To kick off the new year on the right foot, Omied and I recently did a big apartment cleanout and reorganizing blitz in our home. I shared some of my storage and organization hacks on my Insta Stories during the process, and you guys were absolutely loving all of the tricks I use to declutter and reorganize, so I thought I’d better put together an in-depth blog post all about how to declutter fast.
Omied and I do a purge twice a year—once at the beginning of the year and once during the summer. It’s so important for us (and my sanity) because we live in a 700 square foot apartment in the city, and over time, things can really start to pile up and just make your living space feel heavy—especially when you’re a full-time blogger and each week new PR packages are coming in.
I recommend setting aside an entire weekend for decluttering and purging. That way you can spend your entire Saturday/Sunday going through everything, but plan something fun in the evenings to reward yourself for all your hard work! It’s also helpful to start thinking about new pieces you may want to order ahead of time and have ready for your purge weekend, whether it’s a new piece of furniture with storage or smaller organization things you can find on Amazon (I’m linking everything I use in this post!).
I’m going to break down all of my decluttering tips room by room, and share all the amazing things I’ve found on Amazon to help me up my organization game and declutter fast.
The first step in our process is to pick a room and start going through every single item in that room, and categorize stuff as either keep, sell, give away, or throw away. I am always shocked how many items end up going in the throwaway pile—junk mail, broken things I’ve been wanting to fix but never will, and just random stuff that isn’t even worth donating all need to be let go of. Usually, I will end up with a small pile of clothes or unused makeup that I want to list on Poshmark to sell. And I always have at least one, if not two, large bags of items to donate. I seriously feel so much lighter after doing this!
Besides getting rid of things you no longer need in your house, one of my key tips when it comes to decluttering is to add storage space. Particularly if you live in a small, city apartment like we do, storage is so freaking key. We started swapping out all of our furniture for furniture that also incorporated storage (think drawers, cabinets, shelves, etc.) a couple of years ago, and it has been a total gamechanger. Basically my motto was, I do not want to have to see all of my sh*t. For each room section, I’ll share what furniture we’ve gotten that has really helped add storage to our small apartment.
Now, let’s get into the specifics of what helps me declutter quickly and get organized in each room.
Bedroom Furniture with Storage
We have added SO much storage space to our bedroom through a few key pieces of furniture, and it has been so clutch for keeping our bedroom organized and clutter-free.
IKEA PAX Closet: The most life-changing piece of furniture we added to our bedroom is the custom IKEA PAX Wardrobe Closet. I am obsessed with this thing. I have a whole in-depth IKEA PAX Closet review here that you should absolutely read if you are considering purchasing one of these. The customizability of it is awesome, and it holds so much. I’ve tricked it out with lots of handy organization things I’ve found on Amazon to really maximize its storage and neatness, which I’ll get into in the next section.
Bed frame with Drawers: We got a new bed frame that has drawers on the bottom, and this added two new drawers for each of us on our separate sides of the bed. Omied uses his for clothes and I use mine for a lot of my PR packages. They are so great and take advantage of otherwise unused space under your bed! And our bed frame from Wayfair is on major sale for 40% off!
Nightstands with Drawers: While I love the look of a chic little side table that is just one shelf, that is just so not in the cards for me. West Elm and CB2 have plenty of pretty nightstands that also have drawers (we have The Audry Nightstands from West Elm), and Omied and I take full advantage of a couple of extra drawers on our individual sides of the bed.
How to Declutter Your Bedroom
When I’m getting to work on decluttering, I usually start with my bedroom, because I feel like clutter quickly builds up in there between my closets and drawers. When I’m going through my drawers and closet, I find it’s easiest to go drawer by drawer and literally take everything out to organize into keep, sell, donate, and throw away piles. Then I can get to work on reorganizing things in my drawers/closet. It’s going to look like a sh*tshow, but just remember it has to get worse before it gets better!
I have a ton of storage and organization hacks happening in my bedroom right now. For starters, let’s look at the IKEA PAX Closet, specifically jewelry (which I have a lot of). I really like to be able to see all of my jewelry so that when I’m putting together an outfit, it’s easy to pick out pieces to pair with it. In my PAX closet, I have a shelf that is dedicated to necklaces and earrings. I use two of these acrylic earring holders, and I love them! They fold up easily and they hold SO many pairs of earrings.
For my necklaces, I use these pretty wooden bars with gold hooks for hanging all of my dainty necklaces on. For my bulky statement necklaces, I use these white hooks that I’ve set up on the inside walls of my PAX closet. You could also use the white hooks for hanging hats on a wall, or purses inside a closet.
For rings and bracelets, I use this velvet stackable tray which is perfect for organizing and storing all of these jewelry pieces. I also have a cute ring holder for bulkier rings that won’t fit into the slots in the velvet tray, or for rings I have on heavy rotation lately and am just wearing a lot.
I found these stackable pull-out sunglasses holders for storing your glasses and I have a few of these stacked on my accessories shelf as well for my sunnies.
Inside my drawers, I recently added these adjustable drawer organizers, and they keep everything so freaking neat and tidy, which I love.
Lastly, I have several shelves in my PAX closet dedicated to shoes (Omied says I have a problem, but I keep reminding him it comes with the territory when you marry a fashion blogger). I’ve somehow run out of shoe space on my shelves and was looking for a solution, and found these brilliant shoe organizers on Amazon! They literally double your shoe storage space by stacking one shoe on top of the other on your shelf. Problem solved!
Ok, let’s move on to the bathroom! That’s usually what I tackle next, because while I have a lot of stuff in my bathroom (sooo many skincare, haircare, and makeup products), it’s usually less of an ordeal than decluttering my bedroom and by this point, I need an easy win.
We have a small bathroom, but I’ve managed to add quite a lot of storage to it with a few easy hacks. First, stackable drawers that fit against one wall give me tons of storage space for makeup.
Next, I’ve added a few more small drawers underneath the sink, as well as a basket (here’s the one I got from Amazon) to organize my storage space down there.
Lastly (and this was a new addition this year that everyone over on IG loved!), I added some floating shelves to our bathroom wall for skincare and haircare products. One shelf holds products that I reach for every day, while another holds new-to-me products that I’m trying (and would otherwise forget to try if they were tucked away in a drawer). I’ve also added these corner shelves that take advantage of this random space, and these hold things like a clock, a container for cotton balls/q-tips, sprays, etc.
How to Declutter Your Bathroom
Again, I take everything out and things get worse before they get better. I tackle my medicine cabinet first, then shelves, then drawers under the sink, etc. and unload each one, deciding whether to keep or toss products. The thing about decluttering is that once you get into the mindset, you can be pretty honest with yourself about what you should keep and what you need to just part ways with. Once I’ve made those decisions, I reorganize everything back in their drawers and cabinets, and it feels amazing to have freed up more space!
Living Room Furniture with Storage
Our living room is fairly spacious for San Francisco standards, but once we added some clean furniture that had extra drawers for storage, it felt even bigger. Our entertainment stand for the TV, coffee table, and side table by the couch all have drawers and storage space.
While we’re at it, my “office” is a corner of our living room, and we swapped out our old desk with one tiny drawer for one from Living Spaces with five ample drawers, giving me so much more storage. We also got this bar cabinet from CB2 for our living room that we use as a bookshelf. Again, a chic bookcase with a few little shelves is pretty, but I’ve got so much sh*t that needs to be put away out of sight, so having a bookcase that is cabinet style with doors to hide all the crap comes in clutch.
How to Add Storage to Your Kitchen
Finally, we have the kitchen. Our kitchen is tiny, so we have really figured out how to maximize the space that we do have.
First of all, we got a bar cart—and one with cabinet doors so that again, we can hide our crap and don’t have to look at it all the time. Do I want a chic little gold bar cart for styling a cute matching cocktail set and crystal glasses someday? Yes, but today is not that day. For now, we need storage. We got ours on Wayfair and while our exact one is sold out, they have a huge selection.
We also really take advantage of empty wall space in the kitchen. We have this wine rack that holds a few bottles of wine, plus a ton of wine glasses, freeing up space in our cabinets where we would otherwise have to put those glasses. We also have this spice rack on our kitchen wall, which makes grabbing spices while we’re cooking easy and again frees up drawer space.
Inside our kitchen cabinets, we just added a couple of Amazon finds that have really helped with increasing our storage space. These plate racks have literally tripled our storage space in one cabinet. And these tiered shelves have been great for our kitchen cabinets and make it easy to actually see what’s in the back of your cabinet. We use these kitchen shelves in our cabinets for mugs and glassware, again doubling our storage space there.
I also got one of these cute wicker baskets from Wayfair, and it now sits on the floor next to our bar cart. It’s a great catch-all for stuff that’s too big to put in the fridge, like a big bag of sweet potatoes from Costco.
Lastly, this is so not pretty, but we don’t have a dishwasher and having an entire counter dedicated to a drying rack was driving us crazy. Omied found this dish drying rack that goes over your kitchen sink, and we’ve been so happy with it. It’s like we’ve been given the gift of an extra countertop, which when you have a small SF kitchen, is everything.
Those are all my tips on how to declutter fast! Especially if you’re living in a small apartment, getting creative with adding some storage to your space and little organization hacks here and there will make a huge difference. People always ask me how the heck I manage to store all the stuff I receive from PR packages as a blogger, and knowing how to declutter fast is how!
If you use any of these decluttering and organization tips, I’d love to know! Shoot me a note (my email address is elise [at] whatthefab.com) or slide into my DMs on Insta, @wtfab.
You can begin decluttering by picking one room to tackle in its entirety, whether it’s your bedroom, your bathroom, the kitchen, etc. Focus on one room at a time before moving on to the next.
Aim to declutter and purge at least once a year. For smaller spaces, twice a year may be necessary.
You’d be amazed how much lighter your home will feel after decluttering. It’s not just great for your cleaning up your physical space, but for your mood and mental health too.
You can add storage space to your apartment by thinking about what kind of furniture you can get that has shelves, cabinets or drawers built-in. You can also utilize wall space and add shelves or hanging organizers.