Imagine it’s Friday evening and the phone rings. You answer nonchalantly, expecting it to be a friend or a date. Only the voice is a parent’s announcing a surprise visit for the weekend. Their car is pulling off the interstate as you speak, leaving 15 minutes of preparation time. But your apartment is a mess: clothes piled in the corner; dishes on the countertop; and when’s the last time anyone took out the trash? But never fear, because, in this or a similar scenario where you’re in a mad rush, these quick cleaning tips from The Ridge Clemson will have any place sparkling in minutes!
In your mind, that weeks-old pizza box in the kitchen has become a part of the room’s permanent aesthetic, like a fine, cardboard art installation that adds a dash of color. The same might be said for random socks on the bedroom floor and empty tubes of toothpaste next to the bathroom sink. But where you see a natural habitat with live-in appeal, visitors see just a mess.
When you’re in a hurry to clean up, you won’t have time to reform bad habits altogether — that could take years. But you should be able to put dirty things where they belong, at least. Start by gathering trash and recyclables in their respective bins. Then pick up worn laundry and place it in the hamper. Finally, put dirty dishes in the dishwasher.
To eliminate bad odors, take out the trash and run the laundry machine and dishwasher, but only if time permits; you don’t want guests walking into a noisy setting.
Removing dirty items is the most critical step because it instantly makes the apartment tidier; it also frees up space for the following cleaning steps.
Once countertops and tables are free of dirty items (dishes, trash, etc.), grab a duster and quickly wipe these surfaces down. Next, check and wipe areas that also attract dust: the flat screen TV, the overhead fan blades, the vents for the air conditioner, as well as the top sides of the kitchen cabinets — you never know where a guest (especially a parent) might look.
Remember the goal is only to make the area look presentable. Later, during move out, you can dedicate hours or days to deep cleaning (as you should). But with only minutes to work, focus on the areas a guest might notice. Any more than 10 minutes spent dusting is time that could be better used for other chores.
Remember that vacuum cleaner you bought the weekend before school began and then proceeded to set in a closet and forget about for several months? It’s finally time to bring it out of hibernation and put it to work. If you don’t own a vacuum — or can’t find it under the mess in the closet — a broom also works for cleaning debris on the wood-style floors in Clemson student apartments. But rugs should still be vacuumed, or at least taken outside and shaken. After all, nothing wrecks a warm welcome faster than the loud crunch of guests stepping on old cereal pieces scattered on the floor.
A mop job will add a glowing veneer to floors after they’ve been vacuumed or swept. But wet floors also take time to dry. If you have at least an hour before guests arrive, feel free to bust out a mop and do a quick once-over of the apartment. Remember to open any doors and windows and turn on the overhead fans, which circulates air to speed up the drying process. For all the compliments shiny floors may receive, you also want to avoid guests complaining of wet socks or, worse, them slipping and falling.
A quick cleaning job is acceptable for every room except the bathroom — this is the one place guests will undoubtedly be left alone and free to inspect with a close eye.
Every roommate in off campus apartments near Clemson has a private bathroom adjoined to their bedroom. Whoever the guests are associated with is the person whose bathroom they should be invited to use. But you also don’t want people walking into an ambush of soap scum and a minefield of towels.
As a rule of thumb, spend at least five minutes cleaning the bathroom (and preferably more time than that) with real cleaning products. If you don’t have products on-hand or time to buy them, politely ask a neighbor. With the cleaning supplies, follow a similar approach as for the rest of the apartment: remove trash and dirty towels; wipe the surfaces (countertop, mirror); and vacuum or mop the floor.
Unless the guests are staying overnight, ignore the shower to save time — but make sure to close the curtain to conceal the tub if it’s dirty. As a courtesy, make sure the soap, hand towels, and toilet paper are stocked.
Follow these tips the next time you have to clean in a hurry, and guests will be impressed both by the cleanliness of the apartment and the level of your personal responsibility. For more information about Clemson student housing, contact us today!