If your apartment living space includes a catch-all area known as the “junk room,” consider whether it’s time to reclaim that space for more productive and enjoyable pursuits. We can show you how!
Read on for tips to organize your space and place the junk where it belongs.
How did we get here?
A junk room almost always has an innocent, accidental beginning. One day guests are coming for dinner and, in a mad dash to clean up the apartment, a load or two of flotsam and jetsam gets piled in the extra room. Maybe there never seemed to be time to sort it, only add to it, and before you knew it, your once spare room is anything but. Now it is loaded with items you might need, but can’t imagine having the hours or energy to sort through. Welcome to Hoarders: Chapter 1. It’s time to get serious about organizing your space and taking the room back from the junk.
Give the junk an identity
Mark your calendar for a weekend or a day off, roll up your sleeves, turn on some great music, and enter your junk room. This time, it’s personal. Come equipped with several boxes or bags, and put the junk you find where it belongs. Put old mail and paperwork in a box or bin and carry it to your desk. Place piles of clothes in the hamper to wash or hang up, if they are still clean. Get your sports equipment or shoes into a closet where they belong.
Now, when every bit of your “junk” has been revealed as something useful or as garbage to be dealt with appropriately, clean the room as never before. Then, sit down in your former junk room with a snack and favorite beverage, or take a nap on the guest bed that was hiding under all that stuff.
This is your new room. Now that you have reclaimed this “extra” square footage of apartment living space, odds are good that you will never again relinquish it so easily.
Sort or suffer
Clutter is the bane of many existences. It saps our time and our enthusiasm. Everything is harder to find and accomplish in an apartment where too much stuff gets in the way. So, keeping your space organized isn’t just about efficiency; it’s about mental health, too. A clean home is, truly, a happy home.
Piles can be insidious. They crop up when you’re not looking and seem to grow over-night. The next day, a counter or table is covered, and you keep pushing the stuff aside to make room to live in…don’t let it get that far!
In order to keep a healthy balance in your apartment, you really must commit yourself to regular decluttering Otherwise, you will be tempted to carry piles of stuff back to what was once the junk room.
When the mail comes in, don’t stack it: sort it. Separate bills and important mail from junk mail immediately, and deal with each appropriately. When the coats and shoes come off, store them where they need to go. The greatest aid in keeping your living spaces livable is not to wait — deal with your belongings right away, every day.
Even with the best of intentions, we may need some help staying clutter free. If your entryway is often a bottleneck of potential junk, install hooks, a hall tree or storage bins so that coats and shoes always have a place to go. If paper is your poison, place small bins on a table or counter with family members’ names on them so that everyone can sort his or her own mail and papers. And if toys or office items never seem to make their way back to their proper places, consider placing a basket or bin in the front area of your apartment so that you can easily ferry those things back where they need to go.
Okay, junk room, your days are numbered! Reclaim the space and make your apartment livable again by dealing with clutter before you have to hide it away in your valuable living areas.
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