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 »
‘apartment cleaning’ Tag
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 »
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!
Doing the dishes, vacuuming, dusting, laundry — a lot of work goes into maintaining apartments and keeping your apartment clean. But one simple task that’s easily overlooked is changing your apartment’s air filter, which is something that needs to be done every 1 to 3 months depending on the type of filter you have. Not only can it improve the air quality inside your home — it catches dirt, dust and pet dander — but it can help your apartment’s air conditioner run more efficiently.
Since regularly changing the air filter can help keep an apartment’s air conditioner running smoothly, some apartment complexes may handle doing this for you. For most renters, though, this is something you’ll need to remember to do on your own. Set a reminder on your calender, or pick an easy day to remember like the first day of the month, so you’ll always know when it’s time to change your apartment air filter.
Know the Size of Your Air Filter
Before you go out and buy a new filter, write down the size you need — there are quite a few sizes to choose from, so you’ll more than likely wind up guessing wrong if you try. If you don’t see the size clearly written on the air filter that’s currently in there, call up your apartment manager and ask.
Buying an Air Filter
Air filters range in cost from a few dollars to as much as $30. The cost depends on the quality and lifespan of the filter, so consider doing some research beforehand. A good air filter may make an apartment more comfortable for allergy sufferers.
Replacing the Air Filter
No need to be intimidated by a big A/C unit. Replacing your apartment’s air filter is easy — you typically just have to pop it into place or slide it into place. If you’re unsure of where the filter goes or how to put it in, contact your apartment maintenance to ask, or to request that someone come in and do it for you.
Do You Need to Chart Your Chores?
Struggling with roommates? A chore chart might be the key to harmonious apartment living in your new apartment. So you’ve rented an apartment, found a roommate and are all moved in. It feels nice to be settled in at your new home, but there’s still something important to take care of: how will you split up the chores? No doubt, we’d all much rather spend our time doing something fun instead of scrubbing the tub or taking out the trash. But it’s got to get done, or apartment living will quickly turn messy. Failing to organize chores is also a sure way to get into a conflict with your roommate, so make things clear from the beginning. There are a two ways you can do this — just talking to your roommate and deciding what chores will be done by which person and how often, or making a chore chart. A chore chart for day-to-day apartment living may feel a little bit lame at first. Can’t we just do the chores when they need to get done? you might wonder. You can try it that way, but all too often when directions aren’t clear, chores will wind up being forgotten. Dishes can pile up in the sink, dirt can cover the floor and bathrooms can get downright awful. If you and your roommate are clear from the start about which chores you’re supposed to handle, you can avoid all kinds of messes when it comes to apartment living.
Setting Up a Chore Chart
Making a chore chart for clean apartment living is easy. Get together with your roommate and come up with a list of apartment living chores that need to get done. It’s different for everyone, but here’s a list to help you get going:
- Load and run the dishwasher
- Unload the dishwasher
- Wipe down kitchen counters and sink
- Wipe down bathroom counters
- Mop kitchen floor
- Mop bathroom floor
- Clean the toilet, bathtub and sink
- Clean out fridge
- Take out trash and recycling
Once you’ve got your list — and you’ll probably keep adding to the list as you discover new chores — start working on the actual chart. You can either go big and put it on a poster board, or just put it on a regular piece of paper. Keep in mind that you may want to recreate this chart every couple of weeks. You’ll want to make a few columns at the top: Chore, Who?, Due Date, and Done. List each chore on its own line under Chore, the person responsible for it under Who?, the date you’d like it done under Due Date, and leave the Done column blank. Once the chore is done, just put a check mark by it in that column. Keep your chore chart somewhere visible, like on the fridge. If you or your roommate are unhappy with your assigned chores, just switch off next time to keep it fair. And remember, if you haven’t gotten to the chore chart stage yet, and are just looking for a decent apartment for rent, ApartmentSearch.com is here to help. Our website has tons of resources and fantastic apartment listings for you to browse. Plus if you end up finding an apartment through ApartmentSearch.com, you can collect up to $200 in renter’s rewards! Not a bad way to start out in your new place.