It’s spring! Or, I mean, it’s close enough… And what do we think of when we think spring? Spring Cleaning! …no? Just me. Oh. Okay.
Anyway! The point is, this seemed like perfect opportunity to write a blog sharing my personal ‘student cleaning’ experiences with you. I’m no Kim and Aggy, but in my six months in halls, I’ve learnt a few tips and tricks to make your life easier, and keep your flatmates loving you!
First of all, I’m going to share a secret with you… one that has completely minimised the amount of time I spend washing up. Sound good? Yeah, thought so. Essentially, if you haven’t got yourself one of these…
YOU REALLY NEED TO! It’s essentially a scrubbing sponge on a stick, but the stick can hold and slowly release washing up liquid. I absolutely swear by them. They’re only about £2 each, and new sponges for them are about £2.99 for 3. It saves you so much time and water, and spares you having to get tomato sauce all over your hand after enjoying the student staple that is pasta-in-pre-made-sauce.
Now, this next tip is awkward, because it really depends on who you’re living with. Generally, the rule to live by is this; clean up everything you use (even if it doesn’t look dirty, a quick wipe won’t hurt) as soon as possible. Obviously, we’re all students, so the likelihood is that your flatmates will understand if you don’t have time to wash up after dinner and leave your stuff in a neat pile in one of the sinks. Heck, if you’re lucky (like I have been), your flatmates might even help you out and wash them up for you (but don’t count on this, or take advantage of it – that’s just rude). But if you clean up after yourself, no one can accuse you of not doing your bit.
Okay. A very odd-seeming specific tip. But the chances are that you’ll have a bin in your room that – especially around deadline season – will be overflowing with chocolate wrappers and Red Bull cans. There’s nothing wrong with this in itself (I’m exactly the same), but try to remember this is your rubbish. Most people do this automatically, but make sure you take that bag out separately, instead of putting into the communal kitchen bin. We had a flatmate who was guilty of this in the first semester, which drove us all mad because our kitchen bin would be completed filled every week with just one flatmate’s personal rubbish.
Next – don’t forget the corridor. It slips the mind of a lot of people in uni halls that the corridor is a communal space that needs cleaning too. It’s easy to remember your room and kitchen, because you’re always in there. People forget about the corridor because you’re only in it for a few seconds every day. But if you stop to look, it can get really grimey with mud and dust people bring in on their shoes. Don’t fear! A quick, two minute whip around with the vacuum makes a huge difference and bam! You’ve passed your inspection.
Finally – rotas. Now, it’s hard for me to talk about cleaning rotas because I’ve never had one – all my flatmates have done their bit unasked, because they’re amazing. But rotas, despite seeming like the fairest way to get stuff done, can go wrong quite easily. First of all, make sure you make the rota together as a flat, because that way everyone gets a say and no one can kick off over being treated unfairly at a later date. Building on this, wait a couple of weeks to make the rota. This way everyone can get used to just how much work each job takes, or just how often the jobs need to be done. You don’t want someone agreeing to take the bins out, and then getting upset a few weeks late because they didn’t realise how much work it would be.
And those are my top tips. I hope you find at least one of them useful!
Happy Spring Cleaning, All!