One would be hard-pressed to find a New Yorker who enjoys cleaning. Monica from “Friends” may be the notable exception. And lest you think she’s a typical Manhattanite, recall that she and Rachel lived in the most spacious, rent-stabilized, two-bedroom Greenwich Village apartment that ever existed.
For most of the rest of us residing in the Big Apple, tiny, cluttered living spaces with ridiculously small closets are the norm. And believe it or not, small spaces can be far more challenging to clean than large ones. But short of blowing all your take-home pay on a cleaning lady, there are some fairly easy, quick ways to tidy up your apartment that can greatly improve your general mood and outlook.
We came across this great Apartment Therapy article today entitled The Hate-to-Clean Guide to Having An Always-Guest-Ready Home. Here are a few of our favorite tips from the article’s author:
- Wipe down surfaces. Few things gross me out more as a guest than hairy, food messy counters and mirrors. It doesn’t take long to wipe down surfaces, but it makes a big difference. I put myself in the habit of doing this every morning after getting ready so that I don’t have to do a last minute dash before guests arrive.
- Wash dishes immediately. Along the same lines of the sweeping after a mess, I wash dishes immediately after cooking (sometimes even before eating). Piles of dishes in the sink are unsightly and often smelly (also a bug issue) and by taking care of these right away it keeps kitchen messes under control, which is key for me since the kitchen is the first thing visitors see when they enter my home.
- Crack a window. Lately the weather has been fluctuating quite a bit, but even on the very coldest of days, I try to crack at least one window a day to let some fresh air in. This is not only nicer for guests, but it’s also much nicer for all the regular inhabitants of the home… stale air is so stale.
- Organize into piles. I tend to do a lot of work from home, and this sort of work involves a lot of supplies like cutting mats, blades, pens, and different types of paper. Often in the middle of a project I don’t want to sweep this all away and possibly disrupt my creative process, so I stack items strategically in piles. Tidy stacks look much nicer and still let me pick up where I left off.
You can read the full article here.
In the meantime, we have a few of our own tidying tips to add:
- Prune Your Wardrobe Remember that scene in the “Sex and the City” movie in which Carrie and her gal pals go through her closet trashing shockingly hideous outfits from the 80s that she’ll never wear again? Time for you to do that, too. A good general rule is, if you haven’t worn it once in the past year, and it’s not something special you want to put in storage (like a wedding gown), donate it to the needy. You’ll be doing a good deed and creating more space in your closet at the same time.
- Use Good Scents The very first thing people notice when they walk into an apartment is the way it smells. Ideally, your place will smell clean because it is clean. But if you simply can’t get around to a thorough cleaning, at least light some nice scented candles, or spray your favorite air freshener. Avoid strong, perfume-y smells, which can irritate people’s noses, and stick to clean, neutral scents like vanilla, fresh linen or lavender. This is for your own benefit as much as that of your guests.
- Make Your Bed This one seems obvious, but you’d be shocked by how many New Yorkers keep their sleeping quarters in a permanent state of rumpled disarray. It only takes a minute or two to make up a bed, but doing so will boost your self-esteem and make your visitors feel like they’re in the home of someone mature, responsible and classy.
- Get a Storage Room Of course — you knew we’d say this. But having a home away from home to store the stuff you don’t need or want to see on a daily basis — whether it’s the baby’s old crib, your camping gear or your tax returns from the 90s — will make your apartment infinitely larger and more livable.
Remember: You’re going to start and end every day in this space. Don’t you deserve for it to be as beautiful and appealing as possible?