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Step-by-Step Quick Cleaning Tips for Your Rental Home

Do you have a moment? Right now, that is? Then you can probably do something to help keep your home clean. We know, it’s not a really fun thing to think about. But if you put this off, next time someone comes over is going to be stressful, running around trying to get things cleaned up before they arrive. So, save yourself that stress. Take a minute now to follow one of these quick cleaning tips, and get your home under control, one little bit at a time.

Overall

  • Focus on what people will notice first: It doesn’t necessarily help to clean what people aren’t going to see. Get the obvious, visible things done first. This also doubles as a psychological boost, since this success is easy to see.
  • Clean higher up first: If you’re doing more than one little thing at a time, start cleaning at the top. Dust, dirt, and other messes will fall down. You don’t want to clean the floor only to have to clean it again after taking care of the counters, for example.
  • Don’t forget to use clean smells: Your clean home won’t be quite as appreciated if it smells bad. Citrus scents, furniture polish, and Febreze make for good smells to help the place feel clean.
  • Use your waiting time to multitask: If you do anything that needs to sit, such as spraying down a surface, do something else while waiting. It should be obvious but is easily overlooked.

Bathroom

  • Wipe down counters/faucets regularly: Keep some wipes near the sink, and wipe down anything that starts to look a little bit messy.
  • Use a Swiffer pad on the floor: Keep some Swiffer (or similar) pads around for the same reason as the above. Whenever you have a bit of time and energy to spare, give the floor a quick once-over.
  • Use hot water and vinegar to shine tile/linoleum: Keep a bottle of vinegar (along with some other surprising cleaning supplies) under the sink just for this purpose. A quick treatment will give the tiles a satisfying shine you may not have seen in a while.
  • Squeegee the shower: This gets the same shine that the last step gives your tile. The shower needs to be cleaned more intensely, but even a little bit here and there will keep it better looking much longer.
  • Take out the trash frequently: This should be obvious, but it’s easy to let the bathroom trash linger a lot longer than you should. Taking it out will keep the room from looking messy, as well as keeping the trash from overflowing and getting everywhere.
  • Put clothes/towels in laundry immediately: You let clothes and towels build up on the floor? We all do, but shouldn’t. Putting them in a laundry basket immediately will keep the floor from becoming an unruly mess.

Kitchen

  • Clean/put away dishes as soon as they’re done: You don't want to leave dishes out and dirty for any amount of time. You'll also want to put the clean ones away as soon as you can. This keeps your cupboards looking well-stocked and helps you find what you need since everything is where it should be.
  • Wipe down surfaces after every use: You don’t want germs and residue to build up on the counter, do you? Quickly running a Clorox (or similar) wipe over the surface every time you use it will keep them from becoming an issue later on.
  • Sweep after each meal: The same applies to crumbs that fall on the floor. A quick sweep after eating will keep that mess from getting out of control.
  • Take out the trash as soon as the bag is nearly full: The kitchen trash is a big cause of bad smells. Taking out the trash more frequently keeps the trash from having long enough to start smelling bad.
  • Disinfect the garbage disposal: You never think about cleaning the garbage disposal, do you? Quickly cleaning and disinfecting it will get rid of another possible source of unexpected food smells.
  • Throw something out of your fridge right now: You probably have something expired in your fridge right now. Go in there and throw it out as soon as you finish reading this sentence. This saves visual clutter and gets rid of one more potential source of bad food smells.

Living room

  • Put things away as soon as you’re done using them: Clutter comes from not putting things where they go and just leaving them out. As soon as you’re done using something, put it where it should go, and a lot less clutter will come up. If you’ve noticed something isn’t where it should be, put it away right away.
  • Don’t let dirty dishes linger: That plate you put a few cookies on or glass of water? Put them in the kitchen and wash them as soon as you can. You don’t want them sitting out forever.
  • Dust as soon as you notice any: Dusting a little bit now and then is easy. Dusting a lot later is harder. Dust as soon as you notice you need to in order to keep it from getting to be too much.
  • Take a lint brush to the couch to make it look better quickly: Hair, lint, and many other things stick to a couch. They’re especially visible if it’s a dark color. A lint brush isn’t as effective as a vacuum but can be done much more quickly and easily.
  • Remove things hanging over chair backs: Do you have chairs with 3 jackets and 2 blankets hanging over the back? Or is that just us? Either way, move anything like that as soon as you can. It’s way more ugly clutter than you want to have.

Bedrooms

  • Put clothes away daily: It’s a pain to put away clothes all the time, but it really helps keep things clean and organized. You’ll always know where the shirt you’re looking for is and it keeps your bedroom from being a mess. It’s a win on all fronts.
  • Make your bed each morning: Yes, you’re just going to mess your bed up again when you sleep. But making it each morning helps the room feel cleaner, and can even be the things you need to get a good start to a really productive day.
  • Sweep/vacuum frequently: It’s a little bit, but do whatever you can in the little time you have. Even if you don’t have time to fully vacuum or do a deep clean, it’ll still help your room look better.
  • Watch for things accumulating on side table/nightstand: It’s easy to set a book on your nightstand and forget it’s there. But then you also set another book there, then something else, and then another thing. Take a moment now to put some of those things away, to keep it from looking too lived in.
  • Wipe down surfaces you touch regularly: Do you ever actually clean your drawer handles, the light switches, or other things you touch a lot? Wiping them down helps to keep them from getting too grimy or germ-y, which you likely won’t notice until it’s too late.

Have any other quick cleaning tips? Let us know in the comments.

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About the Author

Rebecca Green is a content editor and writer for RentPath. She enjoys interior design, dogs and can tell you where to find the best pizza in Brooklyn. You can see some of her other published work on Apartment Guide and rent.com