We’re still so busy in the fall, out late enjoying gorgeous afternoon evenings and hanging with friends, and in between nights out and new fall schedules, something has to give. Unfortunately, that something tends to be cleaning. It’s easy the lock the door behind you as you say, “I’ll get to that when I get home…”
Not to mention, we’re still leaving the windows open all day, letting in dirt and allergens. With the holidays being just around the corner, to bring their own signature blend of excitement and hassle, cleaning will take a backseat again.
This fall, it would be a healthy choice to focus on keeping your apartment clean and clutter-free. You’ll be grateful to have a relaxing space to come home to at the end of a long, late-summer night. Better yet, when the holidays hit, you won’t be buried under months of dirt and cleaning because you kept saying “Oh, I’ll get to it later…”
Store Away the Summer Clothing
Rotate your clothing in accordance with the season to reduce clutter and free up closet space. Once the cool weather starts making an appearance, pack your summer wardrobe into storage containers and keep them under the bed, where they’re still accessible. You can also stash “lightweight out-of-season items in suitcases” and hang them on durable hooks attached to the closet door, points out Apartment Therapy. You can also tuck them into the back corner of a closet or under your bed.
This empties the closet for jackets, sweaters, pants and other autumn essentials, which need more room than summer apparel.
Create a Mudroom by the Door
Take advantage of wall space near the entrance of your apartment and design an improvised mudroom for anything that’s haphazardly strewn around the apartment. You may be thinking, I don’t have space for a “mudroom!” But remember, this space, “doesn’t have to be a ‘room.’ It can be an area that you designate for outdoor gear,” suggests Freshome.
Install hooks, shelves or cubbies to store backpacks, shoes, coats, umbrellas, purses, wallets, keychains, sunglasses and other items you need in the morning. You might lack space for an elaborate organization system, but old milk crates or a standard shelving unit are likely all you need. You can even get creative by adding a storage bench, which adds to both the aesthetic of the apartment and solves your “mudroom” needs.
Freshen Up All the Comforters
One house cleaning chore that’s overlooked during those warm summer months is washing your comforter. As the temperature begins to drop this season, it’s time to give the comforters a good cleaning since you’ll be using them more often. Not to mention, they get dirty easily:
“Comforters, bedspreads and blankets can easily collect allergens, bacteria, pet hair and other particles that may not be good for the health of you or your family, especially those items that you use on a more regular basis. By bringing them in at least once each season, you can help give yourself that piece of mind every time you snuggle up,” explain cleaning experts at CD One Price Cleaners.
Before washing your linens, check the instructions—bed sheets can be cleaned in a standard machine, but comforters might require a deeper cleaning or laundry cycle, advised Fantastic Cleaners (UK).
De-Clutter the Kitchen Counter
Since the kitchen is the center of most homes—even in apartments—it’s often where messes are concentrated too. Counter surfaces tend to double as “catchall” areas for billing statements, discarded mail and unwashed dishes. “Remove the unnecessary” and “relocate what doesn’t belong,” advises Becoming Minimalist. Even appliances like toasters and coffee makers, which remain out for convenience, can be stored in a low cabinet or counter corner. Another neat, minimalist option is to combine your oven fan and microwave into an over-the-hood option.
What about marble? If you have natural stone countertops they can easily become damaged or stained if they’re filled with unnecessary clutter and heavy objects, such as dishes. In order to keep your countertops looking shiny and new you need to regularly clean them and depending on the type of stone, you may need to seal it regularly. The marble countertops require a lot of dedication and need to be sealed since they’re delicate and are considered one of the highest maintenance natural stones to care for in comparison to a stone, such as granite.
Change your Appliance Filters
With the colder months approaching, a smart idea is to change your furnace, air, refrigerator and vacuum filters. They are fairly cheap, as well. A general vacuum filter will not cost you much but changing it is a must. While you benefit from the improved air quality in your home, you will also boost the efficiency of the devices, saving money in the long run. And you know how painful your winter electric bills can become, so why not save up a bit?
Start Filing Paperwork
It may seem old school, but loose paperwork is one the main culprits of a disorganized apartment. Those stacks of paper amass quickly and can take over your living space if you let them.
Some hard copy record-keeping is unavoidable, and that’s why you need a simple filing container. It doesn’t need to be a filing cabinet, just a plastic accordion folder that you can stick in a cabinet or your desk drawer. You can even repurpose a thrifted dresser into a space-saving file cabinet.
When your filing solution is set, use it to keep documents like birth certificates, social security cards, passports, bank statements, insurance policies, medical records and tax returns.
Store Away Books You No longer Read
A good book is an essential during the fall and winter months. You know how this goes: You curl up with your favourite story next to the fireplace while the rain is dancing on the fallen leaves.
Go through your book collection and weed out the copies you no longer read or know that you won’t have time for. You can store them away safely in boxes. A practical idea is to categorize them. Label one box “Finished” for the books you’ve already read and another “To start” for those that are waiting their turn. If you want to go the extra mile, you can buy some fun wrapping paper and decorate the containers.
While you’re at it, use the opportunity to dust the library shelves. Add a few tea candles here and there to bring in the fall mood.
Clean Up This Fall
Head into the next season with a fresh slate. Use these tips to keep your apartment clean while you enjoy the last few rays of the summer sun. When you’re ready to cuddle up in your cozy apartment, you’ll be glad you did.