Here are two words that my mother would never have used to describe me five or six years ago: neat freak.
Like most adolescents, I was way more focused on gaining any sense of control over my personal life and figuring out how to be a person than I was on cleaning my room. After all, nothing says "I'm spiraling out of control" quite like swimming through laundry to get to your bed every night.
I'm happy to report, however, that I've since gotten everything together and turned into an adult human who is actually weirdly obsessive about the cleanliness of her apartment. (You're welcome, Mom.) For my fellow neat freaks out there, here are a few clever tricks that we all should know (and use way too often).
1. Use Mr. Clean Magic Erasers for every damn thing. They're especially great for glass shower doors!
They might also be good for getting scuffs off your bumper when you're 17 and you have no idea how cars work.
2. Give sponges a little zap in the microwave for a few seconds to sanitize them when you ultimately forget to buy new sponges at the supermarket 30 times in a row.
3. Get rid of gunk on your toaster by scrubbing away with a mixture of cream of tartar and water.
4. Combine equal parts Dawn dish soap, white vinegar, and club soda to clean water stains off of upholstery.
5. Fill a dish wand with dish soap and vinegar to easily clean your shower.
6. Clean mildew out of front-loading washers by soaking a towel in bleach and warm water and giving the gasket a good scrub.
7. Instead of coaxing a stain out of the carpet with harsh chemicals, place a damp cloth over the spot and go over it with an iron, allowing steam to release it.
8. Mix baking soda, dish detergent, and vinegar to scrub dingy cabinets.
9. Strap some microfiber cloths to your tongs to clean dusty blinds.
10. Dirty dishwasher? That's not cute. Clean it with soda and Kool-Aid mix. You read that correctly.
11. After cleaning your faucet, keep things shiny and water-resistant by rubbing fixtures with wax paper.
12. Make your glass cooktop all shiny and new by scrubbing gently with a mixture of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and dish soap.
13. Bring a little shine factor back to your stainless steel appliances by cleaning them with Pledge.
14. Get rid of pesky rings on wood with this mixture of olive oil and salt.
15. Since unholy heathens like to place price tag stickers smack in the middle of mirrors, you should grab a bottle of orange essential oil to clean up sticky residue.