Spring Cleaning Advice for the Perfect City Apartment Refresh
With daylight savings in the rear-view mirror and warmer weather just weeks away, you might be feeling the urge to give your apartment a seasonal refresh. If so, you’re not alone—and we’ve got all the spring cleaning advice you need. From the overlooked areas of your pad that could use a good scrub to sustainable ways to get rid of what you no longer need, here’s how to get your apartment looking fresh and clean in no time.
Your Bathroom Cabinet
Do you hoard mini bottles of shampoo and conditioner every time you stay at a hotel? Or perhaps you receive monthly shipments of beauty sample products? Either way, that stash of unused little bottles is cluttering up your life—and spring is the perfect time to ask yourself if you’re really going to use that blue lipstick anytime soon. If not, don’t toss ’em: instead, arrange a swap night with friends and raid each other’s stashes. Anything that’s left over can be donated to local shelters instead of going in the trash.
Your Spice Drawer
That musty bottle of cinnamon you’ve had since 2012 isn’t doing you (or your cooking) any favors. Best-buy dates exist on spice jars for a reason: at some point, they all become tasteless brown dust. The good news, though, is that you’ve got plenty of options when it comes to disposing of them. Bonus spring cleaning advice: old spices and herbs can be composted, or even used to make non-toxic cleaners, pesticides, and homemade air fresheners. And with all that freed-up drawer space, you’ve got the perfect excuse to do some organizing. Pick up a new set of jars and labels, and then buy spices from your grocery’s bulk section, so you don’t wind up with more than you need.
Your Kitchen Counter
Most kitchens have it, and yours probably does too: that collection of olive oil, vinegar, and other miscellaneous bottles and jars that live somewhere near your stove. Unfortunately, that’s not a great place to keep those items—especially oils, which are vulnerable to heat and light and go rancid quickly. Do a quick smell test to determine freshness (the scent of olive oil gone bad is often likened to Elmer’s glue or crayons) and move what’s still good to a cool, dark place. To dispose, don’t pour down the drain. Instead, look to see if your local recycling center accepts old cooking oil, while vegetable oil in small quantities can hit the compost pile. Vinegar, meanwhile, is less vulnerable to the deleterious effects of aging, but if you’ve got more than you need, it’s quite a handy cleaner.
When it comes to sorting through your clothes, it can be hard to parse what’s practical from what’s sentimental. We’re here to tell you that your lucky t-shirt—yup, the one with all the holes—isn’t helping you out while crammed into the back of your closet. Instead, you can safely move anything you haven’t worn in the last year to your discard pile, including shoes, jewelry, and other accessories. A clothing swap is a tried-and-true way to refresh, as is donating to local thrift shops and shelters. You can also drop by thrift stores like Buffalo Exchange or Beacon’s Closet to get some cash for your wardrobe, or see if your local recycling center processes textiles.
Hey, you—yes, you. You need a filing system. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but if your desk is stacked with papers of varying importance, plus old magazines, birthday cards, takeout menus, and other miscellany, it’s time to invest in an organizer or two (no biggie: Ikea’s got lots of nice ones). It’ll clean up your workspace and ensure you can always find that important bank statement when you need it.