You don’t need to go crazy about the whole minimalistic organization craze to get some benefit out of it. While some attempt intense challenges such as living with 100 items or less or “Kondo-ization,” you don’t need to take extreme measures to reap the benefits of living a more ordered life. Apply these four minimalist organization ideas to your apartment, and you’ll be surprised at the space you can open up.
- Consider EVERYTHING. When sorting through your stuff, you must go through everything—yes, everything. Start by sorting like items together (all bathroom essentials, all clothing, all home goods, etc.), then evaluate the use and need for each. Do you really need 15 different half-open bottles of body lotion? What about those 7 throw pillows on your couch? Taking this approach when shopping can help prevent an organization problem before it starts. The next time you’re considering a new purchase, truly consider, “Do I really need this?”
- The 12-Month Rule. As you go through each object you own, ask if you’ve used it at all in the past 12 months. If you find something you haven’t used for over a year, it’s easy to get rid of it. Seasonal decorations and clothing tripping you up? Determine if you displayed, wore or otherwise incorporated it last season. If you’re still on the fence, see if you use it this upcoming season (say, that sweater you just can’t decide on). If you’re still thinking “ick” when you get dressed each winter morning, it’s time to remove it from the premises.
- Enlist Your Most Critical Friend. Having someone else around for this process can help tremendously. When you get to something you’re really having trouble parting with, your friend or family member may be able to provide on objective view about whether it’s time to toss or keep.
- No Need for Duplicates. Whether it’s towels or kitchenware, we all have a tendency to collect duplicates. You might justify the 25 butter knives for when guests are, but how often do you actually have that many people over—if ever? Items like dishware and silverware can be easily rented, if an occasion calls for more than plasticware and paper plates. When it comes to appliances, it can be even worse. There is really no reason for you to have two blenders or a coffeemaker and cappuccino machine, especially if counter space is at a premium.
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