Apartment Cleaning Guide: A Housekeeping Checklist
Cleaning is something that few people love, but it’s a tedious chore that we all must do with at least some regularity to keep our houses from looking like a pigpen. Whether you’re new to this apartment cleaning thing or you’re just looking for ways to maximize efficiency, we’ve put together a guide that breaks down what you can to clean each room of your apartment. You can do some tasks on a daily basis, while others can wait for more thorough weekly or monthly cleaning overhauls.
Some people have a set schedule, where they clean on a steady basis, while others may only clean if they know company is coming over. Whatever your apartment cleaning style may be, there are a few things that you can do daily and weekly to make major cleaning days a lot more bearable.
The bathroom is one of the places in your apartment that gets dirty quickly. You spend lots of time in your bathroom each day doing your personal grooming routine, and hair, dirt and grime can build up fast. Follow these apartment cleaning tips for keeping your bathroom clean and fresh day in and day out:
Remove lingering water in your shower: Use a squeegee to wipe down the walls and tub after you shower. Leftover water droplets and soap can eventually lead to mold and mildew growth and soap scum build-up. Quickly run the squeegee over the shower walls, door and tub area to force excess water droplets down the drain. Doing this after each shower will only take a few minutes and it will keep your shower looking spotless for longer periods.
Prevent mold and mildew: If your shower has a curtain instead of a door, be sure to close it completely after each shower. If the plastic liner remains bunched or folded up when wet, mold and mildew will begin to form in no time at all. Simply by closing and expanding your shower curtain across the whole length of your tub will allow air to reach the water on the plastic and it will evaporate more quickly, leading to a less friendly environment for mold and mildew growth.
Wipe down daily: Keep a container of disinfecting wipes in your bathroom and do a quick wipe down of the counter tops and toilet handle at the end of each day. It doesn’t have to be a thorough cleaning each time. The purpose is just to remove surface dirt and germs before they have a chance to linger and breed mold and mildew.
Clean the toilet: Every week or two do a thorough cleaning of your toilet. Use a toilet bowl cleaner and scrub brush for the inside of the toilet, and wipe down the outside of the toilet with disinfecting wipes or spray. Be sure to get the top of the toilet seat and handle, as dirty hands touch these parts on a daily basis.
Clean your toothbrush holder:It’s also important to clean your toothbrush holder regularly, as this can be a hot spot for germs. It may seem like an unlikely place, but toothbrushes are in the same room as the toilet. When a toilet flushes, a fine mist might spray in the vicinity and even the smallest amount of mist could leave unwanted germs. Toothbrush holders are usually overlooked when cleaning because they’re such a small, movable item, but it’s important not to forget to clean those as well!
Your bathroom mirror: Every now and then, wipe down the bathroom mirror with glass cleaner and paper towels. Over time, splatters and spills will begin to accumulate on the mirror, and can become difficult to remove if left for too long.
The bathroom floor: Sweep and mop bathroom floors every week to remove hair and dead skin cells. Vacuum any rugs that are present, as these will likely collect dirt, hair and dust as well.
The kitchen is the most important area of your apartment to keep clean. Germs and bacteria can form and eventually contaminate your food and your hands if your kitchen is unclean for long periods. There are a few simple things you can do quickly each day to keep your kitchen germ-free.
Take care of dirty dishes: Put dirty dishes in the dishwasher or hand wash them before bed each night. It doesn’t take long for germs and bacteria to spread and grow on dirty dishes as bacteria thrives in moist environments. According to WebMD.com, a single bacteria cell can multiply into over 8 million bacteria cells in 24 hours! That’s why it’s extremely important to clean and remove all bacteria from moist places like your sink and dirty dishes each night before bacteria can multiply.
Clean your sink: After you’re done with the dishes, clean your sink with disinfecting spray. In fact, the sink is one of the dirtiest places in your house. Germs can cling to the surface of your sink and if not disinfected regularly, your sink can become another breeding ground for bacteria.
Hang up your dishrag: Hang your dishrag in a spot where it can dry overnight. Since most bacteria can only survive in moist areas, once your dishrag dries, the bacteria will die within a few hours. Throw your dishrag in the washing machine about once a week to thoroughly clean and remove all lingering germs.
Clean the counters: Wipe down counters with disinfecting wipes or bleach spray at the end of the day as well. Look around to see if there are any leftover food crumbs on the counters and get rid of those too. Crumbs are not only dirty, they also invite pests like ants and mice to come into your kitchen in search of a snack. Make sure all food is sealed or covered and put away so it stays fresh and out of harm’s way.
Clean kitchen handles: Weekly, use disinfecting spray or wipes to wipe down refrigerator handles, sink faucets, drawer handles, trash can lids and any other hard surface that is touched often. These places will need disinfected to remove lingering germs.
Sweep and mop the floor: Every week or so sweep floors to gather any dirt or food crumbs that may have fallen. Use a mop every week or two to remove any stuck on dirt and grime. Take note of the type of flooring you have in your kitchen, whether it’s tile, linoleum or hardwood, and be sure you’re using a cleaner that is appropriate for that type of floor. You have to be particularly careful with hardwood as certain chemicals may damage the finish.
Scrub your coffee maker: Every month or two give your coffee maker a thorough scrub. Wipe down the outside with disinfectant. To clean the inside of the machine, pour vinegar into the water reservoir and run it through a cycle or two. This will kill any bacteria that may be living inside, plus it will remove hard water buildup. Run plain water through your machine multiple times until you no longer smell vinegar in the water. Coffee machines are used daily, and a good cleaning will keep them germ-free and running properly.
Germs and bacteria may not form as easily on surfaces in the living room or dining room as they do in the kitchen or bathrooms, but things can still pile up and these spaces can get messy in no time. If you keep up with the mess little by little, then when the time comes for your major cleaning days, cleaning the living room and dining room should be easy peasy.
Spot clean food debris: Spot clean areas where you eat to remove food debris. If you eat on your couch in the living room, food has a tendency to get in between the couch cushions, and once it’s out of sight it’s easy to be forgotten for a long time! Keep a small hand vacuum around for daily spot cleaning. Use the hand vacuum to get in between the cracks and crevices of the couch and remove anything that might be hanging out in there. Use the hand vacuum to pick up any food debris that might have fallen under chairs or the table in the dining room as well.
Pick up clutter: At the end of every week, pick up magazines and books that are laying around and put them away. In order to keep it organized, store these items on a bookshelf or in a basket in your living room. Having a designated space for these things will make it easier to put away regularly since you’re not searching for a place to hide them.
Dust: After you have all the clutter picked up and put away, dust hard surfaces like the coffee table, TV stand and end tables. Use a soft rag and dusting spray to pick up dirt and wipe away any water rings from drink glasses.
Vacuum: Vacuum the floors at least every other week or so. If you have pets, you may need to vacuum more frequently as pet hair can accumulate very quickly. Use the hand extension on your vacuum to get under the couches and coffee table as well.
Your bedroom is a room that’s often out of sight and out of mind when it comes to cleaning. When having guests over, you tend to hang out in the living room or kitchen, and therefore the bedroom seems less important. But, if left untouched, your bedroom will begin to look and smell like a dirty gym locker. Follow these easy bedroom cleaning tips to keep this room looking spotless.
Put clothes away: Pick up dirty clothes and put them in the hamper. If they’re clean, hang them on hangers at the end of each day. Leaving clothes and shoes on your floor is not only a tripping hazard, but the added stress of stepping on your clothes every day could potentially ruin them much faster than regular wear.
Make the bed: Make your bed each morning after you get up. Your bed doesn’t necessarily have to be super neat with a bunch of fancy throw pillows and decorations. Simply replacing the covers each morning and smoothing out your comforter will make your room look neat and organized.
Dust: Dust dressers, nightstands, tables and headboards every few weeks or so. Dirt and dust will accumulate on hard surfaces, so items like picture frames and nick knacks will need attention as well.
Vacuum: Vacuum your rugs and carpets at least every other week. Be sure to get underneath the bed, as this tends to be a collecting point for dirt.
Cleaning isn’t always fun, and some people just down right dread it. Here are a few essential things to keep in mind when cleaning your apartment. They just might make your life a little bit easier!
It doesn’t have to be perfect: If the main reason you hate cleaning is because it takes forever to get everything spotless and perfect, then don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s ok if everything isn’t 100% clean. If there are still a few stubborn spots on the bathroom mirror, chances are no one will even notice. If you just can’t seem to get those last few pieces of dog hair out from underneath the refrigerator, it really doesn’t matter that much. Move on to the next thing, and save yourself the time and energy of stressing over little things that no one else will even notice.
Try to make it fun: I know what you’re thinking, after all, these are called chores for a reason. Why not incorporate something you love along with this dreadful task to make it more bearable. Bring a glass of wine or a cocktail with you from room to room. Turn up your favorite tunes and have a solo dance party while sweeping the floor. Or even treat yourself to a reward after you’re done by going out for some ice cream or getting to binge watch your favorite TV show. Whatever it takes to make it slightly less terrible is worth it!
Declutter and purge: Think about it… the less stuff you have, the less stuff you’ll have to clean and organize. Clean out your apartment and get rid of things you haven’t used in a long time. Donate old clothes or other household items that are still in good condition. You’ll feel great for helping out someone less fortunate, plus you’ll have less things lying around that need cleaning in the process.
Don’t sweat it: If you’re in a rush or just plain tired, it’s ok to skip making your bed for a day or wiping down your bathroom sink before you leave for work. Skipping a day here and there won’t be disastrous. There’s always time to finish the cleaning another day. Just remember, even the smallest effort will make a big difference in keeping up with the clutter and dirt in your apartment.
Apartment Cleaning Made Simple
The secret to avoiding spending hours or entire weekends doing a deep clean of your apartment is keeping up with things a little each day. Even doing simple tasks like wiping off the kitchen counters after you make a sandwich or placing your dirty socks in the hamper instead of on the floor will save you time in your regular cleaning sessions. Start making a habit of doing a few small things each day, and before you know it, you’ll have a solid cleaning routine down in no time!