Ah, springtime. The season of birds chirping, flowers blooming, and all things fresh and… wait, is that a cashmere blanket on your chair or just a giant layer of dust? Let’s face it: winter isn’t the easiest season to clean up. Luckily for you (and your roommate, if you have one), spring is the perfect time to tackle the clutter. Here are a few easy ways to get started and save you some stress. Read the rest of this entry »
‘apartment cleaning’ Tag
Clutter in any apartment can make a space seem smaller, but a messy one-bedroom apartment can start to feel tiny fast. Fortunately, renters who take a more laid-back approach to tidying up can still keep things neat. Here are 5 cleaning hacks that will help even the laziest renter maintain a tidy living space.
- Don’t Tackle It All in One Day
The prospect of doing a big cleaning spree in a single day can seem overwhelming—and if you’re busy, downright impractical. Rather than carving out long periods of time on a single day, distribute your cleaning tasks throughout the week. Clean up just the bathroom before you go to bed on Monday. Sweep the kitchen and put away the dishes after dinner on Tuesday. Read the rest of this entry »
When you’re moving out of an apartment, it’s essential to know what constitutes “normal wear and tear” to most apartment owners. If you want to get your security deposit back, you’ll need to make sure your apartment is as close to as it used to be as you can possibly manage. Sure, small scratches are okay here and there, but how far does that leeway extend? Here are some tips on how to make sure your apartment is ready for move-out.
1. Clean Your Carpets
One of the perks and benefits of living in an apartment is maintenance service. However, sometimes it’s easier to fix a problem yourself than wait for maintenance to arrive. If you’re looking to save time and frustration, follow these simple DIY tips for apartment maintenance.
Having the right tools can solve many plumbing problems. Keeping a plumber’s snake on hand can help you quickly unclog a sink or shower drain without having to call maintenance. Know the difference between a sink plunger and a toilet plunger? If you don’t, odds are you’re using the wrong one for the job. Also think about what you put down the drain. Oils, solids and even coffee grounds can clog up your garbage disposal and kitchen sink. Read the rest of this entry »
What could be a better way to start off 2015 than with a spotless living space? Although plenty of those pesky New Year’s resolutions may fall by wayside, cleanliness shouldn’t be one of them. Keep your apartment spick and span throughout the year with these easy yet effective apartment cleaning hacks. Read the rest of this entry »
Have you forgotten what the bottom of your sink looks like? Have you taken to using plastic forks because you can’t find your cutlery? Do you hold your breath when you open your (smelly) fridge? Do you avoid opening your kitchen cabinets for fear of a Tupperware avalanche?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may be in need of an apartment kitchen intervention. The good news is that there’s hope for any apartment kitchen, no matter how messy it may be. The bad news is that you’ll have roll up your sleeves and get a little dirty to put things right. So go on: grab some gloves and consult this list for some handy kitchen rehab tips.
One Step at a Time
Overwhelmed? Don’t be. Tackle one area at a time, my friend, and soon you’ll be on your way to kitchen rehabilitation and a better apartment life.
Start with your refrigerator and freezer. If your foods and beverages are all jumbled together, it can be hard to locate the right ingredient when you want it… or locate the source of that unusual smell. Empty your fridge of everything expired, give the shelves a good scrub, assign each food group a section in the fridge, then rearrange your food so everything is visible. While you’re at it, follow these useful tidbits: Read the rest of this entry »
If you’re about to move apartments, you’ve got some maintenance issues on your mind. Specifically, you really, really want that security deposit back that you forked over when you first moved in. While there are plenty of precautions you can take and ways you can clean to get that deposit back, we also suggest you get creative with the resources you already have on hand… like toothpaste.
“What?” we hear you say. “How can toothpaste help me get back my $700 security deposit?” Stick with us. Here are 5 ways you can get your security deposit back with just a little minty ingenuity.
1. Spackle the holes in your walls.
If you’re out of spackling but need to cover up unsightly holes in your apartment’s walls from all those hanging picture frames, don’t fret. Toothpaste actually makes great temporary spackling. (Just be sure to avoid anything colorful or striped.)
2. Get rid of carpet stains.
Oh no!, you thought when you spilled red wine on your carpet last month. This will never come out. I’m doomed! Hardly, dear renter. It easier to remove wet stains, but the ingredients in toothpaste can help remove set in stains. Apply a small amount of white non-gel, non-whitening toothpaste directly to the sullied spot on your apartment’s carpet, scrub gently with a bristled brush, and rinse thoroughly with water immediately.
3. Scrub your bathroom grout.
Shower and tile grout can get pretty grimy if you don’t attend to it regularly. If you’ve let your apartment’s bathrooms get grubby, give the grout a good scrub with some whitening toothpaste. Rinse thoroughly.
4. Remove scuffmarks and crayon marks from painted walls.
Whether you’ve got budding little artists or you’re just a little clumsy, everyone scuffs up their apartment’s walls now and again. Remove those marks by taking a damp cloth with non-whitening toothpaste on it and rubbing gently at the offending area. Voila, beautiful walls and no damage.
5. Make a good impression on your apartment’s landlord.
Nothing says “I’m a charming devil worthy of a security deposit refund” quite like minty fresh breath and a dazzling smile. Before you invite your apartment’s management rep over for your final walk-through inspection, brush your pearly whites.
Have you ever gotten creative with cleaning your apartment? What did you do to make sure you got your security deposit back? Share your tips with us by finding ApartmentSearch on Twitter and Facebook!
One of the biggest issues in apartment living is making sure all roommates are doing their fair share to keep the apartment clean. Many otherwise happy roommate relationships have quickly gone downhill when all parties weren’t on the same page about cleaning. The key to avoiding this situation is establishing expectations early, and keeping all roommates accountable.
1. Establish a definition of clean. Before you even move in together, you and your future roomie should have an honest conversation about what each of you considers to be sufficiently clean. You don’t have to agree perfectly on everything. But if you like your apartment to look straight out of a magazine and she’s more lax about her apartment living situation, then you’re clearly going to run into some problems.
In addition to defining clean, you should also define dirty. There is a difference between being a bit messy and being downright dirty. While you might find a couple articles of clothing occasionally strewn around the living room to be annoying, it’s probably not on par with a week’s worth of dirty dishes piling up in the sink.
2. Create a cleaning schedule or chore chart. A simple chore chart with weekly or monthly chore assignments can keep everyone on track and accountable. Just make a list of all the chores that need to be done and assign each to a roommate along with a due date.
Can’t agree on who should do what? You can rotate chores so everyone is responsible for each chore an equal number of times. Alternately, you can assign chores based on everyone’s weighted preference using a chore calculator.
3. Keep each other accountable. Make sure your chore chart is someplace where everyone can see it. Hopefully the social pressure will keep everyone on track and your apartment living situation peaceful. However, if doesn’t, be sure to address the problem quickly, tactfully, and with respect. Bring up to the offending roommate that you noticed they haven’t been completing their chores on time. Offer to switch chores with them or give suggestions on ways they might make the chores less of a hassle.
Make sure to keep the conversation about the state of the apartment and not about the roommate’s behavior. “I’m worried we’re going to get ants in the kitchen because the dishes haven’t been washed in a few days” is likely going to be better received and more productive than “You never wash the dishes and now our kitchen is filthy.”
You may also want to consider adding some sort of penalty for repeatedly missing chores. For example, roommates who miss more than one due date during the month might have to buy the other roommates dinner or pay the entire Internet bill for the month.
If the time has come for you to move out of your apartment, you’re probably busy packing and finding a new place to live. But don’t forget to take the right steps to get your security deposit back! Your moving checklist should include a solid plan to clean and repair your apartment so you can get your security deposit returned in full.
First things first: What will your landlord expect of you when it comes to cleaning and repairing your apartment? Consult your lease and figure out what is required of you in order to get your security deposit back, then construct your cleaning and moving checklist accordingly. For example, your apartment may clean your carpets and floors for you upon move-out, but might expect you to paint over any colors you’ve added to the apartment walls on your own. If you aren’t sure what is expected of you, call your landlord and confirm what you need to do to get that security deposit back.
Next, go through the apartment room by room and create a comprehensive cleaning and moving checklist. Below is a moving checklist to help you get started, but be sure to think about the special needs of your apartment as well. And remember, when it comes time for your landlord to inspect your apartment, request to be present during the inspection. That way you’ll be able to address any problems and make adjustments as needed.
- Dust all surfaces thoroughly.
- Vacuum every room.
- Clean all windows thoroughly with a streak-free cleaner.
- Mop the kitchen and bathrooms.
- Remove all wall décor and fill in any holes made by nails or screws.
- Make sure all doors and windows shut smoothly and securely.
- Clean the bathtub and shower.
- Clean and disinfect the sink and bathroom counter.
- Clean grout using bleach or vinegar.
- Clean out bathroom drawers, cabinets, and medicine cabinet.
- Remove any drawer liners.
- Clean the mirror.
- Clean out all appliances, including the oven, refrigerator, dishwasher, and microwave.
- Sweep and vacuum behind all appliances.
- Clean the fronts and insides of cabinets.
- Clean and disinfect all countertops.
- Sweep all outside areas, including the porch, garage, and doorways.
- Mow the lawn.
- Pull any weeds.
- Remove any yard décor.
- Wash the windows’ exteriors.
For More Moving Tips…
For another useful moving checklist, check out the ApartmentSearchcom Apartment Moving Center. Do you have a tip for get your security deposit back that’s not on this moving checklist? Share your own tips with ApartmentSearch.com on Twitter and Facebook!
It is not always necessary to use abrasive chemicals for every day cleaning in apartments. With proper use, some eco-friendly sources can get the job done just as well. You may have heard of people who have used natural ingredients that have yielded mediocre results. Our apartment living blog team has done the research for you, and we have experienced first hand some inexpensive and natural ways to clean common surfaces in apartments. The key is using the right solutions for every cleaning need.
What you will need:
- Spray bottles (You can find them in the gardening section of most big box stores)
- Baking Soda
- Castille Soap (Can be found in health food stores. A little goes a long way and must be diluted!)
Vinegar Solutions: It is the safest, most readily available, cheapest and closest to an all purpose cleanser that you can come by. Mix half and half of vinegar and water in a spray bottle to clean shiny surfaces. Think of this as your own natural windex spray, sans ammonia. You can also use the half and half solution for tile or linoleum floors. For a good grease cutter (read: kitchen counter tops) cut the vingar solution to 1/3 of the bottle, fill the rest with water, and mix in a capful of castille soap to boost your cleaning power. An important note: Do not use vinegar on marble, granite, or any other kind of stone. Use manufacturers cleaners and consult other sources for natural ways to clean these materials.
Baking Soda Solutions: This is another must have for apartments. Baking soda acts like a natural scouring powder, akin to Commet (again, without the ammonia). Sprinkle baking soda on toilets, tubs, tile, and even tough to clean pots and pans. Splash a little water on the powder dusted area, let it dissolve for a few minutes, and use a clean rag to scrub the surface. You can make a concentrated solution for even more stubborn dirty surfaces. Mix baking soda with a bit of castille soap to form a thick paste and use to combat soap rings or dingy grout.
For other surfaces and different types of odd cleaning jobs, you may want to consult an eco-friendly cleaning guide. If you have any other tips for us, let us know on our Facebook and Twitter pages. We will be sharing natural cleaning tips for apartments all week!