Ah, spring. A time of bunnies, allergies, and the inevitable realization that your room has gone from a winter wonderland to a disaster zone.
In my house growing up, spring cleaning happened all year long. My mom is the neatest, cleanest person I know, and many of my childhood memories are made up of playing the clean up game with my brother. Unfortunately, I think the cleaning gene skipped me. With a busy schedule, the last thing I want to think about is extra vacuuming, dusting and mopping at the end of the day. Usually, I let my room reach critical messiness before I panic and clean every inch of it in one fell swoop. This spring provides the perfect excuse for a clean sweep…but below, you can also find some tips about how to keep your apartment spick and span all year round.
Tips for Your Spring Cleaning
- Move it, move it: When beginning to clean a room, pick a starting point (for example, the bathroom sink), and then begin to clean in a clockwise circle around the room. This way, you’ll move systematically, section by section, and won’t miss anything. How many of us have been so exhausted from vacuuming that we completely neglect to put away laundry? My hand is in the air.
- Top down tips: Cleaning should start at the top of an object, and move to the bottom. That way, you don’t mess up your perfectly cleaned floor with brushed-down crumbs or dust. This makes cleaning kitchens particularly easy: sweep the crumbs and debris from your counter to the floor, and wipe them down fully. Then you can make sure to pick it all up when you sweep the floor at the end.
- Get the skinny: If you’re like me, your drawers are overflowing…mostly with clothes you don’t wear any more. One of the most cleansing things to do in the realm of home maintenance is to purge your closet of what you don’t need. My rule of thumb? If I haven’t worn it more than once in the last year, out it goes. You could raise some money by selling these gently used items to friends, or you could donate them to our local Goodwill. Either way, your closet will thank you for it.
- Get the dirt: This is possibly the one time in the year you’ll be motivated to do a deep clean. So go for it! Break out the Comet and scrub out your tub; wash the sink with extra strength soap; buy the Draino you’ve been meaning to use in the clogged-up bathtub. Getting these one-time tasks out of the way will make you feel great (“I actually crossed something off the to-do list!”) and will make your room sparkle.
Every-day Tips for the Rest of the Year
- Get it and go: One of the main reasons for cluttered counters and desks? Pieces of miscellaneous paper and odds and end from your purse tend to stack up in one spot. Once you begin putting things there, it becomes the lost-and-found area of the apartment. Banish this clutter before it starts: resist the urge to put things down as soon as you walk in the door, and take an extra moment to put it in its rightful spot. This second of extra work will make your mind easy in the long run!
- Sud the sink: Dirty dishes are one of the grossest things to let add up in your apartment. The kitchen sink is a hot spot for bacteria, mildew, and other nasties. So after you prepare food, let the dishes soak in the sink. As soon as you finish your meal, wash those dishes immediately. This easy cleaning tip will actually positively affect your health!
- Survey sweep: At the end of each day, do a quick survey of the room for something easy to clean up. Have clothes on your floor? Toss them into the laundry basket. Towels over the chair? Hang them in the bathroom. Decluttering your space has actually been proven to help you sleep better. Take a quick minute to clean, then catch your zzz’s.
- Bag ladies: Everyone carries a bag for school, and they’re usually stuffed to the gills with notebooks, textbooks, pens, pencils, and a random assortment of papers and trash. Schedule one day a week for a total bag clean out, and take everything out of your bag. Deem it necessary or not, before putting things back in. This will keep you from finding a cache of candy wrappers or a lost permission slip at the bottom of your bag.
- Bedecking the bed: This is my favorite tip, and the easiest on this list: make your bed each morning, and your whole room will feel cleaner! Even if my closet is a mess, my sink is full of dishes, and my counter is covered in papers, my bed is still made, pillows positioned, and blanket fluffed each morning. It’s like a breath of fresh air to come into my room at the end of the day and find the bed perfect, even if my life is far from that ideal.