During the winter months, we often find ourselves cooped up inside almost 24/7. And your apartment will never be as messy as it is during the winter.
You’re wearing more clothing like jackets, boots, and gloves — possibly tracking in snow and mud. Holiday decorations are taking up a ton of unnecessary floor space. And, most importantly, it’s way too cold to be taking the trash out every single day.
Frankly, you’re running out of room in your apartment.
Not to worry!
There are quite a few things you can do during the winter to help declutter your apartment.
Let’s talk about five of these methods!
1. Donate or Sell Old Clothing & Furniture
Winter is as good a time as any to clear out the things you just don’t need anymore. This also opens up some floor and storage space to bring new items into your apartment.
The easiest way to do this is by setting up four different piles.
Toss, donate, sell, and keep.
Make sure you’re giving every item serious thought before tossing it into the “keep” pile. If you haven’t used those pillows in years or if it’s broken and unusable, it’s probably better off in a separate heap.
Donate vs. Sell
The choice between donating or selling is up to you.
It’s easy to throw worn clothes that are still in good condition into a garbage bag and drop it off at a donation bin. Donation is also the right choice if the items you no longer want have no significant financial value.
Plus it provides you the chance to give back to the community!
Selling is a different story.
This will usually be relevant if you have electronic products or relatively new furniture.
These might bring in a few hundred dollars when sold on marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or LetGo.
Be sure to check the current value of each item before listing them to guarantee a sale.
2. Clean Up Holiday Decorations
There’s nothing more exciting than setting up holiday decorations in the winter.
In fact, you probably spend hours or even several days, making your apartment look picture perfect for the upcoming holiday.
Finding the motivation to take these decorations back down at the end of the season.
And, they take up way too much space to keep up year-round in a tiny apartment.
Swapping Things Out
We’re willing to bet you have a set date for when you decorate for the holidays.
It’s a good idea to set a date to take them down too.
One way to make this process less agonizing is by following up with additional decorations for the next season.
It’s a pain to take them down, but it’s fun to put new ones up!
So, prepare to put up your favorite spring decorations while you take down your winter ones.
3. Organize Your Winter Attire
Unless you live close to the equator, it’s likely that your winters are brisk and chilly.
You might even get snow.
That means a lot more clothing and tools lying around your apartment. We’re talking gloves, boots, hats, jackets, coats, skis, snowboards, and even shovels.
And, the list goes on.
It’s time to organize your winter attire in the best way you see fit. One of the best ways to do this is by making your own DIY racks.
Creating Your Racks
The goal is to hide and organize as much as possible to keep your apartment looking neat, orderly, and large.
What’s even better?
You can choose a DIY rack or shelving style that best fits your entryway or the theme of your apartment.
It can be somewhat of a decorative piece!
Plus, you don’t need much more than some wood, a hammer/screwdriver, and nails/screws.
Make sure your racks or shelves include coat hangers, hard surfaces where you can lie items, and possibly even drawers or baskets.
The more storage, the better.
4. Overhaul the Refrigerator & Pantry
When was the last time you checked the back of your freezer or refrigerator?
What about the depths of your pantry?
There’s a pretty good chance that both your refrigerator and your pantry contain expired or rotten foods.
Not only is this potentially dangerous, but it also takes up a ton of space that you’re not able to use for something else.
Winter is the time to clean out your fridge and pantry.
Cleaning Them Up
Take the time to look at expiration dates and chuck the items you no longer need (or can use). Also, put in the time to organize what you’re choosing to keep to make each look more organized.
It’s a good idea to put items that expire sooner in front (just like in the supermarket). This keeps them in your field of vision, so you’re more likely to use them!
Keep an eye on expirations dates weekly to avoid wasting food.
5. Get Rid of a Little Bit Each Day
Nobody wants to spend hours or days working on the same project.
That couldn’t be more true when it comes to cleaning. That’s why it’s a good idea to work on getting rid of just a little bit every day.
Setting a Schedule
When winter comes, set aside 15 to 30 minutes a day to straighten up your apartment and get rid of things you don’t need.
It’s more manageable and less hectic if you work on one room at a time.
This can help to make cleaning less overwhelming and can save those daylight hours in the winter to spend time with your friends and family.
Here’s another tip: Set specific cleaning tasks to complete each day.
For example, you might want to save your vacuuming for Wednesdays. Or, maybe you’d rather dust every four days (regardless of the day of the week it falls on).
This can keep cleaning tasks from piling up and becoming overwhelming.
You’d prefer to spend your spring outside in the beautiful weather, right?
Decluttering in the winter is a great way to set your apartment up for the next season. The more you declutter and clean up in the colder months, the less time you’ll have to spend on that dreaded “spring cleaning.”
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Arch at Ft. Wayne to help them with their online marketing.