Organizing clutter on the cheap
Hi Everyone! So, I've been in my apartment a year now, and I still haven't really taken everything out of boxes for the most part. The reason for this is that it seems that I have a lot of clutter for my small space. (1br in San Diego for $650 a month, you can guess the size because I don't know the sq. ft.) I have 2 5 shelf bookshelves full of books and papers (1 in br, 1 in living room), 2 decent sized closets with boxes in them, and in the living room the thing that the compy monitor sits on (its got sliding glass doors on it, about 3ft high, 4ft across) and a coffee table. Every spot I have has random things stuffed into it. Clothes end up on the floor until laundry day, clean clothes stay in the laundry baskets until wash time again. I want to organize everything, but I have some set backs. 1. I don't know how to organize stuff. My mom is a hoarder, I grew up with every drawer being a junk drawer and I see myself starting to have every box being a junk box. I don't even know what should go in what room for the most part. 2. I don't have much more floor space. I need to get rid of one of my two couches (I will CL, or FC one of them, I just don't know which one to part with. One is a fold out couch, the other one matches the chair, but everyone hates the material it's made out of but me.) I keep seeing entertainment centers on FC, but I'm scared if I bring one home, it's just going to become another thing that junk gets piled into. 3. Cost. I keep looking at shelves and I'm not sure what a good price is, or quite how to do it. Ikea seems to have decent prices. I see little 'photo' boxes at the 99cent store often, and I know they should be good for storage, but the few I have just have random stuff in them. It's getting expensive living in a mess. I'm having to replace things that I can't find, or that get broken. I know I'm washing clothes that aren't dirty sometimes, or dirtying up clothes that aren't worn because they end up on the floor. It's getting embarrasing having people over as well, they say they don't mind the mess, but I can tell they rather not be in my apartment. Basically, I never learned how to clean up after myself and keep my home neat. I want to learn now, and do it right. I'm asking for any tips, directions, and advice to keep a clean organized house on a budget. I'm not against making small purchases towards this goal, but I don't know what really to put my money towards. Thanks for any help the community has on this. ETA: Oh, thank everyone for so much good advice! I didn't realize that there was so much information available. From the comments it sounds that I do have a hoarding problem (I knew it was possible, I could tell stories all day about my family), and you all have given me a lot to work with. I cancelled plans yesterday to tackle the apartment tonight, and now I am very excited to go home and start making a difference!