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15 New Year's Resolutions for Apartment Renters in 2021

By: Justin Chaplin
December 31, 2020

A brand new year is finally here! After a strange 2020, it's time to make the most of 2021! Make 2021 all about creating a productive, organized, and low-stress life with some simple changes. 

Get proactive about making the new year the best year ever with these 15 New Year's resolutions for renters!

Top 15 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home

1. Wash Your Dishes After Eating

There's no use denying it. The moment we put the dirty dishes in the sink, it's like they become invisible. Maybe we just tell our roommates that they "need to soak."

Make one of your New Year's resolutions all about kitchen tidiness. It all starts with your sink. Squeaky clean dishes also mean fewer crumbs that attract bugs and other unwelcome pests.

2. Outsource Your Chores

If you detest chores, why not outsource them to someone else? Sites like TaskRabbit and Thumbtack are full of contractors looking to change your lightbulbs, freshen up your landscaping, or clean out your closet. They can also do just about any other chores you can think of. 

You can even arrange for pick-up and drop-off of your dirty laundry to wash. Some contractors will wash and fold your clothes. Take some of the responsibility off your plate in 2021.

3. Schedule Your Chores

It’s tougher to finish your list of chores if you don’t schedule them. Set aside an hour on a specific day every week. Use that time to tackle your apartment chores with vigor.

You can also turn it into a competition with a roommate. Try to see who finishes the most tasks during that hour. Make the prize taking a night off from cooking dinner or getting a free round of drinks at the local pub.

4. Organize Your Food

No one talks about organizing your food as a valuable apartment living tip. However, it can save you time, money, and frustration. 

Remove food from open boxes and bags. Then, organize them into sealed containers. This technique keeps all your food highly visible and as fresh as possible. 

Next, scrub down the interiors of your fridge and cupboards. Line the pantry with shelving paper. That’ll help keep your food area looking and smelling fresh. 

5. Throw Away Everything That's Expired

Attacking your pantry and fridge is the perfect time to throw out expired food. However, there's still more to do for your New Year's resolutions list. 

Medication, makeup, and even car seats all have expiration dates. Make sure to check on those things and toss or recycle any if need be. 

You should even toss items that don't technically have an expiration date. One example is pillows over three years old that are just inviting dust mites to stay.

6. Dust Every Surface

You may think your home looks pretty good without a thorough dusting. However, it could invite problems you can’t see. Dust mites thrive in dusty areas, as well as allergens that keep you feeling under the weather. 

Keep your home feeling and looking fresh with a complete dusting. Focus on everything from the tops of bookcases to underneath your spice containers. Dust loves to hide, so make sure to look at every surface obsessively.

7. Vacuum Under the Furniture

Once the dusting is under control, vacuum your carpet and under the furniture. The bed is often the hardest to vacuum under. Recruit a roommate or neighbor to help. 

Just make sure all those stray socks and unmentionables are out of the way first!

8. Reorganize Your Space to Make Your Life Easier

How often do you stress about not being able to find your keys, coat, and shoes? Make it your New Year's resolution to create a more comfortable life, starting with an organized space. 

Nest all of your bags together in one closet. Move your coats, hats, gloves, and everyday items to the entryway area for quick access. 

Repeat that process in every room in your house until everything from your kitchen to your bedroom makes more sense.

9. Unsubscribe From Services You Aren't Using

Take a look at your favorite budgeting app. Scour for services you're not using or no longer care about. Magazines and subscription boxes are often a money suck without people even realizing it.

You can also strategize how to save yourself some serious cash. Consider ditching the cable service for an affordable alternative. Downgrade your Spotify account. Ask your cell phone carrier to give you a reason to stick around this year. 

10. Set Up Autopay for Your Bills

How many times did you stress this year about paying your rent, electricity, internet, and everything else you can't live without? Simplify your life and set up auto-pay for your bills. That’ll be one less thing you have to think about.

Just remember to vary the payment dates. That way, everything doesn't come out of your checking account at the same time.

11. Declutter Like a Pro

Our stress levels and clutter control often go hand in hand. Create more calm in your life by decluttering and donating everything you don't need. 

Get rid of the old board games and books. Donate your extra winter jacket and keep your countertops and bookcases clear. 

Want to declutter like a pro? Snag this Printable Marie Kondo Checklist.

12. Grab a Weekly Basket

Once you’ve decluttered your home and created clean, open surfaces, it's time to strategize. Grab a cute basket and designate it as your weekly to-do pile. 

Add any mail, clutter, and reminders that you need to deal with. Then, select an hour each week to tackle the pile.

13. Streamline Your Furniture

Oversized couches may feel necessary when throwing an apartment bash. However, they’re just taking up space in your living room. 

Reclaim your space with a "less is more" mentality and ditch big furniture for smaller options. 

You can also think about furniture with multiple functionalities. One example is an ottoman that transforms into an extra seat. Some of them also house a secret storage compartment inside. 

Need design help? Try one of these interior design apps to spice up your apartment.

14. Make Your Space More Welcoming

Treat your home as a refuge for relaxation. Make it more welcoming with a few touches like green plants and airy window treatments that let natural light pour in. You can also create a cozy area for reading. 

Make a space just for you this year. Add an upholstered armchair, side table, and reading lamp in a designated corner. Make it a New Year's resolution to make more quiet time to relax and reflect.

15. Invest in a Splurge

With so much cleaning, donating, and tossing, your home may start to feel a little sparse. Make one of your New Year's resolutions about a calculated splurge. 

Whether you want a smart lighting gadget to illuminate your home or a new Amazon Echo to help you stay organized, splurge on your comfort this year.

How to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions

Charting out your New Year's resolutions is usually easier than keeping them. Make this year different with a plan of action for success.

  • Keep it realistic: New Year's resolutions for your home shouldn't be about completing your tasks in a single week. Pace yourself. Set realistic expectations and deadlines that can shift when life gets hectic.

  • Come up with a plan: How, exactly, will you execute on your New Year's resolutions and stick with them? Decide on set times to clean and organize. Determine how much to invest in new furniture and organizational tools for your apartment.

  • Find some support: There's no reason to tackle your New Year's resolutions alone. Find some support in a roommate, friend, or an organizational app. That can help you stay accountable and on task.

  • Track your progress: It's easy to overlook just how far you've come or what little progress you've made without tracking it. Grab a journal or your favorite productivity app to track your New Year's resolution progress.

  • Reward yourself: Sticking to your New Year's resolutions and accomplishing your goals is challenging work. Reward yourself with a fancy coffee or long hike over the weekend. You may also enjoy some new bubble bath to celebrate your efforts.

Enjoy the Benefits of Your Resolutions!

Pick and choose your favorite New Year's resolutions from this list. Kick off 2021 like a rock star! You'll end up with a brand new outlook on life where your home makes you feel like anything is possible.

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Justin is a Content Manager and contributing author at Apartment List, helping people navigate the world of renting. Justin previously spent his time earning his BBA in Marketing from Boise State University. Read More
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