Don’t Forget to Spring Clean These Unexpected Spots

Chances are that after Mardi Gras, most people’s apartments could use a good scrubbing. There’s no better feeling than a clean space, but it’s easy to forget to clean certain areas. We’ve collected a list of spring cleaning tips focused on commonly forgotten areas – give these places a good scrubbing, and you’ll notice a difference in your home’s overall appearance and feel while also reducing germs, dirt, and grime.

A sparklingly clean kitchen at Surf Rider apartments in Metairie.

Unexpected Spots to Clean

Crevices between Appliances

Have you noticed crumbs or food stuck in the tiny gap between your oven range and countertop? Use a crevice attachment on your vacuum or a long, thin duster to capture grime between nooks and crannies.

Tops of Appliances

Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Dirt and dust can accumulate on top of appliances like microwaves, refrigerators, and stove vents – clean these areas to remove months of buildup in one simple swipe!

Ceiling Fan

Similarly to the tops of appliances, ceiling fans can collect dust and grime on the tops of their blades. Use the pillowcase trick so that dust doesn’t fall onto the floor!

Electronics

Did you know your television remote control could be one of the germ-covered items in your home? Use a disinfectant wipe or spray to clean between the buttons and on the front and back of the remote. Remember to clean other oft-handled small appliances, too, like keyboards and tablets.

Salt and Pepper Shakers

Have you ever cleaned your salt and pepper shakers individually? Probably not – but you should! Like the remote or shared tablet, salt and pepper shakers are used by everyone in the household every day.

Soap Dispenser

Similar to salt and pepper shakers, your soap dispenser is an oft-used item that can accumulate germs and grime. Wipe it down each time you clean your kitchen or bathroom countertops.

House Plants

Use a duster on house plants like orchids or ferns. The plants will immediately look brighter and refreshed, plus you’ll be removing surface dirt and grime!

Inside the Fridge

Don’t wait until move-out day to give the fridge a frantic scrub-down. Take your time wiping the insides of all drawers and shelves, and you’re guaranteed to smile every time you open the fridge. You can also refer to these five all-natural methods for cleaning the fridge.

Baseboards

Even if you vacuum and wash the floors, you’ll see a big difference visually if you take the time to wipe down your baseboards with a damp cloth. Dust and small hairs can accumulate easily on baseboards, sullying the overall look of your floors.

Keep It Clean With More Easy Tips

Be sure to read up on more easy cleaning hacks here on our blog, or visit our Pinterest board dedicated to apartment organization and cleaning tips for ideas you can use throughout your apartment!

Must Know Refrigerator Organization Tips

Do you find yourself practically playing a game of Tetris to fit all of your groceries into your refrigerator? Whether you have a smaller fridge or just more refrigerated items than you know what to do with, don’t stress.

How To Organize Your Fridge

There are ways to create more space to make room for everything that needs to be refrigerated. Start with these fridge organization hacks, and read on for the best places to store everything inside your refrigerator:

There are ways to create more space to make room for everything that needs to be refrigerated. Start with these fridge organization hacks, and read on for the best places to store everything inside your refrigerator.

There are ways to create more space to make room for everything that needs to be refrigerated. Start with these fridge organization hacks, and read on for the best places to store everything inside your refrigerator.

Remove packaging

This is a quick and easy fix for products that are taking up more room than necessary. Many products like rice or prepared food come sealed in a bag inside a large, bulky box. By eliminating the packaging, less space will be needed to store the item in the refrigerator.

Cleanse your fridge

Chances are, you have a lot of products that have been sitting in your refrigerator, neglected for a long period of time. Most likely these items include salad dressing and condiments, wilting produce, half-empty bottles of flat soda, frozen popsicles or prepared meals, just to name a few. Make a habit of routinely cleaning out your fridge to throw out the items that have expired or spoiled.

To keep the surfaces of your refrigerator clean, lay down some easily removable cling film on each shelf of your refrigerator to catch spills and crumbs, and remove them and replace as needed.

Organize your groceries

Smartly utilize your refrigerator space by separating different types of food in designated baskets, like condiments, greens, dairy, fruit and meat. Label the containers to keep to a consistent system going and for quick and easy access.

Best Places To Put Everything In Your Fridge:

Did you know that there is a correct method for organizing your fridge and making the most out of your groceries? Follow these tips to maximize your food’s freshness and save money in the process!

On Top of the Fridge

Store things like cookbooks, paper towels and appliances on top of your fridge. NEVER store bread, wine or produce on top of your refrigerator.

Refrigerator Doors

The door is the warmest part of your fridge, so use it to store products that aren’t as sensitive to temperature, such as confinements and sauces, juice, pickles, sodas and bottled water.

Refrigerator’s Upper Shelves

The upper shelves of your fridge have a consistent cold temperature perfect for storing leftovers, drinks, ready-to-eat prepared foods and herbs.

Refrigerator’s Lower Shelves

The lower shelves of your refrigerator are the coldest part of your fridge, which makes them ideal for keeping your milk, eggs, dairy products and raw meat safe.

Crisper Drawers

Your refrigerator has two crisper drawers for a reason. These are made for storing fruits and vegetables separately.

Other Fridge Storage Tips

There are certain things you NEVER want to refrigerate, including tomatoes, onions, squash and potatoes.

Many items in your kitchen pantry can be stored in your fridge if you prefer, like nuts, peanut butter and almond butter, flour and natural oils. Some medications and beauty products are also best when refrigerated.

How does your fridge stack up?

1st Lake Properties offers spacious kitchens with modern appliances at our many convenient New Orleans area apartments that will make refrigerator organization a breeze.

Apartment Spring Cleaning Checklist

Spring is finally here and that means change and new beginnings, not only with the weather, but in your own apartment, too.

Whether or not you’re on the messy or neat-freak side of the spectrum, the spring cleaning tradition is always a good annual practice. Spring is all about fresh starts and rebirth, so your apartment should mirror that.

Besides regular chores like putting clothes or dishes away, sweeping, and cleaning the bathroom, this is your chance to pay attention to detail and store, sort, or get rid of extraneous clutter.

Use this guide as a checklist for spring cleaning the areas of your apartment that aren’t usually on the cleaning to-do list:

Get a leg up on spring cleaning with these tips. (Photo via Reader's Digest)

Get a leg up on spring cleaning with these tips. (Photo via Reader’s Digest)

Spring Cleaning Checklist

Around the Apartment

  • Wax wooden furniture with paste wax after cleaning surface with a damp cloth and dish washing liquid.
  • Ensure clean window treatments by machine washing draperies or curtains and wiping down wooden blinds.
  • Change all burned-out lightbulbs.
  • Wipe off dust on ceiling fans with a damp cloth or paper towel.
  • Vacuum and shampoo rugs with an industrial shampoo machine.
  • Use a duster on house plants like orchids or ferns. The plants will immediately look brighter and refreshed, plus you’ll be removing surface dirt and grime!

Kitchen

  • Wipe down walls, ceilings, fronts of cabinets to scrub off any old residue.
  • Clean the tops and sides of appliances such as microwaves, refrigerators, and stove vents.
  • Clean the freezer by turning off the power to defrost it, clear out all contents and wipe interior with a solution of two tablespoons baking soda per one quart hot water.
  • Clean crevices between appliances. Use a crevice attachment on your vacuum or a long, thin duster to capture grime between nooks and crannies.
  • Clean salt & pepper shakers and reusable condiment dispensers. Wipe and disinfect the outside of bottles and empty, clean and refill the containers.
  • Clean the inside of the microwave. Heat up water and lemon in a glass container for a few minute prior to cleaning to make removing food particles a breeze.
  • Clean the inside of the fridge.

Living Room

  • Clean and disinfect remote controls and game controllers.
  • Remove any artwork from the walls, dust it, and replace.
  • Take couch cushions and pillows outside, fluff them up, and leave in the sun to air out for a couple of hours. Meanwhile, use a vacuum to clean out the crevices of sofas and armchairs.
  • Clean any curtains (follow their individual instructions) and wipe down windows both inside and out using glass spray.

Bathroom

  • Discard old cosmetic or hygienic products.
  • Deep-clean the toilet using a bleach-based cleaning product.
  • Wipe down all baseboards to instantly brighten the bathroom and give it that “clean” feeling.
  • Wash your shower curtain and replace shower curtain liner.
  • Disinfect and rinse all surfaces including the tub, sink, and faucets. If needed, clean the grout as well.
  • Polish surfaces like sinks, vanity, mirror, and even the toilet paper holder!

Bedroom

  • Clean washable pillows to get rid of any lingering odors or bacteria.
  • Wash all bed linens, including mattress covers.
  • Flip your mattress before replacing clean linens.
  • De-clutter any surfaces like nightstands or desks.
  • Clean floors and baseboards.
  • Remove and clean any artwork or mirrors.

Home Office

  • Clean monitor screens and keyboards of computers.
  • Get rid of any old papers, taking care to recycle when possible.
  • Rearrange daily-use items so that they’re within easy reach.
  • Store items you use less often, like a stapler or envelopes, inside your desk to keep your working surface clean.
  • Clean out your computer, carefully reviewing and deleting any old documents, emails, or photos to free up valuable storage space.
  • De-clutter bookshelves and drawers.

Closets

  • Separate out unwanted clothing and accessories (see below for how to donate these items).
  • Repurpose shower hooks to hang items like belts and handbags.
  • Enlist a friend. Sometimes a second opinion can help you decide what suits you best and what you no longer need.
  • Invest in smart organization pieces like slim hangers and shoe organizers.

Utilities

  • Change batteries in smoke detectors and make sure all units are thoroughly dusted.
  • Replace air filters.

Outdoor Areas

  • Wash windows.
  • Wipe down outdoor furniture.
  • Take care of any outdoor plants, perhaps repotting them or freshening up the soil.

Eliminate Extra Possessions

Part of making room for the new is getting rid of the old, and one of the best ways to do that is to take inventory of your possessions and evaluate what you want to keep.

We love the method outlined in Marie Kondo’s best-seller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. The gist is this: starting with your clothing, go through all of your possessions, category by category, and keep only those items that spark joy when you hold them.

Once you’ve decided what to keep, you can pass on the remaining items to others in need. After you’ve gone through your drawers and closets and sorted your discarded items in a donation section, decide where and how to give them away. Use these places below for ideas:

Where to Donate Clothes and Household Items

Shelters – Community shelters in your area are a great option to donate your clothes and household items. Shelters can always use donations and there will always be people who are in need of clothing and other items. Bridge House and Hagar’s House provide services to those in need in the southeast Louisiana region.

Online – We live in a digital era where most things are done online. Freecycle, Craigslist and EBay are free and easy online tools to use to give away your old clothes or appliances. You can manage the entire process by listing the items you want to give away for free or sell, and coordinate your own shipping or delivery.

Clothing Swaps – Another great way to pass on your unwanted items to someone who might be happy to take them, plus discover some new treasure of your own, is to participate a clothing swap. A clothing swap is a gathering of people who all contribute clothing that doesn’t fit or that they don’t need anymore, and anyone can take someone else’s clothing if they choose. If you don’t know of anyone having one, host your own and invite family and friends!

Salvation Army – The Salvation Army is always a great option that accepts all types of donations to sell for a discounted price to underprivileged people, or anyone looking for a bargain. Check your area for Salvation Army drop-off locations.

The Green Project also provides a recycling guide for the greater New Orleans area, with details about local organizations that accept donations of various materials.

If you accomplish all these tasks, you’ll be well on your way to being completely spring cleansed! Other than looking shiny and new, your living space will be rid of dirt and dust that you may have not even been aware of that can make you and your guests sick. So tie your hair back, put on those yellow gloves and spring into action!

How to Clean a Refrigerator: 5 All-Natural Fridge Cleaning Hacks

You’ve been there before. Craving a snack or looking for dinner ingredients, you open the fridge, and whew! What is that smell?

Sometimes, even after a thorough cleaning, fridge smells can linger. Read on for 5 all-natural  fridge cleaning hacks for freshening up your refrigerator. (These quick eco-friendly tips go far beyond the tried-and-true box of baking soda).

orange peel air freshener

Fill a hollowed out citrus peel with salt for an all-natural air freshener perfect for the fridge. (Photo courtesy eHow.com)

Eco-friendly Fridge Cleaning Hacks

  1. Coffee Grounds

Spread freshly ground coffee evenly on a plate or shallow dish, and place it in the fridge for 24 hours. The coffee will absorb any rogue odors and also give off an energizing scent. Not a coffee drinker? You can also place several tea bags (or loose leaf tea) on a plate for the same effect.

  1. Citrus

Choose your favorite citrus (we recommend navel oranges or grapefruit for their size, but lemons and limes will work, too) and cut it in half. Scoop out one half completely so you’re left with a bowl-shaped hollow. Fill with sea salt and place in the fridge for a citrusy, neutralizing scent!

  1. Vanilla Extract

This baking staple has a hidden purpose: creating a soft, lovely scent for your fridge. Pour a bit of vanilla extract into a small dish, then place a few cotton balls inside. The cotton will soak up the vanilla extract and slowly release its aroma into the fridge.

  1. Tomato Juice

Perhaps you’ve heard of tomato juice’s deodorizing powers for anyone who encounters a skunk. The same holds true for your fridge. Simply soak a cloth or sponge in undiluted tomato juice and wipe down your fridge’s surfaces. Rinse with soapy water, then wipe dry. You can repeat the process (or try substituting vinegar) for any lingering smells.

  1. Alka-Seltzer

Similar to baking soda, Alka-Seltzer is an oxidizing agent that can neutralize unpleasant scents. Drop a couple of tablets into a glass of water and place in the fridge to help mitigate odor.

Remember, setting your fridge at a proper temperature is an easy, preventive step to avoid odors in the first place. Learn how to ensure your fridge and freezer are at the right temperature here.

Was this useful? Share our refrigerator cleaning hacks on Twitter:

 

A New Method for De-cluttering

De-cluttering is often at the top of our to-do list at the start of a New Year – it’s the second-most popular New Year’s Resolution. We know the tried-and-true tactics (tackling one room at a time, donating items, etc.), but The New York Times alerted us to a new method we hadn’t considered. Their article “Kissing Your Socks Goodbye” from October of last year focused on a Japanese organization expert and her two simple tips for creating a clutter-free home.

organized closet

Joy may be the key to a clutter-free closet. (Photo courtesy Rubbermaid Products on Flickr)

Rather than getting mired in questions like “Have I worn this item in two years?” or “Do I have a specific upcoming event where I will need this item?” expert Marie Kondo advises her clients to ask themselves a simple question: “Does this item bring me joy?” The other tenant of her de-cluttering technique is that we do not need additional storage – our homes already have adequate storage for everything we need.

Try using the joy method next time you de-clutter. Plan to take a close look at your things and see how they make you feel. Sure, that old sweatshirt might be threadbare, but if it takes you back to a time and place that’s memorable for you, we say keep it! Do you furrow your brow when your eyes land on that dress with the tags still on? If you feel guilty for not wearing it yet, it’s certainly not bringing you joy: donate it instead.

Consider smaller items, too – you may have a picture you love but it’s in a frame that doesn’t spark joy within you. Toss the frame. You can reframe the picture in a frame you love, which will only amplify the feelings of happiness and joy you associate with the photo itself.

If this method feels too unconventional for you, then it’s not bringing you joy! Skip it in favor of more traditional de-cluttering tips: our blog features plenty of posts designed to keep you organized.

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