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girlofscience's avatar

What are some tips for maintaining a clean apartment?

Asked by girlofscience (7550points) June 22nd, 2008

As mentioned in a previous question, my boyfriend and I are about to move to North Carolina on Saturday. Our apartment in Philly was often the victim of clutter. In packing, we are attempting to rid ourselves of clutter and have everything organized and nice. We’re moving into a pretty classy apartment there, so we’d like to maintain it as a nice living area. What are some tips we should have ahead of time in order to avoid allowing clutter to ruin the aesthetics?

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16 Answers

wildflower's avatar

Avoid hanging on to things you don’t need to. Clean up after yourself as you go. Have assigned place for things, so even if they stray, make sure you put them back…...and the obvious, tidy and clean regularly (it sucks but it’s gotta be done).

babygalll's avatar

It’s easier to keep up with everyday cleaning when you are organized. Putting things back when you are done with it helps. Don’t let things pile up. It makes it easier to surface clean daily.

jrpowell's avatar

Carry a moleskin and write down everything you introduce to your house that could be considered clutter. Review the list every month and get rid of stuff you don’t use. Over time you will stop buying crap you don’t need. Taking the time to actually document things should help.

I write down when I buy a candybar. I pretty much stopped eating candy once I started writing it down. I’m lazy and hate to stop and pull out the moleskin to write it down.

Knotmyday's avatar

Organization and initiative. If you have neither, I suggest asking a friend who does (the “anal” one) to help out.
What I did was map my place out. I made diagrams, and planned to the slightest of minutae. I almost followed it exactly :^)
I included exactly what I wanted on shelves and counters, wall color, and furniture placement. My roommate in college had what he called a “junk drawer;” in my house, I called that a “garbage can.” Everything in your house should have a place. If you can’t find a place for it, toss it.
Clean, well-organized houses are very soothing.

Trance24's avatar

Avoid always laying things down, put things away immediately. This way you won’t have to worry about things piling up. When you are done with dishes rinse and wash them then and there. Make a cleaning day once a week, so you can straighten up the house. Write a list of things that need to be done. (Wow if only I followed my own guidelines, I would actually be able to see my bedroom floor.)

squirbel's avatar

If you use something, put it away as soon as you finish.
When you eat from a dish, wash it as soon as you’re done.
Deal with all mail as soon as it comes in the house – toss the junk and file the important stuff.
Remember that everything has a place and should be there unless it’s being used.
Reduce the number of “useless” things such as trinkets and doodads, and increase the number of items that have uses.

Read sites like this for more information on simplifying/organizing your home:
http://zenhabits.net/2007/08/a-guide-to-creating-a-minimalist-home/

buster's avatar

Get a maid.

andrew's avatar

A lot of these tips are from the fly lady:

I cannot stress this enough: Keep your sink clean! It’s SO incredibly important.

Watch out for areas that are “wildfire” zones: flat surfaces where clutter accumulates. Focus on keeping those areas clean.

Clean for 5 minutes a day.

Make sure that you think of each task as finishing when you’re COMPLETE: dishes aren’t done until they’re back in the cabinets (if you have a dishwasher). Laundry isn’t done until it’s out of the dryer.

Read Getting Things Done. Seriously.

And think about hiring someone to clean every two weeks. It makes a BIG difference.

andrew's avatar

Also, what type of clutter did you have?

Oh, and get used to the feeling like you’re always cleaning up after the other person. It’s just the way it goes… and after a while you build up a masochistic delight in it. That’s when you know the transition in being one of those “clean people” has begun.

rowenaz's avatar

Kick the boyfriend out. That’ll take care of ALL THE CLUTTER!!:)

nocountry2's avatar

It might help for the two of you to divvy up the chores – decide ahead of time who is responsible for which chores, that way each of you know what you are regularly responsible for and don’t wait around for the other to take out the trash or sweep while things keep getting messier.

AstroChuck's avatar

Just remember, if you do decide to get a maid, never hire a cleaning lady named Dusty.

nocountry2's avatar

@ Andrew – I am so one of your “clean people”....muahahaha

nayeight's avatar

Avoid bargain shopping, its evil. I work at Pier 1 Imports and while I still live at my parents house, I own a counter-height dining table, a entertainment center, one and a half bedroom sets, 2 sets of dinnerware, 2 drawers full of candles, 4 lamps, and other d├ęcor that sits in my closet. Do I need all of these things? Of course not, but I thought that the discount I got off of them was too good to be true. Don’t be the same! If you see something you want, don’t buy it unless you know exactly where it will go in your home (the closet doesn’t count).

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edmartin101's avatar

As soon as I read your question, it reminded me of my brother who is super disorganized, but in his own mess he knows where things are..it’s just amazing. He finally bought a book on “How to get organized” guess what?..........he lost the book in his house, he didn’t remember where he put the damn book. This link reminds me that Albert was disorganized as well.

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