Spring cleaning… the warm weather this week has many of us thinking spring, opening up windows to air out our apartments, and enjoying the ever longer hours of sunshine. And while it may not be the first thing we want to do, spring also means it’s time to spruce up our abode, give it a top to bottom cleaning, and maybe even pare down the items we’ve accumulated in the past but no longer use.
The New York Times printed a lengthy piece on the topic, with some of their own spring cleaning tips. Columnist Bob Tedeschi offers tons of good advice here, including doing a pre-clean purge of clutter (sell it on Craigslist, donate it somewhere, it doesn’t matter: just get rid of things you never use or have totally forgotten you even own), and making sure you have all the supplies you need–and the best kind of supplies–BEFORE diving in to do the dirty work. Nothing stalls the momentum of a good cleansing than having to make a trip to Duane Reade.
Also, don’t combine your spring cleaning with your regular weekly cleaning chores, otherwise the whole enterprise just gets to be too overwhelming. Spring cleaning should be about baseboards and windows (use coffee filters!) and vents and the back of the fridge, not dusting off the TV and sweeping or vacuuming the floor. Well, unless you’re one of those who only does that once year, in which case spring cleaning is probably the least of your concerns.
If you’re a checklist kind of NYC rental apartment person, you should also take a look at Apartment Therapy’s as-usual-thorough lists of spring cleaning tips for your home. In fact, there are links to EIGHT different lists here, ranging from perfect-for-rookies (“a little decluttering, a quick repair project, and some window cleaning”) to only-for-the-hardcore (Martha Stewart’s, which includes “resealing grout lines and patching storm window screens”).
And this year Apartment Therapy did itself one better with a look at the six best Spring Cleaning Smartphone Apps, including Epic Win, which “houses tasks and chores beneath the facade of an epic adventure”, because who wouldn’t dust the ceiling fan in order to earn gold coins and “level up” their avatar?
And on the topic of cleaning… whenever I’ve moved into a NYC rental apartment, I’ve asked my new landlord if I could get in a day or two (or three) early in order to clean my new home while it’s empty. SO much easier to do the floors, the kitchen (the refrigerator! the cabinets!), the bathroom, the walls, all of it, before your stuff gets there and starts clogging up the works.
It’s amazing how, even if at a glance the empty space LOOKS pretty clean, how gross it is when you get in close with your soapy sponge. Of course, if you’re the first tenant in a new construction / new renovation apartment, which has happened to me once, this is a less necessary step (though there could be a layer of fine construction dust), but I find that scrubbing a place top to bottom makes it really feel like my own.
Not all landlords will give you access early to clean, but hey, if you don’t ask, you’ll never know. The worst that happens is they say no.
For the most part, the same rules apply to spring cleaning, as apply to moving and cleaning your new (and old) apartment. So those spring cleaning tips can also serve as a checklist for when you move!
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