Tips for cleaning/maintaining a condo even without a maid

One of the benefits of living in a compact home like a condo is that you don’t need to employ household help to keep it clean and neat. This works well for busy executives who are rarely home and are wary of leaving their home and belongings at the full disposal of a stranger. They choose to maintain their homes themselves–and with this list of tips, that’s a lot easier than it may seem.

One of the benefits of living in a compact home like a condo is that you don’t need to employ household help to keep it clean and neat. 

Keep only what you need or love

The more things you have, the more you have to clean up. And buying storage solutions for junk doesn’t help–you’ll end up with a mountain of plastic boxes full of things you can’t find when you actually need them.

Spend one weekend sorting your things into three piles: throw, give away, keep. Throw anything that’s broken or missing parts. Give away what has value but you haven’t used in the last year and can’t imagine yourself using in the next two weeks. (Yes, you love it, but you don’t need it–share it with someone who does). Keep only what you use often or really, really love because of great sentimental value. (And we say “great” because anything that only triggers mild nostalgia is taking up space that could go to something you really want right now. Just take a picture of it and, in the words of the famous Disney song, let it go.)

Buy storage only after you know what you need

When you’ve streamlined your things, it’s easier to organize what’s left. For example, the toys and craft supplies that usually flood a child’s room have all been stowed away in charming wicker baskets with chalkboard labels. So it’s easy to grab a basket when you need it, and throw everything back into place at the end of the day. This works just as well for hobbyists. Scrapbooking, sewing or the currently trendy looming can get very messy, but with this system everything is literally pack-and-go!

 Clean as you go

While you may want to dedicate a weekend a month for major cleaning, it’s less stressful and overwhelming to clean up as you go. Yes, we know that’s the last thing you want to think about at the end of a tiring day, but if you do this, there’s really not much to clean–just a few spills on the kitchen counter or a little grime on the sink.

To make cleaning easier, put all your cleaning supplies and tools in one place. Ideally, you can have one closet with a vacuum cleaner (get a hand-held vacuum cleaner if you lack space), a mop, and bottles of the latest cleaning products–many of which can remove even sticky, stubborn dirt with one quick swipe of a rag.

If you can’t dedicate a closet, keep tools in one plastic basket under the sink. After cooking and washing dishes, just give the counters a quick spritz of tile cleaner and scrub with a small brush. Wipe clean with a rag. Mop the floors on your way out of the dining area, then give the living room a quick round of the brush or vacuum cleaner as you watch TV.

A great tip: keep a small rag near the shelves where you keep books or display trinkets. Then, as you pass by, just run the rag along the area as you walk. See, effortless.

Keep a small rag near the shelves where you keep books or display trinkets. Then as you pass by, just run the rag along the area as you walk

Get good cleaning products

Many people swear that the only cleaning products you need are bleach and vinegar, since you can make a disinfecting solution by mixing these together with water. But if you’re busy and want to cut down on the scrubbing, then head for the specialty cleaning products in the supermarkets. These are designed to cut grease in the kitchen, soap scum in bathrooms, or leave windows sparkling without any streaky residue.  For tiled floors, we recommend getting concentrated liquid disinfecting solutions that target mold and bacteria. They often leave a nice, clean scent that fills the room and removes the musty odors that your home may acquire after being locked up for most of the day.

Once every two weeks: change linens and curtains

Dirty pillowcases and linens are one of the biggest causes of acne and warts.  And, when you’re changing linens and curtains, grab the opportunity to vacuum the mattress and under the bed, and move the side tables and other heavy bedroom furniture to get any dust bunnies that have set up a colony in your bedroom.

Once a month: clean the refrigerator and pantry

This actually helps you save money in the long run. You know what you have in stock, so you don’t accidentally double-up when you go to the supermarket, and–if you notice that you always accumulate leftovers–lets you fine-tune your portions the next time you cook so you don’t make the same mistake again.

We recommend keeping your refrigerator neat and clean every day, by storing leftovers in clear plastic containers.  This is especially true for frozen meats, which can drip all over the shelves. Labeling the boxes also makes it easier to find your ingredients–every home cook knows how impossible it is to distinguish cuts of meat once they’re frozen and covered in ice. And, when it’s time to clean the refrigerator, you realize… you don’t have to! All the mess has literally been contained in the plastic boxes.

We recommend keeping your refrigerator neat and clean every day, by storing leftovers in clear plastic containers.

Once every two months: wipe all the books and trinkets individually

You should actually do this every week if you open the windows a lot, but if you’re never home and the windows are locked up for most of the day–and if you’re a tired executive with better things to do–this errand can be ignored for eight weeks. Now if you’re grimacing at the thought of having to clean each and every trinket you own, go back to our first tip: keep only what you love. If you love something, you won’t mind cleaning it. If the whole idea of maintaining it makes you want to throw or give it away, then by all means, throw or give it away.

Once every six months: have the airconditioner professionally cleaned

Call a professional to give the filters a really, really thorough cleaning. You know what it’s like to live in the heart of the city–there’s a lot of dust and pollution that clog the airconditioners and prevent them from running efficiently (thus increasing energy consumption) and could inadvertedly be causing allergies and respiratory diseases.

Once a year:  go through your things for clutter.

Remember the first step, which is to keep only what you need and love? After one year, you need to review your possessions all over again. You may have bought new things, outgrown others, or simply found better alternatives to what you had before.

These are just some ways to keep your home clean and neat on your own. The rest is easy. You don’t even have to think about maintaining the façade or the grounds–the condo administration does that all for you. If you don’t feel like cooking, dining establishments are just outside your door. Find out more about how a Megaworld at the Fort condo lets you live the dream. Contact Megaworld via email  or view our current projects.

Andrew Lauchengco

Author: Andrew Lauchengco


Andrew is the current Marketing Communications Associate of Megaworld at the Fort focusing on brand development, content management, project execution, and digital marketing. He is a graduate of the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Development, and earned his post-graduate diploma in Industrial Relations at the University of the Philippines, Diliman. Andrew is also an active musician in the local independent scene and is a martial arts enthusiast.

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