woman cleaning the kitchen

7 Tips for Keeping Your Space Clean When You Live Alone

It’s a whole new world when you start to live alone. Being independent means that you’ll need to learn how to do things by yourself, including how to use a single tub washing machine and cook all your own meals. Knowing that you only have yourself to rely on, you have to be smart about how you do your chores so that they don’t pile up.

There are a lot of responsibilities that come with having a home, and it’s important to get them done if you want your space to be clean, tidy, and pleasant. However, because you’ll have to do everything by yourself, the amount of work can feel overwhelming. What helps is to list the various tasks so you know what they are and can determine which ones to prioritize. Here are seven tips to help you get started:

Consider a Chore Calendar

Having a to-do list makes it easy to track your various efforts to maintain your home. This is a particularly helpful idea if you live in a bigger apartment that requires more upkeep or if you have a lot of other commitments that keep you busy and distracted. You can easily find a chore calendar online to remind you of when to do certain tasks, or you can draw up your own schedule according to your preferences. Post your calendar in a prominent area, like on the refrigerator door, so that it’s always in full view. Get creative with your chore calendar so that you feel more excited to cross items off your list each day.

Wash Dishes as You Use Them

Don’t be tempted to procrastinate when it comes to keeping your kitchen clean. Even if you’re only cooking for one and therefore only using a few items, you still need to do the dishes after each meal. Not only does this prevent pests from visiting your kitchen and mold from forming on your dirty plates, but it also teaches you the value of discipline.

You might think that it’s easier to let dirty dishes pile up before washing them all at once, but it may actually increase the likelihood of you feeling lazy and not doing any cleanup at all. Having so much to wash can make you feel overwhelmed, plus the dried food stuck on the plates makes it more difficult to get them clean. So wash dishes as you use them, and set aside time to wipe down your gas range after cooking as well.

Do Your Laundry

There’s nothing like the smell of freshly-cleaned laundry. While you may be used to having this chore done for you, it’s time to learn how to use the washing machine properly and figure out the correct settings to get your clothes clean without damaging the fabric. Check the care labels and sort your garments accordingly, then follow the instructions for water temperature, type of cycle, and amount of detergent to use.

You likely won’t produce enough laundry to need to do it on a daily basis. A good tip would be to follow a weekly schedule so that you can accumulate enough laundry to do a full load and it becomes part of your routine. For example, block out a few hours every Saturday to work on that week’s laundry.

Keep Multiple Trash Cans

getting the trash out of the trashcan

As a general rule, keep at least three trash cans around your home. One should be in your bathroom, somewhere near your toilet. The other should be in your kitchen, near where you cut your food, or next to the water dispenser if you use paper cups. The last should be in your work area if you have a home office. Having several trash bins encourages you to throw your trash away immediately instead of letting it accumulate around you. It also helps you sort different types of trash more easily. For example, dry paper trash will naturally accumulate in your office bin while wet or biodegradable trash is collected in the kitchen.

Organize Your Wires and Gadgets

Most likely, you have several gadgets that need to be plugged in while you work or stream your favorite videos. This can result in having wires, cords, and plugs that are just haphazardly strewn across the floor. Not only is this a fire hazard, but it also makes it more difficult for you to clean with a broom or a vacuum cleaner, as you will need to move the wires around just to reach the floor.

Instead of leaving wires on the floor and risking tripping over them, find solutions to keep them organized. You can use clips to bundle up loose wires and cable organizers to hold chargers and plugs when not in use. If you really can’t avoid having wires on the floor, consider investing in wire guards or similar products that cover up the wiring and secure it in place.

Dust Your Fans

No matter where you live in the Philippines, all electric fans will eventually accumulate dust and dander in their grills. Leaving that buildup on while you continue to use the fan can compromise your indoor air quality and result in you breathing in allergens. Fortunately, you can easily resolve this by regularly dusting your fans and taking the time to wash the cover and blades of your fan every three to four months. If your apartment has wall fans, you should ask your landlord or property management first if you can remove the covers of your fan.

Get Rid of Bills Older Than 12 Months

When you live alone and manage all the bills by yourself, you might find yourself accumulating a lot of paper. While you might be tempted to keep them all for reference, they can take up a lot of space and add to the untidy appearance of your home.

Instead of keeping all your billing documents, it’s good practice to take a picture of essential bills (and their payment verifications) after 12 months and then dispose of their physical copies. This way, you still have a record of all your important bills while keeping your apartment clean. You can also apply this rule to any sort of paper trail. Opt to digitize as much as possible so that you can keep them on a drive instead of requiring you to maintain a physical storage space.

Living on your own has its challenges, but it can also become incredibly easy if you take the time to manage your daily activities. Sure, there will be moments when your laundry piles up and you leave a packet of crackers on the floor. Everyone gets off days, and you’re perfectly entitled to give yourself a break now and then. However, keeping your place clean has both physical and mental health benefits, and you’ll be more excited to come home to a space that is pleasant to be in.

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