When it’s warm and sunny in spring and summer, most of us spend a lot of time outdoors. But when those chilly winter temperatures settle in, we tend to enjoy most of our downtime in comfy-cozy mode inside.
And the more time we spend at home, the easier it is to realize that our apartments are in desperate need of decluttering and organization.
Ready to get organized this winter?
Here are five winter decluttering tips for apartment dwellers to get your place in tip-top shape.
Go Through Your Scarves, Hats, and Gloves
Do you need twelve scarves? Do you wear every hat you own? Do you have old gloves hiding in the pockets of your winter coats?
Before the cold weather hits, carve out some time to do a thorough inventory and purge your winter accessories.
Pare down your winter gear and keep only the items you actually like, that you actually wear, and that are in good condition.
Then, donate the unwanted items to a homeless shelter or a thrift shop so that someone else can enjoy your unwanted items throughout the winter season.
Purge Spring and Summer Clothing and Shoes
Decluttering clothing and shoes is something that you need to do regularly. But it can be tough to part with items that you think you might want to wear next week or next month.
One easy way to take charge of this is to declutter your clothes when they’re not in season.
This winter, get rid of everything in your spring and summer wardrobe that went unworn last year.
- Toss those sandals that are all beat up or worn down on the soles.
- Get rid of those cheap flip-flops that you wore every day to and from the pool.
- Donate those shorts, dresses, and tank tops that you wore once or never wore at all.
Let’s face it: if you didn’t wear them last season, you probably wouldn’t wear them next summer either.
Once you declutter and get rid of what you don’t need, take the time to get organized as well.
An easy way is to add some under-the-bed storage boxes to hold the summer items you plan to keep. That way, there will be more room (and more room for organization) in your closet for winter clothes and shoes.
If the mood strikes to declutter your winter wardrobe at the same time, go for it!
You don’t have to do a deep dive into your winter closet, but you can pull out a few items that don’t fit or that you know you’ll never wear again.
Donate them at the beginning of the season, and someone else can make good use of them as soon as the winter weather hits.
Organize Your Entryway
Do you have summer hats and fall jackets cluttering up your coat rack or entryway?
Anything that you don’t intend to wear in the upcoming weeks doesn’t deserve prime real estate at your doorway. Declutter that area and free up space so that you have room for heavier winter items.
Add a few storage bins or baskets by the door to hold your outdoor accessories. If you have a chair or a bench in your entryway, add a boot tray underneath, so you have a safe place to put wet, snowy boots.
Limited on space?
Add a few wall hooks to drape scarves and hang hats.
If you followed our first tip and decluttered your winter items thoroughly, organizing them will be a cinch!
Clean Sweep Your Medicine Cabinet and Makeup Bag
Medications and personal products tend to pile up in our bathroom cabinets and travel bags without us even realizing it. A chilly winter morning is an ideal time to do a clean sweep of those old and expired products that are no longer safe to use.
Dispose of all expired medications. If you have unwanted prescription pills, be sure to dispose of them safely so that they don’t fall into the wrong hands.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) outlines how to do so here.
Don’t forget to toss out those hair styling products that never worked on your locks and those other almost empty products. Get rid of those half-used nail polish bottles that have become too gooey and thick even to apply.
Throw away old makeup products, especially eyeliners and mascaras, which tend to dry out faster than most cosmetics. If you have lots of shades of lipstick or eyeshadow that you never wore, throw them away.
Chances are if you didn’t like them last season, you probably won’t use them next season.
Take Inventory of Your Holiday Decorations
People who love to decorate for the holidays usually have their fair share of seasonal decor.
Between Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah, decorations can overtake your apartment. Make a point to declutter your holiday decoration collection at the start or the end of the winter season.
Ask yourselves these questions to declutter better:
- Do you need three different Thanksgiving wreaths to hang on your front door?
- Is there a reason you’re holding onto half-burned Christmas-scented candles?
- Do you need (or even have room on your tree) for every single ornament you own?
The concept of less is more is an excellent rule to live by. Displaying two or three unique decorations has more impact than overloading every room with holiday decor.
Assess the items you have and get rid of any extras that you don’t need. When doing so, keep in mind how many items you have room to store.
You need to be strategic about which items you allow to take up precious storage space in a small apartment.
Decorations that you only display for a few days or weeks throughout the year don’t deserve that much room.
This winter, when you cozy up in your favorite comfy pants, resist the urge to binge-watch yet another episode of yet another Netflix series.
Instead, dedicate an hour or two of your time each weekend to decluttering your apartment.
It may not be your ideal way to spend a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, but the best part about decluttering is you finish, it’s super easy to keep up with.
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Grove Slippery Rock to help them with their online marketing.