10 Places You are Forgetting to Clean in Your Apartment
I don't know about you but I have always prided myself on how clean I keep my apartments. Most of my apartment living life has been with Camden and they have all been really lovely apartments. So naturally I wanted to make sure I was doing my duties in regards to cleanliness. I'm the girl that spends her days off doing the vacuuming, the toilet and tub cleaning, the drip pans, the laundry - all of it. But I will never forget the deep horror and shame I felt when I moved out of one of my apartments years ago. It was that moment which revealed to me how much of a filth monster I actually was. It was a slap in the face. There is something about a vacant, post-move apartment that can make you rethink everything you thought you knew about yourself. It was a wake up call to say the least. I realized there were so many places I was forgetting to clean and I bet these are places you are forgetting, too. So to make sure you are not making the same mistakes I did, here are the top ten places you are most likely missing so that you will never overlook them again.
1. Blinds - This is a huge one. Blinds gather dust and splatter and just about anything you can think of. I swear they are a magnet for junk and grime. Blinds gather everything and if you don't take the time to clean them, they just get worse and worse. Here are a couple of methods you can try to make them like new again. The first is to use the brush attachment on your vacuum if they just need a good dusting. I close them down so I can see the dust side and just go back and forth over each slat. It works like a charm. The second is using a damp cloth (make sure to ring it out so it's not dripping) with a bit of cleaning solution on it and go over each slat one by one. You would only need to use the damp cloth method if you have splatter of some sort on them or if they need major attention because you've never actually touched them before.I would still recommend dusting them first so you aren't getting all of that dust debris on your cleaning cloth. Once you have given them an initial thorough clean, keeping them up should be easy on a monthly rotation.
2. Windowsills - I have a dog. He likes to jump on the sills. I have a toddler. She likes to look out the windows. Those two things alone make for dirt, graham cracker crumbs and just generally smudgy sills. It does not bode well for my OCD. Not only that but sills are where small bugs and flies go to die. I don't know why, it just happens. So don't neglect your sills. They take a beating and need some care. Damp cloths with a cleaning solution of your choice (make sure it won't take up or dissolve paint) work best for this. It's a spray and quick swipe. Boom. Your sills are clean.
3. Behind Nightstands & Beds - Okay. This is what set off my downward spiral towards emotional turbulence when I moved out of my first apartment. The amount of dust on the carpet behind my bed and nightstands was appalling. There were pounds of dust (ok, slight exaggeration) right along the baseboards behind each of these things. I can't even believe I am sharing this but I am doing so to empower others to not be like the me from thirteen years ago. Happily living in blissful ignorance - i.e. my clean apartment. It's just a place that didn't exist to me. It was hidden very well from sight - so out of sight, out of mind. Trust me when I tell you that this is the sole reason that vacuums come with extension rods and attachments. It will require moving your nightstands and getting on your hands and knees to reach under your bed but boy is it worth it. This is not something you need to do every week, but every quarter would definitely suffice.
4. Doors - I, for the life of me, to this day cannot figure out how so much dust and filth ends up on doors, especially the four panel kind that most apartments these days have. It only recently occurred to me that it may be because vents are pushing air onto them if they are located next to one but who knows if that was just me rationalizing a phenomenon that has haunted my housekeeping days for years. I feel like I am constantly cleaning doors and this is the one thing I will have to do weekly for whatever reason. Yours may not get as bad as mine but definitely keep an eye on them from the top to the bottom. Doors that get a lot of use like pantry and bathroom doors need extra loving, especially around the door knob areas where smudges tend to accumulate.
5. Washing Machine - Are you saying to yourself..."wash a washing machine?!" right now? Well if you are, get up and walk to your machine and lift the lid and look all around the crevices and lips. I bet there are little hairs, detergent build up, little hairs, lint, little hairs. Did I mention little hairs? Where do all of these little hairs come from? They aren't even the color of my dog! I'm at a loss but this is a prime example of something you may have never thought to clean and now you may be wondering how you ever missed it. Dryer sheets work great for this actually. If you don't have any on hand, a damp paper towel or cloth will work just fine. You don't really need any cleaning solution for this one unless you have something other than detergent on it. Use your best judgment here. I guarantee though, now that it is on your radar, you'll be looking every time you open it to do laundry.
6. Beside & Under Appliances - This would be beside and under your fridge and stove. Some might think these are more trouble than they are worth but if you get food in these places, it can attract bugs and that is an even bigger problem. Cleaning them out just once a month or even once every two months can help keep these areas nice and tidy. You can easily slide them out but if you don't feel as though you can do it by yourself, definitely ask for help. You want to make sure you are not going to damage the floors or hurt yourself. Sweeping, vacuuming and mopping are the best means of cleaning up these spaces.
7. Backsplashes - If you have a backsplash in your kitchen, then you may want to inspect it closely for splatter that can occur from cooking or run your finger along the top edge if it has one. If your finger tip comes back black from dust and grease, you have been neglecting it. Have it in the forefront of your mind that each time you clean your kitchen countertops, you need to extend the clean to include these omitted areas. These are the places we prepare meals for ourselves, friends and family. We definitely want to make sure that this is one of the places we put great effort and attention to detail in when we clean. I have become obsessed with Clorox Anywhere Spray for my kitchen. Not only does it disinfect but it is not toxic and I can use the space right away after cleaning it.
8. Ceiling Fans - Ceiling fans are fantastic things. They provide air movement, the cooling illusion and decoratively speaking, can make a room. There is just one problem. If the blades are not cleaned on a regular basis, those bad boys can gather inches of dust. I'm not even kidding. Inches. So that means that when you turn it on, your basically swirling dust all around the room and that can interfere with breathing as well as sleeping. When you do plan on getting to your fans, one of the best inventions for this very purpose is a fan duster. This requires no ladder in most cases and wraps right around the blade to capture the dust. Can't beat it with a stick.
9. Dishwasher - One might think you wouldn't need to clean a dishwasher the same way you wouldn't need to clean a washing machine because their main functions are to clean. But that is not the case. Many people don't know about the filter basket inside their dishwasher that needs to be cleaned out a couple times a month, just in case any food bits get caught in it that won't break down. Not cleaning it will prevent your dishwasher from performing at its optimum output, and could actually cause food to spray back up onto your dishes. The basket is usually located at the very bottom by the drain. This can easily be done by someone but you could always call maintenance if you are not comfortable with it. There is another area of your dishwasher that is begging for your attention as well. These are the side areas where the door meets the washer when closed. Food spillage can drip down and because the jets don't reach it, as it seals once closed, food and grime can just remain there forever. Taking a cloth and spray and wiping down these side areas is super easy and will also help reduce musty, old food smells that may emit from your dishwasher.
10. Baseboards - Poor baseboards. They are all along each and every one of our walls but a lot of times they are the number one thing that gets missed. They are not at our eyesight level and therefore it's easy to forget them. They seem to be a magnet for junk just the way blinds do. Brothers from another mother. For baseboards, once you've given them the first real overhaul, you should give them TLC about once a month. This way you won't overwhelm yourself, especially if you have a ton of them due to a lot of square footage. My favorite baseboard cleaning weapon is the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. That little, white square puff gets off everything. I know why they named it the Magic Eraser...because it's magical. One of my fellow bloggers actually wrote all about the Shocking Ways to Use a Magic Eraser. The little thing is just mind-blowing. Once you actually clean your baseboards, the overall feeling and appearance of your home will change. It will feel brighter and cleaner just by doing this. Pinky promise.
Now that you know ten places in your apartment that you have been inadvertently neglecting, I challenge you to add these to your housekeeping rotation. You'll feel so much better about your home knowing these places are no longer sitting amongst the grime that day to day life can create.
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