How to Keep Your Apartment Clean(ish): Tips for Slobs

I am a slob. I’ll admit it. It’s not something I’m proud of, but it’s something that I’ve come to accept about myself. That being said, I do not enjoy living in a pigsty! Through much trial and error, I’ve discovered a few cleaning tips for slobs that combat my slovenly ways.

The Doorway Rule

Before you leave any room (or go through the doorway, hence the name), clean up at least one item. Leaving your bedroom? Pick up some dirty laundry. Leaving the kitchen? Wash one bowl (or at least put it in the sink instead of leaving it one the kitchen table). This won’t make your house spotless, but it will help, and it will get you in the habit of cleaning a little more often. Once it becomes second nature for you to tidy up before leaving a room, you can step it up a notch and clean every time you enter a room as well.

Get a Cleaning Buddy

No, this doesn’t mean you should find a friend to clean for you (or even help you clean). A cleaning buddy is a friend who will hang out on your couch and chat with you while you clean your house. This is how I trick myself into cleaning, because it keeps me from focusing on how boring it is to pick up my messes—my mind thinks I’m just hanging out with a friend, and then, by the time my friend leaves, my house is magically clean! (Plus, there’s the added motivation of how embarrassing it is to have a friend see the mess you’ve been living in). Be warned, though, this isn’t something to do with someone you’ve just met. Stick with your tried-and-true friends for cleaning buddies—there’s no need for someone’s first impression of your apartment to be when it’s at its messiest.

The Garbage Bag Method

Sometimes a mess just looks way too big to tackle. My solution to this is to pile the whole mess into a garbage bag before I try to put anything in its place. It’s a lot easier for me to put things away in a clean room than it is to chip away at a mess item by item. Just make sure you don’t call it quits until you’ve put away everything in the garbage bag! Otherwise, you haven’t really cleaned the mess, you’ve just buried all your things in a trash bag.

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Taylor LaSon is a recent Hamilton College graduate who is currently living in Memphis while seeking her Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology. She and her cat prefer a quiet, introverted lifestyle full of Netflix binges and arts and crafts, but when she does go out, she enjoys rock climbing and making silly faces at small children.

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