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Cleaning Your Apartment 101

So you just moved out on your own, and you’re a bit confused about how to go about cleaning your apartment. That’s okay, don’t stress about it. When I first moved into my apartment, I remember compulsively watching dozens of cleaning tutorials on YouTube (and buying and reading all of Marie Kondo’s books), and because of that, I am now able to simplify all of the tips and tricks I’ve learned into five steps that’ll help you clean any room in your apartment.

1. Put away your clutter

All this means is that you have to find a place for your stuff, so it’s not in your way. Take special note of the word “your.” This is your space. If leaving your car keys on your kitchen countertop helps you find them in the morning, then the kitchen countertop is where you should put your car keys. Remember, your apartment doesn’t have to be spotless to be clean.

If you have roommates, it might be hard to keep things where you find them most convenient. Try and have that conversation with your roomies as soon as you can, so you can all figure out how sharing a living space will work. 

2. Dust off surfaces

Take a microfiber cloth or a duster and wipe off any dust or debris off of the surfaces (countertops, cabinets, tabletops, etc.) of your apartment. The more often you do this, the easier it will be. If you leave dust for too long, it may cause damage to household items or breathing/allergy problems. The Spruce’s 9 Best Dusting Tools of 2021 include things like an air purifier and bets brushes for fans, blinds, and floors.

3. Disinfect surfaces

Pick whatever disinfectant you want, and make sure it is safe to use on the surface you’re cleaning (tip: don’t use vinegar on wood, it’s too acidic).  There’s also been much discussion about the wastefulness of common household products, so check out this list from Good Housekeeping for a list of eco-friendly cleaning products.

4. Sweep/Vacuum floors

Choose whether or not you want to use a vacuum or a broom and then either vacuum or sweep your floors. Best.io has a great list of the best vacuums to use if you’re on a budget.

5. Mop floors

After sweeping or vacuuming, another once over with a mop might give your place a little extra shine. Whether you want to use a good ol’ fashioned mop and bucket or just a Swiffer, finish off your cleaning routine by cleaning up any residual dirt you might still have after the last step. You would think mopping would be pretty self-explanatory, but there’s actually quite the technique to it. Here’s a comprehensive tutorial from Clean My Space.

These five steps are basic, but they work. But in all seriousness, and as much as it pains me to admit, my mom was right — It’s so much easier if you just clean up as you go.

Jazmyne Bernal

CU Boulder '23

Jazmyne is a junior majoring in Journalism. In her free time, she loves crafting and hanging out with her dog.
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