I like to think of myself as a pretty organized and tidy person when it comes to my living spaces. Everything always has a home, whether it be the couch pillows or the scissors - each and every little detail has it's own place. If you walk into my bedroom, you'll see it spotless 95% of the time. It's just the way I've always been and hopefully always will be.
Tons of friends have asked me over the years how I manage to keep everything this way without going insane. "How can your apartment always be this clean?" And the answer to that is.... it's not. Which is what brings me to the main point of this post. Your space doesn't necessarily have to be clean in order to look clean.
Vacuuming my living room rug? Happens about once a month. Mopping the kitchen floor? Probably less often than the vacuuming. Cleaning the shower? Let's not even go there or you'll probably never look at me the same ever again. The point here is that you don't have to deep clean your space every darn week to still maintain a functioning, organized, and tidy home. It isn't about the fingerprint-less area in the back of that one shelf in your TV stand that nobody sees. It's more about all that junk in that drawer being hidden and tucked away out of view. That's what people notice on first glance when walking into your place, not the wisp of a cobweb behind the couch.
So here are a few tips and tricks to help get your home/apartment/dorm/tent/whatever in order:
1/ First off, you need to remind yourself why exactly you need to be doing this cleaning nonsense in the first place. It's not always easy to motivate yourself to clean but if you keep telling yourself "Oh that friend of mine is coming over to down a bottle of wine with me tomorrow" you'll actually get shit done.
2/ Set up a cleaning playlist to get yourself moving and grooving. Yes, I did just say grooving. But seriously, anything and everything is more fun when music is involved.
3/ Give yourself a time frame. Have thirty minutes before Scandal comes on? Race the clock and try to get all of your tasks done before you hear Olivia Pope's voice. The urgency and time limit will make it feel like less of a dragged out chore.
4/ Probably the most important of all: HIDE YOUR CLUTTER. Seriously, if there is one simple thing you should do at any point in time when organizing or cleaning your house, it's this one. Nothing pains me more than clutter. Nothing. Like not even pumpkin spice. That notepad and pen? That should be in a drawer. Those seven hair ties on your dresser? In a box of some sort. That straightener? Wrapped up and stored in a basket under the bathroom sink. Anddd we could go on for days here. But to sum it all up: anything that isn't a decoration or an overly used item needs a home. A home that isn't seen by the naked eye.
5/ Buy containers. Decorative boxes, bins with chalkboard signs, canisters, you name it. Buy things to stuff away all of the odds and ends and you'll have that clutter thing conquered. The boxes don't necessarily have to be organized themselves, cough because that would be deep cleaning, cough. And we hate that.
6/ Buy fun cleaning products. Fancy ones, ones that smell good, ones that are fun to spray, etc. Okay, this is a bit of a stretch but, hey, sometimes Swiffer wet-jetting around the kitchen to some Taylor Swift "Shake It Off" or whipping out your snazzy new iron that has more bells and whistles than your own car can be a pretty fun thing.
7/ Stuff your TV and DVD and laptop and whatever other cords you may have away and out of plain site. Bundle them all together and tie them together with twist ties so they'll all be in one place and then push them all back under or behind your TV stand.
8/ Add smell good stuff. Your nose can be so easily tricked into thinking something's cleaner than it actually is just because it smells like it is. Clean linen is God's, I mean Glade's, gift to man.
9/ Have guests coming over quick and don't have time to do a whole sink full of dishes? Stuff them in your oven. Wait what? Did I really just say that? Yes, I did. It's a quick (and way guilty way) of getting rid of the mess without making it look like you went around the house feverishly searching for stray cups and piling them into a mountain in the sink. Stick them all on a baking sheet, slide them in there, and then you can pull them right back out when company leaves. Side note: don't do this if you plan on actually using said oven when you have said guests over...
10/ Finger vacuum. Say what? This is pretty much for an area rug only since that's all I have for carpet. But instead of lugging the vacuum out, just go around quickly and pick up any big stray pieces of random string or crumbs with your fingers.
11/ Feed your guests alcohol as soon as they arrive so they don't give a flying eff what the heck your apartment looks like.