10 apartment decluttering projects you need to try RN

Chaotic energy? This one's for you

Organizing pink sock drawer
(Image credit: Getty)

Having an apartment to call your own is always a vibe, no matter the size. Smaller apartments, however, could be full of endless clutter. With that said, you’ll want to declutter, which could feel like a full-time job, if you’re really not up for taking the time to actually do it. Although decluttering could be a drag at times, it could be extremely beneficial for your apartment. 

We spoke with professional organizer, Jennifer Du Bois (@organizedbyjend), who provided us with 10 useful tips on which areas are worth decluttering in your apartment to convert it into a stress-free living space. 

Clear the entryway

Grab a basket and trash bag and head to the area of your apartment you first step into when you come home. Go through and discard any obvious trash. Next, gather all the items you want to keep and place them in the basket (shoes, backpacks, jackets, etc.). Empty the basket by returning all your “keep” items to their homes. 

Kitchen countertops

Start with the dishes — dirty ones go in the sink or dishwasher and the clean ones get put away. Work on appliances next — now is a good time to get rid of the ones you do not use. Toss any that are broken and consider donating the others to your favorite charity. Gather all the papers — toss what is trash and create a system for organizing the ones you want to keep. 

Hall closet

You’ll need a box and a trash bag. Start by pulling everything out of the closet — shoes, backpacks, jackets, etc. Put anything that is trash in a trash bag. Everything else gets sorted into two categories — “keep because I love and use it” or “not to keep, so it should leave my home.” Consider donating your “not keep” items to a local charity. Put the “keep” items back into the closet; consider using hangers and baskets to keep everything tidy. 

Living room

Start by gathering items like blankets, magazines, electronics, or any other items that may be cluttering the space. Review each item and decide whether you need to keep it, toss it, or donate it based on its condition and how often you use it. Organize “keep” items by returning any with rightful homes, folding any blankets that will remain in the living room, and arranging magazines in a rack or neat piles. Discard items you don’t need right away and make a plan to drop off donations as soon as possible. 

Go through junk mail

Gather all your mail onto a table or the floor. Go through the mail and separate them into three piles: trash, recycle, or review/action/file. Make sure items in the trash and recycle piles do not contain any personal information. Process all remaining mail items by completing the action. 

Top of refrigerator

Take everything down: appliances, cookbooks, cereal boxes, or other items that may be cluttering the space. Sort through the items and consider donating or discarding any that you have not used in a while. Clean the top of the fridge and only return the items you cannot store elsewhere and need easy access back to this space. 

Clear bookshelves

Start by removing all the books from the bookshelf and placing them in piles on the floor or a table. Sort through the books and separate the ones you want to keep from the ones you no longer need. Consider donating the ones you don’t need to a local library or charity. Organize your “keep” books on the bookshelf by type, color, or in a way that makes it easy for you to find them. 

Home office desk

Start by clearing off the desktop by removing everything and making piles of items: pens, paper, and more. Then repeat as you move through each desk drawer and cabinet. Toss anything that is trash, such as pens that don’t work, broken items, and more. Assign a designated spot in your desk for your “keep” items based on category and how frequently you reach for the item.  

Under the kitchen sink

Remove all the contents from under your kitchen sink onto the kitchen floor. Discard any expired or unwanted supplies. Consider keeping only essential cleaning items and dishwashing supplies in this space.  

Home decor

We tend to express our personality through our decor, but too much can make an apartment feel cluttered. Start with one room, look at the space, and make note of any decor that no longer fits your style. Consider donating any that are in good condition. Repeat for every room in your apartment. 

Aida M. Toro
Freelance Writer

About Me:

Hello! My name is Aida M. Toro and I am a freelance writer that loves cultivating stories about amazing people, fashion, interiors, art, and food. I currently write for Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam, The House Magazine, Hobnob Magazine, The C-Word, and Real Homes. I live in West New York, New Jersey, which is literally a 10-minute ferry ride or 20-minute bus ride away from New York City. Although I was born and raised in West New York, I consider NYC my home, as I believe it to be the place where all dreams come to fruition, and of course, spend most of my time in. When I’m not writing, I love perusing the city streets and taking snaps with my iPhone of street art along with random things, scoping out new restaurants as well as their spaces, shopping at some of my favorite stores, spending time with family and friends, walking my cockapoodle Benji, and working out at Lifetime or DOGPOUND, which are some of the top fitness spaces in Manhattan and overall the U.S.