Getting an apartment in Lynchburg, VA for the first time is challenging in and of itself. You have to figure out how to pay for it, what the apartment house’s rules are, and how to balance responsibilities that come with maintaining your own place.
On top of these stresses, your place is bound to get messy if you don’t prevent clutter from attacking. And as weird as it sounds, a messy apartment makes it harder to focus when it comes time to study for huge college exams.
Here are five ways to stay organized in your first apartment.
1. Invest in clear, plastic storage boxes
Storage boxes come in a huge variety of sizes, and you can use them almost anywhere in your apartment. Some are even small and narrow enough to fit in awkward spaces.
Most are fairly inexpensive, and enable you to see what you’ve stored there without opening the lid.
2. Clear the floor continuously so items don’t accumulate.
The only way to create a mountain of mess is to ignore small piles of stuff early on.
It’s easier to pick up after yourself in the moment rather than trying to dig pathways through a pile of textbooks, dirty clothes, popcorn bags and shoes.
3. Make walls and doors work for you
Remember those adhesive-backed hooks you used all over the place to hang things in your tiny dorm room? They’re still extremely helpful!
Removable/adhesive hooks are perfect for utilizing wall space. Add a hook in a convenient area of your apartment to hang extra towels, bathrobes, jackets and more. (Putting a few hooks by the doorway will ensure you never lock yourself out by forgetting your keys!)
You can also make doors work for you space-wise. Take advantage of door space by using over-the-door shoe organizers to keep those flip-flops out of the way, or mount a hook onto the door to store your scarf collection. Not only will this trick save you space and keep you organized, but it will ensure that your most used items are ready to be grabbed as you leave your apartment.
Bonus: The more you store on the walls, the less you need to store on the floor.
4. If you go furniture shopping, keep storage in mind.
When shopping for furniture, always prioritize functionality over the urge to buy something simply because you think it might look perfect in a certain area of your living room.
If you’re trying to decide whether to buy a clunky (but cute) coffee table or a closet organizer cube, you should usually go with the item that takes up the least amount of space and/or will condense your stuff most efficiently.
5. Only keep what you (really) need.
We all have items we don’t need in our apartments. Things that you don’t need take up space in your apartment that you could use to store other items that you actually need. Weeding out items small or large will save you more space than you may think.
If your apartment is mostly comprised of sentimental objects that you just can’t part with, consider sending some of these items home — especially if you go back and forth between your hometown and college town. You don’t have to throw everything away; just be very conscious about what you let into your apartment and how much space you’re devoting to certain items that you may not have needed for months.
Don’t let clutter take hold of your space. An organized apartment complements all aspects of your life.
USA Today - College