Apartment Living, Blog Posts, February

Hoard Experiences, Not Things

Apartments are small. They don’t have a lot of space. And when you fill up that space, what do you do?

This seems to be my current dilemma.

I have a lot of things. Not that I’m by any means a hoarder, but I do have a penchant for shopping. Or I did, but it’s been one of my New Me things to reign it in and focus more on things that don’t take up so much space like my fitness and health, good for you whole foods, and life experiences. It’s a struggle, but I’ve been trying to find ways clear my space and become more minimally focused in general.

I’m in the process of creating a list of my essential items in each category (that I’ll post here soon) in order to check myself. This and some healthier mindsets are helping me clear the clutter, starting with my apartment.

Stay Organized.

I cannot stress this enough, especially to myself. If I stayed more organized in my own space, then I probably would not be having this problem. I’m organized in the public spaces of my apartment, I’m clutter-free at work, I’m tidy everywhere else. But I seem to reserve the clutter for the most important space, my sanctuary, my bedroom. The one space that shouldn’t be messy at all.

If I had stayed more organized in my bedroom, then I would be able to see what I have, consume and use those items properly, and not add to the confusion with more things that I already have or really don’t need. (An impulse problem really – and work in progress.)

I was clearing out the storage space above my closet and found a sleeping bag, paints, and basically broken frappachino bottles that I had tried to make into cute little shot glasses with a  technique found on Pinterest. Needless to say, I’ve been cleaning out all the little spaces slowly but surely and trying to purge the crap. This leads me right into my next point.

Know What You Have and Remember It.

I don’t know what I have unless I see it most days. I know I have a lot of face masks, and lot of beauty products including makeup and hair items, I know I have a purse problem and way too many bags, I know I have too many clothes, and boots are really a space saving problem when I want them accessible.

If I actually think about those things if I stop into TJMaxx on my way home, or remind myself that I don’t need another face mask because I have thirty more in a basket under my desk then it helps from bringing more items into your space.

Tell Other People No.

Another thing that has helped, although it takes some time to sink in, is telling people, especially my Mom and Grandma, no, I don’t want that or I won’t use that. It’s a hard thing to learn to tell people no because you think it will hurt their feelings. Some, like my Mom, will be hurt a little, but slowly begin to understand the bigger picture. Others, like Gram, won’t be fazed by it and find someone else to give it to.

If they are trying to get you a birthday or holiday present, find an alternative option and let them know far in advance. If you have a Kindle, ask for an Amazon gift card to purchase some new reads, or suggest a Grocery shopping gift card to some of the places you shop the most. I know when I buy gifts for other people, I tend to buy them something that they’ll really use, and think of me when they use it, so this could be the perfect thing. And it’s a great way to splurge on yourself with a chocolate bar at the grocery store or a fun, new book that’s been on your mental list! (It doesn’t have to be books and groceries though, it can be anything that you like the most – like a designer jewelry subscription service that provides new pieces every month that you send back when you’re done, or a local class or experience you’ve been wanting to try.) Be creative in the things you mention to friends and family, just make it clear that you’d prefer not to have more things.

Purge and Overhaul the Excessive Items.

Get rid of the things you have that you don’t use. Yes, it’s great to organize all of your things, but it doesn’t make sense to keep things like three staplers tidy if you only use one. I understand if you’re going to have a section for things that you might not use everyday, like yarn for crocheting, nail polish, or seasonal jackets, but don’t be excessive.

I just cleared out my desk drawer, and there was two broken lightning cables, four single hole punches, three staplers, five magnet notepads and so many other unnecessary or unused items. I threw out the junk, made a stack of items that can go to someone else and be made to good use, and reorganized the rest. It’s things like these that show you what you actually have, what you’re using and lead you on your way to clearheadedness.

Now that you have a basis of where to start, just find something small to do and tackle that first (mine was doing a mountain of laundry to clear my floor). You don’t have to do everything at once, and you didn’t bring all of these items into your room in one trip so give yourself some credit and just dive in. I’m doing the same, and about to tackle some of the dead plants I killed in my windowsill this winter, ugh.

Love ya, hugs // ❤

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