Inexpensive Ways to Make a Small Apartment Feel Less Cluttered


If moving nearly every for the past 7 years has taught me anything it’s that:

  1. Any decorative changes I make to an apartment should be easily portable/moveable as well as inexpensive.  Trust me, I’ve learned both of these lessons the hard way.
  2. Every time I walk into a new empty apartment I always have the same feeling of doom “what did I agree to move into”.  The key is remembering that the feeling goes away as soon as I’m able to put everything in it’s new place.

Any apartment can feel cozy and far from cluttered (even if it’s a tiny Cambridge apartment) with a little TLC and these tips I’ve learned along the way:

    • Picture Frames
      • Change the pictures you have in your picture frames – This is more of a subtle thing to make the room(s) in your home seem a little more interesting (it also keeps your husband on his toes!).  It’s also really inexpensive!  I use Target Photo for my prints, I order them online and then pick them up in store… Simple as that!
      • Move picture frames around the house every so often – This is even easier than the first option and gives the room(s) in your home a subtle refresh.  I change the frames around in my living room around each season I have decor for (fall and winter mainly) and any other time I feel inspired.
      • My favorite places to buy picture frames are: TJMaxx/Marshalls (seriously, so cute and so much less expensive than other stores), Goodwill (least expensive option by far but they tend to have a hit or miss selection), and Target (only frames that are on sale which tends to be pretty limited).  Photos are fun gifts too, so if I catch a sale on cute frames I try and buy a few and save some for future decor and/or gifts.
    • Real flowers (fake flowers are good too)
      • Flowers are a great pop of color and a nice little treat for yourself (#TreatYoSelf). My favorite place to pick up fresh flowers is at Trader Joe’s when I’m doing the grocery shopping, great prices on beautiful flowers.
      • I also have fake flowers in a few of the darker areas of our apartment to add a little cheer, they last forever (obviously) which is a plus.
    • Candles
      • Have a few (2-4) candles on hand and move them around to different rooms/areas in your house.  There’s nothing I love more than a flickering candle giving off a heavenly smell at the end of a busy day.
      • Side Note: I used to have a serious problem with having a ton of candles that were half used…  Every sale on candles was too tempting.  In the past year or so I started to consider more what was going into those candles to make the scents I loved, more specifically – what chemicals was I burning and putting into the air for hours a day?  This was a Google rabbit hole that had me cleaning out all of my candle jars and recycling them like a maniac.  Since then, I have tried to buy soy candles that are made with natural ingredients.  Some of my favorites have been from a local shop here in Inman Square, Boutique Fabulous.
    • Brightly colored throw pillows
      • Having a few brightly colored throw pillows can change the look of a living room in just a couple of minutes.  I have a bench in the living room that has throw pillows on it that I change out for the pillows on the couch and vise-versa.  Pro tip: Target sells a cube shaped storage ottoman that fits two throw pillows perfectly 👍
    • Change out the bottles/containers on your counters to glass –
      • One area that drives me insane with clutter is counters (in the kitchen and the bathroom).  A simple fix to make a counter look cleaner, more put together, and less cluttered is to change out the soap dispensers.  You can pick up glass/porcelain soap dispensers at stores like Target and save just buying refill soap instead of paying for the cheap plastic pumps every time you buy soap (it’s also nicer on the environment).
    • Curtains
      • Did you know you could buy tension rods that fit in your window frame instead of hanging rods with screws?  This takes seconds rather than hours, looks great, is inexpensive, and keeps your landlord happy that you aren’t leaving holes in the window frames when you move.  (Note: We have these rods but they are the bronze color)

Are there any other tips that you would add to this list?  Let me know in the comments 😊


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