Apartment living is the perfect option for many people who are not yet ready to buy a home. Apartments tend to be less expensive, conveniently located and offer a great sense of community. However, staying organized in a space of that size can be a challenge, especially if you grew up in a house. Moving into a new apartment can be the perfect time to organize and declutter. It can also be a great opportunity to find new ways to stay organized permanently. That’s why we put together a list of things people can do to help keep their apartment well organized when they move in.
Consider Using a Storage Unit
This is one of the simplest ways to help keep an organized apartment. If you live in an area with access to a garage or shed then use one of those places as your extra storage space. However, a lot of apartment dwellers live in the city with no access to such spaces. For those people, a storage unit may be an excellent solution. If you’re moving into a new apartment, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the area, ask your moving company about storage options. Many moving and storage companies all offer long and short-term storage, and if not, they will probably know where to find a secure unit.
Use a Laundry Basket with a Lid
The perfect time to think about a new laundry basket is during a move, when all your clothes are packed and the basket is empty. Think about how things will be once you’ve unpacked. For many of us, there’s very little time for household chores during a busy week, especially just after moving. Sometimes, this may mean that clothes are piling up before you have a chance to do laundry, which can quickly make a room look dirtier than it really is. A great solution is a closable laundry basket. This will help keep the laundry in check until you can tackle it. Visit the Container Store for some interesting, fun options.
Packing and Moving Electronics
The first step is to partially disassemble all of your electronic devices. You'll want to make sure that all game systems, computers, printers and other devices are all disconnected from their monitors, but don't disconnect the cords yet.
After you’ve partially disassembled all electronic devices in your old place, take the time to label each cord with what it goes to and its function (e.g. “printer/power”). This will not only help with unpacking, it will prevent you from mixing cords up in the future.
Then, finish disconnecting the cords from their devices and zip-tie all the cords that go to the same device together, preferably with different colored zip-ties. For example, you could tie the power and HDMI cables for the TV together with a red zip-tie. Remember to pack your electronic devices carefully, if you don't have the original boxes, be sure to carefully pack them into plastic containers with plenty of padding.
Streamline Your Disc Collection
This is another trick you can start before your move that will help you stay organized afterward. The first step is to part with as many physical DVDs, CDs, video/computer games and other disc-based media as you possibly can. This may be hard, but with so many great streaming and download services available, having a great collection doesn’t need to take up a lot of space.
We recommend only keeping and/or buying special edition physical copies of your favorite, classic pieces of media. This will mean a smaller, more impressive media collection that doesn’t eat up a lot of space in your apartment.
Keep Paperwork Organized
A lot of paperwork can make a space look and feel cluttered. Moving into a new apartment is a chance to avoid that kind of clutter from the very start. The first step is to limit incoming paperwork. During a move, you’re either going to have to sign up for new utility services or at least, change the address on your old ones. Use this as an opportunity to take advantage of the paperless billing option that most utility, television, Internet and phone providers offer.
Next, find unobtrusive ways to store the paperwork that you do need. We recommend buying a fireproof lock box specifically designed for documents; they can be found at most hardware and retail department stores. Use it to store things like birth records, financial documents, passports and other vital information that doesn’t need to be accessed frequently.
Clean Out the Medicine Cabinet
Some of the most essential items in the home are also some of the most easily forgotten: your families prescriptions. Before getting organized in your new home, make sure that all prescriptions and other medications are accounted for. Once you're sure all medication has been accounted for, you can begin thinking about organizing your bathroom.
Bathrooms can quickly become disorganized because so many important items are kept in this area. You have your essential toiletries, your health and beauty products, your actual medicine and it’s one of the most important rooms to keep clean during and after a move. A simple solution is this: use the medicine cabinet for medicine only. All other items can be stored and organized around the bathroom by using various bathroom organizers available at places like IKEA. Depending on your needs, you should be able to get everything needed to organize your bathroom at an affordable price.
Getting and staying organized may seem hard, but it’s actually much easier to do during a move. You’re getting a fresh start in your new apartment, so make that feeling last by staying neat and organized. Following the advice outlined here will result in having a stress free move and an effortlessly clean apartment that always looks inviting.