Whether you live in a classic loft apartment like this one in New York City, or live in a duplex in Dallas, many of us live in (and some even prefer) small spaces. Although there are several advantages of living in a small space, one of the major disadvantages is the tendency to look cluttered or dirty very quickly. On the bright side, it should only take you about 15 minutes for daily clean up and a couple of hours for a heavy duty cleaning, while those of you with mid-sized or larger homes would probably tell me that it takes a good day or so to get it looking consistently clean in each room.
So how exactly do you clean a small space? What are the differences?
The answer is to clean, and clean often.
• Smaller spaces show up cobwebs, dust bunnies, and dirt a whole lot quicker than larger homes do. Make a commitment to sweep your bare floors and vacuum your carpets every day.
• Make your bed every day. I know that sounds like a big pain, but you’ll be amazed at what a quick difference this can make, particularly if you live in a loft style building with no walls to separate the bedroom.
• Wipe down your kitchen and bathroom counter tops every single day with an all-purpose cleaner made with “green” ingredients such as lemon juice and white vinegar or club soda.
• Consider getting your air ducts cleaned. If you live in an apartment building or rent a home from a landlord, talk to the management and see when the last time the system was cleaned. If you’re lucky, they might do this routinely. However if they don’t, then you should probably go ahead and schedule one on your own. Small spaces are frequently less ventilated than larger spaces, so it’s a good idea to keep your air as clean as possible to avoid allergies, sicknesses, and breathing in mold or mildew.
• Walk around your home with a plastic grocery sack every night to gather receipts, wrappers, and anything else that needs to be thrown away to clear the clutter.
• And speaking of clearing the clutter, a good rule of thumb when purchasing something for your already stuffed living space, is to buy one–get rid of one. That is, when you buy something new, give something away or toss it. There’s always one thing that you can live without, I promise!
• Take care of stains immediately. When you spill something on the carpets (and trust me, you will) it’s a good idea to go ahead and call a carpet cleaner right away instead of trying to fix it yourself. Your security deposit could be on the line, and I know you’re going to want that money back!
• When organizing and decorating, stress the less is more quality. The great thing about small spaces is how little decorating they really need. Pick a few things that you love for every room and stick with it. Don’t over clutter your space–it will just make it seem smaller.