Keeping your apartment clean and free of clutter can be a challenge when you have a busy life. At the end of a long day, scrubbing the kitchen floor or putting away laundry is probably the last thing you want to do. Unfortunately, the longer you put off cleaning, the messier your apartment gets. These tips will help you keep your home clean and give you more time to spend on the things you enjoy most.
Follow the 15-Minute Rule
You may not have the energy to clean for an hour or two after you get home from work, but you can probably handle a 15-minute cleaning spree. Every evening, set the timer on your phone, then pick up clutter, stack dishes in the dishwasher, and put coats and shoes in your closet.
Some people prefer to devote the nightly 15-minute period to a different task every evening. One night they may drop the sheets in the washer and put fresh ones on the bed, while the next night may be devoted to washing the kitchen floor and cleanings the stovetop.
Don’t Ignore the Mail
Is your coffee table or dining room table covered by stacks of mail? Mail can pile up more quickly than you might realize. Unfortunately, that stack may soon become too overwhelming to tackle.
You’ll significantly reduce clutter in your home by sorting your mail every day. Since the task only takes a few minutes, it can be done while you watch TV or wait for dinner to finish cooking.
Sort the day’s mail into three piles: junk mail, bills and correspondence, and important documents. Immediately place the junk mail in your recycling container, bills and correspondence on your desk or in your office, and important documents in your files.
Do you still receive paper statements from your bank, credit card company, or utility provider? Most company websites often offer the option to switch to convenient digital statements if you’d like. Overwhelmed by junk mail? Pay $2 to decrease the amount of junk mail you receive by removing your name from the mailing lists used to generate the mail.
Take Advantage of Technology
Keeping your home clean and neat is much easier when you take advantage of the latest advancements in cleaning technology. If you rarely have time to vacuum, consider buying a robotic vacuum. Robot vacuums work on carpets, tile, and hardwood floors and can be set to run while you’re asleep or at work. They can even be controlled remotely with your smartphone.
Other high-tech gadgets, such as self-cleaning blenders and HEPA air filters, reduce the amount of cleaning you’ll need to do. Air filters not only remove allergens from the air but help keep dust under control.
Clean Out-of-the-Way Areas
Your home may not be quite as clean as it looks if you only focus on the areas you can see. Move furniture, clean the dust from baseboards and blinds, and don’t forget to vacuum the back of your refrigerator occasionally. In addition to cleaning the inside of the toilet, don’t forget about the exterior too. Germs and grime that build up around the base are often overlooked during cleaning.
How long has it been since you cleaned your toothbrush holder? According to a National Sanitation Foundation study, the holders are the third germiest spots in your home. Other areas that made that top ten list include:
Kitchen sponge/dish rag (#1)
Kitchen sink (#2)
Pet bowl (#4)
Coffee maker reservoir (#5)
Kitchen and bathroom faucet handles (#6)
Pet toys (#7)
Stove knobs (#9)
Cutting boards (#10)
Clean Up Spills Immediately
Neglecting spills only increases the amount of work you’ll need to do later. It’s much easier to wipe away spilled juice in the refrigerator now than scrub the hardened mess a week from now. When you treat carpet mishaps as soon as they happen, stains are less likely to become permanent.
Buy an Extra-Large Hamper
If your hamper is too full, clothing tends to overflow onto the floor or even a nearby chair. Why not prevent the problem by buying an extra-large hamper that offers plenty of room for a week’s worth of dirty laundry? Don’t have room for a hamper? Put dirty clothes in a laundry bag or a king-size pillowcase instead.
Use a Cleaning Caddy
Do you waste 10 minutes searching for the supplies you need to clean? When you have a cleaning caddy, you’ll never have to try to remember the last place you saw the furniture polish or what you did with your cleaning gloves. Choose a caddy big enough to hold the cleaning products you use regularly or use separate caddies for bathroom and kitchen cleaning.
Ideally, weekends should be spent doing exactly what you want when you want. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a staff to prepare your meals and clean your home, some portion of the weekend must be devoted to cleaning. The longer you put off cleaning, the less likely it will get done. When you block off an hour or two on Saturday morning for cleaning, you can spend the rest of the weekend doing the things you enjoy.
Make a Schedule
It's easy to overlook the little details when you’re in a hurry to finish cleaning. Creating a cleaning schedule that lists every task for every room in your apartment will help you ensure that you don’t miss a key area. Next to each item on the list, note how often you’ll need to tackle the task. For example, your bedroom cleaning list might look like this:
Put away clothing and shoes (every day)
Make bed (every day)
Change sheets (once a week)
Empty trashcan (once a week)
Dust (once a week)
Vacuum carpeting or clean wood or tile floors (once a week)
Wash blankets (once a month)
Clean baseboards, trim, and windows (once a month)
Organize and clean closet (once or twice a year)
Clean From the Top Down
You’ll create more work for yourself if the last area you tackle when you clean is the dust at the top of the ceiling fan or refrigerator. Avoid dirtying your freshly cleaned floors and countertops by cleaning the highest items in the room first.
Deep Clean Twice or More Each Year
Deep cleaning is an essential part of keeping your apartment fresh or clean. Whether you prefer to clean in the spring or fall, or any other time of the year, make sure you:
Dust and wash ceilings, baseboards, walls, lamps, and even light bulbs
(You’ll be amazed how much brighter things look when your lightbulbs aren’t coated with dust)
Remove items from your kitchen and bathroom cabinets and wash cabinet interiors
Clean the interiors of refrigerators, washers, dryers, ovens, microwaves, and dishwashers
Wash your windows and curtains and blinds
Steam clean carpets
(Rent a cleaner or hire a carpet cleaning company)
Use an old toothbrush to clean the shower and sliding door tracks
Clean out your closet and donate or throw away clothes you haven’t worn in the last year or that no longer fit
Wash dust ruffles, quilts, comforters, blankets, and duvets
Remove dirt and grime from your range hood and the exteriors of kitchen cabinets
It’s hard to keep your apartment clean if it’s just too small. Luckily, the apartments at Fairway 28, a Country Classics Rental Community, and Harrison Square, Country Classics' upcoming apartment community in Frenchtown, offers all the space you need to prevent clutter from overtaking your life. If you’ve been thinking about upgrading your apartment, contact the friendly staff at Fairway 28 today or join the VIP list for Harrison Square.
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