6 Dirty Little Secrets of People Who Live in Small, Perfectly Organized Apartments

published Oct 11, 2016
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(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)

Let’s be honest: we all have a friend or family member who against all odds is irritatingly clean. Despite their studio-sized apartment space and insanely jam-packed schedule, they somehow manage to keep their place perennially—if not inexplicably—prim.

However once you look past all of the dust-free ceiling fans and alphabetized storage boxes, you might find something a little more soiling: Behind some of the most spotless spaces are a few of the dirtiest tricks of the trade—think: rented furniture, hidden storage units, and even, gasp, junk drawers—keeping things together. Scroll ahead on for the not so-squeaky-clean secrets of the utmost orderly dwellers.

1. They have a lot of hidden storage

Sure the whole place might seem perfectly pared down from a safe distance, but peek under the bed, behind the sofa, or inside the oven (yes, the oven) and you may find a different story. Living in a cramped space means having to forge storage space wherever possible, especially in secretive spots that are hidden from plain sight. Suddenly your underused oven doesn’t seem like such a bad shoe rack after all.

2. They aren’t afraid to ask for help

Whether it means divvying up chores amongst roommates or formally hiring a housekeeper, truly organized people know there’s power in numbers when it comes to creating a continuously clean space. So while it may seem like their pad is always under control on their own accord, there’s also a strong chance they’re not working at it alone.

3. They outsource storage space

Although it might seem a tad excessive, securing storage outside your home is a clever—and popular—way to save room in a small apartment. Whether this means renting a proper unit or begging a family member with a basement, take a cue from your clean friends and get yourself some off-site storage space.

4. They borrow things, a lot

When storage space is at a premium, there’s no room to stash away things that don’t get used very often. So while you might be struggling to find space in the closet for an air mattress and spare pillows for the few times a year you host an overnight guest, your neat buddies skip all the hassle and instead lean on a friend or family member to loan them those sorts of infrequent essentials.

5. They aren’t necessarily neater, just really good at getting rid of stuff

While some use words like “curated” to describe their subdued decorating style, what it really means is that they’re just super selective about what gets to stay. Instead of scooping up every decent sale item they see or hanging onto all the gifts they’re given, continually tidy people make a point of only holding onto the good stuff. Meaning their house is only home to the things they truly love and the rest is either donated or re-gifted.

6. They can still be super messy

Whether it’s a catch-all junk drawer in the kitchen or cluttered hallway closet, even the tidiest of tenants can get messy on occasion. Although their apartments appear endlessly immaculate at first glance, odds are that, upon closer inspection, things aren’t so superbly spotless. Remember that regardless of your schedule and size of living space, there’s always a secret to keeping an eternally clean place, or at the very least, faking one.

Re-edited from a post originally published 10.12.2016 – TW