Take it from Marie Kondo, simplifying is sexy and can spark a whole lot of joy.
Whether you’re making moves to a new apartment or are bored with the aesthetic in your current one, decluttering is the perfect way to define your style and start fresh.
To begin, you’ll need to start sorting through your belongings to decide what is worth keeping. If you’re like most twenty or thirty-somethings, your home décor is a hodge-podge collection of items that reflect the various styles and tastes you’ve had over the years. Sure, these items hold sentimental value and are fun to look back on, but this eclectic style won’t last forever (ideally not even another week).
So, how do you keep your apartment from simply becoming a place to collect your stuff?
1) Start Simple
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to elevating your style. You simply need to get critical. Start with bigger items and work your way smaller. What pieces of furniture can get the boot? Better yet, what furniture doesn’t even function anymore? (Looking at you, dorm room desk lamp). Be intentional with your decisions and don’t second guess your gut. If you hate it and can afford to replace it, toss it (or sell it)!
Unfortunately, that’s the easiest part. The smaller items in your home often hold much more sentimental value and can take time to whittle down. However, the same tactic for furniture can be applied here. Approach every item with a high-level of scrutiny. Why do you still have that blanket? Those vases? That framed poster? Consider your apartment a blank canvas and determine what items will add something to your space, and what will just add clutter.
2) Identify Patterns and Similarities
Now that you’ve trimmed the fat, an obvious style or aesthetic should be revealing itself. The furniture and decor items that you’ve chosen to keep will be a direct reflection of your current taste and should lead you in the right direction for establishing your style. If the aesthetic is not immediately obvious, start grouping similar items together and see if you can identify patterns from there.
For example, let’s say most of your “worthy” furniture and décor can be described as modern or neutral. This is a great direction to establish when you’re ready to buy new items to replace the old ones you’ve tossed. A neutral pallet can also be an easy way to integrate your new items with the old ones, so keep this in mind when you’re deciding on items to keep. If your bright red lamp is a must-have, then you’ll want to you have enough neutrals to balance it.
3) Be Bold
Speaking of bright red lamps, we encourage you to be true to the tastes and styles that are unique to you. Mixing bold colors or patterns with strong neutrals is an effective (and easy) way to add personality without adding more stuff. We’re fans of eye-catching accent walls like the artsy ones on Minted, but you can just as easily choose a bold paint color to apply to random walls throughout your space. This pop of color then translates to the other items around your home including dishware, linens, and even upholstery.
Of course, the best part of this whole exercise is that you’re paring down the clutter in your apartment and making room for new styles to emerge. You may already know your style is “rustic” or “modern” but a lot of the items you collect over time just won’t fit the bill. Be critical of your space and allow it to evolve with you. Doing this every few years (especially right before a big move) ensures your aesthetic stays cohesive and isn’t just a reflection of the various styles you’ve loved over time.
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