Maintaining an orderly home is hard enough when you have an attic, storage unit or parents’ garage for overflow. In a square-footage-challenged apartment with none of those, it’s damn near impossible. We turned to Whitney Giancoli, an interior stylist who knows a thing or two about maximizing NYC spaces (she’s been featured on Apartment Therapy and Instagrams at @5thfloorwalkup). Here, her top rules for keeping the chaos in check.
Everything should have "assigned seating."
“I'm not saying you can't ever have dishes drying on your countertop, but your default mode should be with everything tucked in its own place,” Giancoli says. That means if you’re used to just draping your coat on the back of the couch until the next time you need it, you might want to find it a designated hook or spot in the closet.
When drawer space is slim, boxes and bins are your best friends.
“Boxes and bins are a great way to store items that you wouldn't normally want on display (like a hair dryer), or high quantities of smaller objects (like your makeup collection).” And while old shoeboxes technically fit the bill, we suggest investing in something a little more uniform.
Purge at least twice a year.
“Unless you exercise some serious self-discipline when buying things and/or accepting gifts, you probably let things accumulate,” Giancoli says. Um, guilty as charged. Her preferred schedule is “right before it gets cold and right before it gets hot,” but any time of year works, as long as you stick to it. “If you have kids, another good time to purge is right before birthdays and each time they move up in clothing size.”