Tips for keeping my apartment clean? Tips for motivating myself to finish unpacking?
Apartment Cleaning 101
1. Make a list. Start by making of list of everything that needs cleaning in your apartment. I like to let lists like these sit out for a day or two, to adjust and add to them as need be. Give yourself a couple days to brainstorm, and try to prioritize chores based off of how time consuming they are.
2. Chore frequency. You’ll notice that some chores become more time consuming the longer you wait to do them, while others do not. Dishes are a prime example- I try to get them done twice a day at least. Vacuuming my apartment, on the other hand, always takes around the same amount of time, so it doesn’t really matter when during the week I do it, just so long as I get it done!
3. Chore schedule. Basing this next bit off your findings above, plan your “chore schedule”. If you live with roommates and will be dividing chores, you may find it easiest to actually create a hardcopy of a schedule. You’re looking to divide this into three categories:
- Chores that need to be done every day: Dishes for example
- Chores that need to be done once a week: Vacuuming or mopping for example
- Chores that need to be done once a month: Cleaning your refrigerator or closet for example
If you are a pet owner or live with multiple people, you may need a fourth category called “chores that need to be done twice a week”. Things like changing the cat litter or doing a load of laundry.
4. Divide and conquer. I’m adding this bit for those of you who live with roommates and/or significant others. You can look at doing chores two different ways:
- Every man for himself (you do your own dishes, your own laundry, you’re responsible for vacuuming your room or living space)
- Division of labor (my boyfriend cooks, so I do the dishes)
Find a happy medium for all parties concerned, especially if you’re splitting chores with someone you’re sleeping with. I do think it’s important to take into account each person’s business in terms of their work and school load. On days when my boyfriend works eleven hours, I don’t mind picking up the slack and vice versa.
5. Cleaning floors- the complete guide.
- Wooden Floors
- Allow to air-dry
- Use a hardwood cleaner (like Bona) to get any difficult spots out
- Tiled Floors
- Allow to air-dry
- Use a bleach-based cleaner (like Clorox) to get any difficult spots out.
- Carpeted Floors
- Vacuum (use the vacuum’s highest setting)
- Use an all-purpose cleaner (like Meyer’s) to get any difficult spots out.
6. Mopping. Forget about mixing your own bleach-based chemicals and using one of those raggedy anne mops. Get yourself a Swiffer Wet Jet to save yourself some serious time and headache. Buy the generic brand pad refills for a fraction of the name brand price!
7. Vacuum. You’ll make your life 100x easier if you find yourself a semi-expensive vacuum that doesn’t require vacuum bags. This is my vacuum and I love it.
8. Wood floors vs. Carpet floors. I personally prefer hardwood floors because they just have a nicer “foot feel” than their counterparts. However, they do require more upkeep than carpet floors, because you can actively feel them getting grotty as your week progresses. Thick carpet is more time-consuming to clean, but you can go two weeks without properly vacuuming and nobody will be any the wiser because the grime just blends in. Disgusting but true.
9. Scented garbage bags. Literally cost the same as regular garbage bags, but help you trash smell fresher for longer. I like to wrap any disregarded food bits (chicken bones, rotten vegetables, etc) in a plastic garbage bag before throwing them in my trash, and this really makes a difference.
10. Kitchen countertops. Unless you’re butchering meat in your apartment, plain old soapy water is the best countertop cleaner. I try to clean my countertops multiple times throughout the week, but sometimes I’m in a rush and only get to it once a week.
11. Washing dishes. I’ve tried lots of name brands and generic brands, and in my opinion the longest lasting and best bang for it’s buck is Dawn dish soap. I’m partial to their Caribbean Escapes which make your kitchen smell like a tropical island. Remember to never leave your sponge sitting in the sink, a moist sponge is prone to all sorts of bad bacteria. If you have a dishwasher, run your sponge through it once or twice a week with your regular wash.
12. Some cleaners to invest in.
- Windex: Bought a bottle four years ago when I’m moved into my first apartment and still have about 1/3 of it left. Use to clean windows, mirrors and sliding glass doors.
- Bona: It’s the best wood cleaner ever. Ever!
- Clorox: I currently own both the spray and the disinfectant wipes.
- Meyer’s: Or some other multi-purpose organic cleaner.
I will do a post sometime tomorrow about unpacking! Hope this helps.