Complete Apartment Cleaning Checklist—How to Manage Your Household Much Easier
Good communication is essential when sharing your house or apartment with others.
When you stipulate details about what you expect from others regarding cleaning the apartment, you can avoid unnecessary conflict. Use an apartment cleaning checklist to get the conversation started.
Cleaning should be second nature to everyone, but guess what? There may be some of your roommates who have been spoiled before moving in with you and the concept of cleaning a toilet seems foreign to them. For them, and to easily manage expectations when distributing chores, use an apartment cleaning checklist like the one below.
Do You Really Need a Checklist?
In truth, a checklist is a handy tool for everyone in the apartment. It can help you double check that you have the necessary cleaning items to empower everyone to perform their tasks well. It also helps you schedule chores for the month ahead, making sure you don’t forget any important tasks.
You can also use this checklist as a starting point when discussing how you and your roommates will share responsibilities and fairly divide chores.
Who Will Clean?
The first discussion point should be who will do the cleaning. You may prefer getting professional cleaners from time to time to take care of more strenuous tasks, such as deep cleaning the carpets.
Decide what you’re willing to do yourselves and add that to the apartment cleaning checklist. For everything else, you’ll need to budget to pay professionals.
How Often Should You Clean?
An important topic is agreeing on the frequency of each cleaning task. Your opinions may differ, so you may have to compromise to ensure everyone feels they live in a ‘clean enough’ home.
In general, you can use the following as a guideline to maintain hygiene:
- Dusting and vacuuming should take place weekly.
- Windows and tiles deserve a proper clean once a month.
- In the kitchen, the insides of appliances must be checked and cleaned monthly.
- The carpet and fabric on furniture needs a good vacuum every four weeks.
- Bathrooms need regular cleaning, at least once a week.
- Depending on the contents, fridges and dustbins can be cleaned out every week.
- Put on fresh bed linen every 7 days.
Cleaning Materials You Need
The items on your apartment cleaning checklist will indicate which cleaning materials you’ll need. If a cleaning company will do all the vacuuming, it’s at least one appliance you don’t need to invest in.
In most cases you’ll need the following:
- Cleaning liquids, such as bleach and all-purpose cleaner
- Cleaning utensils including a broom, cloths, a sponge and a mop
- For the bathroom, invest in a toilet brush
- If you prefer natural cleaning products, stock up on vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda
Apartment Cleaning Checklist—Organized by Room
Most of these tasks, roommates will perform themselves. If you’re the only occupant in the room, it’s up to you how tidy you want to keep the space. But the moment there are two people in one room it’s vital to discuss the list. One person may not like living in a cluttered space, so it’s important to respect each other’s needs. The benefit is you can take turns to perform certain tasks, or help each other get it done quicker.
- Make bed(s)
- Wash sheets regularly
- Dust all surfaces
- Pick up items from the floor, including clothes and towels
- Collect trash on top of surfaces and throw out along with content of dustbin
- Vacuum or wash floors
Some tasks must be done by everyone using a communal bathroom, such as cleaning the shower floor right after a shower. If everyone won’t acquire this as a habit, you’re bound to have some mildew buildup. So, discussing these tasks in depth is vital and should be outlined in house rules.
- Regularly wipe all surfaces
- Clean toilet seat and base with a cloth or a disposable wipe you WON’T use on other surfaces
- Scrub the toilet bowl
- Remove hair from floor and drains to prevent clogging
- Clean shower floor and walls, using mildew cleaner
- Wipe mirrors
- Scrub bathtub and rinse with clean water
- Clean all hardware and fittings
- Occasionally, clean grout
Remember, not properly cleaning bathroom features like drainpipes can cause bigger problems in your plumbing. Monitoring whether all these tasks are done is vital for the apartment’s maintenance. This is where reminders from chore apps like Enzo come in handy.
The kitchen is another area you can’t be lenient about cleaning. Without proper hygiene here, you risk problems like food poisoning from contaminated meals or cutlery.
- Regularly wipe down all surfaces with disinfectant
- Wash dishes
- Sweep floor
- Clean up spills immediately
- Clean and disinfect floor
- Throw out trash
- Clean kitchen cupboards—inside and outside
- Throw out expired food found in cupboards and fridge
- Wipe down fridge, inside and outside
- Clean appliances, inside and outside
- Clean stove and oven
General Areas and Living Room
The general and living area requirements will depend on the layout of your apartment. You may have a patio or garage with a floor that needs hosing down or a garden with grass that needs mowing. We list general tasks appropriate for most apartment setups.
- Clear away general clutter (see our handy tip on this task below)
- Dust all electronics, such as TV and sound system
- Clean under sofa
- Dust all surfaces such as coffee or dinner tables and wipe down with damp cloth
- Use wood furniture polish on all relevant surfaces
- Vacuum fabric of furniture, such as the couch or chairs
- Clean the floor using relevant methods, whether it’s sweeping, vacuuming or washing
- Clean windows as well as blinds
- Wash curtains
- Clean trashcan
- Fluff pillows and fold blankets where applicable
The more organized the home, the easier it will be for everyone to perform their tasks listed on the chore chart. So, to prevent others from complaining about not finding a cloth or the bottle of bleach, purchase a cleaning caddy. Use it to keep all the cleaning products together for easy accessibility.
Streamline the Process
Take a stroll down the cleaning products aisle at the supermarket and you’ll find many nifty gadgets and items. While some may be fleeting fads, others are real value for money. For example, a mop that speeds up the cleaning process AND effectively cleans is vital. Some mops simply help you push around the grime instead of helping to remove it. Rather pay a little more and buy cleaning products that really work.
Also, consider using disposable wipes for quick cleaning of surfaces. Some contain antibacterial compounds, so you can make the bathroom hygienic much faster than before. You may not like the idea of creating more trash—especially if you’re trying to live sustainably—but certain wipes are biodegradable.
Bottom line: shop smart!
Pick the Right Roommates
In an ideal world, everyone you live with will enthusiastically help with maintaining a clean apartment. But not everyone views hygiene as a priority. To prevent unnecessary disputes, try and pick roommates that have the same approach to cleanliness as you. To identify these likeminded individuals, you can ask relevant questions when you interview potential roommates.
Have Sensible Rules
When cleaning communal areas like a kitchen or living room, a room mate is bound to find items belonging to others. Decide how you want to manage this. Here are some ideas:
- Everyone must remove personal items from communal areas before a specific cleaning day
- When it’s someone’s turn to clean they can leave other people’s belongings where they find them or place it in their rooms
- Create a ‘lost and found’ box and place all personal items inside when they’re in the way of cleaning
Last Question: Who Will Manage the Cleaning?
Even with all your organization, discussions and this apartment cleaning checklist, getting everyone to perform their tasks and clean as expected can be a problem. You may always try to be a good roommate but others simply ‘forget’ it’s their turn, or get too busy to look at the chore chart on the fridge. This is why an app like Enzo is so helpful. Everyone can get reminders of their week’s chores, so you don’t have to give them dirty looks about the dirty bathroom anymore.
Want to give it a try? You can download a free version here.