6 Quick Tips For Making Your Apartment Look Clean Even If It’s Not

I’m an an undomestic goddess of the highest order. I believe I’ve mentioned that I hate to cook so you probably wouldn’t be that surprised to learn that I hate to clean. YET … if you walked into my apartment, you would think it was clean. How do I do make this magical illusion happen? Full disclosure: I do pay someone to deep clean my apartment one to two times a month. It’s the most worthwhile $100 I’ve ever spent. BUT ALSO, I am the master at straightening up. I don’t clean, I straighten. If you’re like me — unwilling to break out a single cleaning product when you’re having company over — then you’ll appreciate my super lazy cleaning tips. Use them well and try not to judge me.

1. No top sheet. I don’t use a top sheet on my bed. EVER. I have a bottom sheet and a duvet with a cover. I’m convinced that this shaves a full three to five minutes off of the bed-making process. All I have to do is straighten the pillows and move my duvet cover around until my bed looks made. BOOM.

2. Mail stashing. I’ve decided that the number one thing that makes apartments look messy are stacks of opened mail. I stop all possible mail accumulation by sorting it immediately. When I pick up the mail I divide it into “Recycle,” “File,” “Display,” or “Pay.” Most of it is “Recycle,” so I do that ASAP. Just rip and toss. Then I leave out anything that needs to be paid and put it on my desk so I won’t forget about it. Next, I stick the display stuff on the fridge with a magnet. The “File” pile I stash in an organized bin and go through that stuff, shamefully, sometimes months later. (More on that in a moment.) I’ve learned that if I do this almost every day, my mail never piles up in a messy way. And it only takes about 3 minutes.

3. Stacks and piles. I haven’t gone through my “File” pile in mayyybe six months. In order to put this off for as long as possible, I have a complex network of stacks and piles that I shove into ticker taped file folders. So, for instance, there is a file folder labeled “To File” or “Credit Cards” which are shoved full of my disorganized paper business. Were you to see it, you’d be like Damn that girl is organized. Nope. Not really. It’s all smoke and mirrors.

4. Tissue/ paper towel wipe downs. I am a big fan of the wipe down. While I’m getting ready in the morning, I’ll wipe down my bathroom sink with a semi-wet tissue. No cleaning products required. In the kitchen, I use a paper towel and brush all the crumbs onto the floor while I’m waiting for my coffee to brew. Then I wet the paper towel and run it over my kitchen counter. That’s clean to me!

5. The two-minute clothing put away. Surprise! I don’t do my laundry either. I pay the extra $5 for drop-off service. Two hours of my time is worth $5, the way I see it. But I do have a pact with myself to put the laundry away immediately when I get it home, because a big bag of laundry makes your place look messy. I put my laundry away like I’m competing in a timed relay race; I only have two minutes. I divide my clean laundry into categories on my bed. “Sleep,””Gym,” “Regular,” “Hang Up,” “Linen Closet,” etc, and then I run to put them all away in my allotted time. It makes it more of a fun challenge.

6. The doily/tapestry/couch blanket cover up. My apartment is filled with doilies, tapestries and throw blankets because they cover stains, mask dust and make it look like you tried to decorate. Brilliant.