How to Clean Your Apartment in 5 Easy Steps

A modern apartment living room with a sofa, table and artwork on the wall.

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Project Overview
  • Working Time: 1 - 2 hrs
  • Total Time: 1 - 2 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $10-25

Whether you have a two-story farmhouse with a white picket fence or a studio apartment, living in a home requires cleaning. The benefit of an apartment is that you don't have to worry about cleaning the exterior of your living space. You can simply concentrate on the inside.

Everyone has their own cleanliness and clutter comfort levels, but there are some basic standards that most landlords consider essentials. Break your apartment into four zones, and you can clean one each day or tackle them all at once. Here are five steps to follow to sufficiently clean an apartment to those standards.

Tip

Tackle your most dreaded job first to get it out of the way and then move to the next. It won't take long until you can sit back and enjoy your clean apartment.

How Often to Clean an Apartment

Ideally, small tasks and cleaning chores should be done daily and then the apartment should be thoroughly cleaned weekly. The amount of time it takes to complete each step depends on how frequently you clean—weekly cleaning takes less time per task than once-a-month or once-a-year cleaning.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • 4 to 6 microfiber cloths
  • 1 soft-bristled nylon scrub brush
  • 1 vacuum or broom and dustpan
  • 1 mop
  • 1 toilet brush
  • 1 extendable handle duster
  • 1 spray bottle
  • 1 stepstool (optional)

Materials

  • 1 bottle all-purpose cleaner
  • 1 container dishwashing liquid with degreaser
  • 1 container dishwasher detergent (optional)
  • 1 container laundry detergent
  • 1 bottle distilled white vinegar
  • 1 box baking soda
  • 1 bottle toilet bowl cleaner
  • 1 box trash bags
  • 1 container oven cleaner (optional)
  • 1 container disinfecting wipes

Instructions

How to Clean Your Apartment

  1. Declutter

    Start at the farthest room or spot from the door and declutter the apartment. Go through each space with three trash bags to gather recyclables, non-recyclable trash, and items to donate. When you have reached the exit door, take the bags to the trash area. Place the donations bag in your automobile or leave it by the door to take to a donations center the next time you leave the apartment.

  2. Clean the Bathroom

    Since most people dread cleaning the bathroom the most, start there so you're motivated to keep cleaning.

    • Spray sink and countertop, shower stall, or bathtub surfaces with an all-purpose cleaner. Add toilet cleaner to the bowl of the toilet. Give the cleaners about 10 minutes to work breaking apart the molecules of the grime before you begin cleaning.
    • Gather towels, bathmats, and laundry. Toss them in the washer or take them to the laundry room so the laundry is underway.
    • Scrub the tub or shower, sink, and countertop with a soft-bristled brush. Rinse well and dry with a microfiber cloth to prevent streaks.
    • Scrub the toilet bowl (including under the rim). Wipe down the handle, toilet seat, and outside with a disinfecting wipe.
    • Clean the mirrors with a lint-free microfiber towel and diluted distilled white vinegar.
    • Finally, mop the floor.

    Tip

    If you want to reduce your carbon footprint by limiting the number of cleaning products you purchase, you can make many of your own cleaning products with just a few basic ingredients from the pantry.

  3. Clean the Bedroom

  4. Clean the Kitchen

    • Again, start at the top of the room and work down so everything falls to the floor for the final cleaning step. Wipe sticky fingerprints from cabinet doors.
    • Gather any dirty dishes and place them in the dishwasher or the sink. Wash the dishes.
    • Wipe off the counters to remove crumbs and spills. Wipe again with a disinfecting wipe to sanitize the surfaces.
    • Check the refrigerator for expired food and leftovers. Have a trash bag on hand as you work. Wipe up any spills or sticky spots.
    • Clean the microwave and any other small appliances that need attention.
    • Clean the cooktop and oven, if needed.
    • Empty the trashcan and wash it if the liner has a hole that leaked.
    • Clean the sink and garbage disposal.
    • Mop the floor.
  5. Clean the Living Spaces

    • Dust ceiling fans and light fixtures.
    • Dust tabletops, shelves, and window coverings and trim. Clean any glass surfaces with diluted distilled white vinegar and a microfiber cloth.
    • Vacuum upholstered furniture.
    • Vacuum or dry mop the floor.
    • Sweep and clean any outdoor spaces.

Additional Tips for Keeping a Clean Apartment

  • Don't let clutter compile before tackling it. It is much easier to maintain a clean space with regular, small cleanings.
  • Find the best cleaning products for your preferences or lifestyle. Into natural cleaning? Opt for chemical-free cleaners. Want a cleaner with a great after-scent? Focus on finding scents that go well with your other home scents.
  • Try to find some fun in tidying. Turn on music or your favorite show as you clean to stay focused and motivated.