Decluttering has a plethora of benefits. Keeping your space decluttered can improve mental health and make it easier to keep your space clean and pest-free. Unfortunately, decluttering can be a difficult task, especially when a busy schedule gets in the way. Renting can add even more obstacles to the mix.

Between predictable sunshine and the lack of a busy school schedule for families, summer is one of the best times to declutter. Before the back-to-school season starts, take some time to ensure an organized and clutter-free home for the upcoming busy weeknights.

If you rent, there are a few extra things you should consider when you begin the decluttering process. These tips will help you organize, reset, and keep your landlord (and your neighbors) happy in the process.

Check Your Lease for Any Limitations:

Decluttering and donating or selling your items can be an excellent way to give back or earn some extra cash. However, how you do it matters if you rent. Before you begin, be sure you give your lease an extra lookover to see if there are any limitations you should expect on the property. This is especially important if you live at a multifamily residential property since apartment complexes can have more residents and common area restrictions to ensure everyone is safe and enjoying the premiss.

Yard Sale Limitations:

While a yard sale can feel like a no-brainer for getting rid of excess clutter, be sure you have plenty of space and permission from your landlord or property manager to conduct a sale. You may still be able to conduct a sale, but may have to be a little extra creative.

Check with your landlord or property manager to see if there is a public space in front of, inside of or around your apartment community that can be used. Your manager should be able to inform you about rules and regulations for the property and the surrounding public areas.

Common Area Storage Limitations:

Whether you plan to sell, donate, or discard your excess items, it is important to acknowledge the rules of your residence. If your apartment complex has common areas, it can be tempting to store some items there while you are in the middle of decluttering and sorting. Unfortunately, this can violate your residence’s rules and regulations. While storing items for just a few hours might be tempting, it can result in a fire or tripping hazard, so be sure to keep any decluttered items in your home until you are ready to remove them.

Refuse Limitations:

If you rent a single-family home, be sure that you are tossing and recycling items according to your municipality’s regulations. Overstuffing the trashcan or attempting to recycle items that cannot be recycled can result in fines and difficulties for your landlord if they pay utilites. Avoid a potentially uncomfortable situation by discarding items appropriately when you declutter your rental.

If you live in an apartment complex, ensure you are following the rules regarding discarding items. Anything too large to fit in the community dumpster should be disposed of appropriately. If you are unsure about a particular item, call your landlord or manager to ask for disposal rules and recommendations.

Make it a Team Effort:

Just because you rent, doesn’t mean you are limited in your ability to declutter and engage your neighbors. Check with your fellow residents or neighbors about getting together to participate in group decluttering opportunities.

Create a neighborhood or apartment community page online to share any swap items residents may want to remove.
Find a friend to declutter with (do the same for them). Sometimes it can take a fresh pair of eyes to see if an item is worth keeping.
Dedicate a day to collectively donate to a local charity. Having a specific date in mind can get everyone involved and stick to the comment to declutter.

Consider asking your landlord or property manager if you are allowed to arrange a resident-wide yard sale! This can be a great way to build community and get to know your neighbors.

Learn more: 5 Fun Ways to Declutter with Fellow Residents: Infographic

Declutter with Your Future Lease in Mind:

When it comes to organizing, decorating, and even decluttering, renters face unique challenges. As a renter, you might move to a different property with a different layout in the future. When evaluating your space, consider what fits well with your lifestyle and current home layout in the here-and-now, but don’t forget to consider your future housing options. If you have a lease that will be up in 6 months to a year, be thoughtful about your future lease or housing situation before parting with an item you may want down the road.

Don’t forget to evaluate your items based on functionality (multi-functioning items are ideal for renters organizing in a small space) and how easy they are to move. Heavy or bulky items might be challenging to transport, so you may need to give extra thought when deciding whether to keep, donate, or sell these items. That vintage piece of furniture may look nice, but if it’s not optimal for your current layout, and it’s heavy or bulky to move, it may be time to evaluate its place in your home.