While I appreciate clean and organized spaces, I’m definitely not a minimalist (the extra furniture that I’ve been keeping in my parents’ basement for “one day” speaks for itself). However, while I like collecting certain pieces, I never want my space to be cluttered (so off my furniture goes to someone else’s house for safekeeping, ha!) and would rather do mini cleanouts/cleanups frequently rather than putting off a big clean until the end of the week/month.
It’s obviously hard to keep up with this year round (I don’t know about you, but when I’m sick, my room becomes one gigantic mess, for example), but even when I’m busy with work and other commitments, I feel like I’m happier and more productive when I’m leaving a clean house in the morning. Living in little apartments means that cleaning and organizing fairly frequently is basically a requirement, since storage isn’t unlimited and small spaces can go from cute to cluttered super quickly. To keep things from getting too chaotic, few things that I try to do every couple of months are:
-Sell clothing to my favorite consignment store or arrange a Salvation Army pickup. I love being able to make extra cash off clothes that I’m no longer wearing anyway (plus, more closet space!) and I like selling in real life a bit better than on Poshmark because you can drop everything off in one trip and get paid on the spot. Mustard Seed is one of my favorite places to sell, and I generally bring in one bag of clothes per season. Of course, some days I have better luck as a seller than others, but I’d say I usually leave having made $60-70, which is definitely worth it in my opinion. I also like scheduling Salvation Army pickups when I have a few bags ready to go (you can usually make appointments about three to four days out, which is super convenient). Since I don’t have a car, it’s nice to be able to leave everything out front in the morning knowing it’ll be on its way to a good home by the time I get home from work.
-Go through old beauty products. I used to have SO many beauty products back when I worked in magazines. We had “beauty closet sales” a couple of times a year, and these were basically every blogger/girl’s dream–tons of designer/drugstore products being sold at $2-5 a pop! I amassed more Essie nail polish than I know what to do with! I also went to a lot of press previews and got mailers with fun items (again, no complaints there) and my NYC bathroom was about ready to explode. Even though I’ve edited my collection a bit over the years, it seems like skincare/lotion/makeup products still pile up, so I make a point to try to fit everything in two of these bins that I keep in my bathroom. When they’re getting full, I’ll do a quick sort through of everything in there and toss items that are old or are things I didn’t enjoy or just don’t use anymore. I’m actually someone who doesn’t love having a huge assortment of products to pick from (…this is why I’m not a beauty blogger) because it kind of overwhelms me, so I have zero problem parting with stuff!
-Clean out the fridge/freezer. I’ve become better at this now that I share this space with a roommate and don’t have an entire fridge to myself. It’s also satisfying to use up products (wow, I officially sound like an old lady) and make sure nothing is going to waste. Sometimes I find frozen meals in the back of my freezer that I totally forgot I bought or realize that things expired and need to be tossed. (Speaking of beauty products, I also keep my jade rollers in the freezer and want to make sure they don’t get lost in the shuffle!).
-Organize my closet. It seems like no matter how organized my closet is after a cleanout, it always gets full again (especially because I keep my hamper, suitcase, several radiators, and lots of other random stuff in there). It’s super easy to just do a quick clean on a weekend afternoon and I always feel so much more put together afterwards (I really don’t know why, since it’s not even an area that anyone else sees!).
I’ve also ordered these bags for underbed storage and they’re working well so far. It’s important to maximize dead space in any way possible, and I’ve been happy with how much these can hold (I keep extra blankets and even picture frames inside).
Photo by Heather Bien