While no one loves cleaning, the feeling of a fresh and tidy home is undeniably great. Unfortunately, busy weeknights leave us with little time to deep clean our apartments. Devoting some weekend time to heavy duty spring cleaning is the best way to achieve an organized space. Here are a few tips on how to have your place looking spick and span for the coming summer.
Clean Out the Fridge
As one of the most commonly used appliances in households everywhere, the refrigerator can naturally get a little dirty from time to time. For a truly clean fridge, you’re going to have to go beyond the occasional wiping down with a washcloth or cleaning product. Before you start cleaning, you’ll want your refrigerator to be as empty as possible. Begin by tossing out any expired food. Instead of throwing away old fruits and vegetables, consider composting them. Next, remove all the interior bins and shelves and put them in the kitchen sink to soak in soap and hot water. Now you’ll be able to thoroughly wipe down the inside and scrub out any stains or spills. Once you’ve got everything looking pristine and the shelves and bins have been properly soaked and dried, you can put them back in the fridge.
Clear Some Closet Space
If you live in a small apartment, you know how important it is to keep your storage spaces clean and organized. Cramming everything into a single closet only creates a bigger mess that will eventually spill out onto your hallway or bedroom floor. When it seems like you’re running out of space, you’ll have to get rid of a few things.
It might seem like a dramatic and inefficient move, but the best way to start clearing a closet is by emptying it completely. If you’ve spent years just shoving things inside and avoiding the problem, you’re probably going to have a sizable pile of junk built up in there. After you’ve emptied the closet and laid everything out on the floor, you can start organizing. Try on any old clothes that you haven’t worn in a while to see if it still fits you and is in good condition. Look through all your old papers and documents to see if any of them are worth saving. Put everything you don’t want into “donation” and “recycling” piles and the things you plan to hang on to in a “keep” pile. Once you’ve decided what’s staying and what’s going, neatly put your remaining items back in the closet. Consider purchasing space-saving hangers, shoe racks, and organizational bins to keep your closet looking clean for more than just a couple of days.
Wash the Windows
Let’s admit it: none of us actually spends that much time thinking about how good our windows look. Unfortunately, neglected windows tend to collect a lot of dirt and dust, giving them a foggy and unappealing appearance. All you’ll need is little homemade cleaning product and elbow grease to make your windows sparkle again. Get yourself a good squeegee and create a mixture of water and vinegar. Use this solution to wash your windows from top to bottom. The squeegee will prevent unwanted streaking and make your windows shine. Cleaning your windows is one of the easiest ways to make your entire space look brighter and tidier.
Buff the Baseboards
Baseboards are another forgotten item on people’s spring cleaning to-do lists. Since most baseboards are white, any dust or dirt that accumulates on them is extremely visible and can make your whole apartment look dirtier than it really is. The good news is, there are a few different ways to clean them. You could buy the Baseboard Buddy, an “As Seen on TV” product, or use a Magic Eraser with a little soap and water to scrub the dirt and grime off. If your baseboards aren’t that dirty, try getting the dust off of them with a fabric softener sheet.
Freshen Up the Washer/Dryer
It seems strange to clean the appliances that clean our clothes, but, like everything else, they require attention and upkeep. When your laundry loads start coming out a little musty, it’s time to give your washer and dryer a much-needed bath. The easiest way to tackle bacteria in the washer is to put three or four cups of white vinegar into it while running it on the hottest, longest possible cycle. Halfway through, open up the lid and let the vinegar soak for about an hour. Once enough time has passed, close the lid and let the machine complete the cycle. Be sure to scrub away any soap buildups on the washer’s inner sides.
To get your dryer back to its peak condition, vacuum the lint trap and throw out any dust or dirt that might be hiding in the machine. Clean the area around the lint trap with a washcloth and a little soap and water.
Deep Clean Your Mattress
Other than the kitchen, the bed is where we spend most of our time at home. Nonetheless, people rarely take the time to clean their mattresses. While you can hire a professional to clean your mattress for you, you probably already have everything you’ll need to do the job yourself. Start by stripping all the blankets and sheets (and throwing them in the wash) and vacuuming all the crumbs and hair off of the mattress. Check the surface for any stains that might need to be taken care of. If you do encounter a worrisome stain, you may be able to remove it by scrubbing the area with hydrogen peroxide. Finally, you’ll want to sprinkle some baking soda over the mattress and let it sit for about an hour. When the time comes, vacuum the baking soda up. You’ll now be able to enjoy a fresh bed and a better night’s sleep!