life in a tiny apartment.

February 19, 2014


Tip #93: Keep a razor blade handy.

When moving into a tiny apartment my number one, couldn’t-live-without tool is the humble razor blade.

Beyond being useful for cutting through tape on box after box of books (more on packing to come later), this little sucker serves myriad obsessive cleaning purposes, too. Hooray! Trust me when I say that with the exception of the most beautifully maintained spaces, in most rental apartments, somewhere along the line, someone did a slapdash job of painting or caulking or something else that makes the difference between a place feeling clean and feeling scuzzy.

Last weekend, the tiles in our bathroom were covered in errant white wall paint, the mirror was speckled in whatever sealant was used to reglaze the sink and tub, and the brand new kitchen countertops looked clean until you ran your hand over them and realized they were dotted with tile grout.

Enter the humble scraper razor thing. Just a few scrapes and things are looking good as new (or close to it).

Okay, a vacuum (our exact model isn’t made anymore, but this guy is close), a paint brush, all-purpose cleaner, and a good scrub brush are also important.

But it’s the damn razor I fall for every time. Teeny little super guy.

Tiny apartment survival tips # 1 – 92 right here.

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  • Reply Jacquelyn | lark & linen February 19, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    This falls under the "why didn't I think of that?!" category for SURE. I usually use a scrub brush but that takes a whole lot of elbow grease! Totally need to go at those spots that drive me mental with one of these babies

  • Reply Amanda February 19, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    Sing it, sister.

  • Reply missris February 19, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    "somewhere along the line, someone did a slapdash job of painting" yep. All over the original, beautiful, otherwise well-maintained dovetailed wooden floors. I need to go to town with a razor blade on a day that I'm feeling especially OCD. Such a good suggestion.

  • Reply Brooke February 19, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    I have not yet discovered the magic of the tiny scraper guy but obliviously I should look into it!!

  • Reply Rachel February 19, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    I still need to do the windows in our new apartment. Apparently our painters have never heard of taping off. I really, really wish I'd been smart and (somehow) set aside some time to take care of all the cleaning tasks before we moved in. Doing it after all your stuff is in place is just the worst.

  • Reply Joan February 19, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Fun! and I know… hard work also. I moved into a 500 sq ft sudio a couple of months ago. Loving it. I let go of a lot of "things", and feel better for doing so.

  • Reply T February 19, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    Ok but where do you keep your vacuum?? I'm in a 380 sq ft apt and we were doing alright with a tiny hand-held vacuum that we kept under our bathroom sink for a while. We only had two smallish rugs, so we figured we could just get on our hands and knees to vacuum. But the little guy died last week and I'm trying to decide what to do. We just don't have room to hide a full size vacuum anywhere.

  • Reply Boston Gemmie February 19, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    I take it this is your new bathroom and kitchen counters! Im so exciting and living through you moving into your new place!

    I sure do miss my own place!!!

  • Reply Annie February 19, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    I love all your tiny apartment survival tips! Will you please post more cleaning tips with some before and after pictures? I live in a rental apartment in Los Angeles and I feel like no matter how much I clean the bathroom and kitchen (I've even hired professionals!), it still "feels" dirty.

  • Reply Patricia February 20, 2014 at 7:24 am

    Ah! Amazing. I need to do the same in my place. My apartment was built in the 1940s and there is random paint all over the place that could be scraped off! Must remind myself to buy a razer this weekend at the hardware store.

  • Reply Anonymous February 20, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Where can I buy the humble razor blade?

  • Reply kristyn February 20, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Yes! It always bothers me how apartments rarely give a shit about a straight caulking line or any debris for that matter. But alas, not everyone is as OCD as I am. Good advice, per usual 🙂

  • Reply Catherine February 20, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Great tip 🙂 Have lived in apartments before with paint splashes everywhere and begrudgingly just lived with it, but this is such a good idea that I will definitely be using in the future!

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