How To Clean Your New York Apartment for the Holidays

How To Clean Your New York Apartment for the Holidays

Now that it’s getting down to the wire for celebrating the holidays, it’s time to do that thorough cleaning you’ve been putting off for far too long. Every corner, every surface needs to gleam, and every item in your home needs to return to its proper place. As a way to respect yourself and your guests, putting your apartment in order is a way to create a sense of peace as you make space for celebrating.

Lucky you that your apartment isn’t a mansion, so chin up and get to it! Assign yourself a different task everyday, giving yourself a week or more, or even a couple of weekends to put everything in order.

First things first: make a list of all the cleaning supplies you need, choosing the biodegradable ones wherever possible. You can also mix your own formula of white vinegar and baking soda, which will stand you in good stead for cleaning glass, ceramic surfaces, floors, and even scrubbing mold away when you make it into a paste by adding a few drops only of vinegar. Toothpaste is a great product, believe it or not, for polishing chrome, so use what you have! Add to your list a good furniture polish, fresh sponges, and garbage bags. Tear up your old T-shirts, washcloths, or sheets to use as rags. Make sure your mop, pail, dusters, and vacuum cleaner are ready for action, go buy your necessities, and you’re good to go.

Start with the back of your apartment and work your way to the front. Begin with cleaning your closets, washing clothing that’s been sitting on your shelves for a while, taking things to the cleaners, wiping every drawer, and lining each one with scented paper. You can also add small bags of scented herbs like lavender to keep your clothing fresh. Remember your closets may be where your guests hang their coats, so make sure there is space in at least one. If you’ve got a typical New York apartment that’s low on closet space, then you’ll be putting coats on the bed, which is where we’re about to go for a thorough clean up!

Meanwhile, take that long vacuum handle and put it to use sucking up all those cobwebs around your ceilings. Cover your furniture with old sheets and run a soft cleaning brush over your overhead fan blades. While you’re up on that ladder, bring up a pail with your vinegar and baking soda potion and sponge off each blade until they gleam.

Let’s land now, so that we can continue in the bedroom. Make sure your linens are fresh, adding a lavender scent to the wash to make them extra inviting. Put out your best bed covers. Vacuum every corner, polish the furniture, and make sure no area goes without a good once or even twice over. Add some scented candles and a bouquet of flowers to your nightstands.

On to your bathroom, or bathrooms plural, if your pad is lucky enough to have more than one. Now its time to get the elbow grease out, scrubbing tiles, getting the black out of grout using toothpaste or vinegar/baking soda paste, or any other biodegradable solution that strikes your fancy. Use an old toothbrush to get into the crevices. If you have a plastic shower curtain, wash it down. If you have a plastic curtain, put it in the laundry. Replace anything that is torn. Wash your wastebasket, and speaking of baskets, why not get one to put rolls of toilet paper in and another for rolled up hand towels. Put scented candles on an available surface, along with an organic air freshener.

Get that New York hallway back to its original gleam. Clean any pictures on the walls, getting into the corners of the frames, mirrors included.

Once you get to the living room, its time to take apart your bookcase. You’ll be happy you did it, so go ahead and clean every shelf. Go the farthest reaches, feeling like you’re on a Siberian trek to the great beyond. Let some good music take you there and you’ll be back in NY in no time. Clean all of your electronics, including that flat screen, until they’re all as pristine as new. Find a way to clear away all wires so there’s nothing to trip over. You can roll them up, tie them with a rubber band, and tuck them behind the furniture.

Cushions up on the sofa please! Pick up all that loose change and then vacuum thoroughly. Clean your windows and then open them to freshen up the room. NY may be dirty, but a little outside air is always a good thing.

If you have any crystal or silver, clean and polish it all. Organize your drawers. Even if your guests never see what’s inside, you will know you’ve done it, and it’s a great way to prepare for your New Year’s resolution to avoid clutter and keep order. What a great metaphor for creating an organized space for the way you work and how you deal with life!  Cleaning drawers can be a great meditation as you organize each one using dividers and small Tupperware containers or boxes for miscellaneous small items.

Now we’re in the kitchen, and you know what you must do, so buckle up and face it. Clean out the fridge by throwing away anything old or unused. Cans, unopened bottles… donate them to the holiday food drive. The same is true for those old clothes you dug out of closets, as well as toys, games, books, old CDs, and the like. Give them to someone who needs them.

Clean the fridge with a diluted solution of your vinegar/baking soda solution – bins included. Then line the bins with foil or waked paper. Organize your freezer. Clean the outside of the fridge and underneath the front, using a thin brush to get all that collected debris out.

Wash all the dishes, remembering to make sure the dishwasher is empty on the days when you’re entertaining so you can fill it easily at the end of the party. Clean all your surfaces, paying attention to the details. You’ll feel good about not just the apartment, but also yourself when you’re all done.

Every room in your home should glow. Put out the holiday candles and all your best decorations and let your guests revel in the brilliance of your home as you pass the Champagne and toast points! Congratulate yourself on a job well done, knowing you’re starting the year on a perfect new foot.

For more great cleaning tips, or to inquire about our cleaning services, contact 1st Class Cleaning NYC at

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