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Living in a small space can solve a lot of problems, and can be really freeing, but it also comes with it’s own set of obstacles. Small spaces tend to get cluttered, and dirtier, quicker than larger homes, because there’s not as much room for things to spread out. The good part is, cleaning a small space is easy and can even be fun! Here are some ways that you can keep your space clean and let your style shine!
Declutter and Get Rid Of Things
This is a serious first step to having a neater home. While almost everyone could stand to lose a few things, small spaces get cluttered especially fast. If you don’t use something frequently or you don’t absolutely love it, get rid of it! “I might need this someday” is the bane of the studio apartment, or other small space.
I like to make games of getting rid of things. One month, I set out a box, and decided that every day of the month, I would find one thing to put in it that I could part with. Once I got started, it was too easy, so I got rid of one thing every day for the first week, then two things every day for the second week, three things every day for the third week, and four things every day for the fourth week. It was surprisingly fun and addictive!
If I want to buy something new, or sometimes just for fun, I’ll set mini challenges such as, “If I can find 10 things to get rid of, then I can get that new scarf I’ve had my eye on.” See what you can come up with to get rid of as many things as possible! Owning fewer things means having a more open, cleaner looking home all the time.
Clean as you go
Any time you make a bit of a mess, clean it up ASAP instead of leaving it for later.
When you get up in the morning, take a moment to make the bed before you head to the kitchen for breakfast. Then when you finish eating your meal, clean the dishes right away (bonus points for drying them and putting them away, too!) or put them in the dishwasher, if you have one. When you take off your coat as you walk in the door, hang it up where it goes, instead of throwing it on the nearest chair. When you wash your hands, take a moment to wipe down the counter and faucet, too.
Little details like these really make a big difference, and not only will you save time later on, you’ll barely notice that you’re cleaning!
Keep the air fresh
Since smalls spaces don’t have much air circulation, they can get stuffy or overwhelmed by smells really easily.
You can keep things smelling fresh by:
– Opening the windows when the weather is nice, and turning on a fan, even a small table fan, to bring in outside air and help circulate it. I only have one (huge) window in my apartment, and I keep it cracked open almost all the time, then open it up all the way when it’s pleasant out!
– Investing in a small air filter. This will help clear the air of dust and other allergens, so that it won’t settle on surfaces.
– Adopting several plants. I have 12 plants in my 195 sq. ft. apartment, and no matter how many I have, I could always use one more! Indoor plants are wonderful at absorbing pollutants from the air, really keeping it clean. And if you don’t have a green thumb, don’t worry, there are many types of indoor plants that require very little attention and practically thrive on neglect! One of the hardiest plants I own is my Snake Plant, which is lovely, doesn’t mind low light, and can go for seeming eons without needing to be watered.
– Concentrating on regularly and thoroughly cleaning the areas that get smelly the fastest (garbage cans, kitty litter boxes) and anywhere moist that could get moldy (bathrooms, near windows).
-Using cleaning products that have natural, fresh fragrances, like Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day products. I use their Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner for almost everything, from my granite countertops, to my desk top, kitchen cabinets, walls, and in the bathroom.
Once a month or so, take a day to lovingly and consciously deep clean your home. Vacuum, sweep, steam mop, get all the little dust bunnies out of the corners, wipe down the kitchen cabinets, clean the toilet inside and out, wash your curtains, dust the blinds, lint roll the lamp shades, really get things sparkling!
Since I live in such a small space, I do this every week or every couple of weeks, but only focus on deep cleaning one small area, such as the kitchenette, the bathroom, the “office” area, the “bedroom” area… these are all *kind of* the same area, but dividing it up and focusing on one area at a time really helps me see details that need sprucing up. If you have a bigger home, you can divide it up by room. I like to start working in one corner, noticing every nook and cranny, every bit of dust and grime. Putting on an album that I love, or a new podcast, and then working in 20-30 minute increments, with snack breaks or dance breaks (or checking your Facebook breaks) at the end of each block of time makes it more fun, and makes it go by super fast!
When you’re done thoroughly cleaning an area, you can step back and appreciate how beautiful it looks! I always take pride in how pretty and polished my home looks after a quick declutter and a nice detailed deep clean!
Having a home that’s neat and tidy helps reduce stress, and lets your style really shine instead of competing with distracting clutter and dirt. It may take a while to get your small space clean, but after that, it just takes a small amount of conviction (and some great cleaning products, and good tunes!) to keep it clean.
How do you keep your home clean and happy? Please share your tips!
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By Kelsi Eldredge