3 Tips for Cleaning Up When Life Gets Chaotic

published Nov 27, 2018

“Where is one place that your cat can sit, but you can’t?” If you believe the answer to an old Highlights magazine joke, it’s your lap. If you own a cat, though, you know that there are dozens of places that your cat can and will sit, everywhere from shelving units and windowsills to the edge of an open drawer and the top of the refrigerator.

Even if you don’t see the cat in those particular places, you know he’s been there, because he’s helpfully left you enough cat hair to build a second (or third or fourth) pet. We know this because we recently met two such cats who share an NYC loft with two musicians, Rachel and Steven.

(Image credit: Creative Studio)

The couple loves their living situation, but they don’t love the fact that they can see the most chaotic parts of their closet or the cat hair on everything. “All our messes are out in the open,” Rachel sighed. But that doesn’t have to be the case! We sent in Sarah, the Apartment Therapist, who knows how to get small-space livers de-cluttered and de-furred. Here’s what she told the couple…

(Image credit: Creative Studio)

How do you bring order to a very chaotic closet?

Steven says that their shared closet is one of the “more shameful areas” of their loft. Although using a bookshelf to hold their clothing is a good idea in theory, in practice it can look disorganized, and it can be difficult to find anything that isn’t on top of every pile. An easy fix is to add some simple shelf dividers, which will keep stacks of neatly folded clothes from collapsing into a jumbled heap. Putting a few small storage baskets on the lower shelves will make smaller items easier to find—and make the entire closet look a little more pulled together.

(Image credit: Creative Studio)

How do you get the cat hair off…everything?

Next, the cats. Rachel and Steven love their four-legged roommates, which is why they’re always covered with a thin layer of cat hair. Brushing each cat with a special brushing glove is a multipurpose way to show some affection: The cats love the attention, and it keeps that much more hair from decorating the throw pillows. Going over the furniture—and each other—with a sticky lint roller can help, too.

(Image credit: Creative Studio)

How do you clean steel when it turns out not to be so stainless?

One of the most striking features of their kitchen is a stainless steel island, but Rachel sometimes thinks that calling it “stainless” is a bit of an exaggeration. To clean up fingerprints, smudges, and cooking spills, they can sprinkle some Arm & Hammer™ Baking Soda on the surface, then spray it with warm vinegar. (Yes, it’s foaming—and yes, that means it’s working!) When they wipe it down after the fizz stops, it’ll look worthy of that “stainless” name.

(Image credit: Creative Studio)

Life is full of chaos. And cat hair. Hopefully for Rachel and Steven, with a little diligence and a big lint roller, they can keep it together.

This post was created by Apartment Therapy’s Creative Studio with our partners at Arm & Hammer™.
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