10 Essential Apartment Organization Tips: A Guide to a Clutter-Free Living Space

Updated July 18, 2023
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Everyone has dreams of living in an organized apartment, but getting there can be a little daunting. Follow these apartment organization tips to create a clutter-free living space.

A woman folding jeans and organizing her apartment

1. Decluttering Techniques:

When embarking on the journey to declutter, it may seem overwhelming at first. Where to start? How to even declutter? What to do with all the stuff? To kickstart your decluttering process, try one of the following techniques to keep yourself accountable. 

20/20 Rule

If you are stuck on whether you should keep an item or not, you should consider letting go of anything that you can replace for less than $20 and in less than 20 minutes. 

The Rule of 5

In every room of your apartment, throw away at least five items. Keep repeating this until you have gone through your whole home. 


Find 12 items you need to throw away, 12 items to donate, and 12 items that need to be put back in their rightful place. 

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Four-Box Method

Get four boxes/bins and label them: trash, give away, keep, and re-locate. Pick a room at a time and place all items in that room in one of these boxes. This process could take a while to finish depending on how large the room is and how many items you have. Don’t skip any of the items. This process will show you what you need to do with all your items.  

using a calendar to keep up with the apartment organization tips

2. Establishing a Cleaning Routine: 

It may sound silly or maybe a little daunting but establish a cleaning schedule. You may think that this will be more work for you, however, it’s just the opposite. No one loves when they have to spend a whole day cleaning, so if you do a little at a time, you will not have to waste a whole day. 

Step 1

Write a giant list of exactly what all needs to get done at your home to be considered “clean”. Next to all these tasks, write down how often these tasks should be done.   Example of what the list should look like: wipe surfaces – daily, clean toilet – weekly, mop floor- weekly, declutter closet – annually.

Step 2

Group all the tasks by frequency.

Step 3

Go through your weekly schedule and figure out what time you have to give throughout the week. Are there nights that are better for you to do more and other days that your schedule is very full? That’s okay – write that down! 

Step 4

Now it’s time to put the schedule together. It may be easiest if you create a 4-week schedule. Start adding your weekly tasks throughout the week based on your availability. Then add the monthly tasks in as well after that. 

living room organization

3. Smart Storage Solutions: 

Apartment living doesn’t always allow for ample storage space. Maximize your space by using as much surface area as possible including walls, doors and furniture. Use over-the-door racks and hanging solutions to display anything from shoes, spices, or pantry items.

Add shelving to as many places as you can (obviously try not to make it tacky). Floating shelves are both stylish and functional throughout the home. Stackable shelving is great in closets and cupboards. In kitchens and bathrooms, adding a small, tiered shelving unit can remove things off the counter.

Multi-purpose furniture in an apartment can be one of the best purchases to give you style, comfort, and, most importantly, storage. Ottomans, couches, tables, and baskets all have the same purpose in the end – holding and organizing your belongings. 

minimalism living room

4. Minimalism and Simplifying: 

Diving into the essence of minimalism, this concept includes the art of simplification and intentionality–essentially redefining how we interact with our living spaces. Embracing a minimalist mindset in apartment organization can be a transformative journey, streamlining both our surroundings and our mental landscape. By removing clutter, we create room for what truly matters: an environment of peace and living.

Prioritizing essentials over excess and gracefully parting with items that no longer serve us empowers us to curate a space that resonates with functionality and personal identity. Ultimately, this shift in prioritization leads to an organized and harmonious apartment that nurtures our well-being.

women holding blankets folded neatly to organize her apartment

5. Habit of Daily Maintenance: 

Adopting the habit of daily maintenance at home will set you up for success. Spend a few minutes a day picking up things that are left out, put the dishes away, make your bed, and put your clothes away as soon as they are washed and dried. These simple (and many times dreaded) tasks are easy steps that can keep your home from feeling crowded or cluttered.   

an entryway with organized shoes on a rug

6. Creating an Effective Entryway: 

We all know the place you enter your home is generally the most cluttered with items that you drop as soon as you walk in the door but pick up again when you leave. Organize the entryway of your home in a way that your frequently used items are accessible yet clutter-free. 

Do you have a place for your keys? Add hooks or a dish to place them in every time you walk in the door. Are your shoes always all over the floor? Place a shoe rack or baskets by the door so you can place them there. Do you always have mail or items in your hands that you aren’t sure what to do with when you get home? Have a small desk, table, or shelf that you can neatly place mail or other items on. The backpacks, purses, or other large items that get thrown on the floor can also have hooks or cubbies. If you create a place for all your everyday items, it will be easier to keep them from laying around. And, no more lost keys!

computer and laptop on a desk

7. Digital Organization: 

To start the journey of digital organization, begin by setting aside dedicated time to assess your digital landscape. Start by decluttering your desktop and organizing files into logical categories. Create folders for different projects, utilities, or topics, and label them clearly for easy identification. Develop a consistent naming convention for files, ensuring they are descriptive and include dates or relevant keywords. 

As you go, delete unnecessary files and unsubscribe from email lists that no longer serve you. Once you’ve established a foundation, consider utilizing cloud storage solutions to securely store and access your files from anywhere. Regularly back up your data to prevent loss or corruption. To maintain digital organization, set aside a specific time each week to review and tidy up your digital spaces. This could also be turning paper documents into digital files then shredding the paper to remove outdated files, organize new documents, and address any clutter that may have accumulated.

Lastly, embrace digital tools such as productivity apps, note-taking apps, and task management systems to streamline your workflows and stay on top of your digital organization game. Remember, a little effort in maintaining digital organization goes a long way in reducing stress, improving productivity, and keeping your digital world in harmony.

person holding shoes in their arms

8. Mindful Shopping: 

Mindful shopping and apartment organization share a deep connection rooted in intentional living. By avoiding impulse purchases, you can prevent the unnecessary accumulation of items in our homes, leading to a clutter-free and organized living space. Making intentional buying decisions ensures that each item we bring into our apartment serves a purpose and aligns with our goals of organization. Prioritizing quality over quantity not only reduces waste but also contributes to a more sustainable lifestyle. By practicing mindful consumption, we create a living environment that promotes harmony, simplicity, and a sense of gratitude for the possessions that truly enhance our lives.

person on smartphone

9. Maintaining a Paperless Environment: 

Embracing a paperless lifestyle not only contributes to environmental sustainability, but it also brings a multitude of practical advantages–particularly when it comes to decluttering your living space. In the realm of apartment living, where extra space often comes at a premium, reducing paper clutter becomes an essential endeavor. By transitioning to a digital realm, you can seamlessly organize your important documents while minimizing the need for physical storage.

Begin by digitizing vital paperwork such as leases, contracts, and receipts, storing them securely in cloud-based services. Finally, embracing online billing and banking not only reduces paper waste, but it also streamlines financial management. Through these steps, you’ll find that maintaining a paperless environment not only promotes a cleaner living space but also simplifies your daily routines.

desk organized

10. Personalizing Your Organization System: 

Personalization is key when crafting an effective organization system tailored to your unique lifestyle and preferences. Just as no two apartments are identical, the same principle applies to organizational approaches. Discovering a system that resonates with your habits and routines fosters a more sustainable and lasting organizational solution. Be it color-coded digital folders for your documents or a visual to-do list app, the key lies in finding methods that resonate with you. Flexibility is key!

Lifestyles evolve and so should your organizational strategy. What works seamlessly for someone else may not necessarily fit your needs, emphasizing the significance of adapting and fine-tuning your system as you go along. The journey towards optimal organization is a personal one, leading to a more harmonious living environment that effortlessly aligns with your daily life.


Organization doesn’t happen overnight. Maybe all ten steps are not right for your lifestyle, and that’s totally fine! Pick the apartment organization tips that will best help you keep a clutter-free living space and do them one at a time. Let the organizing begin!


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