September 6, 2017

Small Apartment Cleaning Checklist

Small apartment cleaning checklist. One bedroom apartment cleaning checklist. How to clean your apartment. What to clean in your apartment. Spring cleaning checklist. What to clean in your apartment daily. What to clean in your apartment weekly. What to clean in your apartment bi-weekly. How to clean in your apartment monthly. What to clean in your apartment seasonly. How to clean your apartment. |

Happy (late) September! Ryan and I spent all of this weekend cleaning so that we could enjoy Labor Day off. Actually, we clean a little every Sunday and then at the beginning of every month we do a deep clean. Then once it officially becomes Fall, we'll do an even deeper cleaning. It's a lot easier to just stay on top of your cleaning schedule then you never feel overwhelmed by all of it. Plus if you're renting, this is really important to make sure you don't get charged a cleaning fee when you move out or at least you won't be stuck scrubbing stains off your bathtub. PS I recommend you first get some cleaning gloves so that your hands don't dry out from all the cleaning. 


Make bed 

It's a little thing to do everyday that's quick and easy but is sooo nice to come home to!

Turn dirty clothes right-side out and put in hamper

If you go ahead and flip your shirts the right way, that will make folding and putting up your clothes that much easier. Except for your jeans, those actually was better inside-out because it prevents fading.

Put dirty dishes in sink/dishwasher 

Make sure that you rinse them off or else the days-old food will really make your place start stinking.

Wipe crumbs off counters 

This is super important! If you don't wipe down your counters every day, you're risking ending up with a major ant, gnat, or cockroach problem.

Pick up trash and throw it away

It keeps your house smelling and looking nice when you don't have empty chip bags or dirty paper towels lying around.

Put everything back in its place

If you do this every day, it should never really take you longer than 10 minutes. Put your shoes back in your closet, pack your backpack, hang up your jacket and boom your place looks tidy AF.

Top off pet's water

I have this water fountain for my cat (but it works for dogs too) and it constantly circulates the water to keep it fresh This means my cat actually drinks a lot of water so every day I have to top it daily.


Wash sheets

My advice to you is to never do the sheets past like 8PM because then you're either going to be too tired to put them on later or even worse you'll be stuck staying up late just so your sheets can dry. In case you're wondering, I really like using Tide pods for laundry.

Wash whites

I used to not use bleach for my whites because I was once spilled bleach everywhere and burned my hand and ruined my shirt and so obviously I swore it off. But then I found Clorox bleach packs so that completely solved that problem! And now I'm back to my shirts actually being white instead of an ivory color. Or, if bleach is too strong for you then I also really like OxiClean packs for whites.

Wash lights

If you're not sorting your clothes by colors, you should really try it! It will keep your lighter colors like yellow from getting dingy from the other colors. Also make sure to use a color catcher and it will really help keep your pastels the right color. 

I have this divided rolling laundry hamper that has 3 bags, one for whites, one for lights, and one for darks and I love how easy it makes separating your laundry! 

Wash darks

Did you know there's actually laundry detergent just for darks? It will really keep them from fading so you don't end up with that awkward is-it-black-or-is-it-navy color.

Wash towels 

With towels I always make sure to use a little extra fabric softener because anything that's rubbing against your bare butt needs to be super soft!

Clean toothbrushes 

Mix a few teaspoons of baking soda with warm water and let your toothbrush head sit in the water for like 10-15 minutes and it will get out any toothpaste that's stuck between the bristles.

Wash dishes 

I usually go through about a load of dishes a week. If you don't stay on top of this then you'll end up with a dishwasher and sink full of dirty dishes. And if this sounds like a lot of work, jus know that in the long it's actually cheaper to wash plates than use paper ones. I really like the Cascade dishwasher pods because I always end up spilled the liquid everywhere (you'll see I'm a big fan of pods/packs > liquid haha). 

Take out trash 

I get these Febreeze scented trash bags that really help your house not smell like garbage and then I only have to throw it out when it's actually full and not just because it stinks. 

Sweep all hard floors 

You'd be amazed at how much dirt and hair and crumbs will end up on your floor in just a week. And if you let this slide then your socks are always going to be getting dirty.

Disinfect counters 

Hopefully you're wiping the crumbs off the counter daily, but you also need to use disinfecting wipes every now and then too. Even if you're not cutting up meat on your counter, they're still going to get dirty and you don't want to get yourself sick because some bacteria got on your sandwich on accident.

Vacuum all carpet 

At least get you a cheap little vacuum cleaner and do this weekly or else your floors will get nasty and you won't even be able to see it!

Clean out car

It doesn't have to be much, but throw away trash and take anything inside that doesn't go in your car. Then you never have to be embarrassed when you give someone a ride. 

I have to fill up my car with gas about once a week, and while I'm waiting for the tank to fill up I just walk around and pick up trash laying around, since gas stations always have trash cans and I have nothing to do while the gas is pumping anyways.

Clean pet food and water bowls

This is something that I think too many people skip over. Bacteria can grow in their bowls if you don't stay on top of keeping them clean. Plus, you wouldn't want to be using a dirty dish either!


Wash duvet/comforter cover

If you have a pet, make sure to run a lint roller over it first just to keep your washing machine from being filled with hair. Then I turn mine inside-out to protect the stitching and wash/dry it on the gentle cycle. Same thing as washing sheets though, and don't do it too late in the day.

Clean toilet 

If you don't have one already, get you a Clorox cleaning wand and use that thing. This didn't seem too important to me until Ryan moved in and one day after he left the seat up I saw how much mold was starting to grow around where the water comes out! Now I make sure to clean all the way up under there every other week.

Wash makeup brushes 

I let my brushes soak in this makeup brush cleaning bowl in a makeup brush cleaning solution to clean my brushes. Then, I'll rise them under warm water with  Sigma's brush cleaning mat. It keeps makeup from getting caked in between the bristles and makes sure that there's no bacteria growing in them. Then just lay them out on a drying rack to air dry. 

Wash bath mat

 For the same reason as the dishes drying mat, make sure that your bath mat gets washed frequently, too. I have this bath mat and I just throw it in the wash and then will hang it (and the drying mat too) over the shower rod to air dry. 

Scrub stovetop 

Barkeeper's friend is amazing y'all! If you let burnt on food stay on your stove until you move out, you're going to have to put in a lot of elbow grease. So about every other week I just scrub mine to make sure that nothing gets too bad.

Disinfect sink 

Super simple to do... just wipe your sink down with a disinfectant wipe. 

Wipe down microwave 

This is another thing that will only get harder to clean the more you let it sit. You can just fill up a coffee cup with equal parts water and white vinegar and heat that up for a few minutes until it steams and then wipe everything down with a sponge (watch out because the mug will be hot). Or you could just get a microwave cover and then you'll almost never have to clean it. 

Wash drying mat 

I have just a plain drying mat for my few hand-wash-only items. Since it's usually only covered in clean dishes it doesn't have to get washed that often, but I still wash it about every other week so that I can be sure that I'm not putting clean dishes on a dirty mat.

Check fridge and throw out expired food 

Here's a money-saving tip I learned from the Skimm— the expiration dates are more of suggestions than hard rules. So if something is past the date but still smells really fresh, then you don't have to throw out still-good food! Another way to make your food last is to use these Rubbermaid storage containers that are made to keep fruits and veggies from rotting as fast. Another thing that I use is the Blue Apple absorbing packs. I just throw one in each drawer and they work crazy well!

Clean door mats

I'll take mine outside and shake them off about every other week just to make sure that it's not hoarding dirt or anything else. I'll also use the hose on my vacuum to gently suck up anything that's loose. PS, here's the door mat that's in some of my Insta pictures. Mines a little torn up because my cat likes to use it as a scratching board haha.

Sweep patio

If you haven't noticed from my Instas, I looove eating outside on my patio! It's just so much nicer to sit outside and enjoy the day. But it's kinda gross to sit outside on a dirty patio so every now and then I make a point to go out there and sweep the dirt back where it belongs. 


Clean windows and mirrors 

Honestly your windows probably won't get dirty enough for you to have to clean more than once a month (I only even have 3 windows). Just go ahead and use glass cleaner on your windows and mirrors to make everything bright and shiny.

Dust bedroom 

Usually I can by with making one duster cloth clean my whole living room and bedroom since the rooms are fairly small. Just go around and dust everything in your room (night stand, dresser, mirror, bed frame, lamps, fan) to prevent you from having bad allergies.

Clean bathtub 

Spray your whole tub with Scrubbing bubbles and let it soak. Then just come back with a sponge and wipe it all down. Now you have a mold-free and ring-free tub.

Clean shower head 

Take some CLR, pour it in a little Ziploc baggie, then use rubber bands to hold the bag around the shower head and let it soak. This removes all of the mineral build-up and will fix the water spraying everywhere and you'll get way better water pressure. 

Replace water filters 

My Brita filter usually lasts me about a month and then I need a replacement filter. I just get in the habit of getting a new one and replacing it at the first of every month and then I never forget.

Dry Swiffer hard floors 

Since I'm sweeping to get the big stuff up weekly, I really only have Swiffer once a month to make sure that I'm getting all the extra little dirt and hair. 

Wet Swiffer hard floors 

If you have fake hardwood floors like me, you might get some weird black spots on the floor from when you've spilled things. I use a wet Swiffer pad to scrub these off. I only have to wet Swiffer (basically mop) once a month because I only have a tiny section of hardwood floors in my bathroom and kitchen so there's not much to really get dirty.

Clean oven 

If your oven has a self-clean setting, then this is super easy because all you have to do is lock the door and set this and let it sit for a few hours. If not, the good ol' Dawn and baking soda and vinegar mix will do just fine. Scrub really hard to get the burnt food off or else it's going to get stuck on there real bad.

Clean dishwasher 

Pour about 2 cups of vinegar into a big mug and leave that mug in the middle of the top rack. Then run it on the hottest setting to clean any grime.

Clean washing machine 

Pour about 3 cups of vinegar into the machine and then run it through the hottest setting (I also use the extra rinse cycle). This will break down anything that's built up in the machine.

Vacuum around washer and drier 

Put the hose attachment from your vacuum to work and get alllll that lint and fuzz that's trapped in that little space. If you know you've lost some buttons or other small things down there, just cover the hose with a sock and you'll pick it up without sucking it into the vacuum. 

Disinfect fridge 

One at a time, empty out and remove the drawers from the fridge. Wash them with warm soapy water and repeat. Then take a sponge and wipe down the shelves, too. 

Clean garbage disposal 

Take a half lemon and run it around the sink. Then just run the lemon down the disposal. The acid is cleaning , your sink will smell all clean, and the lemon rind is cleaning off the blades in the disposal. 

Rinse out trashcan 

Just because you use trash bags does not mean that your trashcan doesn't get dirty! Make sure you take it outside and hose it down or even rinse it out in your bathtub. It'll be stickier than you'd think.

Vacuum under furniture 

I always find a few pens or highlighters when I vacuum under the furniture. And sometimes when I'm moving furniture to vacuum, I'll discover a better layout that I like more. 

Vacuum under couch cushions 

Under the cushions is something that's easy to forget but is a major magnet for crumbs. Just basically vacuum all around and in your couch.

Dust living room

I use the Swiffer dusters and love them! Once a month I just go to town (TV, shelves, tables, lamps, fan) and then for the rest of the month my apartment  doesn't look like some dusty attic. 

Wash car 

Wash off the dirt and then vacuum it out. Don't forget to wipe down your dashboard, too. I also change out my air freshener at this time and then my car always smells fresh.


Wash pillows 

I only do 2 pillows per load just so that I don't overload it. But all you have to do is wash them in regular detergent plus a half cup of baking soda. I run mine on the delicate cycle but change the settings to pre-soak and do an extra spin. Then just dry in the drier on delicate with a few tennis balls to keep it fluffy.

Wash duvet/comforter 

I literally do the same thing as what I do with pillows. Just make sure that you check the tag on yours to make sure the settings are right, it will all depend on the material it's made out of. Oh, but you might want another tennis ball since this is so big.

Clean mattress 

All you really need is the to sprinkle some baking soda on your mattress, wait a little bit, and then just vacuum it up.

Vacuum baseboards 

Go around your whole place and, where possible, run your vacuum hose over the baseboards. They'll look brighter without all that dirt and you'll probably pick up some spiderwebs as well.

Replace toothbrush head

Even though I clean my toothbrush weekly, I still replace it every 3 months so that I'm not using one with worn-out bristles. I actually subscribe to Quip so I get a new brush sent to me right when I need it and now I never forget to do this.

Clear out bathtub drain 

Get you some Draino because I promise you there's a ton of hair clogging your drain. If your shower ends up with you standing in an inch of water then you might have to do this more often. Even if your shower isn't backing up, I promise you it will drain so much faster after this. And then prevent this from happening so much and get a Tub Shroom to catch the hair before it even goes down the drain (I clean mine weekly).

Clean out freezer 

Throw away any food that you don't even recognize or know that you're not going to eat. Also throw away any food that has freezer burn. Then empty your ice machine and rinse that with soapy water. 

Wash curtains 

Yep you can wash these and really you should be because it's so easy for dust to stay on these. Just follow the instructions on the tag to make sure you're doing what's right for the material that it is.

Wash rugs 

Your rugs are probably way nastier than you realize because these can be really tricky, if not impossible, to vaccuum. I always wash mine on delicate and then hang it over a shower curtain to dry. I recommend you do this first thing in the morning so it can have all day to dry before you have to take it down to shower.

Replace air filters 

This is another thing that people always forget. If you live in an apartment complex, check with maintenance because usually they'll give you one (and probably install it for you) for free. If not, just take out the old one and bring it with you to the store and make sure you get the same one and then pop the new one in.

Clean vacuum 

Most vacuums have removable parts that you can take apart and clean. Definitely find the filter and rinse that out really good under your sink and let it air dry.

And that's all I really have to clean! I know it sounds like a lot, but really it's just a couple of hours each week and then my house is basically always clean. I went ahead and turned this all into a one-page printable checklist for y'all! You can just print it out and if you want, you can even get some self-laminating sheets and turn it into a dry-erase checklist. 

Click here to get a free apartment cleaning checklist