How I Keep The Apartment Clean(ish)

Well ok, not just “I”, I have a little help… How We Keep The Apartment Clean(ish)!

I came across the greatest tip ever at Organizing Made Fun to keep your house clean in 15 minutes a day, so I figured I’d try it out. 15 minutes a day is fairly reasonable for anyone; that’s only like 1% of your entire day. That leaves 1,425 whole other minutes to do other things besides cleaning!

Anyway, I’ve been trying it out in our apartment for the past month or so, and it’s actually working. The messy state of our apartment has been bugging me for a long time. For God’s sake there are still seven boxes in our bedroom that haven’t been unpacked from the move! Seven! And we’ve been here since August! Clearly I/we still have some more work to do, but this 15 minutes a day thing has helped me to keep my sanity regarding some of the bigger cleaning issues. And actually, it doesn’t even really take me 15 minutes each day cuz we have a relatively small apartment, and cuz I just don’t care that much. Putting stuff on the shopping list? I’m totally anal about that. A bit of dust on our bookshelves? Meh.

So our cleaning schedule is pretty simple; it doesn’t even include things like dusting, and on the day I vacuum I mostly just vacuum the one rug we have in our apartment and call it a day (hardwood floors for the win!)

Clean in 15 minutes a day

We try to make sure we’re putting things away after we use them on a regular basis, but Monday is set aside to get anything we missed. Tuesday is for the kitchen (we do have to do dishes more often than once a week, clearly, but Tuesday puts the kitchen back to its ground zero clean state). Wednesday is for the bathroom, and I actually really dislike doing this part so JonMarke cleans the entire bathroom for me! What a dear. 🙂 Thursday is vacuuming. Even just vacuuming our one rug makes a HUGE difference in the apartment’s appearance. And there are some spots (under the portable dishwasher, in corners, under the desks, etc.) that just gather cat hair and dust like it’s their job, so I take the handheld vacuum to those areas on Thursdays too. And then, cuz we like our Friday nights and weekends free, we do laundry on whichever day we get around to it (usually Sunday nights).

So that’s basically it. It takes about 15 minutes a day or less, and it really helps. A clean house is always nice, and we can mostly keep it that way with very little effort. No more spending all day cleaning once every week or two, this is much better. And the best part is, none of that stuff is really going to lack for attention if we miss a day because we’ve got better things to do. Or because we’re just lazy.

This is still sort of a work in progress. Dusting isn’t on the schedule, mostly because right now it’s not a big enough problem to need attending to once a week. But it should go on there somewhere eventually. And anyone paying attention will notice that none of the cleaning on this schedule pertains to the bedroom. That’s because I have bigger and better things in store for the bedroom! No, not really, it’s really because the bedroom is a huge mess (remember the boxes waiting to be unpacked) and I can’t justify spending a few minutes a week “cleaning” it when I haven’t even found the time to tackle the bigger problem of organizing it. And it’s just not big on my list of priorities. I can get from the door to my wardrobe to the bed, and for now that’s good enough.

But this is just the building block for an ever-changing schedule that we will adapt as our cleaning wants and needs grow and change. I encourage you to try it out! Not necessarily this exact schedule, but pick what things need weekly attention in your home, and break them down into smaller, more manageable parts. Then come back here and let me know how it goes! Do you have another cleaning method that you use? I’d love to hear about it. Like I said, this is going to grow and change and I would always love to hear your ideas!


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Jessi Wohlwend

I believe that anyone can do crafts and DIY projects, regardless of skill or experience. I love sharing simple craft ideas, step by step DIY project tutorials, cleaning hacks, and other tips and tricks all with one goal in mind: giving you the tools you need to “do it yourself”, complete fun projects, and make awesome things!

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Reader Interactions

  1. Jessi says

    12 years ago

    Sometimes we all need to take a little break and just play WWF!

    The best advice I've seen for closets in my blog wanderings is flip all your hangers "the wrong way" so your clothes are facing the opposite direction. Then as you wear something and hang it back up, flip it back the way you like it. In a month or six or a year (whenever you want to tackle it) go back and look at what is still facing the wrong way. If you haven't worn it in that period of time, maybe you can get rid of it!

  2. audrey says

    12 years ago

    Well, I am having technology issues as well because my post didn't show up. Hope I'm not duplicating anything by posting again. I just wanted to chime in that I love these ideas! For me, this works fine in the kitchen where I might clean 2 shelves in the fridge, or clean a shelf in the pantry when I have the urge and a spare 15 minutes. It's not working so well when it comes to closets, which are BIG scary jobs in my house. I think I need to look more closely for the small manageable chunk as it relates to my closets…..or I guess I could continue to ignore the closets and play Words With Friends!

  3. Jessi says

    12 years ago

    Sigh, reply fail…meant to reply but instead I posted a brand new comment below. 🙁 Technology is hard!

  4. Jessi says

    12 years ago

    That's a really good idea for making this 15 minutes a day thing work for a bigger area! I was gearing myself up (for whenever we live in a house, or just a bigger apartment) for either spending 15 minutes a day and not getting everything clean or spending like 30-45 minutes a day, but your way is much better. 🙂

  5. Katie says

    12 years ago

    I do something very similar! I have certain tasks that I do every day (wipe down the counters, do the dishes, straighten the couch, make the bed…that's about it), try to put everything away after we use it (ha), and then set the time for fifteen minutes to work on another cleaning/organizing task.

    The only difference is I spend an entire week on each area of the house (we do have a house, not an apartment, so there's a bit more work). The first week of the month (which is usually just a few days, not a full week) is the entry/front porch/dining room, the second week is the kitchen, the third week is the spare bedrooms, the fourth is the master bed and bath, and the fifth (which again is usually not a full week) is the living/family rooms.

    I just spend fifteen minutes, six days of that week (assuming I'm not crazy busy with something else) working on that area of the house. It might be sweeping the front porch, vacuuming the hall, clearing off the coffee table, clearing my dresser, changing the sheets, reorganizing the cookbooks…whatever, but just for fifteen minutes.

    Oh, and then Hyphen is supposed to clean the main bathroom once a month, because, gross.

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