A Simple Guide to a Tidy Apartment in Jakarta

As a wholeheartedly lazy person in general, I despise having to move things around and tidy up my room. But I also don’t want to feel dirty living in my own home or to have doubts when I’m thinking about bringing home a girl from a night out. So think about it this way, an apartment only has to be tidy enough to be accepted by you and tolerated by everyone else, and you don’t have to do much for that. We should also make it easy to maintain this level of tidiness, so we don’t have to do as much work in the future. If you’re wondering how to do this, look no further because we have a great guide for you to tidy up your apartment home.

Let’s begin!

1. Buy a Filing Cabinet

You can buy any type of filing cabinets –  the regular metal ones, the plastic variation or even just a plastic drawer. Point is, you need to put your stuff somewhere other than your floor. If you already have a cabinet, do try and move things around so that there are some empty compartments so that you don’t have to buy a new one. Filing cabinets are also good if you need to store documents or anything other than clothes (be sure to get the ones with walled sides). Go check out our post on furniture stores in Jakarta to see where you can purchase a great filing cabinet.

a wooden filing cabinet
A great wooden cabinet

2. Compartmentalize

So now we get into the reason why we bought filing cabinets and/or emptied entire spaces in the cabinets we already have. Compartments mean that you can categorize your items so that you will always know where those items are  It is very practical and only requires the mental fortitude to start decluttering your apartment.

compartmentalize clothes into stacks
Compartmentalize clothes into stacks

You don’t have to do this. For me, I compartmentalize like this:

  1. Clothes
  2. Pants
  3. House Clothes and Pants
  4. Documents

It really is as simple as this to compartmentalize. Remember, it’s your filing cabinet, so do make it to your liking and feel free to customize it however you want.

3. Begin the Purge

Now that the infrastructure to a tidy room has been made, we have to start using it. This is easily the most difficult part of this process, but you must remember that you haven’t done anything at this point and that your apartment isn’t tidy yet. You have to go around your apartment and start placing things in the filing cabinets/cabinets using your own compartmentalization method. 

Unorganized kitchen ready to be cleaned
This kitchen is ready for the cleansing purge

Purging your apartment is an art, planning your attack means less work and less effort in cleaning up. I like to do it like a puzzle, using the entrance to the apartment as a corner piece to gauge what needs to go and start from there until I reach my bedroom. Once that’s done, I’ll organize my toilet. This way, I don’t any rooms or space in my apartment.

4. Centralize your Trash

The second most important part of your apartment cleaning is the fact that you need centralized trash storage in your apartment. This allows you to stack all trash in one place and leave the apartment to throw away trash ONCE A WEEK (non-organic trash only) and even have the flexibility to throw trash out less (like once every two weeks or something), knowing that you only need to throw out a single bag. If national regulations make you divide the trash for recycling, then do so in a centralized way (one for organics, one for non-organics and one for plastics), but the idea remains the same.

I use a big black plastic bag in the center room of the apartment (or the kitchen, depends on how much I feel like cooking in that month). If I plan to do a lot of cooking, then I’d use two plastic bags so that there is an additional layer to protect against leaking and probably the smell. Use two-layered organic bags if the above national regulation applies to you.

ready to take out the trash
Get those trash bags ready and start centralizing!

5. Maintain Your Momentum

Now that you’ve cleaned your apartment, you should be able to maintain the cleanliness of it relatively easily. Keeping it up is the most difficult part, but the many advantages to a tidy room really make it worth it to keep doing it, especially if you plan to have friends over. Your apartment is now able to be opened for events or dinner nights with friends. Using this guide, you’ll be able to maintain a tidy apartment in no time.

Setting a cleaning schedule
Maintain the cleanliness of your home by making a cleaning schedule

6. Additional Tips

This guide to a tidy apartment wouldn’t be complete without some little tips and tricks. There are some small tips that prevent your apartment from smelling terrible and also some things you should avoid. 

  • Beware of Organics

Organic things are usually prone to expire once it’s placed in a damp, moist and bacteria-rich environment. If you split your bags, I advise you to buy a lot of organic bags (if you cook often) and if you don’t, do try to throw it out twice a week or perhaps cook fewer meals that make any organic waste.

  • Try to keep Cooking Fat

Some people are horrified about reusing cooking fat when it really is the most sustainable way to use it. Other than sustainability, it also makes food taste better, sometimes browning products much better than pure oil. It is generally a good practice to store leftover oils and fats in a sealed container like a mason jar, but if you want to store it for longer do refrigerate your container. Do not throw out cooking fat in the sink or you will clog the pipes.

  • Other uses for Plastic Bags

My favorite trick for plastic bags is to hold wet umbrellas inside my working bag which prevent anything inside from getting wet and is generally useful for Jakarta’s rainy days. Alternatively, you can use it as it was meant to be used, as grocery carriers and always keep one or two folded inside your bag just in case you want to buy something.

And there you have it, a quick and easy guide to make your apartment tidy and neat. I will state that everything here should be done according to your capabilities and that you should adapt this to what works for you. Just because I can get a stainless steel filing cabinet for my clothes does not mean that you can’t get a plastic version of an open cabinet if you wanted to. Happy cleaning!

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