Photo: Courtesy of greenmaidinc.com
Photo: Courtesy of greenmaidinc.com

Spring is in the air, but is your apartment ready for it?

As the snow finally starts melting off the city sidewalks, it may be time for the dirt in your living space to clear out too. That’s right – spring means spring cleaning. Even though this old tradition can leave your apartment looking better than ever, sometimes it’s difficult to get yourself up and do a good job.  Here are some tips to make the process as efficient as possible so you can get outside and enjoy the weather.

1.) Cleaning Also Means Decluttering

It’s not enough to just break out the sponges and soap. Part of spring cleaning involves getting rid of items that you haven’t used in a while. This doesn’t just involve donating old clothes. Look around to see if there are any bigger items that you don’t use as well, such as any worn-out furniture or kitchen appliances. Keep three piles: one that has things that you can donate, one that has things that you should throw away, and one that has things that you may be able to sell.

It might hurt to think about no longer having those posters or sweaters, but keep your mind on all of the new space you’ll have to live in. And if you manage to make any money from the items you sell, think about all the new items you can buy! NYC apartments are already so small, so it’s important to get all the space you can! But if you’re really set on hanging on to those old college sweaters, try putting them into compression bags, which will store your clothes tightly and create more space. Small bundles of these bags can be purchased from around $10-$15 a pack, depending on how many you need.

2.) Don’t Forget Your Appliances

You might think your apartment is squeaky-clean when you finish wiping down surfaces and scrubbing the floors. But take a look inside your appliances, such as your microwave and oven, and you may think differently. And these might be the most important part of your cleaning – no one wants to eat food made in a dirty appliance. According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, a build-up of dirt can cause the door seal to lose its effectiveness and leak radiation. So make sure to scrub the inside of these well and try to make it a habit.

3.) Vinegar, Vinegar, Vinegar!

This cooking ingredient isn’t just used to make your salad dressing. Vinegar is a useful tool to clean your windows and microwave oven. To clean your microwave, put one cup of vinegar and one cup of hot water into a bowl or cup. Then put it in for 5-10 minutes. This should help the dirt inside loosen up, and you should be able to easily wipe it away with a paper towel. Just make sure that your container is microwave-safe!

To clean your windows with vinegar, just put some on a towel and wipe it down! However, if you used a commercial window-cleaner right before, you might have to take an extra step. If the commercial window-cleaner left a waxy layer, combine the vinegar with dish soap to get it off, leaving you with clear windows to enjoy the fresh spring flowers.

– by Connie Lee