Tidy Up in a Snap With These 7 Apartment Cleaning Ideas & Hacks

We’ve all been there: unexpected guests are arriving soon and your place is a disaster. Or, perhaps between work, school, parenting, or socializing, you don’t have hours to dedicate to cleaning your space. Either way, you need to clean up pronto. Check out these seven apartment cleaning hacks to help you get the job done quickly. 

1. Decide If You Want to Deep Clean or Regular Clean

There are different levels of cleaning, but what is deep cleaning? Regular cleaning involves the everyday tasks you might do, like tidying up, wiping down surfaces, vacuuming, and sweeping and mopping. Deep cleaning, on the other hand, is done less frequently and involves more elbow grease on your part. If you’re deep cleaning, you’re likely doing all your regular cleaning tasks as well as scrubbing grout, cleaning appliances, dusting out-of-reach surfaces, removing soap scum, and more.

If you have a last-minute guest coming over for a casual visit, you can get away with regular cleaning. But if you’re hosting something like a dinner party, you’ll probably want to go the deep cleaning route.

2. Focus on Areas Your Guests Will Spend the Most Time

Cleaning can be overwhelming, especially if you have a lot to do and not enough time to do it. Take a few minutes to organize your thoughts and come up with a cleaning game plan. You want your apartment to be tidy, but not every room needs to be spotless. Focus your energy in rooms where you know your guests will be, including the living room, kitchen, and bathroom. 

Decide which rooms you’ll clean, in what order, and what needs to be cleaned in each one. You can create a regular or deep cleaning list to help you stay on track.

3. Declutter and Dust to Start

One of the biggest cleaning hurdles is knowing where to start. Removing clutter and dusting is always a safe bet. When counters have been cleared off and everything is in its place, you’ll see a noticeable difference in your apartment, and it will motivate you to keep going. 

Apartments get dusty, and you want to take care of dusting at the beginning. Depending on how much dust has built up, you may release dust particles into the air, which can end up on the floor and other surfaces. You don’t want to wipe down counters and tables first only to have to go back over them after dusting ceiling fans, blinds, and shelves. 

Bonus Tip: Don’t have an extendable duster? Try putting a sock over a broom handle to get those hard-to-dust spots. Used dryer sheets are another great dusting tool.

4. Tackle the Bathroom Early On

Chances are, your guests will need to use the restroom at least once during their visit, so cleaning your bathroom is a must. But cleaning the bathroom is a task most people want to put off until the last possible second. It’ll feel good to get the job done early on, and you won’t have to spend the rest of your day dreading it. Below are some cleaning ideas that can make tackling the bathroom easier.

DIY Your Cleaning Products

The need to clean can sneak up on you, and you might find yourself without the right supplies and not enough time to run to the store. Luckily, you can DIY bathroom cleaners with materials you have around the house and get your tub, toilet, and counters sparkling in no time.

Toilet Cleaning Hacks

The toilet is the last thing you want to clean, but it can’t be avoided. Cleaning your toilet doesn’t have to mean dumping bleach and other cleaners in the bowl. A few tricks you can try include:

  • Scrubbing with a pumice stone to remove the dreaded toilet ring
  • Using lemon juice to eliminate stains and odors
  • Polishing the handle with baby oil for a quick shine

Shower and Bathtub Cleaning Hacks

You might be tempted to close the shower curtain and call it good, but you never know who might go peeking at your tub and shower. Cleaning your tub might not be at the top of your priority list, but these shower cleaning hacks can help you cross the task off your list:

  • Place a plastic bag full of vinegar around your shower head to remove limescale
  • Rub a cut lemon on the faucet and handles for a polished shine
  • Scrub away bathtub grime with half a citrus fruit and salt

Grout Cleaning Hacks

You love the tiles in your bathroom, but you probably don’t love cleaning grout. When you’re on a time crunch, use these tricks: 

  • Scrub grout with an old toothbrush
  • Use a bleach pen to whiten grout
  • Make a paste using baking soda and water to remove stubborn dirt

5. Get Your Kitchen Appliances in Top-Shape

Whether they’re helping cook for a dinner party or popping some popcorn for movie night, your guests are likely going to need to use your kitchen at some point. Make sure your kitchen sparkles with these appliance hacks. 

Microwave Cleaning Hack

Food splatter can make cleaning your microwave a hassle. If a soapy washcloth and water aren’t getting the job done, you might need reinforcements. Fill a bowl with water and a bit of lemon and vinegar. Heat the bowl in the microwave for around five minutes until the water steams. The vinegary steam should help lift the food particles enough for you to wipe your microwave down with a cloth, and the lemon will help with odors.

Stovetop Cleaning Hack

Cleaning your stovetop is a must, especially if you plan to cook for your guests. Whether you’re cleaning a glass stovetop or a coil one, a mixture of baking soda and vinegar is key to getting rid of stubborn grease and food stains.

6. Give Your Bedroom a Quick Walkthrough

Your guests likely won’t need to go into your bedroom, but you can never know for sure. Your bedroom doesn’t need to be perfect, but you still want it to look presentable. Do a walkthrough to pick up any trash, stash away dirty clothes, make your bed, and quickly tidy up your nightstand and dresser. 

7. Save Vacuuming for Last

It’s an age-old question: Should you dust or vacuum first? Vacuuming (and sweeping and mopping) should always be one of the last things you do. Dust, crumbs, and other debris can be wiped off of surfaces and end up on the floor while you’re cleaning. If you vacuum first, you risk dirtying the carpet all over again. 

Don’t Suffer From Years’ Worth of Built-Up Grime and Dirt

Does your apartment always seem to be coated in grime, no matter how much — or how often — you clean? It may be time to look for a new place. Use ApartmentSearch’s advanced filters to find a space that suits your budget and your needs.