We've all been there: You have unexpected guests coming over and the apartment looks a bit, shall we say, untidy. Fortunately, all you need is a game plan for cleaning up the apartment and you can get the job done in half an hour, according to GQ.
Focusing on rooms that pick up a lot of foot traffic and sticking to a few essential chores can really get your apartment spic and span with plenty of time still left on the clock. If you have a roommate, kids, or a significant other that can help out, you can do even more house cleaning in less time.
However, renters may have to pick up some house cleaning essentials first, including dish soap, sponges, trash bags, glass cleaner, an all-purpose cleaning spray, a foaming bathroom cleaner, paper towels and a vacuum. Typically, most of these staples will already be in your apartment anyway.
Now you're ready to get started-- and the bathroom should be the first place to get a good scrubbing. This makes sense, as guests are going to want to use it during their stay. Be sure to remove any clutter from the tub ledge, sink, and above the toilet tank. Then, spray all surfaces with a foaming cleanser and allow it to sit for a few minutes while you attend to other chores.
Use the glass cleaner to wipe down your bathroom mirror (trust us, this small space can actually pick up a lot of germs) and also use the glass cleaner to clean off any chrome material. After cleaning the rest of the apartment, you'll see that the foam cleaner picked up a lot of those bathroom stains, making them easier to wipe up.
However, you will want to focus on areas like the toilet seat (the surface and underside), the sink and the sink basin.
Next, straighten out toiletries, towels, makeup or electronics (such as hair dryers and straighteners) so that everything looks nice and neat. Be sure to also close your shower curtain.
Just be sure that the bathroom is the first and last place you visit during your cleaning session. If you have a small handheld vacuum, you might want to use it to pick up any stray hair or dust that might have made its way to the floor. This makes the bathroom look much cleaner and it only takes about a minute or so.
Making the bed should be your first priority-- it's a simple chore that actually makes your whole house look a lot tidier in general. Next, make sure that any clothes on the floor make their way into a laundry hamper.
Clear off any kitchen items (glasses, coffee cups) and be sure that they are in the dishwasher or hand-cleaned and put away. The bedroom typically doesn't need a deep clean like the kitchen and bathroom, so this room should only take you a few minutes.
Once all of the dirty dishes in the apartment are in the kitchen, make sure that they are cleaned or at least stacked in the dishwasher and out of sight.
A dirty kitchen is a tell-tale indicator of a messy renter. It's also a good idea to toss a lemon peel in the garbage disposal and run it, according to Lifehacker. This can eliminate any less-than-fragrant aromas that might have made their way to your sink.
Next up, grab some disinfectant wipes or paper towels and an all-purpose spray and wipe down the counters and your kitchen table. This is especially critical if you're cleaning up before a get-together, as guests typically like to hang out in the kitchen with the host. The kitchen table is also known for picking up a lot of clutter, so make sure that everything is put in its proper place.
The Living Room
If you're having guests over, there's a good chance that they will be spending a lot of time in the living room, so it's crucial that you don't overlook this area.
Be sure to remove any clutter from the coffee table or end tables and remove trash. Then, give the floors a quick vacuum or mop with a disposable cloth system.
Next, wipe down bookcases, the entertainment center or tables, as these areas tend to pick up a lot of dust. After everything is cleared out, consider lighting a few candles to create a nice ambiance.
Keep in mind that the entryways to your apartment are a prime spot for clutter-- keys, bags, shoes, and other items can typically be found here.
Lastly, make the cleaning session as fun as possible. Throw on some up-tempo music or a podcast to make this feel like less of a chore!