Spring cleaning is a common seasonal task this time of year. Objects and clutter build up when you’re holed up for the winter. So as the weather finally begins to turn warm and you yearn to open those windows to let in the fresh air, you might also want to tidy up your apartment.
Whether you have a spare afternoon or an entire weekend, the following tips will help you spring clean your apartment.
Get Rid of Clutter First
Cleaning is easier if you don’t have a bunch of rubbish lying around, so take care of that first. It’s inevitable for random things to build up throughout the year—odd food in the fridge, stale cereal in the cupboards, clothes you don’t wear, half-read magazines, piles of the old post. Go room by room, shelf by shelf, and assess all your possessions.
Try to be ruthless. Your goal is to purge unwanted and unneeded things. In an effort not to be wasteful, have three bags or boxes to organise items into; trash, recyclable, and donation. Here are a few examples of what could go in each box:
- Trash: Expired food, takeaway containers, ripped clothing.
- Recycling: Cleaned out, recyclable glass or plastic bottles, newspapers or papers, Follow this guide for more specifics on what you can recycle.
- Donation: Usable books, clothes, appliances, or electronics.
Going through your clothes can be the most difficult part, we all hold on to things we think we’ll eventually wear. Take the stance of: “If I haven’t worn it in the past six to eight months, I probably never will,” and donate it!
Make a Plan for Common Areas
If you share common areas like a kitchen, bathroom, or living room with flatmates, chat with them about spring cleaning together. Then you can make it a group activity and cut your work in half.
For roommates that can’t or don’t want to participate, you can still tell them when you plan to clean common areas. This way, they can be out of the apartment, or at least stay out of your way while you clean up. You can also discuss that you might want to throw away old food, or other items, and make sure they’re okay with that! It’s always best to avoid potential roommate issues.
Scrub Down Your Bathroom
We’ll share a time-saving hint, before you start with other rooms, take a look at your bathroom. Often, limescale or water build-up collects in the shower, tub, or sink. If you use a bathroom cleanser and let it sit—like while you go clean your kitchen—it will be easier to wipe clean and save some scrubbing time.
So spray down surfaces first, then head to another room to clean. Remember you might need to do this more than once, so check on it periodically. Also, bathrooms are small, and those cleaner fumes can get intense. So try cleaning one spot, like the toilet, then taking a break to clean another room, then come back again in a little while for the sink. Bathrooms are generally people’s least favourite place to clean, this way you break it up into manageable chunks.
Overhaul Your Kitchen
Turn to the fridge first. Take everything out of each shelf so that you can wipe down all the surfaces and get rid of any crumbs or sticky areas. Do it shelf by shelf, so there aren’t too many perishables out at once. Start on the top shelf; that way if crumbs fall, you can keep catching them. Once you finish cleaning a shelf or drawer, close the fridge to give it a chance to cool back down. Then go through all your items from that shelf before you put them back. Check expirations, chuck anything out-of-date. Consult with your roommates if need be, but throw out anything you don’t use or like. Remember to rinse out and recycle the containers that you can.
For even more detailed instructions, check out this guide for deep cleaning your fridge.
Move on to your cupboards and follow the same process. Take everything out shelf-by-shelf, clean the surfaces, get rid of unnecessary things. Do the same with your drawers.
Take this opportunity to deep clean your stove and oven. Pro-tip, if you don’t have a stove- or oven-specific cleaner, you can add bicarbonate of soda with water in a spray bottle. (Here are some more handy ways you can use bicarb to clean and deodorise). Spray your solution on the stovetop or oven interior. For tough stains or build-up, let it sit for a while and come back to it.
Now turn to any other surfaces and appliances in the kitchen and scour them! If you have a dishwasher, run it on an empty cleansing cycle, you might also use an extra cleaning pack. Save your floors for last, as they’ll likely get dirty and have remnants from cleaning everything else.
Tackle Your Bedroom
Start by washing your bedding. You might wash your linens frequently, but what about your pillows or comforter? Use large-capacity washing machines to clean those bulkier items as well. Even with duvets and pillowcases on them, they still collect dirt and dust.
Deep clean your surfaces. Don’t just give them a quick wipe down. Remove all the items from your desk and clean the entire thing. Take everything out of your drawers to dust and wipe the bottom. Put things in the hallway outside of your room, so you can give your floor a really good sweep or hoover, even under your bed.
Now that you have the extra space from decluttering, tidy your closet, shelves, drawers, and spaces. Decide if you need some new organisational tools, perhaps you don’t have enough hangers? Or you need small baskets for your desk drawer. With everything shipshape, it will be easier to take stock and place a quick Amazon order for organisational items that will ensure your room stays tidy long after spring.
Hit the Odd Areas
You cleaned the kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom but don’t forget the odd areas of your apartment that you might not wash up as often (if at all). Spring cleaning is all about making your apartment sparkle from top to bottom! The following spots are often neglected when it comes to cleaning:
- Windows and mirrors: Use glass cleaner to wipe down your windows and mirrors. You’ll be surprised how dirty they can be without looking like it. You’ll also enjoy some new smudge-free views.
- Couches: Take a smaller hoover or the hose attachment to your couch. Take out cushions to get underneath and into all the crevices. Honestly, it’s shocking how much dirt, dander, dust, and other odd bits are lingering in your cushions.
- Ceiling: Use a broom or Swiffer to dust your ceiling and get rid of any cobwebs. Word to the wise, wear sunglasses, so you don’t get dust in your eyes. Also, do this before you clean floors, or else you’ll need to sweep/hoover a second time.
- Kitchen chairs or stools: Again, you sit on these every day, but how often do you clean them? Sometimes the things we use the most might not collect visible dust but are still dirty and in need of proper wipe-down.
Enjoy Your Spring Cleaning Sesh
Sure, spring cleaning might not be the first activity that comes to mind when you think about a fun day. But once you spring clean your flat, you’ll defo be happy you did!
Now light a candle, put on some good music, sit back, and enjoy your sparkling clean apartment.