How I Make My Apartment Look & Smell Clean

Keeping a house clean can seem daunting. But, with these simple 10 tips, you can constantly keep your house looking AND smelling clean all the time!

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!)

Keeping a house clean can seem daunting. But, with these simple 10 tips, you can constantly keep your house looking AND smelling clean all the time!

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.

Keeping a house clean can seem daunting. But, with these simple 10 tips, you can constantly keep your house looking AND smelling clean all the time!

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.

Use Scentsy

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.

Keeping a house clean can seem daunting. But, with these simple 10 tips, you can constantly keep your house looking AND smelling clean all the time!

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.

Keeping a house clean can seem daunting. But, with these simple 10 tips, you can constantly keep your house looking AND smelling clean all the time!

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

Keeping a house clean can seem daunting. But, with these simple 10 tips, you can constantly keep your house looking AND smelling clean all the time!

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.

Keeping a house clean can seem daunting. But, with these simple 10 tips, you can constantly keep your house looking AND smelling clean all the time!

* 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?

Tayler from The Morrell

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

  • Abbey Phipps

    Honestly, all of these are brilliant! Haha I really love the three minute rule though! No more laziness for me! 😉

    • It really does help! I mean, I don’t follow it ALL the time, but even half the time is better than none of the time!

  • Courtney Patterson

    I’m such a stickler on clean as you cook. It really makes a difference plus, you don’t get tempted to leave the mess after you’re done eating! Great list.

    • It really, truly does! And seeing the mess after dinner is always the worst thing in the world!

  • Desiree @ Macke Monologues

    I’m a big fan of the three minute rule! And cleaning the kitchen as I go. I don’t know how people DON’T do that!
    And, our windows are almost always open, and our fans run pretty much non-stop.

    • I do prefer the AC, especially with the humidity here in Texas, but I relish the rainy days when I can turn off the AC and open the windows for fresh air!

  • The three minute rule is genius! I never really thought of that, although I try to do the things listed regularly anyway. But that’s just a great rule to follow. I also clean as I cook. 🙂 I hate having that huge pile of dishes, and I hate just doing dishes in general, so it helps to clean as I go.

    • Really having any routine or list is the best way to go!

  • Thank you so much for writing this. We just moved into our new apartment and the previous tenants cooked everything with curry so the smell has been unbearable. I might just have to try the Febreze air purifier…. thank you!

    • Our upstairs neighbors use a lot of garlic and that mixed with the stale smell and my pregnancy super sniffer of a nose is just terrible sometimes!

  • Great tips. I love the 3 minute rule. I guess I should probably read that book since I’ve never gotten around to it. Now I feel like I need to go clean up my kitchen since I’ve been putting that off. Thanks for sharing these tips.

    • I’d definitely recommend Happiness Project! In fact, in the new year, I’m going to read it again!

  • Some great tips there, especially the 3 minute rule. I also think trying to clean for about 10-15 mins every day helps a great deal in keeping the house tidy and not have to worry about doing it all at once.
    xx, Kusum |

    • I totally agree. If you clean a bit every day, you won’t have cleaning marathons!

  • These are some great tips! Especially the cleaning as I cook! My kitchen gets the messiest first and the food makes the whole house smell like well FOOD! Really love scentsy’s though to take that scent away!


    • Scentsy is amazing! And the dirty dish smell is terrible!

  • That air purifier sounds amazing… and cleaning as you cook! Genius. I think sometimes it helps to combine two tasks in one. Thanks for sharing 🙂 (PS: Going to start doing the three-minute rule. GREAT tip!)

    • The three minute rule will definitely change your life!!

  • Ivanna

    This has some great tips. I’ve wanted to read the Happiness Project for a while. That tip makes total sense.

    • If you read that one, you should also read her books Happier at Home and Better than Before–they are great!