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When you search on Google or Pinterest for "Spring Cleaning List" you get TONS of content, but most of them include a list of 75-100 (!!!) things you are supposed to do...... um....
That's CRAZY! I don't know of a SINGLE person who has time for that... I do know some people who actually do the entire list (umm... mother-in-law, anyone?) but.... seriously.... just no.
Sure, I like a clean house, I wish I had a clean house every single day. But I struggle with just getting the basics done every week. So there is NO WAY IN HELL that I'm going to do a list of 75 things that 90% of the world doesn't even care about.
So, I did some research, even asked my M-i-L, and here is the MUST-DO list - Apartment Edition:
1) Clean out your fridge
Toss the nasty stuff and wipe out every surface. Look at every expiration date. I just threw out a bunch of salad dressings and sauces that mistakenly were past their prime. I'm not a very fast cleaner, but I'm also not super detailed, and I was able to get the entire fridge clean (can't possibly say "spotless") in 20 minutes. Using those Clorox wipes or similar disinfectant wipes should suffice, but toss on some baking soda and scrub away if you have an exceptionally grimy spot.
2) Dust your ceiling fans and light fixtures OR clean out/replace your AC filter
We don't have AC in the new digs, but we have four big ceiling fans that will certainly be going non-stop once the heat and humidity sets in. Do you really want 6-8 months of dust and dirt just spinning into the air? Gross. Allergies, anyone?
Although there is nothing wrong with dusty lights, it takes a few extra minutes to get those bad boys lookin' fresh.
It took me 15 minutes to wipe down the ceiling fans and most of the lights (I got bored and quit too early... oops)
Swiffers are by FAR my favorite cleaning tool. Yes, they can be pricey, but it is by far the fastest way I know to dust - I use them to pick up dog hair on all of our wood and laminate floors, I use them on every horizontal surface in our house. Plus, Amazon Prime will ship them to us the next day: order some right now before you start your Spring Cleaning.
If you are one of the lucky ones that has a working AC unit, dust the exterior vent and then put in a call to your landlord for replacement filters. Most apartment complexes would rather pay for new filters than have to fix a broken unit.
3) Wash your shower curtain
Most people nowadays have two shower curtains - one decorative one that hangs outside of the shower, and the plastic one that does all of the dirty work.
Sure, you could wash the decorative curtain to get it dust-free, but that's not really a MUST-DO in my book. But, your plastic shower curtain... that thing is nastier than you realize. All of that soap scum and water actually molds throughout the year. Yuck.
Just toss it in your washing machine on a gentle cycle with just a bit of detergent. If you notice mildew stains, add some baking soda as well. DON'T put it in the dryer. Let it drip-dry.
Although we all know that you aren't supposed to heat up plastic, sometimes I just get into a routine of taking whatever is wet from the wash and throw it into the dryer. I'm lazy that way... and yes, I have ruined bath rugs and shower liners this way... Hit Head Here.
4) Deep clean your shower/tub
When I talked to my hubby about this one, his reply was "Doesn't everyone do that regularly?"........ I almost smacked him. We've been married two years and he has never cleaned the shower. And he was serious! As a kid, part of their monthly chores were cleaning out the shower.
I replied with "Stop and think for a sec, do you think ANY of your friends clean out the shower right now?"
The truth is, we think about it, we generally know that we are supposed to do it, but then we just don't. Now, I'm not saying you have to do it every month, just every year at least!
All of that sudsy soap and dirt that you try so hard to get off of your body just sticks to the sides and bottom of your shower and will inevitably make it SUPER slippery and dangerous. That whole "falling in the shower" thing is real.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 234,000 adults and teenagers were treated for slipping and falling in the bathroom in 2008. - CDC article
What I did was spray multi-purpose cleaner all around the sides and bottom of the tub and up the shower walls. Then I threw (literally...) a lot of baking soda around - a lot.
With a sponge, I just worked through every nook and cranny of the shower. Since I'm not very coordinated, I ended up stripping down and getting in the shower to do this because I was very concerned about staining my clothes. Plus, for me, the hardest part about cleaning the shower is the rinsing portion, so I was already good and naked by the end (and it was my last cleaning item of the day) so I was able to take a nice warm shower and rinse all of the chemicals off. It also helps remove the lingering cleaning product smell that really bothers me.
Of course, I inadvertently squirted body wash AAAAAALL over the wall during my shower.... so definitely some cons to my method.
5) Stove Top Vent Filter
This is by far the worst one. But, it's also probably the most dangerous. Grease fires are a thing, and it could start in your vent filter.
Also, cockroaches, dude. Cockroaches are attracted to food grease, so if you live in an area with these nasty buggers, clean your vent filter. Just do it.
The easiest way to clean them is by following this tutorial by TheKitchn. Luckily, since we have only been in our house for about 3 months, I can put this one off a bit longer =D
I know that there is a literal TON more spring cleaning things that you could (maybe even should) do with your 20-something apartment, but these are what I found to be the MUSTS, besides the regular basic cleaning like dusting horizontal surfaces, washing your linens, vacuuming, and cleaning the toilet.