Balancing our work, social, and personal lives can be a chaotic daily struggle. So when we come home for our nightly recharge, a clean and organized space makes a world of difference. We each have our own methods, for keeping our homes calm and clutter-free — whether we learned them from family,
favorite blogs, or by happy accident. Home organization takes effort, but even just one trusted hack can help us feel sheltered from, and in control of, all that outside noise.
Ahead we ask millennial women from across the country to share the foolproof tricks they use for maintaining order inside of private spaces. Even if it's a technique you already practice (rolling shirts to save closet space) or one you've yet to consider (assigning each belonging a specific spot), give these tested hacks a chance to serve as your very own serenity refresh. Try out one (or all) tonight and let us know your favorites for keeping your apartment together in the comments below.
photographed by Phoebe Chuason.
Stylish Storage Solutions
"If your apartment doesn’t have a lot of closets or storage spaces, make your own using a Japanese-style standing curtain. There are a lot of pretty ones
available online for under $100
(and plenty beyond that to splurge on), and then you can just throw all the stuff you have nowhere else to put (I use it for suitcases, out-of-season clothes, and the giant box of old CDs my boyfriend refuses to part with) behind it. Your guests will be none the wiser."
Why You Should Try It:
"So many New York apartments have, like, one closet if you’re lucky, so it’s crucial to figure out storage alternatives. Plus, this is an easy way to manage clutter without having to really do much, and that’s my kind of hack."
Where It Came From:
"To be honest, I’m not sure. The idea just kind of came to me one day, and I’ve never looked back."
Photographed by Erica Gannett.
Everything Has A Place
Occupation: Consultant Age: 23 The Hack: "Make sure EVERYTHING has a place! (even the random things — like your chapstick or the mail)." Why You Should Try It: "When everything has a place, you know where everything is and it's easier to clean up. I can tell you where everything I own is inside my apartment, down to which side of the drawer it's in! It makes life so much easier. Example: Makeup in my makeup organizer next to my sink; extra toiletries are in a bin under the bed; loose papers/mail are in files in my nightstand; winter sweaters are in the basket at the top left of my closet. I think when living in tiny apartments it's important to find a place for everything so you aren't piling things in the corner. I also utilize ALL the space in the room. If there is an empty wall and nowhere to put my bags, perfect place for wall hooks! My bed is on a bed frame that fits suitcases underneath, which store my summer clothes." Where It Came From: "Maybe my dad, he is very organized like me and I grew up in a clutter-free house."
Photographed by CJ Issac.
Clear Plastic Boxes
Occupation: Writer & Educator Age: 25 The Hack: "Clear plastic boxes! I use these in the bathroom cabinets, in my desk, and anywhere else I can! I have a variety of clear plastic boxes in different sizes to store things like extra soap, hair ties and clips, chapsticks, pens, highlighters, or whatever! I like the clear plastic because I can see what's inside. I also sometimes put an index card with a list of the contents inside that I can read through the box." Why You Should Try It: "I like to have backups of everything, so that I never find myself without a chapstick or hair band when I need it. That led to my bathroom cabinets and desk being very junky. I like organizing my "extras" with like things together, so I can keep stock of my supplies and access things when needed." Where It Came From: "I learned this from my mom. Growing up, we organized a lot of my toys in empty tissue boxes with the contents written on the side, so I could tell the "A Goofy Movie" toys tissue box from the "California Raisins" toys tissue box. I now use a version of this method to organize my extra toiletries, office supplies, etc."
photographed by CJ Isaac.
Occupation: Thespian Age: 23 The Hack: "After folding your T-shirts roll them up and as place them side by side when you put them in your drawer (rather than stacking them vertically). Serves to make it easier to see what’s in your drawer plus it’s a space saver." Why You Should Try It: "I got tired of pulling everything out of drawer to see what was underneath when looking for something to wear." Where It Came From: "If I’m ever bored I binge watch organizational videos. I saw them rolling up T-shirt’s to pack in a suitcase for space saving ideas, but i actually saw it as a way to organize my T-shirt drawer."
photographed by Erica Gannett.
Occupation: Scheduler Age: 27 The Hack: "I stack my glasses in my cabinet upside down/facing up to increase cabinet space." Why You Should Try It: "Because apartment cabinets are crazy small and there is never any space." Where It Came From: "My mom."
Photographed by Erica Gannett.
Off Season Clothing Swap
Occupation: Partnerships Account Manager Age: 25 The Hack: "I have a bed frame that has a lot of space underneath. I buy those big plastic bins from the Container Store and keep my off season clothes in them. When the time comes, I switch the clothes in my closet with the clothes in the bin." Why You Should Try It: "[I'm] not quite at the walk-in closet stage yet, so gotta make extra closet space! If there is more space in my closet, then I have more room to hang up my clothes and not just leave them thrown on the floor when I'm picking out an outfit." Where It Came From: "My sister taught me every organizational tip that I know. She is a type A neat freak, and I'm the complete opposite. But getting better!"
Photographed by Liz Clayman.
Occupation: Recruiter Age: 26 The Hack: "Racks within kitchen shelves to create to layers of storage." Why You Should Try It: "To be honest, it is my only one. I don't really have many hacks, at least I don't think. Pretty basic. I also have hanging shelves in my closet for layers of shelving for sheets sweatshirts etc." Where It Came From: "Family member."
photographed by Winnie Au.
Constantly Purging Clutter
Occupation: Scheduler Age: 31 The Hack: "Purging everything, all the time." Why You Should Try It: "Nothing annoys me more than being in a rush and not being able to find something among clutter. So to avoid this I am constantly throwing things out. Not holding on to extra items and only keeping necessities." Where It Came From: "Life lessons. I used to keep everything, I'm still sentimental — but now I hold on to memories and not things. Things are just things."
Photographed by Larson Gunnar.
Occupation: HR Age: 25 The Hack: "Utilizing storage in a non-typical way. Example: Having nice looking baker shelving in a bedroom instead of the kitchen." Why You Should Try It: "Creates more storage space while also making the room unique." Where It Came From: "My mother."