Don’t Forget These Apartment Cleaning Spots

Cleaning. Nobody is a big fan. Especially when it comes to all those hard-to-reach spots in your apartment, you’d probably rather do anything else than tidy up. Yet, you don’t want a messy home, so what are you forgetting in your regular apartment cleaning routine?

“Whether we deep-clean periodically or do more frequent light cleaning, what’s most important is that we keep our families safer and healthier by removing germs, dirt and allergens that can build up,” says American Cleaning Institute Vice President of Communication Brian Sansoni.

A recent survey showed that 74 percent of Americans are more likely to do light apartment cleaning. Everyday surfaces like sinks, countertops, toilets and floors usually fall into this category. This is good because it keeps your apartment sanitary, but what about the areas you’ve forgotten? The chance that they’re building up dust and allergens, dirt or mold is pretty good.

While there’s no set time frame for cleaning, it’s important to know when each item in your home requires attention.

1. Baseboards

cleaning baseboardscleaning baseboards

Running along the bottom of almost every wall in your apartment, baseboards collect a lot of dust. They can also get scuffed from regular foot traffic. Tackle this area in your home every month or so to keep it clean.

The brush attachment on your vacuum or a duster with an extendable handle can collect the dust. Even a broom will work in a pinch if you don’t have anything else to manage debris. Remove scuff marks with a damp sponge or some all-purpose cleaner.

2. Ceiling fans and light fixtures

ceiling fans and light fixturesceiling fans and light fixtures

Often considered a single piece, ceiling fans and light fixtures need cleaning only a few times a year. Ceiling fan blades are the primary collector of dust. You can address the buildup with this special trick. Rather than fling dust around the room with a rag, use a pillowcase on the fan blades.

With this method, dust stays inside the pillowcase. When you’re done, toss it into the washing machine. For the fan motor, pull chain and any other parts, use a microfiber cloth to remove dust.

Light fixtures may need a little disassembling to get clean. Glass coverings especially should get washed in warm, soapy water. Wipe down any parts you can’t remove with a damp cloth. Wait for the glass fixtures to dry completely before re-attaching them.

3. Curtains and blinds

cleaning blindscleaning blinds

The first thing to check with curtains is whether they can go in the washing machine. If not, you may be able to dry clean them or keep them clean with the brush extension of your vacuum. If they can go into the laundry, avoid the dryer. The best way to dry is by hanging them outside, out of direct sunlight. Vacuuming curtains should be in your regular cleaning routine to avoid dust buildup. Wash them maybe once a year.

Blinds are a little different but should get cleaned in your regular rotation, as well. Open them up and use a duster between each slat. For other residues, a dry sponge, available at most hardware stores, can remove any buildup. You can also spot clean binds with an all-purpose cleaner and a dry cloth. It’s important to remember to move downward when cleaning blinds to keep them intact. Cleaning upward can cause blinds to unhook.

Curtains and blinds are a prime spot for allergens to collect, according to The Mayo Clinic. If you’re an allergy sufferer, it’s important to keep them free from dust.

4. Behind the toilet

cleaning toiletcleaning toilet

The toilet bowl isn’t the only place where bacteria can grow. Often forgotten, because it’s hard to reach, is the area behind the toilet. Bathrooms should receive a deep cleaning every few months. This includes the never seen space behind the toilet. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not getting nasty. Mold can accumulate back there, along with dust, dirt and bacteria.

An extendable scrubbing brush will make short work of this tough spot. Add in a little all-purpose cleaner or a homemade solution of warm water, vinegar and dish soap to make this often-ignored spot fresh and clean.

Why apartment cleaning is important

About half of those surveyed by The Cleaning Authority say they skip over curtains, blinds and behind the toilet because cleaning them is too difficult or not a priority. “It’s easy to forget to clean these areas where the buildup is less obvious unless you know to look for it,” says Leanne Stapf, chief operating officer.

Neglecting these areas can have consequences, affecting your health and your wallet. Most of these forgotten areas in your home accumulate a lot of dust which can irritate allergies. Additionally, moving out of an unclean apartment means your landlord may withhold some of your security deposit. Consider adding these areas in your home to your cleaning routine to make sure no spot gets ignored.




SURVEY: Is Shopping Alone Better for Your Budget?

You might think shopping alone saves you money, but it may be costing you more. Our survey reveals that when there’s no one there to peer pressure you, you may be your budget’s worst enemy on or offline. In fact, we found that 29 percent of shoppers admit spending more when shopping alone. 

We surveyed 1,500 Americans to see who spends more when shopping with others, and who is most likely to influence a shopper’s spending habits. 

We found that: 

  • 29 percent are more likely to spend more when shopping alone
  • One-third of women admitted spending more shopping alone, compared to 24 percent of men
  • 25 percent of shoppers have felt pressured by others to overspend

Women Are More Likely than Men to Overspend By Themselves 

Americans overspend by roughly $7,400 a year, even though 74 percent say they have a budget in place. Of those who budget, 79 percent of people still overspend. Are these overspending habits sparked by those around you, or a result of your own purchasing desires?

women spend more shopping alone

Our survey revealed that 33 percent of women spend more when shopping alone, versus 24 percent of men. In the age of COVID-19, most shopping has gone virtual. On average, 53 percent of those that regularly shop online do so using their smartphones. With one-click buys and online shopping heightening while spending more time at home, this could have a heavy impact on your budget. 

Shoppers Feel Most Pressured by Kids and Partners

We also found that 25 percent of shoppers have felt pressured by others to spend money on things they don’t need. Of those, kids and partners were the key influencers. Our results show 14 percent of Americans feel heavily influenced by their children. Among those, 59 percent are women. 

family influences spending survey

With back-to-school season rolling around, now is a great time to set your shopping budget and your children’s expectations to avoid overspending. Back-to-school shopping costs, on average, $519 per student with clothing and accessories accounting for half. 

Twelve percent of Americans feel influenced by their significant other to overspend. It’s likely that fancy dinners and weekend getaways can quickly add up. One way to cut down on your spending as a couple is to opt for cooking dinner at home, which could save you up to $2,784 a year on restaurant tabs.

Takeout Food is the Top Temptation

Whether you frequently shop alone or prefer to have some company, here are some areas we tend to overspend. Takeout food alone costs the average person over $3,000 a year. To put that into perspective, that’s $260 a month, and $65 a week.

overspending categories chart

Not to mention, your weekly movie nights or hang outs with friends could also be costing you big. Entertainment costs, on average, fall at $242 a month — roughly $61 a week. Cutting your entertainment and takeout food budget by 50 percent alone could add $151 to your monthly savings.

5 Tips to Avoid Budget-Breaking Temptations

Curbing overspending can be tricky — especially when you’re feeling pressured by loved ones to spend more. If your budget tends to go over every month, you may need to make some changes. Implement our five tricks to dodge shopping temptations. 

1. Practice a Minimalist Lifestyle 

Fast fashion and take out dinners and coffee can be hard to avoid. Yet studies show if individuals cut down on their lifestyle budget, cotton waste could be reduced by 50 percent. Instead of molding societal social norms, establish a minimalist lifestyle and budget. This eco-friendly tactic can help you save some trees and some green. 

2. Switch to Cash

Cash may make budgeting easier because you can’t overspend once you run out. Challenge yourself to hide your cards and pay only in cash for 30 days. You may gain a better perspective on how much money you’re wasting vs. saving. 

3. Opt for Inexpensive Entertainment

Swap your weekly restaurant dates for a walk in the park. Make dinner special by whipping up your favorite dish at home and pair it with an ice cold drink. After cleaning your plate, head outside and take a long walk to get a breath of fresh air with your partner. 

4. Create Money-Saving Shortcuts 

Trick yourself to save more by creating shortcuts and establishing measurable goals. Set up automatic payments to your savings before you see your paycheck. You’ll treat it like an actual bill and grow your savings in case of emergencies

5. Reward Yourself

Setting goals can be motivating at first, but over time you may lose steam. To get through your mid-goal slump, set up budget-friendly rewards. If you spared your budget from buying coffee every day, reward yourself with your favorite espresso at the end of the month. 

Though it’s normal to slip up here and there, sticking to a budget is crucial when building your financial portfolio. As people admit to spending, on average, $200 a month on purchases they regret, really evaluate your money goals before swiping your card. You may find that money could be better spent on future investments. To check in on your budget while on the go, use Mint’s app to stay on top of your money. 

Sources: SlickDeals | U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Methodology: This study was conducted for Mint using Google Surveys. The sample consisted of no fewer than 1,500 completed responses per question. Post-stratification weighting has been applied to ensure an accurate and reliable representation of the total population. Responses were collected from June 16th to June 18th, 2020.

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