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?