Summer is on it’s way and you will need to do a few seasonal tasks around the house – here are cleaning projects to keep your apartment fresh, tips for staying cool in the heat, and a checklist for leaving your apartment alone for a few days or longer.
- Deep clean all rugs, carpets, drapes, pillows, and blankets: Dirt and dust have been collecting inside your household fibers since the last time they were cleaned! This is a good chore to do once or twice yearly. Some rugs and drapes can be washed in the washing machine, some will need to be dry cleaned, and some will need to be washed by hand. Check your articles to be certain, but most pillows and blankets can just go into a washing machine for cleaning.
- Deep clean windows, fans, light fixtures, and blinds: Clean fan and blind blades individually. Some blinds can be removed from the window and washed with soapy water to remove dried dust and grime, but test a small area first.
- Prevent bugs: Sprinkle a 5:1 mixture of diatomaceous earth and spice blend (ground nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove) around the borders of your entire apartment – walls, cabinets, closets, and doors. This natural remedy deters many pests from crossing its path. However, do not use the spices in your mix for light carpets or rugs. The spices will discolor cloth of any kind (many were, in fact, used to dye fabric in ancient times), and are of best use in the kitchen. Also, for pest prevention, never leave out food or crumbs overnight, and always take out your trash regularly. If you have an issue with fruit flies, put your produce in a sealed container and remove all liquids from the area.
- Deep clean your doors and cabinet doors (including all the handles): Wipe down all sides of the doors and handles. A water and castile soap solution will work best on all materials.
- Check the smoke alarm batteries: Make sure the alarm will sound – you may want to wear headphones for this!
- Change the air filters in your air conditioning vents: This is especially helpful if you have allergies. It is good to do 1-4 times per year (depending on how much material is collected in the filter).
- Summer, if you will be around, is a great time to start an indoor garden – the sun is shining and your house may feel fresher with a few plants around the house!
…When it is time for your cleaning projects, be sure to read our previous articles, The Cleaning Checklist and Natural Cleaning Products, for DIY tips and instructions on how to clean what. And for more deep thoughts about the need for spring cleaning check out this post form Slate.
- Open your windows and doors to let stale air escape, and outside air in. Close them while you have an air conditioner on. Alternating between the two can help fresh air flow into your home.
- Keep the sunlight out of your house as much as possible. Turn down your blinds and close shades during the hottest part of the day. This will stop the inside of your home from absorbing so much heat.
Leaving Your Apartment:
- Unplug all appliances that are going to be unused: desktop computers, alarms, lamps, small kitchen appliances (coffee makers, toasters), etc. Many appliances drain electricity, even while turned off and if there is a power shortage while you are away, your unplugged appliances will not be affected. Also, its good to be sure your alarm clock will not be surprising the neighbors while you are away!
- Clean out the fridge of all items that will go bad before you return: Remove fresh produce, meats, cheeses, dairy products, etc. Freeze items if you can, or give them away to friends (before you just toss them out)! ;D
- If you have plants or issues that will need tending while you are away, make sure to get a friend or neighbor to check in for you.
Have fun this summer!