How to Clean a Messy Apartment Fast (Easy Checklist)

Cleaning can be a tedious and time-consuming task. Sometimes, you aren’t in the mood and might let the clutter build up.

This guide explains how you can clean a messy apartment fast. Read on for tips, tools, and tricks to help you get your home sparkling.

9-Step Checklist for Cleaning a Messy Apartment Fast

If you suddenly have company, you might feel pressured to clean up fast. Trying to take your apartment from messy to sparkling quickly can be a challenge. It doesn’t have to be so hard.

The key to cleaning a messy apartment fast is organization. First, you tackle the clutter. Then, you take on the actual cleaning. It’s also best to take a room-by-room approach.

Follow these easy steps to make your place presentable when you don’t have much time.

1. Decide Which Rooms to Focus on

If you need to clean fast because guests are visiting, prioritize the rooms they’ll use. If someone is coming for dinner, that might be the dining room and bathroom.

You don’t have to stress about the spaces they won’t see, like your bedroom. Of course, you can clean other rooms too. However, prioritizing will save you time and stress.

Clean the most essential rooms first, using the following tips. If you still have time once you’re done, you can move on to other rooms.

2. Pick Up Dirty Items

Clear away anything dirty first. This could include dirty clothes, linens, and towels. Old glasses and soiled dishes are other items that may build up.

Throw all dirty linens into the laundry hamper. You can put your dirty dishes in the dishwasher. If you don’t have one, soak them in your kitchen sink. You can then wash them quickly later.

When hand-washing dishes, use warm water. It will make it easier and faster to dislodge any bits of food or other debris. You can then let them drip dry on a kitchen towel while you clean.

Don’t worry about doing your laundry now. Leave it in the hamper. If the hamper itself is smelly, add a laundry liner to minimize the smell. You can also put a scented dryer sheet on top.

Dirty items are a clear indicator of a messy apartment. Plus, they could attract pests like bugs or rodents. Finally, old laundry or dishes can smell! That’s why you should nix these goods first.

3. Clear Away Any Other Clutter

Clutter tends to make a space look messier than it is. On top of that, research shows that clutter causes stress! If you want your apartment to give a polished appearance, clear it away.

The easiest way to do this is to grab some stackable plastic bins

Assign one container for every room of your apartment. Then, go through each room and toss clutter into the room’s designated bin.

Keep going until you’ve hit every room. You can then stack the bins discreetly in a corner. If you want to keep them totally out of sight, put them in a closet.

Once you’re done, you should have free space on your countertops, shelves, and floors. This will then make it easier to clean.

Later, it will be easy to sort through the items using the bins. You’ll know what goes where with your bin-based organization system. This is easier than putting all clutter in one box.

4. Gather Your Cleaning Supplies

With your stuff cleared away, you can focus on the job of actually cleaning. First, you’ll need to make sure you have the necessary supplies.

Use a plastic caddy (like these) to gather all of your goods. You will have an overview of what you have versus what you need to buy.

Precisely what do you need? For a quick clean, get a bathroom cleaner, all-purpose cleaner, and glass cleaner. Rubber gloves will help keep your hands safe throughout the process.

Also, make sure you have some microfiber cloth. These are great for dusting. Alternatively, a Swiffer-style duster is another option.

Finally, ensure that your cleaning supplies are ready to go. Do you have a mop and bucket? Does your vacuum cleaner have a bag? Is it working? Make sure your tools are functional.

5. Remove Dust, Grit, and Grime from Surfaces

Always start with your surfaces when cleaning. You want to clean from the top down. Why? The debris you remove from surfaces may end up on the floor.

If you start by cleaning the floor, you will then mess up an already clean floor. However, if you start with surfaces, this isn’t an issue. You can then remove the dirt you knock down later. 

Start by dusting using a microfiber cloth or your Swiffer-style duster. This will likely be necessary for rooms like a dining room and living room.

Then, go on to tackle grit and grime that needs wet cleaning. This is more likely to be required in the kitchen or bathroom. For example, there may be flecks of dried food on the kitchen counter.

For wet cleaning, create a solution of all-purpose cleaner and warm water. Refer to the instructions on the cleaner bottle to mix the solution. You will need a sponge to scrub.

If you have wooden furniture, beware that a regular cleaning solution can cause damage! Instead of a cleaner, use wood polish. You don’t want to scratch or discolor your furniture.

Make sure to wear your rubber gloves during the wet cleaning. Otherwise, the cleaning solution can leave your hands red, chapped, and raw.

Also read: 7 Reasons Your Apartment is Dusty + Ways to Easily Clean it!

6. Clean the Floors

Next up, you can tackle the floors. Start by vacuuming any textile surfaces like carpets and rugs. For small area rugs, pick them up and shake them out outside. This is a faster solution.

After you’ve completed the textile surfaces, you can go on to clean the hard flooring. Again, make sure the cleaning solution you use is appropriate for the surface.

For example, vinyl, tile, or linoleum floors will probably be fine with an all-purpose cleaner. However, wooden floors may become discolored or warped from the chemicals.

If you have wooden floors, you can use a mixture of dish soap and warm water. If you want to provide an added polish, get a dedicated wood polish for floors.

7. Tackle the Bathroom

The bathroom will usually need some extra attention. It’s a space that gets used frequently and gets messy quickly.

First, put away all your hygiene items, like soaps and razors sitting on ledges. Then wipe down the sink and shower.

If you are tight on time, you can skip the shower. Odds are, your guests won’t be using it! All you have to do is draw the curtain to hide whatever mess is inside.

Instead of the shower, focus on the sink and toilet. For the toilet, use a toilet brush and toilet cleaner. Once this is all done, give your bathroom mirror a once-over with glass cleaner.

 Then, add the finishing touches. Put out a fresh hand towel and a fresh bar of soap for guests to use. If you use a liquid soap dispenser, wipe it down to eliminate any grime on the exterior.

8. Add the Finishing Touches

Your apartment should now be mess-free and clean. All you have to do now is add the finishing touches. Open the curtains to let in light. If you have small pillows on the couch, plump them up.

You want to create a space that’s appealing visually and aromatically. Add some scented candles throughout the apartment. This will make a pleasant scent to welcome your guests.

Opt for fresh scents like lavender or citrus. These are clean and simple without being overpowering. Plus, they will mask the smell of cleaners from your last-minute cleaning.

Finally, check your welcome mat. Is it full of dirt and grime? Beat it out to clean it. This is the very first impression your guests will get. You want it to be perfect.

9. Take Out the Trash

Once you are finished with your cleaning supplies, toss whatever is no longer usable. For example, you won’t reuse used paper towels or an old vacuum bag.

Take all of your garbage from the various rooms in the house and put it in one big bag. Don’t forget about smaller bins, like the trash bin in your bathroom.

Finally, take all the garbage out! You don’t want a smelly bag of waste ruining the first impression when your guest arrives.

If you have any recyclables to take out, remove these at this time as well. This could include old bottles, cans, and paper. Now your apartment is spick and span—and ready for guests.

The Final Word on Cleaning an Apartment Fast

A quick clean can be a great solution when you have to welcome unexpected guests. However, you will need to do a more thorough deep clean on occasion.

In any case, the above tips can help you clean your messy apartment fast. You can then go on to focus on more important things—like enjoying your day.

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