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Things You Don’t Need in Your Apartment, According to Designers

To help you get your place into tip-top organizational shape, we polled designers on the items that just do not belong in your apartment. Soak up their tips, then do a quick pantry, cupboard, or closet clean-out.

“I somehow always end up with so many of those free vases that come with mailed floral arrangements and have to do a regular purge. When I’m doing a room design, I make sure to select one or two sculptural vases that can stand alone without the addition of flowers, so my clients always have a vase somewhere in the house they can add flowers to when they receive or purchase them. This way, they don’t have to hoard plain vases in their valuable cabinet space.” —Designer Kerra Michele Huerta, founder of Kerra Michele Interiors in Washington, DC

“Of course, you be the judge of your own literature and whether or not you intend to reread something, but in most cases, we read a book and then it lives on a shelf for many years collecting dust. If you’re in a small or temporary space, go through your books and donate them to schools, libraries, or anywhere else they could be read by others.” Designer Kerra Michele Huerta, founder of Kerra Michele Interiors in Washington, DC

“This is coming from a person who possesses more books than anything else. If space is an issue, consolidate your favorite reads onto one digital platform. While nothing replaces the feeling of holding a physical book, you will thank yourself when you don’t have to haul boxes of books to your next place.” —Designer Elle Jupiter, founder of Elle Jupiter Design Studio in New Orleans

“These can be hard to store in an apartment and take up valuable pantry and/or counter space, especially since they’re most likely used very sparingly. Instead, look for multifunction appliances, like an air fryer/toaster combo, to free up valuable space!” —Designer Heather DiSabella, founder of Heather DiSabella Interior Design in Washington, DC

4. Single-Use Kitchen Gadgets

“As much as many of us want to live like a celebrity chef in our own kitchens, single-use kitchen gadgets can consume a lot of space and are often exceptionally unnecessary. Do yourself a favor and pass on the strawberry huller, herb scissors, and the like. Stick with simple yet high-quality kitchen basics that are multifunctional.” Designer Elle Jupiter, founder of Elle Jupiter Design Studio in New Orleans

“A fresh, luxurious candle is a great housewarming present. However, after three, you can close up shop. Having too many candles of all different scents filling your shelves is unnecessary clutter that no longer remains functional.” —Designer Larisa Barton, founder of Soeur Interiors in New York City

“Do you really need those eight extra mugs for ‘in case’ you have guests that ALL want coffee at the same time?!” —Interior stylist Kelly Hartley, founder of Hartley Home in Florida

7. Lots of Extras in General

“We’ve been taught as a society to always be prepared: Have a backup plan, and then another plan for your backup plan. This preparedness mindset leaks over into our home lives causing us to collect and accumulate more things because ‘you never know’ — a phrase I’m guilty of using myself! We stuff our linen closets with multiple sets of towels for a number of guests we will rarely, if ever, host all at once … While I admit that I love a bit of variety and a few options myself, our homes and our minds will feel so much better once we retire managing multiples of everything we own!” —Designer Brandi Wilkins, founder of Three Luxe Nine Interiors in Frederick, Maryland

“If you are an apartment-dweller, your space should reflect only the things that you love and bring you joy. As nice as it is that your dentist mailed you a branded coffee mug for the holidays, it’s not something that you have to keep. If you are low on space, consider donating free promotional items that have no sentimental value.” —Designer Elle Jupiter, founder of Elle Jupiter Design Studio in New Orleans

9. Drapes or Curtains on Your Kitchen Windows

“Let there be light! If you’re lucky enough to have a window in your kitchen, skipping a curtain actually adds depth to your space because it allows more light to enter in your apartment.” —Designer Anita Williams, founder of PLD Design Studio in Richmond, Virginia

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