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10 Things People With Clean Apartments Always Do

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    What is a "homemaker" anymore, anyway? In most cases, you're not keeping house; rather, you're taking care of a little slice of an apartment. Maybe you've got a full bedroom and one-third of a kitchen table, if you're lucky. But, that doesn't mean there aren't useful, applicable tips for keeping your fraction of the American dream running like a well-oiled ship (or at least a ship-shape paddle boat).

    We turned to Rachel Cohen, co-founder of the accessible-luxury home line Snowe, to get the 411 on housekeeping. Cohen's top tips — from simply cleaning a mug to (gasp!) actually making your bed — will guide you to domestic bliss.

    Let us know in the comments: What's the best home advice you've ever gotten? And who gave it to you?

    This month, we're asking you to toss out everything you thought you knew about spring cleaning and give every corner of your life a refresh. The inspiration for a happier, clutter-free you is right this way.

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    Create conversation clusters.
    "Instead of pushing furniture to the edges of a room in hopes of making [the room] look large, group seating in conversation-friendly clusters. Find your room's center point and balance seating around it. If you're lucky, and your room is very large, create two central points and double up on spots to hang."

  3. Photo: Julia Robbs.

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    Give your liquor a shelf life.
    "Not that we expect you to have leftover booze, but...liquor will keep for a long time. Just be sure to stow spirits in a cool place, away from sunlight. If you have a lot left, drink it faster; additional air in the bottle will leach flavor from the liquor."

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    Keep your mugs spick-and-span.
    "Sadly, caffeine only perks us up for so long — and coffee stains sometimes last much, much longer. Even if you can’t take time to wash dishes before dashing out the door for work, give mugs a quick rinse to prevent blemishes from building up. Too late? Drop an alka-seltzer into your mug and let it sit, so your java can jive in a clean mug again."

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    Invest in a (literally) brighter future.
    "Bad lighting won't just ruin your Instagram photos; it'll ruin your home. Make sure each room in your home has multiple points of light. Choose lamps and sconces that are the right size for your space, and pick the right hue. Pink-tinged bulbs cast a slightly rosier glow and add extra oomph to your bedroom."

  6. Photo: Michelle Drewes.

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    Hack your kitchen sink.
    "If your sink seems perfect for dropping dishes (why did your landlord make it so deep?), soften the blow. Before washing delicate items, line your sink with a towel, so a sudsy slip-up won’t mean the end of your stemware."