Top 10 Cleaning Tips from One Bachelor(ette) Pad to Another

Lately, my apartment has begun to look like a bachelor pad.  Anyone else have this problem?  I am fully prepared to blame it on the fact that I’m not home all that often these days (and less so starting next week) and I haven’t quite found the right chi-fengshui-energy-whateveryouwannacallit for this apartment, which means I am less inclined to be productive in it and do things like, ya know, clean.  Funny thing is I am pretty much a germaphobe, just not so much when it comes to my own place – probably because they are my germs vs that of some man whose hands have touched the subway handle before mine (sorry men, but statistics show that men are less likely to wash their hands after going to the bathroom – which btw is even worse because they have direct hand to man-part contact – so I’m using your species as a germarific example).

I shall not go into the specifics of my particular pad, but I thought I’d share some time/energy saving tips that Martha Stewart and Mr. Clean would NOT be proud of.  For us single 20 and 30-somethings who are just too busy being the social and technological beasts that we are, we simply can’t do things their way anymore.

1.  Pick one spot for each category of clutter to go.  Instead of strewning (oh yeah, you are loving that made up word aren’t you?) your clothes all about like they were doing the Hokey Pokey, throw them on one chair or on top of one dresser, for easiest clean up.  Ever watched the scene from Love Actually when Sarah unexpectedly has Karl over and tries to hide all her clothes in the 5 seconds that is walking up the stairs?  Yeah, don’t be that girl (or guy).

2.  Multi-task.  As if we don’t do this enough already right?  But this time, apply it to your cleaning methods.  For example,  I rarely cook at home (why would I when you can eat out so cheap in Korea?), but the one thing I do cook is pasta.  With about a 15-20 minutes time frame between boiling water and cooking the pasta, that is a good time to wash the dishes.  Not only can you keep a better eye on the noodles (ever overcook something because you were glued to FB?), it also cleans out the sink for the colander when you drain the water.   Make it a competition to see if you can finish them before the noodles are finished.

3.  Speaking of dishes in the sink.  Rule #1 to avoid mold and strange smells?  Rinse the dishes when you are finished with them and empty out the water.  If you put water in them to soak then forget about them for a couple days…hmm …stagnant water smell, not so sexy.

4.  Avoiding foul odors.  Since I am not home often, it takes awhile for me to fill up even the smallest of trash bags, especially in Korea, aka Recycleland.  So what is a girl to do with all the empty take out containers she brings home?  Store them in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to take out the trash.  It will keep the apt smelling much nicer.

5.  While on the subject of fridges…stop going crazy with fruits and veggies on your ‘I’m gonna be healthy from now on’ day.  You and I both know that you will bring it all home intent on making smoothies and fruit plates for dessert, then you will go back to your junk food binging (because cutting up fruits and veggies takes way too much time away from your social media surfing) and be left with rotting fruits and veggies in the fridge, reluctant to throw them away and admit your defeat.  Now, I’m not saying don’t eat healthy, lord knows we all need to.  I’m just saying don’t go all Costco on it in one day.  Only buy that which can be cut up during the duration of the SYTYCD episode that you plan to watch that night.

6.  Open your windows!  Even when it’s cold, even for just an hour while you hover under blankets.  It is worth it.  Fresh air brings new life back to you and your apt.

7.  Invest in the most convenient cleaning supplies.  You should be buying stock in Swiffer (wet and dry), a dustbuster and antibacterial wipes.  Who has time to bust out a big vacuum, a bucket, rubber gloves and a harsh cleaner every week?  Not I!  I don’t recommend it as your only cleaning path, but for quick jobs and to keep life a little more livable in between cleaning cram sessions, have these brilliantly convenient ditties on hand.

8.  Have less stuff.  Seems obvious that less stuff means less you have to clean, but how many of you have really made the commitment to throw old things away?  Why are you keeping CDs when they are all uploaded and backed up on your computer?  Have an e-reader?  Then, start weaning off of your book collection.  Books collect dust (so do the shelves you need to put them on) and sometimes you can even attract book mites (sometimes referred to as book lice).  With the ever-growing world population, move to urban areas and all-in-one electronics, having less clutter is the new green.

9.  Have less stuff 2.0.  To include less dishes.  Less dishes means you will run out of dishes faster and be forced to wash what’s in the sink before they get nasty.  That’s right people, start getting rid of those cereal bowls.

10.  Have company.  Best way to get motivated to clean?  Invite people over.  It’s one thing for me to live in the dust and strewn clothing and sink full of dishes, but I’ll be damned if I let someone else see that unattractive side of me.  If you are like me and don’t like to host people often, have it a simple ‘stop by and pick something up’ visit.  If combined with #9 they can come pick up the extra dishes you no longer need.  Two birds, one stone.  That is what this generation is all about (just with less bird killings).

Any tips you wish to share?


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. fhhakansson
    Oct 31, 2011 @ 21:32:54

    #10’s most important for me. I try to schedule all my cleaning days right before I have people over. If it’s always clean when they visit me they never suspect a thing about my bad cleaning habits 😉


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