I studied abroad in Paris, and I lived in a tiny apartment with one other girl. We cleaned all of the time, but when my Dad came to visit, he was horrified at our bathroom. He said that the black mold growing in my shower was
a gross sign that I wasn’t cleaning my house correctly.
Fast forward three years and I found myself living in an apartment with
nine other people. Nine. I’m sure you can imagine that it could get pretty disgusting in there. My direct roommate and I kept our room clean, but the rest of the apartment was a massive mess. (I’m talking overflowing garbage bags everywhere, dishes in the sink for days, food on the stovetop, and more). I wouldn’t even step foot into the boys' shared bathroom.
I’d say that those are some of those
gross signs that you’re not cleaning your house correctly. It’s when you have forgotten what the color the grout is in your bathroom. Or when you walk around in clean socks and they’re black on the bottom when you take them off at night. It’s little things that shine a light on just how dirty your home is. There are a lot of ways to fix these things, and I’m going to help you figure out how.
You Always Have Laundry To Do, So Your Laundry Room Smells
Moso Natural Air Purifying Bag, $10, Amazon
Sometimes you just don’t have time to do laundry. And I get it, it happens. But constantly having dirty laundry (especially sweaty gym clothes and wet towels) can
really cause your laundry room to smell funky. If you don’t want to worry about having a stinky smell lingering in the place where things are meant to be clean, buy yourself a charcoal bag. It will absorb odors and keep your space smelling fresh and clean. It also prevents bacteria and mold from growing because it absorbs excess moisture.
There’s A Disgusting Ring Around Your Toilet
Mr. SIGA Soft Bristle Toilet Brush, $10, Amazon
I’m staying at this hostel right now, and they have a sign in the bathroom that says “don’t leave us souvenirs, use the brush.” Toilets can get
really gross and it’s important to keep them clean, so you don’t end up with a nasty ring around the bowl or any extra “souvenirs.” I suggest keeping a toilet brush next to your toilet and some bleach underneath your sink. It takes about two minutes to give your toilet bowl a good clean, so it’s an easy fix.
You Have Dirt All Over Your Floors From Wearing Shoes Inside
Whitmor 20 Pair Floor Shoe Rack, $12, Amazon
I often forget to take my shoes off when I get into my house. And it’s actually pretty gross how many things you can track into your home from the bottom of your shoes. Growing up, we had a strict 'no shoes in the house,' rule and we had a shoe rack in our garage. If you come in from the garage like I did growing up, or you have a mudroom, you should
take off your shoes there, and put them on the shoe rack. Then you won’t be tracking mud, dirt, or other germs and bacteria into the house with you each time you come home.
You Have An Overflowing “Junk” Drawer
Whitmor Clear Drawer Organizers (Set of 6), $23, Amazon
If you have a junk drawer, which I’m sure most of you do, you probably have a hard time finding
a way to keep things organized. And being organized can make a huge pile of things seem easier to sift and sort through. I use drawer organizers to keep everything that’s similar together. I have these in my makeup drawer, in my kitchen, and in the desk. They make a huge difference because I can actually see the things that I have. Simplehuman Sink Caddy, $17, Amazon
Stop leaving your sponges soaking in water. They end up getting gross and smelly and who wants to wash their dishes with a dirty and stinky sponge? Ring out your sponge after every use, and purchase a sponge holder that you can hang on the side of your sink or under the sink. Then
your sponges won’t smell, and you won’t have to constantly keep on replacing them. This one is great because it has ventilation holes on the bottoms so that they dry quickly, and bacteria growth is minimized.
Your Socks Pick Up Hair When You Walk
Bona Ultimate Floor Care System, $80, Amazon
Clean your floors! It’s easy to think that your floor isn’t dirty, but it probably is. You drop or spill things, you put your dirty backpack on your kitchen floor, or maybe you’re like me and you shed, so your hair is always on everything. An easy way to clean is with a mop using detachable pads. This one comes with a microfiber applicator pad, a microfiber dusting pad, a microfiber cleaning pad, as well as two types of floor cleaner. It’s
a quick way to get things clean without having to clean up a mess (that you’d probably have with a mop).
Your Laundry Basket Is Overflowing
Bebone2 Section X-Frame Oxford Laundry Hamper, $26, Amazon
I use a tiny laundry basket for my dirty clothes. It’s constantly overflowing, and I’ve dropped so many socks and sports bras behind the washing machine that I can’t get back because of it. What you need is a deep laundry bag that makes laundry easier because
it forces you to separate your clothes out as you toss them into your dirty clothes pile. This one has two sections, one for darks, and one for lights.
You Stuff All Of Your Crap Into A Closet (Just Like Monica Geller)
mDesign Chevron Closet Organizer, $20, Amazon
If you have a closet that you throw everything you own into while you’re cleaning, you need to organize that closet. When I think about how we have a closet at home that we put anything that doesn’t have a home, I think of Monica from
Friends. I would love to offer her a tip, use something that can help make the closet an organized mess. This hanging organizer is great because it has three drawers and seven compartments for your things.
The Grout In Your Bathroom Has Magically Changed Colors
Fuginator Grout Brush Bathroom, $13, Amazon
I’d like to say that I’ve never experienced disgusting bathroom grout. Sadly I have on two occasions. The problem with my apartment in Paris was that the bathroom didn’t have proper ventilation, so it was just always damp in there. So we started to have black mold all over the shower. And when my dad came to visit he insisted upon scrubbing it away. He used an old toothbrush and a lot of bleach, but he told me you could actually pick up a grout brush that will
make cleaning a whole lot easier.
You Have Overflowing Trash Bags Everywhere, And It’s Making Things Smelly
Heavy Duty Garbage Bags With DuraTear Technology, $19, Amazon
First of all, take out your garbage when it’s full. When I lived in Italy no one ever wanted to carry the trash down the stairs so we ended up with these disgusting bags all by the door. They were super thin bags, so everything ended up being so stinky and smelly. And by the time we would actually take them out, a lot of the bags would rip and then we’d be
left with an even bigger mess. One step that you can take is using thicker garbage bags that will not only block out the smell, but can also hold more and won’t break when you try to pick them up. Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.