9 Super Easy Ways To Keep Your Apartment Clean

Black female in her 30s putting finishing touches to her table set for Christmas lunch
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Everyone has the best intentions when it comes to keeping their apartment clean. But sadly, best intentions don't take out the trash, put away dishes, or fold laundry. (Sigh.) What does keep your apartment clean, however, is staying on top of chores before they get out of hand.

I know it's easier said than done, especially because we all live busy, hectic lives. So I understand that throwing some dinner together after a long day often takes precedence over cleaning the dishes (because they can wait, right?). Yet we all know that moves like this can lead down a slippery slope. One dish turns into two, which turn into ten, and soon you've got a sink full of mold, and mildew, and crusted on noodles. A plate that would have taken five seconds to rinse is now going to require 20 minutes of hardcore elbow grease. And it all could have been prevented with a simple rinse.

This same thing can be applied to laundry, and dusting, and garbage — all the chores you hate to do, and put off for ages. So it's really about making small changes with the promise of less work in the long run. That's not so bad, right?

If you hate cleaning, but love a tidy living space, then you're in luck. Here are some ways to keep your apartment clean without even trying.

1. Clean As You Cook

As I mentioned above, the best way to not struggle with dishes is to rinse them immediately and put them in the sink or dishwasher. This is the old "clean as you go tactic." It will prevent that pile of greasy, food-covered dishes that nobody wants to deal with after dinner.

2. Take Out The Trash Before It Gets Full

One reason chores don't get done is because they become overwhelming. For instance, if you walk into the kitchen and the trash can is piled high with pizza boxes, it's just so much easier to turn on your heel and pretend you never saw it. So don't let trash heaps grow to epic proportions. Take out the bag while it's still small and manageable.

3. Always Hang Up Your Coat

Your winter coat is huge, and your apartment is not. So don't let it take up space by tossing it over the back of a chair, or leaving it on the floor. Hang up your dang coat, and be amazed at how much bigger your apartment now feels.

4. Put Things Away As Soon As You're Finished

They teach this skill in kindergarten, and yet I'll be the first to admit it has dribbled from my brain over the years. That's because it's so much easier to simply set things when you're done with them and walk away. Instead, put the book back on the bookshelf, the bread back in the drawer, and the remote back on the table. It's not difficult, your apartment will look neater, and you'll always know exactly where everything is.

5. Buy Yourself A Little Robot Helper

Sure, they're kind of pricey. But when you think about all the time and energy you'll save with an automatic vacuum, they'll suddenly seem priceless. So invest in a Roomba vacuum, or another one like it, and kick back as it does all the hard work.

6. Stay On Top Of Your Expiration Dates

Don't let your fridge get out of control, because it can easily become a science project of molds, bacterias, and sprouted potatoes. Prevent a day long project of excavating your leftovers from the freezer, and instead throw things out in a timely fashion.

7. Wrangle Your Laundry In One Spot

I know it's tempting to flick your shirt across the room, or step out of your jeans and leave them where they lie. But leaving your clothes strewn across the room is a sure fire way to live a life of squalor. Get yourself a hamper, and keep all your dirties in one spot. Oh, and put away your clean clothes ASAP.

8. Wear Dusting Gloves

The annoying part of dusting is the process — take everything off a shelf, spray some cleaner, wipe it off, wipe all your items, and then put them all back. Boring! It's much easier to get some microfiber dusting gloves. They turn your hands into dust magnets, so you can swipe off your surfaces and move on with your life.

9. Throw Out Your Junk Mail ASAP

Few things are uglier than a pile of junk mail. It's stressful to look at, and can easily get out of hand. So recycle it all the moment it arrives. Or better yet, call the company and have them take you off your mailing list. You'll never have to look at a pile of useless coupons again.

Cleaning can be a bore, I know. But if you keep your apartment under control, you'll never have to devote large chunks of time to chores ever again.

Images: JohnnyGreig/E+/Getty Images; Giphy