. You can do a little something every day, and those small changes will start to add up. For instance, take one day a week to clean a drawer or two. Take another day to walk around your apartment, survey what’s out of place, then return things to their proper place. Use a different day to straighten out your pantry, go through junk mail and paperwork, etc. Get into these habits, and you’ll find that clutter has a harder time re-entering your life.
Step 7: Don’t Ignore The Future
Piggybacking off the above point, you can also get in the habit of avoiding clutter in the future by being more thoughtful about getting new stuff. The reason your place got cluttered before is because you had too much stuff. To avoid this predicament in the future, remember that for any new things you obtain, some old things have got to go to maintain balance. What that balance should be is up to you, but remember that you can’t continue to hoard items without letting the old ones go.
Make Sure You Rent an Apartment in Manhattan That Will Be Easy to Maintain
Of course, if you want to make it so that decluttering won’t be that much of a chore to begin with, you can start by becoming a resident at fine communities like 15 Cliff. One look at those amazingly designed floorplans, and you’ll want to make sure it stays clean and clutter free for all eternity. It all goes a long way to making the complete apartment experience here that much better. Be sure to check out what this part of the city and the building itself has to offer to residents, and you’ll likely be all set to make this your new place to stay within NYC.