8 Hacks to Quickly Clean Your Apartment Before Moving Out


Trying to quickly clean your apartment before moving out doesn’t have to be a chore. 

Not only can decluttering make your move less stressful but cleaning your apartment can actually save you money.

It’s true: 

Usually, if you leave your apartment in super clean condition, you can earn your deposit back!

Most leasing companies and landlords reserve your initial deposit for cleaning and repair fees after you move out.

By cleaning it yourself, you save them money and time while getting back the cash you put down in the first place!

It’s a win-win situation, right?

So, for this Spruce Your Space post, we sat down with our friends at Berry Swift Cleaning for their most helpful apartment-cleaning hacks EVER.

Take note of these 8 expert-approved cleaning tips that will help you move fast—and get your deposit back—when you’re moving out of your apartment.

Table of Contents

1. Start With a Clean Canvas

You probably think starting with a “clean” canvas sounds like a contradiction, but it’s really not. 

Larger pieces of furniture, kid’s toys, shelves, and cabinets full of items you haven’t used in ages… 

Who wants to clean around all of that

It’s a recipe for disaster. (It makes it easy to lose all motivation, procrastinate, or totally skip cleaning altogether!) 

Instead, Berry Swift Cleaning recommends making sure you prepare to clean your apartment by removing all the clutter in the way.  

“Get everything out—including trash—before you start to clean,” says Jazzmine Berry, co-owner and Brand Ambassador for Berry Swift Cleaning.

This could mean doing a deep declutter or moving your furniture out completely.

And, you know who can help with that?

That’s right.

Movers.

So, first thing’s first: schedule your move a day or two before your apartment lease officially ends. 

Doing this will give you an extra 24 hours to deep-clean your apartment, request repairs, and leave everything a little better than you found it.

It’s much easier to clean your apartment after your furniture and any debris are gone. Plus, you can call maintenance to fix any minor dings or problems for FREE. 

  • You won’t be charged for damages…
  • You will (most likely) get your deposit back…
  • Your leasing office will be happy…

It’s a total win for everybody!  

You can space out your responsibilities rather than trying to clean at the same time as your move—an already super stressful day. 

Takeaway Hack:

Move out 1-2 days before your lease ends so you can clean and schedule apartment maintenance without anything around.

2. Completely Clean From Top to Bottom

Sure, this is an old saying, but Berry Swift advises you to take this advice as literally as possible: 

“Start at the top and work your way down,” Jazzmine says.

It seems obvious, but for people who hate cleaning or who get easily distracted or overwhelmed, it’s a great way to streamline and track what to clean next.

If you don’t find cleaning enjoyable on its own, scrubbing down your apartment before a move can be extra stress on top of an already hectic time. 

That’s why picking an area and cleaning it from top to bottom is so important. 

Chunking parts of a room into smaller, more manageable sections and cleaning it from top to bottom will help you:

  • Easily tackle dirty areas—even if they’re a huge mess
  • Ensure you don’t miss cleaning any spots before moving on to the next 
  • Manage your breaks, especially if you get interrupted or have helpers
  • Document any parts that need to be replaced or repaired (doorknobs, lights, stove drip pans, cabinets, etc.)

Even if you’re not sure how long it will take to clean your whole apartment, it’s so much better and faster to clean from top to bottom, one area at a time.

Takeaway Hack:

Focus on one area of your apartment at a time, and clean it from top to bottom before moving on.

3.  Cut Through Dusty Layers With a Dryer Sheet

What do mini-blinds, stove vents, air conditioner vents, cabinets, and baseboards have in common? 

First of all, they’re common areas where dust tends to accumulate. 

And when dust accumulates over long periods of time, it can tend to be a bit, well, greasy.

This is especially common in areas with higher levels of moisture (like bathrooms or kitchens). 

Gross, but true. 

It can also be pretty difficult to clean sticky dust, particularly if the thing you’re cleaning can’t be sprayed with liquid or a chemical. 

Yes, sprays are great for disinfecting, sanitizing, and imparting a fresh scent, but they just won’t do for certain areas. 

Sticky stove hood vents, dusty blinds, and furniture made from delicate, natural materials all need a different touch. 

In such places, Jazzmine recommends using dryer sheets to get rid of caked-on, dusty layers. 

“Try using a dryer sheet for dust, especially if it’s caked-on,” she says. 

“Especially for buildup on mini blinds, use dryer sheets. Dryer sheets also work for a buildup of grease on cabinets or stove covers!” 

Since dryer sheets are designed to reduce static and they’re coated with a thin layer of wax, they have the added bonus of actually repelling dust, too.

Try swiping a dryer sheet over areas that attract lots of dust, spattered oil, and pet hair. 

Places like electronics, corners, upholstery, shelves, and above-the-stove kitchen appliances are perfect spots.

Takeaway Hack:

Use dryer sheets to remove caked-on or greasy dust and pet hair.

4. Sweep Apartment Baseboards With a Broom

Jazzmine highly recommends using a stiff broom to clean baseboards. 

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a broom, but whatever you use should have stiff bristles. 

“Hand-wiping alone doesn’t work,” she explains. 

“Elbow grease is required to clean baseboards in your apartment. If baseboards need to be wiped down after dusting, you can use water and mild soap and clean them.”

Just don’t be too overzealous when trying this hack…

The stiffer the bristle, the more damage you risk on painted baseboards. 

Brooms typically aren’t coarse enough to scratch through paint. 

You should still be wary of the potential for paint damage if you use anything stiffer than a broom to clean baseboards.

If you rub or sweep too vigorously with a rigid brush, it could scrub off the paint. In turn, you’d have to call maintenance to quickly paint it before you move.

A move is enough to worry about. 

So, you definitely don’t want a lot of avoidable mistakes when cleaning your apartment before moving day. 

Try not to be too rough on your baseboards with this hack.

Takeaway Hack:

Gently clean the baseboards in your apartment with a broom, then wipe down with soap and water.

5. Take Advantage of a Self-Cleaning Oven, (or Use This DIY Recipe Instead)

When’s the last time you even thought about cleaning your oven? 

(Yes, your oven needs to be cleaned, too!)

Jazzmine admits that this hack is more akin to a reminder, but only because so few people actually recall to do it before moving out of their apartment.

“Self-cleaning ovens offer a lot of convenience,” she stresses, “Oven cleaner isn’t required!” 

Lack a self-cleaning feature on your apartment oven and don’t have any oven cleaner?

Berry Swift Cleaning even has a remedy for that.

“Even if you don’t have a self-cleaning oven, you can remove gunk at home,” Jazzmine says.

Below is her do-it-yourself solution for a greener style of oven cleaner:

  1. Mix 1 part baking soda with 1 part dish soap
  2. Spread it all over the interior of your oven, especially on the inner door
  3. Scrub off with a rough sponge or scouring pad  
  4. Wipe it off again using a microfiber cloth and white vinegar

Let’s be honest, it’s also a great idea to clean your oven before in your new place, too. 

I mean, who knows how many years’ worth of splattered food particles is in there?!

Takeaway Hack:

Use the self-cleaning setting on your apartment oven, or clean it with a #DIY baking soda + dish soap + vinegar recipe!

6. Remove Everything From Your Fridge Before Cleaning It

If you’re planning to move out of your apartment, you will probably already have a plan for clearing out your refrigerator and consuming your most perishable food. 

But cleaning the actual fridge isn’t necessarily something you think about before moving out of your apartment.

It’s also one of the dirtiest areas for food spills, odors, and more. 

If you don’t clean it, someone else will have to, and that’s what your deposit is for.

But if your goal is to get your deposit back, don’t stop at packing up your food when it comes to your apartment fridge.

Luckily, our friends at Berry Swift Cleaning have a hack to keep it simple:

“Refrigerator cleaning is easiest if you remove all the food first,” Jazzmine advises. “Fill up your sink with soapy water to instantly remove, wash and dry each shelf as you go!”

Next, all you have to do is individually wash the shelves, drawers, and remaining caddies with a degreasing soap.

Simply dry the pieces with a microfiber cloth and place them back into the refrigerator. 

You’re done!

Takeaway Hack:

After tossing or packing your food, remove all drawers and shelves from the refrigerator for a more thorough clean.

7. Get Your Carpet Professionally Cleaned

We love fur babies and kids here at 3 Men Movers!

Yet, for all their endearing charm, they can absolutely be messy

If you have children or pets, chances are that you’ve had at least few carpet mishaps.

For pet-parents who live in apartments, you’ve often paid the risk to your apartment upfront with a separate, pricey pet deposit… 

A deposit that exists largely to assume there will be animal-related damage to your flat.

And if they’ve ever left a lingering stain or odor, you’ll definitely be charged for it.

Even excessive pet hair can cost you (and we all know how notoriously pet hair clings to everything no matter what.)

In this case, the best and easiest remedy is to get your carpet professionally cleaned. 

You can certainly do it yourself, but it may be more trouble than it’s worth if you’re trying to simultaneously take care of other pre-move errands…

  • You’d be responsible for renting, maneuvering, and returning any equipment you borrow within the same day… 
  • Plus, it may not be readily available during peak moving season—meaning you could have to wait… 
  • Then, you’ll still have to remove any stubborn stains, odors, or pet hair from the carpet on your own if the rented equipment doesn’t work well enough. 

Not good if you’re on a tight moving schedule!

The good news is that professional cleanings are very affordable and include much more than just a vacuum and shampoo of your carpet.

For example, Berry Swift Cleaning offers a package that will handle 100% of your apartment cleaning needs for under $200. 

It’s a fantastic deal if you don’t have the time to personally clean your apartment before moving out.

Takeaway Hack:

Hire a team to professionally clean carpet to remove stubborn stains, odor, and pet hair.

8. Check the Most Forgettable Areas of Your Apartment

Finally, Berry Swift Cleaning suggests you make a special effort to check the most forgettable areas in your apartment. 

By that, they mean the spots most people completely forget to clean when moving out of their apartments.

The top places most people forget to clean before moving out are:

  1. Top shelves in closets
  2. Bathroom drawers, shelves, and medicine cabinets 
  3. The warming drawer at the bottom of your oven (which often doubles as extra kitchen storage)

Except for the bathroom drawers, these areas also tend to gather the most dust, and—for those with pets—hair, as well. 

It’s important to check them not only so you don’t leave anything behind when moving, but also to clean any grime that’s accumulated over the long term.

Takeaway Hack:

As you clean around your apartment, make sure to open drawers, cabinets, and closets in your bedroom, bathroom & kitchen. This will *visually* remind you to clean them.

Wrapping Up

Now that you’ve got some quick tips on the best ways to clean your apartment, you’ll be ready to move in no time!

Still need some guidance on how to get started? 

We recommend decluttering before you start cleaning. It will help you avoid getting too overwhelmed by trying to clean around items that you should discard.

Get ready to have less stress on your moving day (and more money in your pocket) with these 8 handy hacks for cleaning your apartment!

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Savvy Ways to Maximize Your Apartment Furnishing Budget


Here’s a secret: you actually don’t have to stress about your apartment furnishing budget. 

We’ve already detailed how much it costs to furnish an apartment, and there are lots of ways to maximize your furniture budget even if you can’t exactly stretch it.

In this post, we’ll cover:

  • How and where to get the quality furnishings you need, (all while saving money) 
  • Factors that heavily influence your apartment furniture budget
  • The best way to hack these influences so you maximize your budget

If you’re on a tight budget for your apartment furniture, or if you have limited space, your money has to go far for everything you buy. Each piece needs to be functional and, basically, worth it.

Here’s exactly how you can maximize your budget to furnish an apartment that you’ll love! 

Table of Contents

5 Ways to Maximize Your Apartment Budget, Get Furniture You Really Need, & Spend Less

1. Use what you already have

The biggest way to stay in control of your apartment furniture budget is to use what you—or family and friends—already have.

Items that you probably already have (and don’t have to buy) can include:

  • Towels/washcloths
  • Bedding/pillows
  • Laundry hamper
  • Clothing hangers

Common items you can ask family/friends for in your new apartment:

  • Flatware 
  • Kitchen dish towels
  • Unwanted plates or glassware
  • Cookware, gadgets, pots & pans
  • Console tables (these can get pricey)
  • Dressers
  • Storage boxes
  • Shelves/Bookshelves
  • Small cooking appliances
  • Unwanted TVs in great condition

Furniture pieces you can get at thrift or consignment stores for under $1,000:

  • Tables
  • Bed Frames
  • Any seating without fabric or cushioning (to avoid insect pests)
  • Shelves & storage boxes
  • TV console/entertainment centers
  • Plates
  • Dressers
  • Planters for your patio or indoor plants
  • Home decorations
  • Wall art
  • Lamps

Apartment furnishings that you can buy brand new for well under $1,000:

  • Sofas/sectionals
  • Bath towels + washcloths
  • Bed linens + pillows
  • Mattresses (get on sale, especially the kind that doesn’t need a box spring)
  • Televisions (look for Black Friday deals or new open box items at Best Buy) 

2. Give your apartment furniture budget a reasonable cap

Once you’re sure you need to move, your next step is to start your budget planning process.

Essentially, give yourself a reasonable limit based on how much you’re willing to spend and the average cost of similar furniture pieces. 

For obvious reasons, this has to be centered around what you can afford.

$1,000? $3,000? $6,000? 

Whatever your budget cap is, make sure it’s within your reach after factoring in all related moving and rent expenses. 

3. Create a comprehensive budget that includes every furniture piece

You need a budget to be able to maximize it in the first place, right?

So, here’s how to furnish your apartment using an actual budget:

  1. Make a list with 2 columns: what you need to buy vs. what you already have 
  2. Create a spreadsheet of options for everything under the ‘Need to Buy’ section and their prices by store 
  3. Find the total cost for purchasing at each store (a simple Google search can turn up items at nearby or online stores, or use our list!)
  4. Calculate how much you have saved vs. the cost of the items at each store

How to Use the Apartment Essentials Budget Sheet

  1. Click the link below to open the Google Sheet.
  2. Simply go to File > Make a copy. This will automatically add the copy to your Google Drive.
  3. Or, you can download it as an Excel (.xlsx) file!
  4. After that, it’s yours to edit as needed. 

It’s super easy to come up with a quick budget for your apartment furniture—no sweat.

4. Buy your apartment essentials first

What good is a beautiful centerpiece or vase if you don’t have a table to sit and eat on?

Unless you absolutely fall in love with a decorative piece, focus on getting the essentials first. Your budget will go a much longer way.

Yes, it’s a master exercise in patience to wait to buy the little knick-knacks that make your apartment feel personal. 

However, by getting your core essentials, it’s likely that you’ll buy decor pieces that you actually love on their own merit—you know, without focusing on interior design trends. 

Remember, you can always get fancy later!

5. Shop seasonally for apartment furniture

You can easily stay under budget if you know the best seasons to purchase your apartment furniture

Sales in the furniture industry mostly follow a seasonal, bi-annual schedule. 

To get the best deals on furnishings, try shopping during one of the following times:  

  • When retailers are getting rid of last season’s inventory prior to bringing in new furniture
  • When there is a holiday or special event sale coming (even if it’s a major competitor’s event, they’ll usually price-match pieces)

Here’s a guide to the best times of year to buy furniture:

Types of Furniture:

Best Times to Buy:

Indoor Furniture

January-February & July-August

Outdoor Furniture

Winter months (can vary by location)

Office Furniture

August-September (during back-to-school season)

Mattresses

3-day weekends & holiday weekends (e.g. Independence Day, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, etc.)

Televisions

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and in weeks leading up to Super Bowl Sunday

Electronics

July-August, November-December

Appliances & Kitchen gadgets

Late September-October, Black Friday, Cyber Monday 

General Furniture & Decor

Amazon Prime Day & Wayfair’s Way Day (competitors will usually price match)

As an alternative, you can always shop at thrift stores or garage sales, too! If you love a bargain, that may be a better option than buying brand-new items. 

Newer and pricier decor doesn’t necessarily equal top quality. 

So, buy furniture that piques your interest—not someone else’s.

6. Buy smaller pieces in sets

When you’re looking at the smaller items you’ll need to buy for an apartment—like kitchen utensils, chairs, garbage cans, end tables, lamps, etc.—you’ll often need more than one piece.

Even if you found a standalone lamp that you like, you’ll probably need two if they’re both going in your living room. 

So, why not buy in pairs? 

The cost is often substantially lower than buying individual pieces.

Take cooking tools for example: 

Instead of buying each spatula, tong, and serving spoon separately, get a set that includes them all. Heck, sometimes you’ll even find a set with the utensil holder included. You’ll inevitably need all of these items in your kitchen anyway, so you might as well purchase a set when possible. 

Not only will buying items in sets help maximize your budget, but you’ll also save lots of time that’s normally spent shopping around.

Top 3 Factors That Make or Break Your Apartment Furniture Budget

Even if you have a budget, your spending can easily get out of hand if you’re not careful. 

(This is especially true if you tend to have shiny object syndrome or love to shop.)

If you’re looking to furnish your apartment for cheap, get familiar with the factors that can maximize or break your budget. 

For example, if your personal style is more glam or trendy than rustic or Scandinavian, you may have a harder time staying under budget because trendier décor tends to cost more due to demand.  (Think: Z Gallerie modern glam look vs. IKEA functional minimalism.)

Additionally, if you’re spending only a few months to one year in your new apartment, or if you’re saving up for a house, you may not feel the need to invest in high-end or heavy, solid pieces which often cost more. 

How much it will cost to fully furnish your apartment depends on several factors:

#1- Your Style Preferences

Some people prefer IKEA while others fawn over Z Gallerie or Pottery Barn. 

While each has its own merits, they’re clearly in different price ranges.

Your personal tastes will have a huge impact on how much you’re willing to save or stretch your apartment furniture budget…

But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to expand your furniture-buying options by:

  • Doing your research to catch a local sale. Signing up for their email list can often get you at least 10% off. 
  • Browsing furniture consignment shops, membership wholesalers (e.g. Sam’s, Costco), or outlets
  • Saving your online favorites to get alerts when they’re on sale using Shoptagr (now, Karma) or Honey
  • Finding gently-used options on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or neighborhood garage sales
  • Checking out Etsy, Overstock, or flash-sale sites like Gilt and Nordstrom Rack Home

Pro Tip: 

No matter what your favorite furniture style is, look for deals whenever possible!

Always sign up for the company’s texts/emails.

You’ll be alerted when there’s a sale, and you’ll typically get a first-time buyer discount. 

#2- Where you buy your apartment furniture

The stores where you purchase your apartment furniture often use mass-produced pieces from third parties, then markup the price and rename the piece so it can’t be easily identified. 

But now there are direct-to-consumer (DTC) companies that cut out the middleman. Even better: some of them offer design services, too!  

Despite the upfront sticker shock, DTC furniture brands will save you cash in the long run. 

You can save thousands of dollars by furniture shopping with a DTC company.

Just be aware that some DTC brands don’t always have super flexible delivery options.

And, if a design team is involved, you’ll also have to make time to communicate with them about your needs. 

For the time-strapped, this still beats finding every piece by yourself through hours of internet research or weekend store trips!

If you’re a busy workaholic or non-creative type who craves a chic-looking apartment, you’ll love having your furniture and interior design needs bundled into the same deal!

Our picks for top DTC furniture brands and furnishing design services:

  • Furnishr. Work with experts to fully design and furnish any apartment size.
  • Modsy. Starts from $159-$499/room, or $299 for multiple rooms.
  • Havenly. Starts at $129 for decorating from scratch + 0% APR financing via Affirm.
  • Article. Sells furniture, but also offers from-scratch interior design.
  • Burrow. Durable + luxury-focused. USA-made and affordable with plenty of unique patents pending.
  • Interior Define. Chic meets mid-century modern. They’ve got an Austin-based shop and a virtual room in Houston.
  • Inside Weather. Sustainable pieces are made-to-order by California artisans who use upcycled plastic 
  • Maidenhome. Superb quality pieces by the world-renowned furniture craftsmen of North Carolina + lifetime cushion warranties.
  • Sabai. Cozy, sustainable seating with affordable repair pieces & a waste-busting trade-in program that sells refurbished pieces up to 30% off original pricing.
  • The Inside. Be your own designer and customize your fabrics on everything from sofas to peel & stick wallpaper.
  • Albany Park. What’s not to love about designer pieces in apartment-friendly boxes, plus easy assembly and a 30-day warranty?!

Pros & cons of buying furniture from local retailers:

If you prefer the idea of choosing a local furniture retail shop, you’ll probably have a lot more style options.

However, your pieces may not arrive all at once.  And, of course, there’s the drawback of having to look for it all on your own. 

Be aware that delivery fees can vary widely. Local retailers might charge anywhere from $0-$300 for delivery, not including the markup of furniture itself. 

Assembly of your new furniture may or may not be included, so consult the store to be certain. 

#3- How long you’ll live in your new apartment

Moving into an apartment for the short term? 

You probably won’t want to make a big investment in super high-end furniture and lots of decorations. 

In that case, your budget will probably be substantially lower than if you’re moving into a new apartment for your long-term dream job.

Consider renting furniture or possibly even choosing a fully furnished apartment. 

Heck, even an extended stay hotel can be cheaper if you’re moving for a temporary job and want to maximize your salary. 

If you’re moving temporarily and don’t have an extra $5,000-$6,000 to spend on furnishing an apartment, it may be cheaper for you to choose a temporary or extended stay hotel. 

You could pay thousands of dollars less in an extended-stay suite instead of paying for apartment rent, furniture, and utilities. 

Plus, there are a lot fewer headaches you’ll have in a temporary stay hotel, like:

  • Paying for utilities, WiFi, & cable
  • Lugging your clothes to a communal laundromat
  • Cleaning up; many hotels have a daily housekeeper
  • Having a lease

Just note that this option is most financially worthwhile if you plan to move someplace new from one month to a year.  

Wrapping Up

Creating your furniture budget doesn’t have to be super time-consuming. 

Now that you know how to set your apartment furnishing budget and maximize it, you can get to the fun part—decorating!

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How Much It Really Costs to Furnish Your First Apartment


Furnishing your apartment can be both amazing and nerve-wracking—especially when you’re trying to keep costs relatively low.

So where do you start?

What is it that you do and don’t need to be comfy in your new space?

How do you stay within your budget and on-trend?

Regardless of whether it’s your first or your fifth apartment, as movers, we realize that everyone’s furniture needs will differ depending on the reasons for moving.

So no, this isn’t a one-size-fits-all guide to furnishing your new apartment, because we know that your lifestyle needs are unique.

Even better: this Spruce Your Space post will help you create a plan and better understand the costs involved for every piece of your essential apartment furniture budget.

Table of Contents
 
 
 

 

How to Easily Furnish Your Apartment: Here’s What You Actually Need

Sure you’ll need a toolset (with a hammer, nails, drill, and screwdriver), but that’s a given. 

Here’s everything you may or may not have thought about getting in your new apartment—including what you do and don’t need right away.

 Basics: What You Absolutely Need to Settle In

Not only will you feel incomplete without these pieces of furniture in your apartment, but you may be in a bind. 

(After all, where the heck are you supposed to eat if you don’t have any seating or a table?) 

Here are the definite must-haves you’ll need in your new apartment:

  • At least one table (for eating/sitting)
  • At least two chairs 
  • At least 1 lamp each for living room & bedroom (in case of poor lighting)
  • Television (only if you watch TV)
  • TV stand (if you have a TV)
  • Sleeper sofa, loveseat, or sectional (depending on your living room space)
  • At least 1 nightstand
  • Clothing dresser
  • Standing wardrobe closet or rack (for lofts or studios)
  • Extension cords (handy for adding flexible lighting or electronics)
  • Bed frame (possibly with a box spring)
  • Clothing hangers
  • Mattress + pillows
  • Bedding with duvet/comforter + pillowcases
  • Extra bathroom storage drawers (especially if you have roommates or lack linen space)
  • Pots & pans
  • Cutlery 
  • Cooking utensils (measuring cups, tongs, spatulas, etc.)
  • Food storage containers
  • Kitchen dish towels & cleaning cloths
  • Cleaning tools & disinfectants for kitchen & bathroom
  • 2 trash cans (one each for your bathroom & kitchen)
  • Dishes, glasses & flatware
  • A dish rack (if you don’t have a dishwasher)
  • A microwave (if it’s not included)
  • Shower curtain + liner
  • Washcloths
  • Hand towels + bath towels

 

Nice-to-Haves: What You Can Splurge on Now or Get a Bit Later

No, you don’t have to have these items as soon as you move in… But, they’ll instantly make you feel more comfortable and right at home. 

When the timing is perfect for you and your budget, you’ll want to grab these pieces to completely furnish your apartment:

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Broom + dustpan
  • Barstools or extra chairs for a kitchen/dining area 
  • Oven mitts
  • Paper towel stand
  • Mixing bowls
  • Kitchen rug (memory foam or flat-weave)
  • Extra kitchen storage (baskets, under-cabinet shelves, and racks, etc.)
  • Curtains (nice, but not essential since most units already have blinds)
  • Coffee table
  • Living room area rug
  • 1-2 accent chairs (ya’ know, for company)
  • Working desk + chair
  • Bookshelf/storage
  • End tables (at least 2 for living room)
  • TV entertainment center (the kind with storage shelves)
  • 4 lamps (2 table lamps/1 floor lamp for the living room and 2 for your bedroom nightstands)
  • Floor-length mirror (once you have one, you’ll never go back)
  • 2 nightstands (if you want storage or lamps on both sides of your bed)
  • Bathroom caddy for toiletries, toothbrushes, etc.
  • Bathroom mats (memory foam is the best)
  • Balcony/patio furniture
  • LED lightbulb replacements (to save on your electricity bill)
  • Home décor & wall art 

 

How to Know What You’ll Spend on Apartment Furniture

It will cost the average person anywhere between $2,930 to over $5,000 to fully furnish an apartment with just the basics, even for first-timers—according to design & furniture brand, Furnishr.com.

And that’s not even saying much about the quality or longevity of your chosen furniture!

Figuring out how much you can expect to spend on furnishing your apartment is actually very personal

In fact, your apartment budget largely depends on several factors:

  • Your style preferences. Champagne taste? That means you’ll have to get creative—and zero in on furniture sales or consignment shops.
  • Your budget. This is—regardless of your style—what you can actually afford without racking up credit card debt.  
  • What you need + Where you’ll buy it. Already have furniture and only need certain pieces? You can snag discounted items from IKEA, HomeGoods, Ross or TJ Maxx. But, starting from scratch means you’ll need a lot more, so consider direct-to-consumer companies that will save you money by nixing the middleman. 
  • How long you’ll live in your apartment. Unlike temporary stays, long-term living means you’ll need to invest in better pieces to be comfortable. No matter your budget or length of your lease, stick with furniture that makes you feel cozy. 
  • The size of your apartment. You can’t fit as much furniture in a studio or loft as a 1-2 bedroom apartment. The smaller your apartment is, the more multifunctional furniture you’ll need to maximize limited space.
  • Whether you have children or dependents. If the person you’re living with is financially dependent on you (like a child) you may be responsible for at least some of their furniture—if not all of it. That’s something else you’ll need to factor in when budgeting for bedroom furniture or bathroom storage & linens.

 

6 Places You Can Shop to Buy Everything for Your New Apartment

As shocking as it seems, Target isn’t the top place most people turn to furnish their household. 

According to Statista, the top-ranked furniture retailers since 2019 are:

  1. Ashley HomeStore
  2. Amazon 
  3. IKEA
  4. Williams-Sonoma (its furniture subsidiaries are: Williams-Sonoma Home, West Elm, & Pottery Barn)
  5. Wayfair

Naturally, the top furniture retailers are going to be the most competitive in pricing and price-matching.

And that’s a good thing for you!

Price-matching and comparison-shopping are 2 key methods to help you stay on budget when furnishing your apartment. 

BUT, you’ll still want to save as much money as possible for your other moving expenses. Buying items in sets will really help you stay on track.

In our apartment furnishing breakdown, we’ll go room-by-room and factor in a lot of furniture sets to help your budget.

 

What Can You Expect to Spend on Essential Furniture for an Apartment? Here’s a Room-by-Room Breakdown!

Now that you’re clear on the basics and nice-to-haves you’ll need in your apartment, how much can you expect to spend?  

Next, let’s compare prices for essential apartment furnishings between 2 of these popular stores, plus a trusty favorite:

  • Overstock- an enormous marketplace that basically throws sale alerts and discounts at you (in a good way.)
  • Wayfair- seems like every Instagram home decor influencer has this retailer as a favorite for furniture & home décor.
  • Ashley HomeStore- they’re everywhere and great for shopping in person. 

To be mindful of your budget, we’ll focus on sets, which help you maximize your time and your money. 

By the end, you’ll have a better idea of what you can expect to spend and how to set your budget accordingly.

Before we breakdown the cost to furnish each room of your apartment from these 3 stores, let’s note a few things:

  1. This is NOT an endorsement nor review of any of these products. We haven’t tried them and they’re for illustrative purposes only.    
  2. Prices are accurate at the time of publishing this piece. And, they don’t include taxes. You can definitely find these items or alternatives for less or more, depending on when you shop and if you have a discount code. Based on that, please take these numbers as pre-tax estimates.
  3. Discounts will lower these totals, but the prices below do not include extra discounts. We ABSOLUTELY encourage you to sign up on these sites’ email/ text lists and social media pages to catch great offers and coupon codes!
  4. We tried balancing the furniture picks evenly between the following factors: a substantial number of great reviews/ratings, reasonable price points, or multi-piece sets to maximize your apartment furnishing budget. So while some pieces may not be the cheapest, they have higher rates of customer satisfaction.

 

Kitchen + Dining Area Essentials 

These days, most apartment kitchens have appliances like dishwashers, microwaves, and refrigerators (and of course, a stove). Luckily, you’ll often only have to worry about buying your cooking utensils and seating. 

Many apartments may or may not have an available kitchen island that can double as bar seating. If that’s the case, you don’t necessarily need a table (unless you just want one.) 

Regardless of whether you have a kitchen bar, some places actually have space for a dining table, while others won’t. 

If your place lacks a bar or island, you’ll definitely need a table with chairs—but not necessarily one that’s big enough for a traditional dining room in a house.  

Look out for dining sets, which include the tables and the chairs, or at least a pair of dining chairs sold together. 

For smaller apartments that barely have a distinct dining area, check out bistro-style table sets that are small, circular, and usually include 2 chairs. You’ll maximize your budget this way, even if it seems like a lot upfront.

  Overstock Ashley HomeStore Wayfair
Dining table set $516.37 (5 pcs.) $479.99 (5 pcs. + storage) $649.99 (5 pcs.)
Dishware $83.99 (16 pcs. serves 4) $91.99 (16 pcs. serves 4) $59.99 (12 pcs. serves 4)
Flatware/Silverware $51.49 (40 pcs.) $73.99 (20 pcs.) $29.99 (16 pcs.)
Glassware $24.99 (16 pcs.) $55.99 (6 pcs., for adult beverages or water) $29.99 (16 pcs.)
Food storage containers $35.99 (24 pcs.) $27.99 (14 pcs.) $41.50 (10 pcs.)
Pots & pans $159.95 (11 pcs.) $112.99 (12 pcs + cooking tools) $199.99 (20 pcs. + bakeware)
Basic cooking utensils $39.99 (24 pcs.) $27.99 (6 pcs.) $49.99 (12 pcs.)
Knives/Cutlery $79.00 (13 pcs.) $29.99 (10 pcs. + cutting board) $101.90 (12 pcs. + block)
Garbage can $134.99 (13 gal. & 2.5 gal., touchless, odor control. Use 2.5 gal for your bathroom!) $80.99 (30L & 3L; use the 3L for your bathroom!) $53.99 (30L & 8 gal.; use the 8 gal size for your bathroom!)
Totals $1,086.77 $953.92 $1,221.59
Total cost to furnish apartment kitchen

Living Room Essentials

The furniture you’ll need in the living room area will vary depending on the layout of your apartment, but be prepared to spend $$$ if you want it to look nice and cozy.

For example, studio and loft-style apartments lack a defined sleeping space. 

If you’re moving into one of these, you’ll probably want more flexible options like a sleeper sofa, or a loveseat plus a room divider to section off your bed for privacy. 

In these cases of limited space, having a lift-top coffee table is ideal so your living room can double as an instant workspace or eating spot. 

Have a roomier apartment with a bigger living room?

You can play around with more traditional-style coffee tables. Or, consider getting an ottoman that offers a place to kick up your feet or extra hidden storage.

If you’re the type who can live without end tables (or simply don’t have the room) then save your money. 

However, if you like the idea of having extra space for a drink or décor, then look into coffee table set that includes two side tables. You’ll get what you want at the most bang for your buck.

Sounds bonkers, but, A LOT of people are ditching TV in favor of their smart devices.  

TV prices can also vary wildly depending on various factors and highly personal reasons. For these reasons, we didn’t include a ballpark cost for buying a television. 

But, we did include the cost for purchasing an entertainment center or TV console. 

Regardless of what kind of TV you buy, you’ll need a place to store it. Mostly because it’s a major headache to try and mount a TV in an apartment on your own. 

Plus, it may not be allowed. And who wants to deal with damages?

With the calculations below, you’ll at least have an idea of how much a media center costs to house your television, should you choose to buy one at all. 

Since the furniture in your living area will vary so much, take the totals below with a grain of salt.

For example, if you have a studio or loft apartment you may opt for a lift-top coffee table. 

Conversely, you may want a roomier storage ottoman or larger coffee table if you have a bigger apartment living room. 

So, in the chart below, we included the estimated cost range of furnishing your apartment living room based on recommendations for your space. 

Totals include the price ranges of furnishing either a small studio/loft living room, or a larger apartment living room.

Ultimately, the cost of furnishing your apartment living room will be based on the style, quality, and lifestyle fit you prefer.

  Overstock Ashley HomeStore Wayfair
Lift-top coffee table (for smaller/studio living rooms) $199.99 $197.99 $319.99
Sleeper sofa (for studio/loft apartments) $819.99 (full to queen-size futon) $1,039.99 (seats 2 + chaise; queen-size sleeper) $919.99 (seats 2; queen-size sleeper)
Storage ottoman (for larger living rooms) $177.74 (Flip-top with tray) $399.99 $159.99
Sectional sofa (for larger living rooms) $1,351.34 (seats 3 + chaise) $1,679.99 (power reclining + chaise) $1,199.99 (removable & reversible cushions
Floor lamp $95.99 $88.99 $108.99
TV console/ entertainment center $219.99 $759.99 $839.99
Total Cost Range $1,335.96–$1,845.06 $2,086.96$2,928.96 $2,188.96$2,308.96
Studio/Loft Totals $1,335.96 $2,086.96 $2,188.96
Larger Living Rm. Totals $1,845.06 $2,928.96 $2,308.96
Total cost to furnish apartment living room

Bedroom Essentials

Ah, the sweet escape of your bedroom. If you’re going to be comfortable anywhere, it needs to be here. So don’t be afraid to invest well in your bedroom pieces

As far as mattresses are concerned, these are also highly personal based on your own likes/dislikes and needs. Costs for mattresses will range so widely depending on not only your own preferences, but also the brand, construction, and size. 

Naturally, the mattress costs also mostly depend on what you can actually fit into your apartment space—whether it’s a studio or multi-bedroom.

So no, we didn’t include the price for a mattress in our calculations below because there’s no way to choose between them all for you. 

However, according to the Sleep Foundation, you can expect to pay anywhere between $250-$3000+ for a mattress.

An excellent, cushy mattress doesn’t have to blow your budget, either! 

It’s a little-known fact that you can negotiate and price-match at most mattress stores, and we totally encourage you to! Sometimes they’ll throw in a free pillow. 

For this reason, we didn’t add pillows in the mix, but you absolutely need to have it on your shopping list. 

In fact, we encourage you to buy pillows and sheets at a brick-and-mortar store. Why?

The last thing you want to do is order exciting new bedding, only to have to return it later because it’s super uncomfortable.

You can avoid this by shopping around in person to touch and feel the pillows in the packaging. 

You’ll get a much better idea of whether a pillow is truly perfect for making your new apartment bedroom comfy. 

If you need new bedroom furniture for your apartment and are on a budget, we definitely suggest getting a set whenever possible. 

That means, at minimum, you’ll get a dresser, at least 1 nightstand, plus a bedframe all for one price

Just be sure to check if the bed frame requires a box spring for your mattress, because that could mean an added expense.

  Overstock Ashley HomeStore Wayfair
Laundry hamper $49.99 (3-bag sorter, rolling hamper) $29.99 (hamper with lid) $35.99 (rolling hamper)
Table lamp set $67.99 (2 pcs.) $133.99 (2 pcs.) $117.56 (2 pcs.)
Bedroom set $941.99 (queen bed, night stand, & chest $1,317.95 (queen bed + storage drawers, mirrored dresser, 2 nightstands) $1,369.97 (queen bed, mirrored dresser, 2 nightstands)
Clothes hangers $48.99 (100 pcs.) $29.99 (25 pcs.) $39.99 (100 pcs.)
Totals $1,108.96 $1,511.92 $1,563.51
Total cost to furnish apartment bedroom

Bathroom Essentials

Good news: 

Furnishing your bathroom is simple and straightforward. 

You will undoubtedly spend less on items for your bathroom compared to any other room of your apartment!

Depending on how much space you have in your apartment bathroom, you may need to buy a  small cabinet or drawers to store things like cleaning products, cosmetics, etc. 

If your space is limited, remember to always go upward in terms of the kinds of storage solutions you get. That means investing in shelves, tiered drawers, racks (even under the bathroom sink), etc.

All apartments will have a rack for rolls of toilet paper installed on the side of a wall or cabinet. So, although some people claim it’s a necessity when you move into an apartment, you don’t need a toilet paper stand. 

Not yet anyway… 

Unless you share your apartment bathroom with others or are the type who regularly ends up stranded during #2 without TP within arm’s reach. (In that case, PLEASE get one!)

But for now, you can do without and put that money where you really need it. 

You’ll need the following essentials, and as we’ve said before, it’s best to grab them in sets so you spend less and have fewer things to shop around for.

  Overstock Ashley HomeStore Wayfair
Plunger $49.99 (with toilet brush) $27.99 (no toilet brush included) $39.99 (with toilet brush)
Bathroom rug set $44.98 (2 pcs.; memory foam) $52.99 (2 pcs.) $47.99 (2 pcs.; memory foam)
Shower curtain (no liner) $29.98 $35.99 $54.99
Bath towels + washcloth set $35.10 (6 pcs.) $40.99 (6 pcs.) $47.99 (10 pcs.)
Small garbage can Nothing if you bought the set. (13 gal. & 2.5 gal., touchless, odor control. Use 13 gal for your kitchen!) Nothing if you bought the set.  (30L & 3L. Use the 30L for your kitchen!) Nothing if you bought the set. (30L & 8 gal. Use the 30L for your kitchen!)
Totals $160.05 $157.96 $190.96
Total cost to furnish apartment bathroom

So, How Much Does It Cost To Furnish Your Entire Apartment From Scratch?

Now that you’re clear on the ballpark costs involved to furnish each room of your apartment, let’s total it up by store based on the previous charts:

  Overstock.com Ashley HomeStore Wayfair
Studio/Loft $3,691.74 $4,710.76 $5,165.02
1-bedroom apartment $4,200.84 $5,552.76 $5,285.02
Cost of furnishing a studio & 1-bd apartment from scratch

Prefer rounder numbers?

Check out these estimates of how much you can spend at each store to furnish an apartment from scratch:

  • Expect to spend around $3,700 to $4,200 to furnish a studio to 1-bedroom apartment using Overstock.com
  • Expect to spend around $4,700 to $5,500 to furnish a studio to 1-bedroom apartment using Ashley HomeStore
  • Expect to spend around $5,200 to $5,300 to furnish a studio to 1-bedroom apartment using Wayfair.com

Wrapping Up

Whew, that was a lot to cover!

Now that you know:

  • Exactly what you’ll need right away in your apartment
  • What you don’t need to rush out and buy right away
  • General factors that impact your apartment furnishing budget
  • Your different options for buying new apartment furniture
  • The ballpark amounts you can expect to spend per room

…you’re ready to get to the fun part and start making your new apartment feel like home!

If the above retailers don’t really suit your taste, take heart!

We cover higher-quality, USA-based furniture options that cut the middleman and save you money in our next post. Plus, you’ll learn savvy ways to maximize your furniture budget.

How do you feel about buying furniture for your apartment now?

Did you find this post helpful? Share it with a friend, or tag us in your new apartment pics on the ‘gram (@3menmovers)!

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62 Easy, Room-by-Room Decluttering Tips to Refresh Your Home + [CHECKLIST]


Wondering how to declutter every room of your home? 

Are you overwhelmed with where to start first? 

Decluttering your room is an essential part of spring cleaning which instantly makes you feel better and makes your home look better. 

Although it’s frustrating, decluttering room-by-room is your ideal first step before scrubbing down your place. Once you’re done, you’ll have more space and fewer items to clean up or around.  

In this Spruce Your Space post, we’ve got you covered with a guide on how to declutter room by room—including a FREE printable PDF decluttering checklist!

So read on for our tips on tidying up the most crowded parts of each room, as well as where to start and what to consider as you declutter every room in your home or apartment.

Table of Contents

Use This Ultimate Declutter Your Home Checklist PDF + Calendar to Organize Without Stressing

Make decluttering your home easy with this printable PDF checklist! 

This simple checklist guide will also help you declutter each room fast and stay organized with:

  • Cut-out labels (Donate, Discard, or Sell) to tape on each box or bin as you sort through everything
  • A calendar to help you plan when to declutter each room—especially if you’re planning to move and need to start weeks ahead 
  • Checkboxes for each room to track your progress on the most commonly cluttered areas
  • Space to add notes for each room (great for adding tasks you may have to circle back to for some reason)

How to Declutter Your Bathroom

Bathroom Areas to Declutter:

  • Countertops
  • Under sinks
  • Cabinet shelves and drawers
  • Linen closets
  • Product storage areas in your shower or tub 

What to Declutter First in Your Bathroom:

Under your sink and other storage compartments are where you should declutter first.

It makes sense that bathroom storage areas are usually the most crowded since this is where your everyday hygiene products are kept (especially for product junkies out there!) 

Heat and moisture degrade active ingredients in your cosmetics, skincare, haircare, and even your medicines, making them decay or become ineffective at a faster rate. 

So you’ll want to pay attention to anything that is past its expiration date and ditch it. 

Questions to Ask Yourself When Decluttering the Bathroom:

  1. Do my appliances and accessories still work? Do I still use that curling wand or blow dryer, or can I give it to someone who needs it more?
  2. Is there anything here that I can put into smaller containers? 
  3. Are my makeup and skincare products past their expiration dates (or, over 2 years old)? If so, it’s time to ditch them, especially if they’re in dark glass bottles, meaning the contents are light and heat-sensitive, and therefore more likely to decompose faster!
  4. Do I have products that are almost empty? Prioritize using them up first, or dump out what’s left and recycle the containers.
  5. Do I have duplicates of items that do the same thing? If so, scale down, choose the preferred brand and stick to one—not multiples). Then, discard what’s left. 
  6. When did I last replace—or at least disinfect—the shower curtain, loofahs, sponges, or bathmats? Now’s a good time to check for any moisture traps that could lead to mold or bacteria overgrowth.

How to Declutter Your Bedroom

Bedroom Areas to Declutter:

  • Nightstands
  • Closet
  • Drawers
  • Under your bed
  • Floors

 

What to Declutter First in Your Bedroom:

Many people will vouch for starting out with decluttering your closet.

But, since a closet is practically a whole different room with its own challenges to tackle, we suggest focusing on decluttering the drawers in your bedroom furniture first

Drawers are often full of junk and items we don’t actually need. They function as places to put away things we don’t want to see, or things we’re saving for later, rather than storage.

Clearing out your drawers first helps you quickly figure out what you don’t need. In turn, it ultimately lets you make room for what you’re going to keep and how to organize them within your drawers.

One thing to keep in mind when decluttering your drawers is never to simply shove items inside. 

Decluttering is pointless without organization. With an unorganized drawer, you’ll be tempted to add more items, viewing it more as a junk drawer which ultimately invites—you guessed it—more clutter!

So try to keep your items organized and avoid keeping them jumbled together, especially when it comes to your clothing.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Decluttering Your Bedroom:

  1. Do I need extra storage space (such as an ottoman at the foot of the bed, under-the-bed compartments, or shelving around the headboard) to help declutter my bedroom and still keep it cozy?
  2. Is there anything that I don’t regularly use or enjoy in my bedroom that can be put out of sight or thrown away?
  3. What’s currently on top of my dresser that can be discarded or organized inside of a drawer or a decorative surface tray?
  4. Can I fit more items into a drawer by rolling clothing or adding drawer dividers?
  5. Where can I store off-season items in my closet?
  6. Is there any way to maximize empty vertical space inside my closet by adding extra shelving or racks, cabinets, or hooks?
  7. Is there anything scattered on top of my bedroom chair or bench that needs to be put away? Where should I always put these pieces so my seating area is available when I need it? 
  8. Do I already have a basket or shelf where I can store blankets and bed pillows when not in use?
  9. Do I need a single organizer for accessories (like neckties or jewelry) instead of having multiple boxes or strewing them in drawers?
  10. Are there enough hampers and are they put in a good spot, like my closet or bathroom, to store dirty clothing/linens as they’re used?

How to Declutter Your Kitchen

Kitchen Areas to Declutter:

  • Pantry
  • Cabinets & shelves
  • Countertops
  • Fridge/freezer
  • Drawers
  • Hutches, islands, and other storage areas

What to Declutter First in Your Kitchen:

Since it’s home to loads of snacks, dry foods, and kitchen supplies, clearing out your pantry is a great place to begin when decluttering your kitchen. 

You can begin decluttering your pantry by throwing out expired foods, empty boxes, containers without lids, old spices (yes, they do go bad and lose their potency) and condiments or snacks you tried but actually hated.

The next biggest step is to organize your pantry and fridge. Keep similar items together to ensure they stay organized and are easy to reach. 

Figure out what you need to discard or donate (in the case of canned foods), you’ll need to remove everything from your refrigerator or pantry shelves. 

Questions to Ask Yourself When Decluttering Your Kitchen:  

  1. Do I have any clear containers where I can store and easily see food supplies?
  2. Do I have more dishes, glasses, pots, or pans than I actually use? Can some of them be donated?
  3. Are there areas of empty space (6 inches or more) where I can add storage racks, shelves, or cabinets?
  4. What can I throw away in this kitchen junk drawer that I no longer need or that’s expired?
  5. Which food containers are open and going bad that I can throw away?
  6. Are there any appliances on top of the counters that can be grouped together so they’re not scattered across the kitchen?
  7. Are there any essential tools, ingredients, cookware, or appliances I can put into  easy-to-reach containers?
  8.  What loose items are on the countertops that I need to discard, or that can store out of sight in a cabinet, shelf, or drawer?
  9. Are there cooking utensils that I can sort together by type into their own containers/areas (like spatulas, knives, dishes, cups, et al.)?
  10. What’s in my freezer that I can use right away or discard if it’s too old?
  11. Is there room to store round kitchen utensils (like whisks, measuring spoons, pots, etc.) on hooks? Can the hooks be placed on walls or inside cabinet doors for additional storage space?
  12. Do I have space for a hanging rack or extra shelf space to organize pots, pans, and lids?
  13. Are there serving pieces that can double as storage (e.g. using a bowl or cake stand for fruits and spices?)
  14. Can I add two-tiered storage racks or pull-out organizers to space under the kitchen sink?
  15. Are there seasonal items or cookware that I can store out of sight until I need them again?
  16. Can I prep fresh foods for the week in containers so there aren’t too many loose items in the fridge at once?
  17. How can I better organize my fridge and freezer by using labels, clear bins, or by sectioning containers?

How to Declutter Your Dining Room

Dining Room Areas to Declutter:

  • Buffet tables
  • Dining table
  • Dish cupboard/China cabinet

What to Declutter First in Your Dining Room:

If you’re not doing dinner parties every night, there’s a strong chance your dining room table is a magnet for clutter. 

Whether setting things down “for a minute”—which can turn into days—or using it for anything but dinner time, your dining table and chairs can end up as coat racks, mail drops, and more. 

Instead, change how you approach your dining area. 

Think of yourself as a guest (or as if you’ll be expecting company at any moment) and you’ll be able to keep it much cleaner.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Decluttering Your Dining Room:

  1. Are there pieces on your buffet table that aren’t supposed to be there? Can you place them in a closet or cabinet storage?
  2. If there’s extra silverware, can I roll it into extra placemats and place it in a drawer for future use?
  3. Are there any items on the dining room table or buffet that belong in a totally different room? Where can I put them quickly and easily next time so that I don’t junk up the same area?
  4. Are there any extra candles or decorations I can store in the buffet or dish cupboard for the next time I need them?
  5. What’s the best way to set up my dining table and buffet decor so it looks ready for guests at any time?
  6. If the dining room table tends to double as a home office, are there folders, binders, or boxes I can use to store the papers that don’t belong there?

How to Declutter Your Living Room or Foyers

Living Room/Foyer Areas to Declutter:

  • Cord areas behind tech devices
  • Side tables 
  • Coffee table
  • Media center/Entertainment center 
  • Sofas and Sectionals 

What to Declutter First in Your Living Room/ Foyer:

While there aren’t many places where tons of clutter can build up in a living room, your end tables and coffee tables are where this usually occurs. 

From paper mail to cups and snack containers, your coffee tables and end tables often end up with items that don’t belong and make the space less cozy or less presentable. 

For this reason, we suggest clearing off the tabletops in your living room before decluttering elsewhere.

If you can create a system for decluttering and downsizing your living room surfaces, having a clear living room is definitely doable. 

Questions to Ask Yourself When Decluttering Your Living Room:

  1. Is each seat close to the coffee table or a side table where items can be set so they don’t pile up on the sofa?
  2. Are there specific and separate storage slots or drawers that have been set aside for mail and magazines?
  3. Can your old DVD or video game collection be housed in a flip-top Ottoman with storage?
  4. Can your media center be organized by zones (sentimental items vs. photo frames, etc.)?
  5. Are there lots of cable cords behind my TV or stereo systems that can be zip-tied together and run along the corners of the wall to be more inconspicuous?
  6. Is there a basket or hall closet where I can store pillows and blankets when I need them, instead of piling them on the sofa all at once?
  7. Do I need to read through or discard any stray mail or magazines that are cluttering up my living room?
  8. What kind of habits can I start that ensure I clear clutter off my coffee table and end tables every evening?
  9. Is there a convenient tray or end table drawer where I can store my remote control or other devices?
  10. Do I really need these sentimental items sitting out, or can they be placed in a digital photo frame or storage?
  11. Where can I fit some decorative boxes or trays to house small but necessary items, like reading glasses, remote controls, coasters, etc.?
  12. Is there any unused wall space where I can add floating shelves or a bookcase to store reading material, knick-knacks, etc.?
  13. Are there any end table drawers that can be used for storing items that I want to keep but don’t immediately need?

How to Declutter Your Home Office

Home Office Areas to Declutter:

  • Desktop
  • Bookcases/Shelves
  • Filing cabinet

What to Declutter First in Your Home Office:  

The home office seems to be one place where clutter is more acceptable, but it shouldn’t be since this is where you want to be the most productive! 

The solution? Clear your paper clutter from your desk and don’t fall into the to-do list trap… (You know, where you don’t feel accomplished unless you’ve checked off everything on your daily checklist.)

Yes, there are *some* projects that require more urgency than others. But, the truth is, your desktop work will never be 100% clear unless you retire. 

So, focus on clearing off your desktop first so you’ll have a fresh start every day. 

This way, you’ll still clean up without feeling overwhelmed or ashamed at not finishing what’s still on your plate. 

Questions to Ask Yourself When Decluttering Your Home Office:

  1. What papers can I scan and store as digital copies in order to discard the paper clutter on my desk?
  2. Can I switch to paperless billing to ensure I don’t have a build-up of paper in my office? 
  3. Is there a new way to rework my workflow so I don’t have tons of sticky notes and reminders lying around my office space?
  4. Do I have a corkboard where I can pin ideas and super important reminders within view?
  5. What’s the best way to organize my to-dos, important documents, and current project papers on my desk? A three-tier tray?
  6. How often should I go through my filing cabinet and desk papers to ensure I’m not accidentally hoarding too much paper?
  7. Do I have enough shelf or cabinet space to store the notebooks, binders, etc. that I need to keep?
  8. What financial files should I shred vs. keep (we recommend keeping 7 years for tax purposes due to IRS audit timeframes)?
  9. Do I have enough filing cabinet space to store all my folders and papers, or do I need a bigger size?
  10. Do any technical power cords need to be corral with zip-ties or velcro to give my office a more tidy look?

Wrapping Up

Use these tips to efficiently declutter every room in your home with the checklist, and you’ll be relaxing worry-free in no time!

If you’re preparing to move and need help packing, just give us a call. You can always book our professional packers to help streamline your move.

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Get The Perfect Time-Saving Checklist to Help Declutter Your Home


There’s never a bad time to spruce up your home. No matter whether you’re behind on spring cleaning or you’re preparing to pack for a move and need to get rid of unwanted items, decluttering is the perfect place to start. 

But, what are you actually supposed to do when you’re short on time but have a ton of stuff to sort through?

Overwhelmed doesn’t even begin to cover that feeling.

That’s where a checklist comes in handy. For this Spruce Your Space entry, use this rundown of the best time-saving tips to help you efficiently declutter your home or apartment.

Table of Contents

Don’t Start Decluttering Your Home Until You Do This First

How do you declutter when just one look at your closet or garage makes you cringe?

You’re not alone. 

Many people report feeling embarrassment, stress, frustration, and anxiety over having too much “stuff” in their homes. 

In fact, holding onto junk may be a psychological safety net in certain cases. 

According to brain imaging studies, parting with items can activate the same brain regions associated with pain and conflict in some people (specifically, hoarders.) 

In others, the opposite effect can occur where one feels rewarded after discarding things they don’t need. 

(You’re probably in the second camp if you feel like throwing out unwanted items is a big accomplishment. Lucky you!)

It’s so crucial to get in the right mindset before sifting through everything you own, then figuring out what to do with each item. That goes double if you’re the sentimental type who can’t bear to part with certain items (even if you really don’t need them.)

Organization expert, Marie Kondo, has a ritualistic remedy she uses with clients that works perfectly: 

As you’re going through your clutter, hold each item and ask yourself, "Does this add value to my life?"

If not, it’s time to ditch it by giving it away or throwing it away. 

How to Painlessly Psych Yourself Into Decluttering

The good news is that you can avoid slipping back into old habits. All you have to do is prepare for your new, refreshing journey using positive thoughts and a good strategy

Based on basic behavioral conditioning and mindfulness techniques, there’s actually a more scientific way to boost your willpower and aid in your decluttering process:

No matter how tidying up makes you feel, reward yourself after each decluttering session. This makes you more likely to do it while associating positive emotions with the task!

Example: If it takes you 2 days to clear out the under-the-stairs closet, treat yourself to something nice, twice

Sounds good, right? 

Just make sure that “treat” doesn’t end up adding to your workload! 

NOTE: If you suspect you may have a bigger issue when it comes to holding onto things, please seek assistance from a certified professional who can help. 

What Are the Steps To Decluttering Fast?

When starting a declutter project, the biggest thing to remember is the triple D’s… (Not *that* kind, but it caught your attention, right?)

Here are the 3 key phases to quickly clear out your stuff and the best questions to ask at each stage.

The Triple D’s: Steps to Decluttering Your Home:

  • Downsize- do you really need to keep or take this item to a new space? Is there a better way to store it or make use of it? Can I get a smaller version? Can I sell it online or at a garage sale?
  • Donate- if the item is still in good condition—especially canned goods, furniture, kitchenware, clothing, or shoes—can it be donated locally? Would your friends, relatives, or neighbors want it?
  • Discard- throw out whatever you haven’t used in the past 6 months to 1 year, and whatever doesn’t make you happy. Would you be in dire straits if it ever went missing? Can you still repair or find parts to it if it stops working? Is it uncomfortable, ragged, or did your tastes change? Did you even remember it was there?

12 Tips to Help You Tidy Up Everything

The key here is to get rid of anything you no longer want or can no longer use.

And, don’t bother talking yourself into keeping something because of One Day Syndrome… 

In other words, hoping that one day you’ll get around to using it. 

(Let’s be real: does that actually ever happen?) 

  1. Set a goal competition date. Give yourself at least 2 days for each smaller room. Plan to tackle larger or more stocked areas within at least 3 days.
  2. Designate a big box, laundry hamper, large garbage bag, or area for items to discard.
  3. Repeat, but this time have a container for items you plan to donate or sell
  4. Use sticky notes (or if you’re using a box/bag, write on it) and label with DISCARD or DONATE/SELL.
  5. Put each item or set in its own place. Choose a spot that’s obvious & easily accessible so you won’t forget where it is.
  6. Organize sets of items in the order that you use themespecially cosmetics or tools—and store them all together.
  7. Combine similar items with each other instead of leaving them scattered around. (Example: put all office supplies in one place, and small kitchen gadgets in another place, together.)
  8. For a lot of the same type of items, (like clothing, toys, etc.) spread everything out in a single area so you can see what you have. Then, decide whether to discard or donate.
  9. Clean a little as you go. This doesn’t have to be a deep clean (which might be too overwhelming if you’re already tackling lots of clutter), but wiping up dust and spraying here and there will go a long way.
  10. Don’t transfer clutter from one place to another. You’re trying to de-clutter, not re-clutter, remember? If you’re not keeping it, put it in either your DISCARD box, or the DONATE/SELL box.
  11. SUPER IMPORTANT: don’t move on to the next room—or even to the next area in the same room—until you’ve completely finished.
  12. Wait until you’ve fully decluttered (and know what’s staying) to buy storage or organization products. As you declutter, note any areas that waste vertical or hidden space so you can find storage solutions for your remaining items later.

Use This Ultimate Declutter Your Home Checklist PDF + Calendar to Organize Without Stressing

Make decluttering your home easy with this printable PDF checklist! 

This simple checklist guide will also help you declutter each room fast and stay organized with:

  • Cut-out labels (Donate, Discard, or Sell) to tape on each box or bin as you sort through everything
  • A calendar to help you plan when to declutter each room—especially if you’re planning to move and need to start weeks ahead 
  • Checkboxes for each room to track your progress on the most commonly cluttered areas
  • Space to add notes for each room (great for adding tasks you may have to circle back to for some reason)

Wrapping Up

Since you now have a checklist to work from, decluttering your home should be super simple.

Forget the overwhelm, anxiety, and just plain confusion of not knowing where to start. 

You’ve officially got this

Just stick to the plan above—plus, the checklist—and tackle your next sprucing or downsizing project by going out with the old, in with the new!

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Unique Housewarming Party Ideas You Can Do Year-Round


Ready to celebrate after moving into your new home or apartment? Finding ideas for a housewarming party is the logical (and exciting) next step to take after moving into your new space. 

It’s also a great way to settle in and embark on your new journey of getting to know your neighborhood and neighbors!

Properly planning your housewarming party and finding attention-grabbing ideas is key to entertaining your group of besties and family. 

But if your local weather forecast is looking kinda iffy for the next few weeks, you need celebration ideas that can work in any season, rain or shine. 

So, as part of our Spruce Your Space series, we’re rounding up some unique, all-season housewarming party ideas to make your first great memories in your new home or apartment.

3 Creative & Unique Housewarming Party Ideas For Any Season

1. Housewarming Theme Idea #1: New Home, Who Dis?

Photo by Christian Stahl on Unsplash

 

Theme:

You just moved into a new house and you’re in love with the possibilities. 

So you know that the amazing people in your life are going to feel proud and excited for you, too. 

Play up the optimism by putting the focus back on your home—especially if you’ve done some cool renovations or stunning decoration. 

Before initiating the games, do a tour of your home first (hide any unpacked boxes that are still around). You’ll understand why later!

Food:

Whether you’re whipping up the creations yourself, catering with interesting new fusions, or if you’re giving your guests ideas on what to bring, you can focus on brand-new or unheard-of foods. 

Even if it’s a recipe that you’ve recently discovered or a regional food you’ve never tried, it will get both you and your buddies out of your comfort zones and chatting.

Games:

Prep your own personal list of different attributes in your new place: 

  • Is the stove gas or electric? 
  • Are there any ceiling fans? 
  • What kind of flowers are in the front yard? 
  • What color is the outside of the front door? 

These are just some facts about your home that you can easily turn into a trivia game. 

It will help you find out which of your guests has a keen eye and a great memory! 

Perfect For:

Anyone who just moved into a new house. Doesn’t matter whether you’re the tenant or homeowner. 

This can also work if you moved into an apartment or condo that’s larger than a one-bedroom… Just make sure your space is already decorated or the game won’t be challenging at all.

2. Housewarming Theme Idea #2: Local Lovin’ 

5 Stages of Living In San Antonio

 

Theme:

How well do you and your friends know your own city?

This housewarming theme is all about the new location you now call home. You’d be surprised how little some people know about an area they’ve lived in for years!

Food:

Stick to serving anything that your new area is known for, (regardless of whether you cooked it or not). 

Moving to Texas? Find the best nearby barbeque joint that caters and grab enough utensils for everyone. 

Say, your new spot is in San Antonio, order local foodie staples like smoked chicken and puffy tacos for guests while whipping up margaritas. 

If you’re inviting neighbors who are particularly proud of their city, they’ll appreciate how you’re trying to acclimate to your new setting!

Games:

Option A: Trivia is the easiest go-to game for this Local Lovin’ housewarming party theme. So, round up some interesting facts from a quick Google search about your new city or state to test your guests. 

Have a list of each fact + answer, and number them all. 

Make some flashcards with the corresponding number on one side and the question on the other side, so the answer key will match the card number. Now you’re ready to play!

For incorrect answers, simply add a twist. 

You can turn it into a drinking game or have guests reveal a quirky dance move or hilarious personal truth. 

Option B: New spaces are great for inspiring creativity, so why not get artsy by painting? Plus, if the weather is less than ideal, this will brighten things up a bit. 

You can grab some watercolor paint (it’s extremely easy to clean if it spills), mini canvasses, and mini easels from your local hobby store. 

Set up your guests in the kitchen where clean-up is a breeze, and grab your favorite drinks.

Concentrate on one area of your home to paint so everyone has the same focal point. 

This will vary based on how much your kitchen is open, and which rooms it opens towards. 

If you have a killer view from an apartment, this works even better. (Or, you can always just paint a scene of your kitchen!)

Perfect For:

People who are moving to a new state, city, or town will love this.

Even if you moved within the same city, this theme still works.

3. Housewarming Theme Idea #3: House to a Home  

housewarming party game ideas using interior design swatches options

 

Theme:

We all know that watching tons of HGTV can really pump up your inner interior designer.

So, yeah, while turning your house into a home seems easy at first… 

You soon realize there’s a plethora of beautiful paint colors, wall, and flooring options to choose from.

Indecision can kick in…making you doubt everything for fear of the wrong choice. 

Forget that! 

Why not ask those who know you best? 

Invite your friends and family over to a party designed to turn your bare new house into a home. 

Food:

This theme is based on the comfort and coziness of home. 

Order some comfort foods and well-known desserts from local spots—like mac n’ cheese, lasagna, Southern fried chicken, chicken & dumplings, cupcakes, apple pie—you get the idea. 

You can also turn this into a potluck if visitors want to bring food.

Since comfort foods tend to be heavy, stick to small portion sizes and try to schedule your party earlier in the day. 

If your housewarming party time isn’t flexible, scale down the comfort foods into appetizer-sized versions:

  • Mac n’ cheese bites vs. a bowl of mac n’ cheese
  • Apple pie squares instead of an entire slice
  • Fried chicken tenders instead of a hefty drumstick or wing

Your guests will love the food, but they still need a chance to get home without being overstuffed and sleepy! 

Games:

Get your top choices for your next in-home project ready. 

So if you’re having trouble choosing between paint or backsplash tile options, don’t stress! Just get some samples not only for yourself but for your housewarming party. 

Alternatively, you can save inspiring examples online of the spaces you’d love to replicate in your new place (Pinterest and Instagram are the absolute best resources.)

If you have a projector or smart TV set up, you can cast these saved images from your computer or phone for your housewarming party audience. 

Get their votes and let them help you decide

Most importantly, don’t forget to keep them in the loop with the outcome. 

Your friends will love to know their input helped you make your final decision!

Perfect For:

Uncertain new homeowners/ renters who want to make minor changes to their space, but need advice from friends/family.

Should You Still Have a Housewarming Party During COVID-19?

If you’re wary about transmitting more than just good vibes—like COVID-19, for instance—you can always go virtual.

It’s as simple as setting up a call on Facebook Messenger Rooms, Zoom, Telegram, or Skype!

Although you still should do the standard party-planning stuff (sending digital invitations, giving advance notice, etc.), there’s a lot you don’t have to do for an online celebration. 

Virtual housewarming parties can actually be much less expensive and better in general for everyone who attends.

Here’s why:

  1. It’s perfect for long-distance loved ones to join in.
  2. You and your guests can skip buying food and drinks.
  3. No one has to pay for tolls or gas getting to your home
  4. Guests don’t have to worry about having one too many adult beverages before hitting the road. 
  5. Social distancing is so much easier.
  6. Anyone who is eating during a video chat, won’t have to worry about spilling food or remembering to put their mask back on.  
  7. Guests who want to give gifts won’t feel pressured to do so.
  8. People with children don’t have to find a babysitter/pet-sitter before your party, or rush home after it. 
  9. Your home and party decor don’t have to be the slightest bit done. (For virtual housewarming celebrations on a budget, you don’t really need party decor at all!)
  10. Once it’s over, the only person you have to clean up after is yourself 

**If you opt to have an in-person housewarming party and you’re not vaccinated:

Try sticking to the guidelines of reputable major health organizations, like the CDC or WHO (World Health Organization).  Your guests will really appreciate that their well-being is your priority while they participate in your big celebration!

Your housewarming party should be riveting—not regrettable!

So, avoid accidentally getting into legal skirmishes by sticking to your state and local guidelines, too.  There may be limits on the time of day or amount of non-resident guests allowed, among other things.

You definitely don’t want to unknowingly violate any local regulations simply by celebrating a housewarming party!

That would certainly give your neighbors something to talk about (and not in a good way.)

Wrapping Up

Now that you have some inspiration on what to do for a housewarming party, it’s time to schedule your party and send invitations. 

Giving your intended guests a heads-up is simply good old-fashioned etiquette. 

We highly recommend giving them no less than 3 weeks’ notice. (This way, anyone who RSVPs still has enough time to plan around their own schedules and possibly order a gift for you.)

These imaginative ideas for your upcoming housewarming party will give you an awesome time to remember, no matter the time of year!

Did you recently throw a killer housewarming party and have the photos to back it up?

Tag us on Instagram or Pinterest for a chance to be featured in our feed or Stories!

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Expert Ways to Use 2021’s Most Stunning Paint Colors of the Year


Did some stunning colors of the year catch your eye on Instagram or Pinterest?

Maybe you just want to update old furniture and need some color advice.

Lucky for you, the most drop-dead gorgeous colors of 2021 are great options for revitalizing your walls or used furniture. 

Annually, global design institutes and paint companies release their color picks for the year, causing color-lovers to create a frenzy of interior design inspiration across the web.

Ok, so you’re not even a teensy bit familiar with interior design… 

That doesn’t matter.

Good news is that you don’t have to actually be an interior designer to fall in love with these standout colors and use them like a pro! 

No matter where you just moved—whether a rental or brand-new house—our new installment series, Spruce Your Spacewill help you create a space you love. 

While we won’t rely on a lot of fancy home design and renovation jargon (and if we must, we’ll always explain), we’ll share exclusive insights from our local business partners that’s 100% doable. 

Spruce Your Space posts will also help you better understand what you can and can’t do to a space you don’t own, as well as alternatives.

(You know, like when you LOVE your rental price and location, but LOATHE the style.)

Now that you know what to expect, see how April Littman, Lead Designer at Neighbor Interiors, recommends using the top colors of 2021 in your home!

How to Paint With Pantone© Ultimate Gray & Illuminating

how to use Ultimate Gray the Pantone 2021 color of the year
how to use Illuminating, the Pantone 2021 color of the year

Both members of Pantone’s leading colorful duo of 2021 are bold yet versatile.

Ultimate Gray is perfect for a cleaner, elegant feeling.

Want to infuse your space with sunny optimism? Use pops of Illuminating in accent pieces or upholstery.

 

Where to Paint with Ultimate Gray

“The best rooms to paint with Ultimate Gray are going to be rooms with a lot of natural light, because it is really a moody color,” says April. 

“However, if you want a moody atmosphere, you could put it in a smaller room and bring in pops of color, like the Illuminating. That’s a really bright, cheerful color. So if you want to add some accents to brighten it up, that would be a great option.” 

 

Colors to Pair with Ultimate Gray

Color palette inspiration for pairing with Pantone's Ultimate Gray-2021 color of the year

Since this year’s Pantone© shade of gray is on the darker side, it’s smart to brighten up any walls you’ll be using it on by adding complementary neutrals.

These neutral additions can be whites and creams (if you want a warmer, cozier tone to the room.)  

Want more of a pop? 

Although somewhat dark, Ultimate Gray is neutral in itself. 

So if you prefer more colorful surroundings, it’s still safe to use it in conjunction with other paints or furniture in earthy tones like orange and mauve, or punchy jewel tones, like blues or greens

April’s Best Paint Match for Ultimate Gray:

Gray Matters by Sherwin Williams©

Where to Paint with Illuminating

Despite its positive and upbeat vibe, you may want to skip painting a whole room with Pantone’s sunny yellow Illuminating

While yellow is most often associated with happiness in color psychology circles, Illuminating can be overpowering to paint on multiple walls—or any walls at all. 

“Since Illuminating is such a strong, bright, cheerful color, I’d really only use that as an accent to a room. You could use it as draperies, a throw pillow, blanket, or maybe some vases,” April recommends. 

Exteriors are fair game, however. 

For instance, if you’re seeking to give visitors a warm welcome, Illuminating can also be used to refresh a front door or shutters.

Just make sure to power-wash your house first so you can get an authentic match for any exterior paint you already have!

 

Colors to Pair with Illuminating

If your dream is to have a room full of energy and life, pair Illuminating with similar vibrant colors like coral

Prefer to tone it down? Stick with whites and creams—or even Ultimate Gray!

April’s Best Paint Match for Illuminating:

Banana Yellow or Sunburst by Benjamin Moore©

How to Paint With Aegean Teal by Benjamin Moore©

how to use Aegean Teal the Benjamin Moore 2021 color of the year
Inspiration for Aegean Teal by Benjamin Moore

To put it mildly, 2020 was a turbulent year. 

So it’s easy to see why Benjamin Moore© chose themes of reflection and calm to inspire its 2021 color of the year, Aegean Teal. 

Wherever you decide to paint with Aegean Teal, this blue-green hue with gray undertones can provide any room with a tranquil, modern touch.

Where to Paint with Aegean Teal

To make a beautiful statement, April recommends painting kitchen cabinets or islands with Aegean Teal

If you’re doing a full refresh of your kitchen, we love the idea of replacing the hardware knobs with bronze or antique gold accents

Your home office and bedroom are also fantastic areas to paint Aegean Teal on the walls, repurposed wooden chairs, or built-ins.

Since it’s such a soothing color, April suggests you avoid using Aegean Teal in places where you want more energy—like a home gym or child’s playroom. 

The only colors you shouldn’t use with Aegean Teal? 

“Any color that’s going to be a dominant color, because it needs to stand out on it’s own,” she advises. “So I wouldn’t bring in any color—like red—that’s going to compete with it!”

 

Colors to Pair with Aegean Teal

color palette inspiration for Aegean Teal- Benjamin Moore 2021 color of the year

“Some colors that I think would go really great with it are the Ultimate Gray. Even a sand oak would be really pretty with the Aegean Teal.

It can go coastal, depending on what you put it with, so you have to be careful with that—unless you’re wanting a coastal space. But it can also be very sophisticated if you pair it with gray instead of the sand color,” April suggests.

HOW TO PAINT WITH URBANE BRONZE BY SHERWIN-WILLIAMS©

kitchen cabinets painted with Urbane Bronze the Sherwin-Williams 2021 color of the year

Described by Sherwin-Williams© as “down-to-earth,” Urbane Bronze offers a different kind of tranquility that’s more on the sophisticated side. 

It’s perfect for more decorating if your décor goals need a more modern, neutral, or masculine expression. 

Where to Paint with Urbane Bronze

Since it’s such a gorgeous, but dark shade, you have to be careful where you paint with Urbane Bronze. 

“It was developed as an accent color… I wouldn’t really cover an entire room in it because it will feel really dark and heavy,” April says.

Areas that work best to paint with Urbane Bronze include wood paneling, built-in-cabinetry, or kitchen islands

You can even use it to upgrade old wooden furniture placed near any wall painted in a creamy, complementary shade of white!

 

Colors to Pair with Urbane Bronze

color palette inspired by Urbane Bronze by Sherwin-Williams 2021 color of the year

April suggests sticking to light, bright, or golden bronze colors and accents to best compliment Urbane Bronze in any room. 

Urbane Bronze is one of my favorite colors! It’s so beautiful. To complement it, I love the look of white oak flooring. It has white in it, a little bit of tan, it’s a little bit of a neutral—it really compliments that deep Urbane Bronze.” 

As for what to watch out for when you’re decorating around walls or furniture that’s painted with Urbane Bronze:

“Avoid using black or any really dark colors,” April warns. “A dark and a dark [color] are really going to drown each other out.”

What if I Moved Into an Empty Space & Don’t Know Where To Start?!

Here are April’s tips for how to start your design project when you have a totally blank slate:

  1. Start with a color palette. Colors will affect the furniture you’re going to collect, so save pics of colors that you like.
  2. Determine what larger furniture you want to put into the room. Take measurements of your space to ensure the pieces you love will fit.
  3. Next, work on the smaller accents and decorations.

Use April’s suggestions or an online color wheel for pairing colors together that complement each other and don’t clash.

Wrapping Up

Now you’re all set to infuse the top colors of 2021 into your space.

For more of April’s design advice, check out her Instagram and brand website at neighborinteriors.com!

For more exclusive Spruce Your Space insights, connect with us on Instagram!

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How Much Storage Units Cost & How to Get Better Deals


Shopping and trying to figure out how much storage units cost can be a challenge… especially when you’re trying to coordinate a move, too. 

Prices are heavily influenced not only by availability but other factors that aren’t as obvious. 

In episode 7 of Master Your Move, Corey, our Dallas manager draws upon his past expertise as a storage facility manager to guide you in getting the best storage unit deals. 

Read on to learn how much storage units generally cost, the four main factors that influence cost, and tips for renting storage units with a winning combination of availability and price. 

How Much Storage Units Cost in General 

So what’s a good price for a storage unit?  

Generally speaking, around $1 per square foot. Remember, this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule since demand plays a role, and smaller units can cost more while larger units often run lower. 

MASTER TIP:  Use this chart to see how much a monthly storage unit may cost you: 

Storage Unit Size *General Starting Cost Note
10 x 10 $100-$150 *This is an estimate.
Prices could double or triple based on demand, location,
and/or amenities.
10 x 15 $150- $200
10 x 20 $200-$300

 

These 4 Factors Drive Storage Unit Prices

When you’re looking for the right storage unit, price is ultimately the deciding factor.  

How much you’ll end up paying for a storage unit is almost exclusively influenced by:

  1. Size of the unit
  2. Area where the storage facility is located
  3. Demand and scarcity of local storage units
  4. Amenities and/or security features 

Below, we’ll go into these factors deeper. Plus, you’ll find tips on how to get better storage unit deals.

1. Size of the Storage Units

“They often split up things by dollar-per-square-foot… but as the unit gets smaller, the dollar-per-square-foot goes up. So there is bulk pricing [built into] all storage.”

—Corey

According to Corey, you’ll typically pay more with a smaller unit, where the price is frequently inflated. Larger units will often provide discounts. 

Why? 

Storage facilities usually price units by the square footage. 

Luckily, if you need to tuck more things away—or, rather larger items—it goes both ways. For renting a larger storage unit, say, the size of a 10×20, you’ll often save money

MASTER TIP:  If you were expecting to need two storage units instead of one, ask for a larger size so you can pay less. This way, you’ll have only one unit to worry about and you’ll save money on rent in the long run. 

 

2. Storage Facility Location 

Storage is real estate. They’re directly connected to the cost of the land. So if you’re in an expensive area and the land is more expensive, the storage is more expensive. If you’re out in the boonies where the land is cheaper, then the storage will be cheaper.”

—Corey

The area where your storage facility is located will also significantly influence the cost of your unit. 

So, pricier areas will host more expensive storage options, complete with features and amenities that justify the cost. 

Newer storage facilities will often offer the best deals and security features, especially the kind of mechanisms that heavily rely on technology.

If you live in a swankier part of town, expect to pay a bit more for storage—but make sure the amenities are worth it! The alternative? Skip looking for local storage units and go a bit further out. 

MASTER TIP:  Live in a higher-priced area? Try to save money by looking for storage facilities in another neighboring (but less expensive) zipcode.

 

3. Demand & Availability of Local Storage Units

“[They] had systems in place where the computer would automatically increase the price of a unit size as we ran out. So, scarcity increases the price of a storage facility. If I only had one 10×20 drive-up [storage unit] left, it would be $500. It would be so much more expensive because we only had one left.”

— Corey

As they say in basic economics, scarcity of an in-demand supply can increase the value.

It’s no different when it comes to storage. And there’s no negotiating the cost of a storage unit because price increases are oftentimes built into the system.

Seasonality greatly affects the demand, and consequently, the price, of renting storage units. 

Summer, for instance, is peak moving season

People are moving into new houses, breaking their leases, downsizing, and more. Right before summer, plenty of teachers also pack up their classrooms and need someplace to store supplies and decor.

Think about everyone you have to compete with to get a decent deal on storing your stuff. Then, start hunting early.

Many investors are simply trying to sell recently built and practically full storage locations.

Since tenants tend to book storage units for the longterm,  brand-new facilities can be a cash cow and managers are looking to fill them as quickly as possible. That means they’ll usually offer better prices than more established storage facilities.  

MASTER TIP:  Look for a new storage unit facility to find the best deals.  $100 for a 10 x 10 unit, or  $200 for a 10 x 20 unit are both great prices! 

 

4. Amenities & Security Features 

“One storage unit I worked at had drive-up climate control. They had this huge door that you actually drove into, so you drove in the building, and you could unload into a drive-up unit. We charged a huge premium for that, because there were only 25-30 units on the ground floor where you could drive through.” 

—Corey

Most people will settle for having an alarm on their storage facility and be satisfied.  

But is that all you need? You actually have plenty of storage options for moving, complete with the most cutting-edge and convenient amenities. 

Considering how much amenities factor into your cost for a storage unit, seeking out lots of features will cost you more, while being too concerned with cost could put your valuables at risk. 

Amenities are also tied to the storage location, so higher-priced areas will offer more security and features that increase your monthly rate.  

When weighing features of a storage unit facility’s amenities, strongly consider what you really do and do not need:

  • Is there a facility manager onsite? (This can impact your hourly rate if you’re moving and have storage issues.)
  • Are there elevators? Are they standard or cargo elevators?
  • Do you prefer certain locking mechanisms or automatic time logs?
  • How often will you be visiting the storage unit? 
  • What kinds of items will you be storing there? 
  • Are the items highly valuable or temperature-sensitive?
  • Will you need a climate-controlled unit?
  • How long will you be storing the items?
  • Are you planning to sell or donate the contents and need them in top condition?
  • Will you need to drive your vehicle through a carport to load/unload?

MASTER TIP:  Figure out what amenities are non-negotiable before you shop so you can quickly strike off facilities that don’t meet those standards.

 

Wrapping Up

Now that you have a general idea of how storage units are priced (and ways to get the best deals), you’re ready to choose the perfect fit for your needs. 

Let us know if you still have questions about how much storage units cost or other tips on getting great prices!

Was this guide helpful? See what you really need to know before moving into a storage unit.

 


Decluttering Your House: How to Get Rid of Things You No Longer Want in Austin


If some days you look around and realize your house is too cluttered, you're not alone. We all have things we just don't use anymore, and yet we allow them to continue to sit in our house, closet, or garage, day in and day out, simply taking up space. You know that treadmill you haven't turned on since 2002 and now just acts as a clothes rack? Or maybe that outfit you bought three years ago but still haven't found an occasion to wear it? Well, how about setting aside some time in the next month and getting rid of that stuff once and for all? It will give you more space, and it will feel great to finally get rid of it! And if you plan on moving soon, think about how much easier your move will go when you have fewer things for your Austin movers to load up and transport. Here's how to get started on getting rid of items you don't need.

Keep It in the Family (or At Least Within Your Circle of Friends)

Maybe you've finally come to terms with the fact that you're probably not ever going to step on that treadmill again…but your sister--who has been trying to get in shape--just might! After all, one person's "trash" is another person's treasure.

So as you go through the things you don't want, think about friends and family members who might be able to use some of them. Maybe you have a perfectly good set of pots and pans you never cook with, and your best friend--who's just getting into cooking more lately--would love them.

Or perhaps your son's old clothes would be perfect for your neighbor's younger son. Whether you donate your unwanted items to friends and family or sell them at a super low price, keeping them within your circle is a great way to help out loved ones while getting rid of things you no longer need.

Make Some Money While Downsizing

If no one you know wants your belongings, another option is to sell them. Among the easiest ways to do this is to take pictures and put them on Facebook Marketplace, or any local Austin Facebook groups that let members buy and sell. In fact, there are a few groups that are specifically for buying and selling in the Austin area. Similarly, you can post your items for sale on sites like eBay or Craigslist.

If you prefer to sell your items in person rather than online, consider going to a local resale store. For example, you can get money for your used clothing, shoes, purses and accessories at the Plato's Closet in South Austin.

If you have furniture or household items to sell, head to consignment stores that take these items. Design with Consignment is one example of this kind of store in Austin. This way, you get your unwanted belongings off your hands--making more room in your home--and you make a little money at the same time!

As nice as it is to make some extra cash when downsizing, it's not always a practical endeavor. Maybe you don't have time to take pictures and write a description for every item you have so you can sell online, and you don't want to spend your Saturday at the local consignment store. In this case, donating is a good idea.

In fact, since donations are usually tax-deductible, this tactic can be just as profitable as selling your stuff, especially if you usually owe at tax time. So head to the Austin Goodwill or Salvation Army to make your donations as you downsize. Most locations can even pick up your items if you can't transport them yourself.

You can also donate gently used professional attire to Dress for Success, as they're often looking for free clothes, shoes, and other accessories. This way, you know you're helping a good cause while making more room in your home.

Throw Out Old Items

You know that saying, "when in doubt, throw it out?" Well, it applies here! If you know you don't use it, and no one you know want wants or needs it, it's probably time to just throw it away.

This is particularly true of stained or torn clothing and shoes, ripped up furniture and broken household appliances. If you're having trouble getting rid of items you want to throw out, you can contact LoadUp in Austin to come pick up your junk.

Following these tips can help you get rid of anything you don't need in your house. And if the reason you're trying to declutter is that you plan on moving in Austin soon, contact us to schedule Austin movers to come help you from start to finish on moving day!


Should You Move or Remodel Your House? How To Decide.


If you're not happy with your home, your two choices are to remodel it or move. But which option is right for you? The answer depends on a few factors, including the home improvements you have in mind, where you're located and what your budget is. Here's a closer look at what to consider before you decide if it's time to hire Austin movers to help you move, or contractors to remodel your home.

What Do You Want to Change About Your Home?

First, decide if remodeling is even a realistic option. In some cases, remodeling your home can get you exactly what you want. For example, if you like the layout of your home but just wish it were more modern inside, renovating the kitchen and bathrooms with new flooring, countertops and appliances may be all you need! Or maybe you want just one more bedroom or bathroom. As long as there's a little extra space on your lot--or maybe a large room you can divide into two--you should be able to get another bedroom or bathroom without moving.

But let's face it; there are some home improvements that just aren't possible in your current house. For instance, if you want a resort-like backyard with a large pool--but your backyard is the size of a postage stamp--moving may be for the best. And if you have your heart set on a basement but only have a single-story home, you're going to have to move to make that dream come true. So think about what you want to change about your living space before you decide whether it's time to say goodbye to your current home and schedule some Austin movers.

Do You Love Your Location?

One of the most important factors is the location--because you can't change that with a simple remodel! So think about where your home currently is. Is it in a good school district? Is it pretty close to work and all your favorite amenities, like your preferred grocery store and gym? Do you like your neighbors? If the answer is yes, you have a great location and should probably just remodel as much as you can to improve your home.

But let's say you're tired of your long commute, and the local schools are rated terribly. Maybe crime has gone up, or your neighbors make your time at home unpleasant. If you can relate to these statements, it's probably time to schedule your move with some Austin movers who can help you on your way to getting settled somewhere new!

What's Your Budget?

Of course, you can't remodel or move without first making sure you have the money to do either one. So you need to get an idea of how much each option will cost. If you're thinking of remodeling, start gathering estimates from local contractors. Once you have a price range in mind, you can decide how you're going to pay--assuming the cost is in your budget. Will you use savings or a credit card for the remodel, or will you need to take out a home equity loan? And is the remodel even worth the price you're going to pay? Will it improve the value of your home so you can at least recoup some of the costs when you eventually sell?

Now that you have an idea of the cost of remodeling your home, consider what it would cost to move. Do you have enough equity in your house that you could make a profit from the sale? And if so, how much would you have to spend to get your dream home? If it turns out you just can't afford a home that has everything you want in it, it may be best to stay put and remodel. But if you find that you could get a great home for about the same amount your current home would sell for, moving might make sense!

If moving is the right choice for you, it's time to call Austin movers to load up all your belongings and unload them at your new home. Contact 3 Men Movers today to get your move scheduled.


Top 5 Organization Tips from our Professional Packers


 

The moving process is so focused on packing and loading everything up that you might forget there's still a lot of work to be done once you get to your new home. Namely, you still have to unpack! And that could take a lot longer than you might think--which is why we all know someone who has a room full of unpacked boxes from last year's move. So you're probably going to need some unpacking tips as you slide into the homestretch of your move. More specifically, you might need some help staying organized as you unpack everything, so take a look at what our professional packers have learned over the years.

Unpack the Necessities Right Away

No matter how ambitious you are, you're probably not going to be able to unpack and organize a house full of items the same day you move in. And yet, there are some possessions that you can't just leave in boxes for days or weeks…like your coffeemaker and your clothes for work tomorrow!

So when you're packing your old house, think about the items you'll need in the first few days at your new home, and be sure to place them in a box with an "X" on it. If you hire professional packers, they can help with this moving must-do. This organizational tip can prevent you from panicking as you run around your new home, ripping open boxes in search of shoes for work!

Put Similar Items Together

Before you start unpacking, be sure to have some organizational tools on hand, such as plastic tubs or bins. This will make it easy to sort your things as you pull them out of boxes. For example, put all the batteries in one little bin that you can place in a drawer in your kitchen as you unpack, and keep the extension cords in one tub that you can put in the garage.

And you know that color-coordinated closet you've always wanted? Now is the time to set it up! As you unpack your clothes, put all your white shirts in one spot, next to all your yellow shirts, and so on. Once your clothes are organized by color, you can organize according to clothing type, such as pants, long-sleeved shirts, short-sleeved shirts, etc. The result will look much better than if you just hang all your clothes in your closet willy nilly, with no clear pattern.

Declutter As You Unpack

When you hire professional packers, they'll remind you that you don't need to bring everything with you when you move. It's best to toss or donate anything you haven't used in years. But if you didn't heed this advice when you packed, it's not too late! You can still throw out items as you unpack them. It's much better than spending time finding a spot for things you won't use anyway. After all, the secret to having good feng shui in your home is keeping clutter at bay!

For example, if you're still holding onto a shirt that hasn't fit you since high school, it's probably time to get rid of it. Even if it fit, it wouldn't exactly be in style anymore, right? So it's better to donate it than to take the time to find a spot for it in your newly organized closet.

Keep At It

Want to know the secret to not being that person who has a room full of unpacked boxes months after the move? Just keep going! It's tempting to get a little done at a time so you can take a long break every couple of hours, but you're going to regret that relaxed pace when you're still unpacked next month.

So have it in your mind that you're not going to stop until every single box is unpacked! Clear your schedule, turn on music, get focused, and get to work. And once you've fully unpacked a room, break down the boxes and remove trash so you're not constantly surrounded by moving clutter.

Last Things Last

The last thing you should after unpacking is relax. That means you should keep it to a minimum until you're done! So if your favorite thing to do in the evening is sitting back and watch Netflix, then the last thing you should do is get the TV mounted, because then you're going to be distracted by shows when you should be unpacking.

So save that task as a reward for when you're done! Use it as an incentive to finally finish the move so your new house looks like a home as soon as possible. And if you find that you need some help at any point in your move, contact 3 Men Movers. We offer professional packers, movers, and moving supplies at our locations in Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas, and we'd love to help!

Call N


4 Feng Shui Basics


CREATE POSITIVE ENERGY IN YOUR NEW HOME!

Planning your move means packing, cleaning, and finding the right movers for the job.

But that’s not all moving is about!

(Okay, it mostly is.) But it’s also about making your new house the perfect home for your family, and knowing some Feng Shui basics makes this possible.

In this video, we show you how to get started as you shed the boxes and treat your home like the blank canvas it is.

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