Mar 9, 2012

guest blogger: simone chavoor of tiny-ass apartment

Ah, spring.  When a young woman's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of… Swiffers.  Spring cleaning might not be as romantic as a Tennyson poem, but at least you'll have that light, happy feeling when it's all done.

Hi!  My name is Simone Chavoor, and I run a small-space interior design blog called Tiny-Ass Apartment.  Sara's asked me to share some spring cleaning tips with you, and I'm most happy to oblige!

First thing's first: you should not be spring cleaning.

End of post?  Nope!  The truth is, you should be doing every-day cleaning.  I know, I know, that sounds like it sucks, but let me finish.  I didn't say you had to clean the whole apartment every day, did I?  You see, people think that small homes are easier to clean, and in a way they are.  But clutter piles up FAST in a small space, and there's less room in which to hide it.  You're not going to be able to get away with waiting for the seasons to change before you break out the ol' broom and dustpan.  And so, a little bit every day goes a long way.

There are lots of ways to make this less painful.  You should designate a time of day when you feel the most cleaning-productive.  Me, I like to clean up after I've gotten ready in the morning, just before I leave for the office.  It lets me dawdle a little with a legit excuse!  Next, designate different areas of your home to be cleaned on different days.  Maybe Monday you throw your laundry in the wash, Tuesday you wipe down the bathroom, Wednesday you clean up all those dishes you've been "meaning to do"…  One thing I will say, though: make your bed every day.  I can't quite explain it, but a neat, tucked-in bed goes a really long way to making your place feel clean.  It also helps you look forward to sliding into it after a long day…

You can also motivate yourself by creating a "cleaning playlist."  Figure out about how long it takes to clean each area, and create a playlist with that same duration.  That way you know that by the time you hear to Outkast's "So Fresh and So Clean," your room should feel the same.

But even after breaking up your chores, you can still find yourself faced with those that you reaaaally don't want to do!  Well, ask yourself: why not? Why don't you like that particular chore?  I remember I used to hate doing the dishes with a passion.  I'd avoid it for as long as I could, but couldn't put my finger on why.  Then I realized it was because of my fingers!  My hands would get really dry after scrubbing dishes, and unconsciously I kept trying to avoid the cause of my discomfort.  So, I bought myself a pair of dish gloves, and voila -- dishes weren't so bad after all.  (Folding laundry's now at the bottom of my list…)

I hope that helps kickstart your new cleaning routine.  It might not cause you to have a sweeping romance with your broom (pun intended), but at the very least you'll be platonic friends.