Friday, November 4, 2011

NYC Apartments: Cleaning Out the Clutter

Eliminating clutter in a New York City apartment has always been a matter of organization and preparation, with a handful of perceivably hard decisions that turn out to be simple once you really think about it.  It’s easy to say “I’ll clean it up later” and chill out with some television and a cocktail instead of taking five minutes to put things where they belong. But then a few weeks go by, your office looks like the remnants of a ticker-tape parade, you’d have to put on hiking boots to reach the top of the mountains of dirty clothes, the leftovers from Gino’s gains a pulse and you have to whack at things with a machete to get more than a foot into your closet.

Okay, so maybe I’m employing hyperbole but organization of time, amongst other things, is crucial to having a clear, uncluttered NYC apartment that you can look forward to showing off. Not only does the organization of an apartment create a clean aesthetic for you to live in, but it has also been proven to help one’s psychological outlook and confidence.  Here are some easy tips to keep your apartment clean, neat and well managed.

·          Paper & Bills: In the age of the green movement, this is less of a problem, or at least that’s what you’d hope. The fact of the matter is that a lot of people still receive huge amounts of their mail and bills in physical form on paper. This can lead to a lot of clutter but can be avoided easily with a set of magazine holders, an in & out rack for your desk and a small filing cabinet for copies, forms and other loose papers. Make it a routine of separating your stuff out and filing it away when you get home.

·         Junk & Trinkets: Junk drawers beget apartments full of junk; it’s an attitude that everything will eventually have a use or holds some indeterminable sentimental value. Having a few nostalgic but ostensibly useless trinkets is fine but if you start collecting every little scrap, things could get messy quick. Set a Sunday aside to look through your drawers three or four times a year, to make sure nothing gets out of control.

·         Clothing: I’m expecting some sort of hate mail for this but most people have a good portion of clothes that they never really use, the storage of which takes up a lot of room at times. Take a day by yourself or with your partner to go through your wardrobe and pick out stuff that you simply don’t wear anymore. Get a friend to help: they’ll be able to tell you if you wear certain outfits regularly, if you don’t remember. This will clear out your closets and allow you to get a good sense of how you want to store articles of clothing.

·        Storage: I can’t stress enough how important and beneficial solid system of organized storage is to having a tidy home. Look for furniture that offers storage (coffee tables with drawers, beds with space underneath etc.) and consider getting some shelves put in your living room, bedroom, bathroom and, especially, the kitchen. Use labels, if it helps, but know where things belong and try to find places for loose items. This will all make it easier to attain a sense of open space, something that always garners compliments and fosters a healthy outlook.

As you might have guessed, storage is one of my more passionate issues when it comes to design and organization in the home. I’ll be talking more about how to use storage in a NYC apartment in the future, talking about things you can undertake with one of your local New York City handymen for advance apartment options. All this being said, it’s important to also give yourself time to do all of these things, to have some sort of schedule or routine in each case, which is something many people find rigid and bothersome. Maybe it is, but doing something that you may not find incredibly enthralling is part of owning your own space and being in charge of your adult life. Also, eat your vegetables and call your mother, she worries.