Moving to an apartment complex can have its setbacks, especially after living in your parents’ basement for half a year and a town home for almost two years before that. We do love our little apartment: it’s one of the nicer ones in the complex, it’s right by the office, pool, and parking lot. The inside is gorgeous and I love the off-white (grayish kahki) wall color and the fake wood floor. It’s the absolute perfect fit. And, the 750 square feet makes it a lot easier to keep clean! Hallelujah! Because, with a toddler and an infant on the way, it’s just going to be harder and harder to keep up work. However, I have some little routines that I do just about every day to help keep our apartment looking and smelling clean. (Now, don’t get me wrong–it’s not perfect and there are definitely days it looks like a hurricane swept through it! But, these tips still help keep those hurricane days to a minimum!)
3 Minute Rule
I was heavily inspired by Gretchin Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project, when I read it years ago. One of the biggest take aways from that book was her 3 minute rule–if something takes 3 minutes or less, just do it. Thus, instead of throwing clothes on the floor, I put them in the hamper. Rather than leave dirty dishes on the table, I at least get them to the sink. If I run out of toilet paper, I change the roll. Really, the only 3 minute or less chore I constantly forgo is making my bed. 1) I’ve never done a good job with that chore (neither has my husband) and 2) Rhys and I nap in my bed, so…..
Clean as You Cook
The kitchen has always been one of the biggest messes in our married life. But, I try to make an effort to clean as I cook. After dinner, we also make sure to clean off the table, sweep around the table, do the dishes, and wipe off the counters. It is amazing how much this helps the next morning: by cleaning right after dinner, you don’t have the terrible urge to put off dishes till the morning when you go to bed.
No Shoes in the House
Justin and I personally don’t like wearing shoes when we don’t have to. So, we keep a shoe basket by the front door. We kick off our shoes right when we get home, and throw them in the basket. This way, we keep the shoes in one spot, and we also keep the furniture and floors clean from mud and dirt on our shoes.
I am a huge fan of Scentsy. No, I don’t sell it, no I don’t exclusively buy Scentsy brand (not when I can get the same amount of wax cubes at Wal-Mart for $1!!!). But, I love using them. We have a normal candle in both the bathroom and Rhys’s room–the two stinkiest rooms in the apartment–to help burn away bad scents. And, we have a Scentsy burner in our room and the main living area. We turn on the scentsies almost every day to allow the scents to fill our house. We change out the wax at least once a week for ultimate scent power.
Clean Toddler’s Room Before Bed
Rhys’s room is typically the messiest room of all–it’s small and he loves to dump out all his toys, all the time! It makes me cringe sometimes. I’ve tried cleaning as we play and cleaning a few times a day, but it never works. So, I don’t try to clean his room until the end of the night. Before we put him to bed, we have Rhys help us clean up his room. He is very good about putting toys away where they go and he’s gotten into singing “Clean Up Clean Up” as we do it.
Use a Diaper Genie
I know some people don’t believe they work, but we think they do. When we lived in Utah, we had a regular trashcan with a lid in Rhys’s room. His room always stank like teenage boy and he wasn’t even two yet! And the closet where we kept his trashcan was almost unbearable! So, we decided when we moved here, especially knowing we’d have another little baby making poopy diapers all the time soon, that we needed one specific place to seal up the smell. We bought a diaper genie, and we believe it works! Diapers only go in the diaper genie in Rhys’s room–and that will stay the same when Evelyn is born, even though she will be living in my room. It really has helped the smell!
Open the Windows and Use the Fans
At least once a week, I’ll open the windows and turn on the fans to get fresh air circulated in the house. When you don’t keep your windows open, your inside air can actually become stale and start to smell weird. When it’s super hot (as it’s been a lot here in Texas), I’ll typically do this when we are taking a nap, or at night.
Make Cleaning Part of Your Morning Routine
Our morning routine looks like this: Rhys wakes up and comes in my bed while I read scriptures. Then, we turn on the TV while I workout. Then, we have breakfast. Then, we clean up the house before getting ready for the day. Also, I make sure to sweep every day. Since our main living area has fake wood flooring and we have a toddler, it gets messy quickly with crumbs and spilled drinks. I make a point to sweep it every day and spot clean it (I only swiffer once a week). Because I do it every day, it really only takes me about 5 minutes or less.
Use TV to Keep Your House Clean
Especially when I’m expecting guests, I don’t want Rhys undoing all that I’ve done to clean–including his room since it’s literally right next to the front door. So, when I want to make sure the house is clean and stays clean, I let Rhys watch TV or Youtube.
Use Febreze Air Purifier
Since moving in our apartment in mid-July, having some water damage done because of the upstairs neighbors, and having a super sniffer from my pregnancy, sometimes I smell a stale/moist smell. It’s kind of hard to explain, but it’s definitely there, especially when we walk into the apartment from outside. I’m really the only one who can smell it. Justin can every now and then. But, it really bugs me. So, I was glad to receive the Febreze Air Purifier tower courtesy of Influenster.com.
It is a HEPA-Type Air Purifier and is “the only air purifier that circulates fresh Febreze scent.” It removes up to 99% of air pollutants, including garbage odors, gym gear odors, cooking and pet odors, and smoke and household dust odors. Dirty, stale, odor-filled air is drawn into the air purifier by a strong fan. The filters trap the odors and larger airborne particles. The scents that are included in the tower then are added tot he filtered air before it is released back into the room.
We placed this in the middle of our living area and I’ve been able to tell a difference, albeit subtle. I really like how small and slick the tower is. You can choose and change out the scent cartridges. I also really like how you can choose the level of scent and the cleaning level. It also helps to cool down the room just a bit. It’s not a fan, but it does act like a fan, and it’s nice to sit right in front of it.
* I received this product free of charge in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*
How do you keep your house looking and smelling clean?