Spring-cleaning is on! Open the windows and let the fresh air waft in, because we're going to tackle spring-cleaning your apartment in one day.
We've come up with a suggested spring-cleaning timeline as your 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. guide, just 8 hours in total.
First things first, pour a cup of coffee and have a doughnut (you'll need the energy!) and then let's get started.
9 a.m. to 10 a.m. – Bathroom
Purchase a grime-fighting scrubbing cleaner to help ease the pain of getting the tub and the walls of the shower sparkly clean. Be sure to have double-sided sponges that are anti-microbial and abrasive for the toughest dirt.
- An extendable tub and tile cleaner is perfect for tubs, tiles, glass, floors and narrow spaces. Use it to get into corners, recesses and grout lines.
- Take all framed photos off the walls and do a big wipe down with a multi-use spray cleaner. Dust frames before rehanging.
- Eliminate water spots on the mirror behind the sink with a microfiber glass cleaning cloth that's low pile.
- Mop the floor.
- Throw the bath mat in the washing machine.
- Use a toilet bowl cleaner that fits in the tank and colors the water ocean-blue.
10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Bedroom
Spot cleaning just doesn't always cut it. You could hire one of the pervasive rug cleaning companies to come in with a steam cleaner, if your budget permits. But if not, get a rental rug shampooer and DIY the job. Lots of grocery stores rent the machines, as do the mammoth home centers. Or, see if your leasing office will clean your carpets as part of a rental renewal agreement.
- Use a duster with an extendable handle that comes with attachable cloths to remove dust from your ceiling fans.
- Dust the armoire or other dressers, and while you're at it, use a cleaning polish to renew the furniture's luster.
- Wipe light switches where dirt collects from being touched often, and also wipe off door-frames and doorknobs where less-than-clean fingers might have left a mark.
- Wash the windows in the bedroom and leave them open.
- Clear your bed of all sheets and pillowcases, winter quilts, duvet covers, mattress pads and shams. Divvy it up so you don't overload the washing machine.
- Systematically wash what's going to go back on the bed first once it comes out of the dryer.
- Pack away heavy winter blankets.
- Drapes and blinds need a good wipe down. Be sure to detangle blind cords and ask the maintenance department in your apartment complex to replace any of the blind slats that are broken or bent.
12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. – Kitchen
If your appliances haven't been scrubbed down in a while, now is the perfect time. Start with the fridge and trash any leftovers or food you aren't going to eat.
- Once the fridge is emptied, wipe shelves and remove the produce drawer to give it a really good cleaning.
- Wipe out leftover crumbs and clean up the spaghetti sauce that's been a glob on the middle shelf .
- Use a mild/eco-green cleaner or create a DIY a solution with baking soda and water for all of the tiers and drawers.
- Throw out everything in the freezer with freezer burn.
- Check that your ice maker is working properly. If not, get building maintenance to fix it.
- Check the inside of the oven for food spills that are a living history of meals long gone.
- Wipe the oven surface around the burners with the DIY baking soda solution. If sticky food debris is in-between the burners, clean it off!
- For a messy microwave, use a combination of lemon juice and water in a microwave-safe bowl to lift particles easily off the walls and turntable. Put the bowl in the microwave for up to 3 minutes until the concoction is boiling and voila! Clean all the grease and muck out with dampened paper towels.
- Mop the kitchen floor and throw the mat by the sink in the washing machine.
- Wipe off the cabinets with warm water and dishwashing liquid or an eco-green cleaner.
- Get rid of crumbs in drawers where you store utensils.
- Clean out your kitchen junk drawer.
- Do a refresh of the pantry, checking for expired food packages and ensuring there aren't any creepy crawlies that somehow managed to find their way in.
2 p.m. to 5 p.m. – Living and dining rooms
A refresh of your living room, especially in small one-bedroom apartments, can mean you're also going to spring-clean the dining area. Two for one!
- Start by using your extender tool with the amazing microfiber cloth attachment to clean the fan blades.
- Dust the blinds, shelves and books in the bookcase.
- Sweep your laminate floor. Water is damaging so avoid a wet mop. If you've got carpet in the living room, do the steam-cleaning thing. Or, simply vacuum – be sure to also shake out and or vacuum rugs that are decorative runners.
- If you're really ambitious, rent upholstery-cleaning machines for your couch, chair ottoman and other upholstered furnishings. Or, if the room smells like the dog, try a fabric freshener spray specially designed for furniture.
- Remove artwork from walls.
- Dust everything from ceiling to corners, window frame tops, windowsills and baseboards.
- And don't forget your electronics! Be sure to use microfiber cloths to wipe down TV screens, stereos, speakers and gaming toys.
And finally, when all of that is done, order your favorite take-out food and relax in your super clean apartment!