Steps For Decluttering
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6 Steps For Decluttering and Organizing In A Small Living Space

Whether living in a dorm room or apartment, keeping a small space organized can be a challenge for busy college students.

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Keeping my dorm clean and organized seems like a struggle throughout multiple points in my day. By implementing these steps into my own small space, I now want to share what has worked for me. These steps are easy to do and don't take much time out of my busy schedule as a student.

1. Find a layout that works

Being an Interior Design major, I was dying to get my hands on the dimensions and furniture provided in my room. I quickly realized it was SMALL. My mom created some CAD drawings with multiple options for my roommate and me to decide on that can be found here. I am also a psychopath that loves to rearrange things and have probably pulled out my tape measure 3 times this week just to re-evaluate the space. By finding a layout that works best for your storage needs, your space will be more organized and personal. The traditional layouts are great, but maybe there is another option to be considered that will work in the space better!

2. Marie Kondo everything you own

The Marie Kondo trend is all over the place currently, and I feel it is a really important aspect to shrinking the amount of clutter found in a small apartment or dorm room. Basically, it is assessing your belongings as to whether they spark joy or not. By doing this, the small space of a dorm or apartment can be maximized to only contain what brings joy to you. The items you choose will hold more value, and you will be less likely to leave them out or throw them around the room, creating more clutter. You can visit Marie Kondo's website to learn more.

3. Utilize boxes

Boxes are important in keeping a space organized. They can be a place to keep clusters of items in similar categories that would otherwise clutter the space. For example, I keep a box full of craft/art supplies, accessories (belts and scarves), and pens in my room, among many others. Kitchen supplies or even school binders/folders can be organized into boxes. It is a great way to keep a space looking nice and gain organization.

4. Fold more clothing

This is another concept that was inspired by Marie Kondo. By following her folding techniques, clothes take up less space and can be more easily viewed. It is a great way to not let clothes pile up, or have too many hanging in a small closet. If you fold your clothes, it will take more time and you will learn to find the value in each piece as you spend more time to take care of it!

5. Keep important spaces clear

The times when my room looks the most cluttered are when places like my desk are covered and unusable. By keeping any work space clear, you can use them at any time. This may seem redundant, but I often have to clear off my desk before working on homework. If my desk is already clean, then I am in a position to begin work and often feel more motivated to actually get to work!

6. Always put items back where they belong

This point goes along with the last one about keeping important spaces clear. While dorms or apartments are small spaces, items can often get put far from where they belong. My first step in organizing is often grouping items into the general areas where they belong. If items already start relatively close to where they should belong, then it makes organizing later easier and finding items at the present so much better. For example, instead of throwing my sweater over the back of my chair, I put it on the shelf that it belongs. Then I still have the option to grab it if I need it, without fully folding it and putting it back in with the others.

These are all steps that I have taken to reduce my daily clutter and stay more organized in the small space of a dorm, and hopefully they can help you as well!

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