David Berliner, a professor of Anthropology at Université libre de Bruxelles, once said: “Think about buying technological gadgets while opposing child labor and ecological waste, or about condemning theft, then illegally downloading music and movies. Think of those who hold forth about respecting private life, and a moment later post personal photos to Facebook. There are environmentalists who constantly fly, finance traders who care about poverty, and sermonizing priests who have lost their faith.” Indeed, most of us are walking contradictions. This fact is especially apparent in the way most of us live our lives.
Most people hate living in dirty environments, and yet they hate cleaning almost as much. Worry not though — there are many ways to get around this issue. With the advances of modern technology, it is now possible to literally keep your apartment clean without ever actually cleaning it. Here are some of the easiest ways to do it:
Many cities offer surprisingly affordable maid services. These services can be even more inexpensive if you have a small apartment and/or are a typically clean person. Prices are calculated on a square footage basis. If your apartment is 1000 square feet or less, you could expect to pay an average of $90 for a thorough cleaning.
Roombas and Robots
Tired of getting out that bulky vacuum every few days? It might be time to consider a Roomba or iRobot vacuum. These vacuums are completely self-cleaning. All you have to do is set a timer to let them know how long you want them to clean, and they’ll do all the “dirty work” for you! On the other hand, if your apartment has a tile or concrete floor instead of carpet, your best bet might be a self-mopping robot like the iRobot Braava 380t for larger spaces or the Braava jet for smaller spaces. Braava mops will run you anywhere between $189 and $299 online.
Air Purifiers, Filters, Vaporizers, and Houseplants
Many people don’t realize that dust accumulation can, for the most part, be completely avoided. Dust is made up of particles in the air like dead skin cells, insect waste, dirt, and environmental pollutants. If you hate dusting (and getting sick), then make sure to regularly change your apartment’s air filter. Another way to reduce dust is to invest in an air purifier. There are many great options on the market, but it’s best to get one with a true HEPA filter, which will filter all mold spores, animal dander, and viruses out of the air as well. As WebMD puts it, “Air pollution isn’t just car exhaust or factory smoke. Dust mites, mold spores, pollen, and pet dander in the air inside your home can cause problems if your family has allergies or asthma. Using HEPA filters can trap these pollutants and may help bring allergy relief.”
Houseplants are another excellent way to clean the air inside your apartment. For more information on the amazing benefits of owning houseplants, please see our article entitled How to Improve the Air Quality in Your Apartment.
It might seem counter-inntiutive to get a dog to help keep your apartment clean, but believe it or not, owning a hypoallergenic dog can actually have many benefits. For starters, hypoallergenic animals do not produce the allergy-causing irritants that other pets do, such as shedded fur and dander. In fact, hypoallergenic dogs do not have fur at all — they have real hair. As explained on Care.com, “Even those who aren’t allergic to dogs can appreciate this benefit. Because a hypoallergenic dog sheds less, you don’t have to spend so much time cleaning dog hair off your couches and floor. If you want a clean house, a shed-free dog may be for you.” Lastly (and as everyone who has ever owned a dog knows), if there are any food crumbs on the floor, your pup will be more than happy to take care of them for you.
Scrubbing Bubbles has released a self-cleaning shower mechanism that can be purchased at nearly any local grocery or hardware store. With a single press of a button, this device will eliminate soap scum, mildew, and bacteria by spraying a cleanser in four directions. That means it can clean all three walls of your bath/shower and the curtain or door all at once.
An automatic litter box is another excellent self-cleaning option. These machines clean the litter and separate the clumps into a garbage bag for easy removal. Self-cleaning litter boxes also cut back dramatically on unwanted odors.
If you have the budget for them, there are countless types of self-cleaning appliances out there. From ovens to toilets to fish tanks, modern technology is making life a lot easier in lots of ways.
Last but certainly not least, perhaps the most important step toward eliminating the need to clean is to reevaluate your daily routine. If you can organize your mind and movements, you will find that you no longer have to organize your belongings. The practice of “mindfulness” as defined by Psychology Today is “a state of active, open attention on the present.”
“Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to your current experience, rather than dwelling on the past or anticipating the future.”
This means that we can gain better control of our lives and emotions if we simply become more conscious of our present actions and environment. Using this technique, you can use your actions to prevent your apartment from ever getting dirty. For example, if you are trying on clothes for work or an outing, try to become more conscious of your movements and emotions. Many people try on multiple outfits only to toss the clothes they decide against on the floor or bed. We do this instead of hanging the clothes back up (something that would take exactly the same amount of movement and effort) because we are upset that we didn’t like the way the clothes looked.
If you become more aware of each movement you make, it will quickly become obvious how little effort is required to keep your space (and mind) tidy. Many times, people will carry a dirty plate into the kitchen and just put it in the sink when it could have gone directly into the dishwasher. We sit empty bottles on the counter when the recycling bin is just as close. Most people have heard the expression, “Think about what you say before you say it, or you could get yourself into trouble.” The same is true for actions. Think about what you do before you do it.