We live in a very modest one bedroom/one bathroom apartment. Tipping the scales at just 783 square feet, we have had to adjust with most of the “basics” and to get creative. We don’t have too much storage so we rely on our generous parents to help store some of the holiday decorations and out of season items. When it comes to Spring Cleaning we are both excited because it means time to clean and time to purge. The Beard is an avid cleaner and honestly enjoys a day off where he can clean our apartment. He can give Martha a run for her money!
Now that spring is upon us, we decided to tackle the chore of cleaning and reorganizing our little space. For all of the Spring Cleaning checklists that are out there, I didn’t find much that helped in the way of small spaces. Sure we can all afford to clean our windows, door hardware, oven and defrost the freezer. But what about those of us that need to reorganize our closet and move winter clothes out and summer clothes in? What do we do when there isn’t closet space and clothes need to come out? Or what about that extra bedding we need to switch out since the cold months have passed?
I decided it was the perfect time to get to thinking and come up with my own checklist. Of course there are the yearly routine things to do but then what about the extras? Take a look at some of the ideas I came up with.
By far the easiest room in the apartment (it’s also the smallest). This part of your living space should be the quickest to mark off your list.
The dreaded bedroom! This room is one I avoid because it needs non stop attention. While it may not be the most time consuming (the kitchen is in my opinion) it is very detailed. If you’re like us, you have to change out your cold weather bedding for your warm weather bedding. Then it’s time to tackle washing all the bed linens and things, which can take a few hours. After that it’s time to start on the dressers and closets. It really is key to take everything out of your drawers so you get a chance to refold, reorganize and pitch the things you don’t want.
My biggest problem – space saving! I don’t move too many clothes to storage but there are more dresses/skirts and lightweight tops that I pull out to be in my direct line of sight. Those extra pieces? I use SPACEBAGS! Seriously, this stuff is genius and the best product for small apartment dwellers like myself. We have extra bedding, winter coats, and heavier winter items stored in these bags under our bed. It tends to only take up half of the under bed space, and we’re left with more space if needed. My second trick – a hope chest in my closet. We got lucky in that our closets were deep enough to fit my hope chest. This guy houses extra bags, pillows, hats, odds and ends and other things that I want to access quicker than opening a SPACEBAG. At the end of the day, what I don’t wear, I donate. There is no use holding on to a sweater that I didn’t wear all summer only to take up more space and then not wear it again next winter.
I wish I could leave the kitchen for The Beard. Actually, I don’t think he would mind it. The Kitchen consumes most of your time and stress because there is so much! And think about all the times when you cook, and that mysterious spill occurs and you have no idea where the drips led too. It’s probably a good idea to find out and clean up the mess, even if it is months later. This is another area of the house where we need just a bit more space. Going through our cabinets, cleaning and reorganizing allowed us to reconfigure our stuff and make better use of the space we had.
Finally, the living room! If you’re anything luck us, you spend a lot of time in this room. Not only is it the place where we watch tv, but it’s a make shift office, library, dining room, and sometimes bedroom when we have our littlest friends over for a slumber party. This is the part of the apartment that gathers the most “crap” and needs to be tended too every week. Even with the constant upkeep, it needs a little extra love at the beginning of the spring. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to pull out your couch, vacuum behind it and find out what your cat has been hiding since Christmas. Be smart about how you use and maximize your space. Bins and baskets are a great way to hide the stuff you don’t use everyday but like to have handy (especially video games and dvd’s). Extra magazines lying around? Donate them or recycle them.
I hope this simple guide helps those of you that suffer with small space/square footage issues. Or even for those people that just need a little help in how to clean your space this spring. You never know what you’ll find when you’re cleaning out drawers and old purses…