I never expected to have the luxury of an enormous apartment, not with the prices in Toronto and my hesitance to move outside of the city. So, for the past year and a month I've had to learn to live on the top floor of an old, re-done house; the front door of which looks like it's about a hundred years old. I am by no means complaining, on the contrary, it was a great change from living within the four walls of my bedroom in my parents' home. It's difficult to explain the transition unless you've moved out, but it feels like I can finally spread my wings a bit farther and really create a space I enjoy living in.
The catch is that it only just fits two people (my boyfriend and I), so we've taken a lot of measures to try and give ourselves as much room as we can. I have no training whatsoever in design, so my word is not gospel, but I thought I would write down a few of the decluttering methods that have worked for us over the past year as we continue on our somewhat minimalistic journey while still splurging every now and again.
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FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU DON'T NEED
I know this step might sound really basic and almost redundant when it comes to decluttering, but it's surprising how often I (and I would assume many others) hold onto things I don't need just because they've always been there. It's so easy to fall into the habit of seeing an item in the room and not really take the time to decide whether it deserves being there, taking up your precious space. What's the point of holding to items that no longer have a value?
Every few months I try to sit down and look around my apartment in order to determine what I can get rid of. And 'getting rid' of something doesn't necessarily mean throwing it out, because that wouldn't be very sustainable. I first ask any friends or family members if they'd want an item that I no longer see value in before tossing it or donating it. That way I know for sure it'll be used rather than ending up in a landfill somewhere.
TRY MOVING THINGS AROUND
If you've looked around your place and decided that you do actually have a purpose for everything in there, then maybe the best way to give yourself a bit of extra leg room is to rearrange your decor. I'm the kind of person who used to change the position of my bed every few months because I'd get bored of the same layout. However, once heavy shelves and appliance are incorporated that becomes a bit more difficult to do, so letting yourself make the change at least once every six months can aid in your discovery of the best layout for you.
A great storage option that I plan on utilizing in the future is small light coloured or even invisible shelving units. Not only do I find them super dreamy and ethereal, but they also avoid making your space look too closed off, especially if you have dark walls like I do. Vertical storage is the best way to go if you don't have a lot of floor space. Here are a few options:
CREATING A CAPSULE WARDROBE
Before I took pride in not owning more than I need my wardrobe was overflowing. I had an entire closet and dresser unit and that still wasn't enough. Since then, I've severely decreased the size of my wardrobe and it's been the best thing I've ever done, but I understand that a lot of people really do need a bigger one with more versatile clothing. If this is something that's really causing you a lot of stress, then I would recommend testing out a capsule wardrobe or Project 333. This allows you to keep the clothes you like, but also the option to store them away for when they aren't needed.
I've somewhat attempted creating a capsule wardrobe by organizing my closet and dresser by seasons. I keep big sweaters, dresses, jeans, leggings, and thin shirts together so that I know where I'm reaching when I need them. This makes it much easier to store things away but still know where all the items I need at the moment are.
How do you declutter your home?