How do you reclaim your space and get rid of the junk quickly? Try these five pro strategies to declutter your apartment in two weeks.

The average American apartment has just 941 square feet of living space, and units are only getting smaller with each passing year. But if you can’t resist a BOGO sale or to part with your past purchases, your tiny pad is likely a bit …


So how do you reclaim your space and get rid of the junk quickly?

Try these five pro strategies to declutter your apartment in two weeks.

The Peter Walsh’s 31 Days To Get Organized Challenge

Oprah called him “The Get Your Whole Life Organized Guy.” Rachael Ray dubbed him her “Organizing Buddy.” But professional organizer Peter Walsh’s resume goes well beyond his daytime TV appearances. 

He’s also the genius behind the wildly popular 31 Days To Get Organized Challenge. But if you’re inspired enough, you can tackle two or three of these tasks a day and finish the entire program in less than two weeks.

So how does the Peter Walsh method work?


Each day features a short video describing a clean-up challenge that should take about ten minutes to complete. Just set a timer on your phone, activate airplane mode, and dedicate the next ten minutes to nothing but cleaning!

The month-long challenge begins with cleaning any single drawer in your apartment — top drawer of your bathroom’s vanity, kitchen junk drawer, bedside table, etc.

As you slowly chip away at the mess, your mini-challenges will branch into other rooms and items you haven’t touched in months! Your paper, baking supplies, wallet, luggage, and everything else will be clutter-free in 31 days.

The KonMari Method

Marie Kondo is one of the most well-known professional organizers on the planet and the creator of the now-viral KonMari Method.

Instead of ridding your apartment of junk just for the sake of cleaning, Kondo’s process revolves around the spiritual connection to your items. 

Does it spark joy?

The slow-but-steady KonMari Method follows these steps:

1. Divide all items into categories (i.e., clothes, books, special items).
2. Moving from group to group, look through all similar items at once to decide which to discard and which to keep.
3. Further separate all items into smaller, more specific subcategories and repeat the previous steps.
4. Pick up each item and ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?”
5. If an item doesn’t spark joy, toss it into the donate/discard pile. If it does, return it to its rightful spot next to similar items.

Kondo’s approach is rather unconventional for one reason: instead of tidying up room by room, you’ll clean the entire apartment at once. That means tossing all of your clothes, papers, books, and more into separate piles and sifting through them in one go.

It’s the perfect cure to an unproductive, rainy weekend!

The Three-Box Method

The classic “three-box” method requires nothing more than three cardboard moving boxes (or plastic totes) and a whole lot of patience.

You’ll begin by attaching a Post-It note to each box with the following labels:

Put away
Give away
Throw away

Next, choose a cluttered room, plop those boxes down, and work your way from one end to the other. 

The put away box is for anything you plan to keep somewhere in the apartment. For example, the book series on the coffee table might belong on the bookshelf in the master bedroom.

The give away bin belongs to any items you no longer need, but others might find useful. This box comes in handy for gently used clothing, old DVDs, or outdated decor. Drop the entire box off at your local thrift shop.

The throw away box is for the things that are too damaged to donate or keep. Don’t forget to check your local recycling laws to determine which items you can trash and which can be upcycled later.

Move on to a new room whenever you have a few free hours to spare!

The Minimalism 90/90 Rule

This next clean-up method comes from The Minimalists, who you might recognize from their films Less Is Now and Minimalism, both available on Netflix.

The Minimalism 90/90 Rule requires you to go through your stash of items and ask yourself two questions:

1. Have you used this item in the last 90 days?
2. Will you use it in the next 90 days?

If you answer “yes” to either question, jot that down as a “keep.” Otherwise, the item is simply taking up space and adding clutter to your tiny apartment. Donate it to Goodwill or sell it on Facebook Marketplace instead!

Of course, this rule doesn’t apply to seasonal items like Christmas wreaths or Bermuda shorts. 

Oprah’s Backward Hanger Technique

The Backward Hanger Technique made its big debut on Oprah more than ten years ago and is still one of the best methods for decluttering messy closets.

Here’s how it works:

Rearrange all of your hangers to face the opposite direction. Then, return the hanger to its normal position whenever you pull out a fresh shirt or sweater.

After six months, you’ll discover that plenty of blouses and jackets are still facing the other way, meaning they went unworn for half a year! That’ll either inspire you to incorporate your old favorites into your wardrobe or donate and sell whatever you don’t wear.


Once that messy apartment is spotless, you’re ready to host Sunday brunches and casual get-togethers. Now, all that’s left is keeping it that way.

Follow these five tips for a clutter-free unit year-round:

1. Allow yourself 24–48 hours to decide if you really need something before adding it to your cart.
2. Assign every item in your home a spot, and return it to that spot after use.
3. Create and stick to a weekly cleaning schedule.
4. Rent or borrow before you buy, especially for big-ticket items you won’t regularly use (i.e., a steam cleaner or toolset).
5. Don’t buy new things unless you have somewhere to put them.

Set aside a weekend, choose a Spotify playlist, and start your clean-up!

Angus Flynn is the Business Manager for Chatham on Main. With over five years of experience in the multifamily housing industry, he is one of the most dedicated managers in his field. He loves to help others and takes great pride in working in a community that so many love to call home.