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How to Keep a Small Apartment Clean

13 Tips for Keeping a Small Apartment Clean

Find out how to keep a small apartment clean with these tips that focus on keeping clutter at bay, regular cleaning and clever organization. 

With the trend toward smaller living spaces, tiny homeowners are discovering what apartment dwellers have been struggling with for decades: small apartments are not always easier to keep clean than large homes. Yes, I live in one!

In the quest to keep a small apartment clean, I have uncovered a few notable tips. Some were recommended, and others were gleaned from my own experience in small living spaces. 

To keep a small apartment clean, it is vital that you have only what you need in the space. Perform regular decluttering sessions and ensure that everything you own has a place to be stored. Tidy up every day. Clean as you go and deep clean once a week. Use multi-purpose organization solutions. 

If you are like me and live in a small space apartment, you likely already know the struggle of trying to keep it clean. The smallest amount of dust can make it look like you haven’t cleaned for weeks.

What’s worse is that one or two items out of place can make your home look like it’s overrun with clutter. Thankfully, there are ways to keep small spaces (including tiny house and studio apartments) clean and tidy, and we have some helpful tips and tricks for you.

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How To Keep a Small Apartment Clean

To keep a small apartment clean, you need to focus on three main areas: 

  • Keep the apartment free from clutter
  • Clean the apartment regularly
  • Find smart ways to organize the apartment

Many believe a small apartment is easier to keep clean than a large home. In theory, it makes sense. Less space to clean should equal less to clean… right? Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. 

Less space equals less place to store the things we own. It also equals less room for dust to settle. That means that when one or two things are out of place, you notice them, and when dust does settle, it is right under your nose. 

#1. Keep the Apartment Free from Clutter

When working to keep your small apartment clean, the first step should be to clear the space of unwanted and unneeded stuff. 

Clutter has a way of creeping into most homes, and it tends to go unnoticed until it’s a problem. One good thing about having a small apartment is that you will likely notice it more readily than someone living in a large house. 

To clear your apartment of clutter, doing one significant decluttering event is a good idea. Go through every single thing you own. Decide if you truly need, use, and love it. If you do, keep it. If you don’t put it in the trash, donate, or sell box. 

Once you have purged your apartment of the majority of your clutter, schedule regular mini-decluttering sessions. Keep a donation box in your closet, or somewhere you can easily reach and place items you no longer need or use in it as a matter of habit. 

Your decluttering sessions could be as seldom as once a year or as often as once a week. Decide what suits you and stick to it. Your apartment will thank you for it, and you can breathe more easily in your newly acquired additional space. 

#2. Keep Your Counters Clear

As you organize your apartment, try to find ways to keep your counters clear. Clean and clear kitchen and bathroom counters give the appearance of more space. 

Keep baskets or bowls that act as catchalls to create more room on your counters. In the kitchen, your catchall can “catch” your keys, sunglasses, and other items you take with you every day. 

In the bathroom, your catchall can “catch” your jewelry and everyday makeup items like lip-gloss, hand cream, and more. Keep the bulkier makeup and jewelry items in the cabinet and out of sight, if possible. 

You can gift yourself more counter space in the kitchen by purchasing a large cutting board. Get one that will cover your sink and place it over the sink when you need more room on your counter.

This practice gives you a temporary addition to your counter and an extra chopping board. It’s a win-win. 

(You may also want to read this article on how to declutter your kitchen counters.)

#3. Make Your Bed Every Morning

Make your bed every single day. Not only does this practice help to keep your apartment looking and feeling clean and tidy, but it also helps give you a boost of energy and confidence for the day. 

#4. Tidy Up Every Day

When your apartment is clutter-free, you will find it easier to clean.

Even if you aren’t a clean freak, there are ways you can keep your small apartment looking and feeling squeaky clean.

Try tidying up every day. If tidying is not something you enjoy, set a timer for ten or fifteen minutes and only tidy for that long. During that time, put as many items as possible into their place. 

When the timer goes off, you might feel like carrying on. If that is the case, press the timer again and go until the next alarm. You will be amazed by the difference a daily tidying-up session can make to your apartment. 

Here is a 15 minute declutter challenge checklist you may find helpful.

#5. Clean as You Go

When keeping an apartment or any home clean, it helps to clean as you go. If you prepare a meal or even a cup of tea, wipe up spills as they happen. 

If you put down a book or magazine, put it back in its place. If you get up from the couch, replace the cushions and blanket before you walk away. If you have the time, go as far as wiping the shower door after each shower. 

#6. No-Shoes in the Apartment

Make your apartment a no-shoe zone. Take off your outside shoes at the door to avoid carrying dirt into the space. You, your family, and your guests can walk in the apartment in your socks, slippers, or inside shoes. 

This practice will significantly reduce the dirt in the apartment, and the amount of cleaning you need. 

#7. Dust and Use an Air Purifier

Since small apartments gather dust quickly and often have less ventilation than larger houses, dusting your apartment often is a good idea. You may dust every day or every few days.

An air purifier will add extra quality to your air while providing a pleasurable scent to your home. 

#8. Sweep or Vacuum the Floors Every Day

If you have tiles or wood flooring, sweeping or vacuuming your apartment every day is a wonderful idea. This practice will protect your floor from scratches and make walking barefoot more enjoyable.

It will also keep your apartment clean and make it easier to do a deep clean once a week or so. 

#9. Do a Deep Clean Once a Week

Deep cleaning your apartment once a week is beneficial if you can. If you cannot do a big deep clean in one day, break the tasks into smaller ones to tackle each day. 

#10. Invest in Dual-Purpose Furniture and Other Items

Furniture is typically a significant investment, but you can take it even further when you live in a small apartment. Consider investing in furniture that doubles as storage.

A few dual-purpose furniture items include the following:

  • Ottomans that open up
  • Bed frames that have drawers or open up
  • Chairs that can fold into ironing boards
  • Couches that have storage space under the seats
  • Sleeper couches
  • Coffee table with drawers

Other dual-purpose items include having a black or whiteboard inside your kitchen cabinet doors. These can serve as shopping lists or message boards. Cabinet doors can also house holders for chopping boards to save space. 

Opt for multi purpose cleaners. Having one bottle to store takes up significantly less space than many. 

#11. Use Unused Spaces for Storage

Look for unused storage opportunities in your apartment. You might be able to install a bookshelf above a doorway. How about creating a storage space under the stairs? 

Consider using the countertop of a dresser as a desk and storing other essentials in the drawers. And make use of your under the bed spaces.

#12. Use Vertical Storage Opportunities

If your apartment has wall space, consider using it for storage. Install shelves or hooks to hang pots, plants, books, and more. Your items will add a lovely aesthetic to the room and be stored off the counters and floor. 

#13. Keep It Behind Closed Doors

Most of us don’t have matching… everything… so displaying all our belongings on open shelves and hooks becomes a little messy. 

Closed cabinets and drawers are a better storage idea for the not-so-pretty things. If you have open shelves but want to store your stuff out of sight, purchase attractive baskets or boxes and stick labels on the sides for easy use. 

Final Thoughts on How to Keep a Small Apartment Clean

Small apartments can become dirty and cluttered pretty quickly, but there are ways to stay on top of it all. Take frequent small steps to manage your living space and keep it under control.

Keep the clutter to a minimum, find clever ways to store your stuff, and regularly clean while keeping the apartment well-ventilated and the air pure. 

Did you find the tips on how to keep your small apartment clean helpful? Leave your comment below.

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Teri Pickens

Friday 12th of January 2024

Thank you so much! Your recommendations are awesome! They are 100% accurate! The advice about something out of place is so true! Thanks, Teri


Monday 15th of January 2024

I'm happy to hear that you found the article helpful.

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