Most people have a cleaning routine that involves the basics: sweep, vacuum, wipe down counters, dust. But spring cleaning is all about refreshing your spaces and doing a little extra work to make your place healthier and more enjoyable. Whether you plan to declutter or completely transform your apartment, here are some areas you don’t want to overlook in the apartment spring cleaning process.
When produce goes bad, it’s pretty evident with changes in smell, color, or texture. But there are things in our fridge, pantry, and even our medicine cabinet that we forget—some products may have even traveled with you from your previous home.
Spices: Although spices may not spoil in a traditional sense, they lose their flavor and aromatics over time. We suggest replacing spices every one or two years.
Dry Pantry Goods: If these foods are still safe to eat, consider donating anything that you’ve been passing over in your pantry.
Condiments: Look for more visual signs like discoloration or separation, but stick to the expiration date even if it looks okay, especially anything that has eggs or dairy in it.
Freezer-Burned Food: Like spices, freezer-burned food can technically be safe to eat; however, the food quality may not be worth eating.
Toiletries: Creams and liquids like hair care, body wash, lotion, and sunscreens could cause irritation or inflammation if used after expired; additionally, any specific benefits like hydration or treating acne will likely no longer be as useful.
Makeup: Most makeup’s “use by” date is determined by when it’s opened, so it can be frustrating to throw expensive products that are only a few months old away. However, for products that go on your skin, especially around your face, eyes, and mouth, it’s best to err on the side of caution.
Cleaning Supplies: The cleaning instructions will change with expired products; you will likely have to use more or take longer because they have lost their potency.
Medicine Cabinet: The FDA recommends never taking expired medicine, as it could have changed chemically to be less effective or dangerous and could even have bacteria. Contact your pharmacist on how to dispose of it properly.
Coupons: If you collect deals and coupons from the mail or newspaper, recycle expired ones, and only keep the ones you have and plan to use.
Even the cleanest people have garbage. As garbage bags leak, break or slip off the rim, your can will collect extra debris, sticky residue, and crumbs in the bottom of your can. Wash them with dish soap and water or power wash with the hose outside or the next time you go to a self-service car wash.
Most people have appliances on their spring cleaning list, especially those involved with cooking. But what about the devices you rely on for cleaning? Dishwashers and washing machines may be in contact with soap with every use and the gross stuff they wash off.
In addition to cleaning your appliances, make sure everything works properly! McKinley has an easy-to-use online portal to submit repairs. Don’t be afraid to ask about any warranties, whether it’s a manufacturer’s warranty or a home warranty (be sure to research the difference), to see if your appliance is due for an upgrade rather than a repair.
Refrigerator: When you’re checking for expired goods, take everything out of the fridge and freezer and clean the shelves and bins as you go.
Microwave: There are many specific products for microwave cleaning, but also many home remedies.
Oven and Stove: Make sure you break down these pieces and clean each component, like the racks of your oven or parts of your burner, and replace the ones that may be rusted or old.
Dishwasher: Check the filter at the bottom and run a cycle with a dishwasher cleaning tablet.
Washing Machine: Make sure the unit is draining properly and that any small nooks, especially by the door, are wiped down, and run a cycle with a cleaning tablet.
Dryer: Your dryer is the most dangerous appliance to leave unchecked, as the lint trapped in the filter can cause house fires.
Although this drawer is often the catch-all for extra items, that doesn’t mean it needs to be full of total junk. While cleaning the drawer, take inventory of the items and only keep what you know you will use in an emergency or specific occasion.
Pens: Test any pens and markers and only keep the ones that work.
Change: Gather any loose change, take it to a coin machine or bank, or move it to your car if you live in an area with toll roads.
Cords: Only keep the cords if you know the exact product it goes to, or keep one of each type like a micro USB, lightning, etc.
Keys: Like the cords, Keys keep keys and locks only if you know what they go to and if it works with its counterpart.
Personal electronics are notoriously neglected from cleaning but have the highest contact with germs of anything we use! Here are some tips for cleaning electronics, but we urge you to consult proper care guides from the item’s manufacturer.
Phone and Tablet – Take off the case, power off your device, and wipe it down with a disinfecting wipe, avoiding the ports and speakers.
Computer – Either use a dusting can or sticky puddy to get the crumbs out of your keyboard. Further, be gentle with your screen with a dry microfiber or glasses-cleaning cloth.
Remotes – Use the same products as your keyboard to clean, but also use this as an opportunity to make sure your remotes and devices you actively use and donate or recycle the old DVD players or stereos you no longer need.
Remember, you don’t have to finish your spring cleaning in a day. Moreover, even if you tackle one room or one of these categories at a time, you can work through your McKinley apartment at your own pace. Now that everything is clean, it’s time to organize!