Spring is most certainly in the air, and for some that means blooming flowers and buzzing bees, and for others it means deep, detailed cleaning and taking inventory of one’s abode. Yes, it’s that time again for spring cleaning.
The spring cleaning tradition, whether or not you’re on the messy or neat-freak side of the spectrum 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 items that aren’t usually on the cleaning to-do list:
- Wipe down walls, ceilings, fronts of cabinets and the refrigerator to scrub off any old residue
- Reseal grout lines between floor and the wall or cabinet that have become dirty or stained over time
- Vacuum and shampoo rugs with an industrial shampoo machine
- Wax wooden furniture with paste wax after cleaning surface with a damp cloth and dish washing liquid
- Change batteries in smoke detectors and make sure all units are thoroughly dusted
- Ensure clean window treatments by machine washing draperies or curtains and wiping down wooden blinds
- 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 washable pillows to get rid of any lingering odors or bacteria
- Discard old cosmetic or hygienic products
- Clean monitor screens and keyboards of computers
- Wash windows
- Clean out unwanted or unused items in the basement, attic or shed
- Wipe down outdoor furniture
- Change all burned out light bulbs
- Wipe off dust on ceiling fans with a damp cloth or paper towel
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!
Having a pet in a New Orleans apartment can be a fantastic joy, especially in the colder months, when more people are spending time indoors! While there’s nothing quite like having our favorite furry friend greet you at the door after a long day, or watching TV with a pet curled up beside you, it can also be difficult keeping your apartment clean with them around!
Pets can scratch up furniture and floors, leave behind hair and dander, as well as make messes in the home that can be tough to clean. If you take a few simple steps, and consistently follow a few routines, it can take a lot of the hassle out of cleaning up after your furry best friend! Not only do you want to ensure that you get a return on your deposit, but it’s important to make your apartment human-friendly while keeping your pet comfortable as well!
First of all, and most importantly, make sure your pet is completely housebroken. If your animal is completely trustworthy indoors, that can go a long way in ensuring that your apartment stays mess-free and odor-free. Accidents in the home can be a huge mess, and stressful for you, the pet owner. If you own a cat, make sure he or she knows how to use the litter box, and keep clean litter at all times. Some first-time cat owners discover to their dismay that cats will leave little “presents” everywhere if their litter is not kept clean. If you have a small dog, make sure they are crate trained or can be left alone while you’re at work, until you can take him or her outside for a walk.
See to it your pets play with pet toys and not your furniture. Not only can pets tearing up furniture be costly, but it can make your apartment look shabby. This can be a big problem, especially if you have a cat that isn’t de-clawed. Break the habit early on if your pet exhibits destructive behavior. Encourage them to play with toys, and scold them if they attempt to chew or claw your possessions. You can also purchase sprays which tend to repel animals away from the area and discourage destruction such as Pet Block, by Nature’s Miracle.
If you own a small dog, it’s important to keep them healthy and happy by allowing them safe access to the outdoors. Whether it’s a small patio, dog park, or other protected space, dogs need exercise and room to roam. Take your dog outdoors often, both to potty and to play!
You’ll probably notice that your pet sheds and excess hair and dander can be a problem. Vacuum your apartment often to ensure that it remains hair-free. Having a small hand-held vacuum can be very useful for sucking up hair from couches, chairs, and other areas where your pet tends to lay. It may also be a good idea to have a lint roller on hand to make sure that your clothes are hair-free before leaving the house! You can also brush your dog or cat to cut down on some of the shedding. Brushing loosens dead hair that’s about to be shed, removes dander, and keeps your dog or cat’s coat healthy from shedding all over your apartment. Brush your pet as often as possible, and try to do it outside, to keep hair from accumulating throughout your apartment.
It’s also important to bathe your pet fairly often so they don’t become smelly. Animal smells can permeate a space quickly, and make your apartment unpleasant to visitors.
Keeping both your pet and your visitors happy can make your living situation a much more pleasant experience. Not only is cleanliness and maintenance important for the look and feel of your apartment, but it’s also helpful to the health of both you and your pet!
If your clothes have been unfortunate enough to bear the brunt of a spill or stain do not fret! The solution could be as close as your kitchen cabinets and cheaper than the harsh chemicals you would regularly purchase.
For starters, you can create a handy soap jelly which can be a great pre-treatment for stained laundry. You can keep a jar handy in the laundry room.
To make your soap jelly, all you’ll need are a glass jar, a laundry soap bar (or non-perfume soap bar), and hot water! Take your bar of soap and shave it down until the shavings fill half of the jar. Fill the rest of the jar with hot water (boiling if the jar can handle that much heat without shattering), then cover with the lid. Allow the water to soak into the soap a bit to soften it up, then shake it hard or stir it thoroughly until the soap is dissolved. Once the soap is dissolved, allow it to cool completely. The soap and water mixture will form a soap jelly that is ideal for using on laundry stains. Just apply to any of those stubborn clothing stains using a soft brush. Make sure to scrub gently to avoid damaging the cloth.
If you’re at a wine gathering and get red wine spilled on your shirt or blouse, someone else’s white wine may help to save the day! Grab a napkin to dab the wine and neutralize it from dripping elsewhere on your clothing. Then, if you have a bottle or glass of white wine handy, pour it over the red wine stain and thoroughly dab it. As crazy as it may sound, white wine will neutralize the red wine and make the stain vanish! With the stain neutralized, you can throw the item of clothing in with your next load of laundry. But, beware! Make sure the stain is completely gone before you toss your item in with the other laundry! The heat of the dryer will cause the stain to set if it’s still present, making it a permanent part of the garment. The same rule applies to an iron, so never iron a stained piece of clothing!
Whatever the stain, there’s a way to neutralize it! So have fun knowing every stain has a solution!
With the New Orleans holiday season upon us, get-togethers always leave the inevitable mess. Once your friends and loved ones have filed out, sometimes what’s left behind can be quite taxing! Whether you’re hosting a party or simply helping out with the organization and clean-up, it’s important to have a few handy cleaning tricks up your sleeve. While most of us have plenty of household cleaners bought from the store available, sometimes homemade stain-removers work best. If they don’t do the trick, you can always use the store-bought cleaners as a back-up! Whether you’re pre-cleaning your apartment for a get-together or dealing with the aftermath of a holiday gathering, you can never have too many cleaning options.
For general, all-purpose cleaners there are a couple of simple options. Mixing vinegar and salt together will work just fine as a surface cleaner. If you have baking soda just sitting in the back of your refrigerator, you can also use it as a cleanser. Simply dissolve 4 tablespoons of baking soda in 1 quart of warm water for a general cleaner that can tackle quite a bit in your home. You can also use baking soda on a damp sponge. Not only is it an effective cleanser, but baking soda can help to deodorize all your kitchen and bathroom surfaces as well.
If you’re looking for a toilet bowl cleaner, both baking soda and vinegar can also come in handy there. Sprinkle baking soda into the bowl, then drizzle with vinegar and scour with a toilet brush. This combination both cleans and deodorizes! You can also use lemon juice and borax for more stubborn stains. Simply mix enough borax and lemon juice into a paste that can cover the entire ring. Flush your toilet to wet the sides, then rub on the paste. Let the paste sit over the stain for 2 hours, then scrub thoroughly.
Vinegar and baking soda can be used for most ceramic and tile surfaces beyond the toilet bowl. Sprinkle a bit of baking soda, like you would with scouring powder, over your tub or tile surface. Rub with a damp sponge, then rinse thoroughly.
To clean grout, put 3 cups of baking soda into a medium-sized bowl and add 1 cup of warm water. Mix this into a smooth paste and scrub into the grout with a sponge or toothbrush. Then, rinse thoroughly and dispose of any leftover paste when finished.
The addition of vinegar to baking soda can help with pesky film build-up. Vinegar removes most dirt without much scrubbing and doesn’t leave a film. Use 1/4 of a cup (or more) vinegar to every 1 gallon of water. To remove film buildup on bathtubs, apply vinegar undiluted to a sponge and wipe the surface. Next, use baking soda as you would scouring powder. Rub with a damp sponge and rinse thoroughly with clean water.
If you don’t already have most of these common household items in your home, they can be cheaply purchased at any grocery store. Make sure you’ve got what you need on hand for the next holiday gathering. Not only will some quick thinking and thrifty cleaning save you money and the headache of a mess, but you may actually impress your fellow party-goers in the process!
Apartment living, at first glance, can seem almost deceitfully easy to keep clean and maintain. For the most part, apartment living does make it easier to stay organized and maximize space. However, apartments can descend from havens of tidiness and efficiency to messy chaos quite quickly without a watchful eye. This can occur because of the space of your apartment, your busy lifestyle, or having visitors. With a little elbow grease and a plan of attack, you can turn your messy apartment into a tidy living space in no time.
If you aren’t in the habit of cleaning regularly, your apartment has probably accumulated dirt and grime in places you never think about. It’s important to get at the deeply embedded dust and dirt first to maximize future cleanings. To leave that old dirt behind would make any future cleaning you do fairly ineffective. Places like ceiling fans, window shades, air vents, and those cracks between the stove and counter tops can be oft forgotten and therefor prime candidates for collected dirt.
You should remove everything from your shelves and cabinets to clean them. Picking up items and dusting or wiping as you go will lead to spotty work and missed spots. You might also consider washing or dusting the items on your shelves before replacing them back to their original spots. If you find yourself with an abnormal amount of dust in your apartment, check your air filter and replace it if it’s overdue. Old air filters can collect dust that will disperse throughout your apartment, making it harder to maintain.
Deciding your first area of attack can be difficult. Often, when looking over a messy apartment, the task can seem overwhelming. Most likely, you’ll want to first take care of things that are creating bad smells first. Take out the garbage (and clean your trash can, if necessary), clean out any rotten or moldy food from the refrigerator, empty out any old containers of food and wash them thoroughly, make sure kitchen sponges aren’t stinky, and if you have pets, clean their areas.
Litter boxes, puppy pads and bird cages, for example, can really become a mess if they aren’t given enough attention. Once you take care of obviously problem areas that create smells, the entire freshness of your apartment changes for the better. With larger problems like smelly areas and deeply embedded dirt already cleaned, the rest of your cleaning might look much easier.
Whether you live alone, with a partner, or with roommates, setting aside time to clean will help keep the mess from piling up. Creating a plan with housemates can help alleviate cleaning stress and keep each person accountable if you live with others. Try giving each person his or her own workday, specific tasks, or particular rooms to keep clean.
Whatever system you choose, make sure the apartment is cleaned once a week. It doesn’t take long for clothes to pile up on the floor, garbage to overflow, or dishes to fill the sink. If you tackle the mess at least once a week, cleaning will become a simple matter of maintenance instead of a chaotic emergency.
Once you’ve taken the time to clean and organize your apartment, take the time to enjoy it! Having a clean apartment means you’ll be more comfortable, and you won’t have to scramble if guests come over without much notice. In the end, your apartment should feel like home. What better way to treat yourself than to relax after a hard day in a clean, cozy space that you can call your own?