Living in New York can often mean living in small studios and sublets, and the smaller your apartment, the quicker it can become cluttered.

Even if you take the time to tidy up, for some reason it’ll look exactly the same as before in a matter of a days. If this has happened to you more often than you can count, it’s time to reorganize your home. But how? Here are some expert tips to help you get organized and stay organized in the future.

1. Seriously Declutter

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If you don’t have enough space, then there’s just one solution; get rid of things. If you haven’t used something within the last year, toss it.

It’s amazing how much junk ends up piling up in our apartments over the years. Also, avoid thinking, “I can’t get rid of this yet, I might use it soon.” Chances are, you won’t, and the old picture frame or ‘painting shirt’ will be up for debate again in your next decluttering mission. Toss it now.

There are some things we hold on to because they have a certain worth, so reorganizing your home could earn you a few bucks in the process. Get on Craigslist and find a new owner for your belongings.

2. Open Up the Room

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In addition to decluttering, consider getting rid of furniture pieces or that cute vase you bought on a whim and never used.

“Too many chairs, couches, tables, and decorative items can quickly make a room look cluttered and feel closed in,” professional organizer Vanessa Hayes told HGTV. “Selecting just a few pieces can open up a space and make it feel more relaxing and peaceful.” As an added bonus, fewer things will make the rooms look bigger as well.

3. Have a System

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Go at it systematically, start in the bathroom and eliminate any empty shampoo bottles or dried-out mascara. Then move on to the kitchen and start to tackle the pantry and fridge. Keep moving from room to room until every useless item has vanished from your apartment.

By the way, some spaces in your home may look organized but they’re not. Say you originally started piling up your mail on the side of your dresser and it just became the designated mail spot. Since you’ve been doing this for a while, you’re now used to the sight of it. Another example is putting post-its and schedules on the fridge and never removing them. Those habits can make your home look cluttered fast. Focus on these spots and think about a way of reorganizing them.

4. Store Smart

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Another mistake we tend to make when we switch into reorganizing mode is that we go out and just buy storage boxes and tools at random. Our hope is that these will help us make everything look more organized.

“People think that buying a bunch of storage boxes will solve their clutter nightmares, but it usually just adds to the frustration,” says Vanessa Hayes. Instead, reorganize first, then decide on the products that will help you keep things in order.

5. Find a Designated Spot For Everything

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The key here is to not only designate a place for everything when reorganizing your home, but ensure it makes sense as well. For example, putting your blender away every day after using it might waste your time. Instead, put it in a corner of your kitchen and keep it installed there, saving you a few minutes of setting it up and putting it back every day.

Pay attention to the small details. For instance, identical hangers will make your closet look more organized. Small labels on your spice jars in the kitchen will keep you from adding salt to your brownies. Focus on making your life easier with organizing.

Final Verdict

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When reorganizing your home, do it right. Take the time to organize your belongings in a way that will help keep your place tidy, instead of just throwing everything into one drawer and hoping it reappears when needed. Instead of buying organizing tools without a specific purpose, first determine what you need and then go shopping. Happy reorganizing!