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You know how long it takes to walk to your nearest bagel shop (four minutes), the music your upstairs neighbor plays on repeat (Bieber) and that you have to jiggle your key just so to open your mailbox. But there’s a lot more to your living situation than just, you know, living. Here are nine things every NYC renter should be doing regularly. 

RELATED: How to Get Rid of Stuff You Don’t Want Without Leaving the House

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Clean Your AC Filters

Before summer finally rolls around, steel yourself and tackle the dust factory that is your air conditioner. A clean filter means more efficient airflow, aka a lower electric bill. (While you’re at it, you might want to clean these items, too.)

Keep Your Drains Clear

It doesn’t matter how careful you are: If you have hair, there’s a 100 percent chance that some of it is going down the drain. Keep clogs at bay before they become an issue by using this handy vinegar and baking soda trick

Test Smoke Detectors and Replace Batteries

Is it annoying when they start beeping every time you make stir-fry? Yes. But it’s still absolutely essential that they work properly, all the time. Make sure to test them every six months. It will keep your dad happy.

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Throw Out Expired Products

That Sudafed you bought for your winter cold in 2014? Time to say goodbye. (The same goes for beauty products that are past their shelf life.) Bonus: You just freed up a ton of space in your medicine cabinet.

Do a Possession Purge

Actually, you might as well apply the same logic to the rest of your place. Anything you haven’t touched in over a year (looking at you, old bridesmaid dresses) should get donated or stored. (It’s a lot less work than you think.)

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Wipe Out Your Cabinets

Even if you’re cycling through the pasta and canned goods in your pantry pretty regularly, dust can build up—and kitchen moths can hide in dark corners. Take everything out and give the shelves, walls and doors a good scrub with Murphy’s Oil Soap

Check in with Your Landlord

A good landlord should keep you abreast of any happenings in your building—like if it’s being converted to condos or there’s any planned construction that will affect you—but it never hurts to get ahead of it.

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Know Your Neighbors (at Least a Little)

OK, avoiding eye contact as you pass in the stairwell might be the New York way, but you should have at least one neighbor you’d feel comfortable giving a spare set of keys to or contacting in an emergency.

Re-Evaluate Your Living Situation

You moved in because you were in a pinch and it was close to your job at the time. That was six years ago, and you’re still here. While the dread of moving is totally a justifiable reason to hang on, it never hurts to scope out your options and see if you’d be happier elsewhere. Like a city where a one-bedroom is just $800…cue the laughter. 

RELATED: 12 Questions to Ask Before Moving Into a New Apartment

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