College is a great experience, truly. It’s your first taste of real freedom! Your first time living away from your parents and getting to truly spread your wings and fly!
Until you realize that keeping up a living space takes a lot more work than you ever knew. Sure, it’s easy to maintain a small bedroom when someone is constantly reminding you to do it, but when you’re juggling classes, work, clubs and a social life all on your own, it’s pretty hard to stay tidy.
We all know that college housing isn’t the cleanest, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a part of the stereotype. Who says that your apartment or dorm has to be as messy as your life?
College is all about learning how to be an adult, and I’ve found that living in a cleaner environment makes me feel like I have my life more together than I really do. In the grand scheme of things, isn’t that what being an adult is all about?
So don’t you fret. I’m here to tell you how to make your college pad feel a lot more like your adult home with just five easy chores.
Empty the lint trap on your dryer
Okay, this is actually one of my biggest pet peeves. Not only is a full lint trap a major fire hazard — yes, you heard that right, your dryer can burn down your apartment building — it makes the dryer run a lot less efficiently. But still, a lot of people don’t know that it even exists.
Most of the dryers I’ve encountered have the lint trap at the bottom of the drum — where your clothes go. So next time you do your laundry, make sure you clean out all the old lint. Your landlord will thank you.
Do your dishes promptly
I get it, not everyone has the luxury of a dishwasher and washing dishes takes so long… except it takes a lot less time than you think. Handwashing all the dishes from a home-cooked meal for two takes less than ten minutes! In fact, it’s so fast that I don’t even use my dishwasher anymore.
Old dishes can smell, stain, attract bugs and even grow mold. Because of all the nasty stuff that can take place in your sink, it takes even longer to wash dishes once they’ve been sitting for awhile. Do your kitchen, your roommates and your dishes a favor and wash them right away.
Stop shoving junk in your closet and under your bed
I’m so passionate about this list because I’ve been guilty of not doing all of these chores at some point in my life. And yet, of all the chores on this list, this is the one I was the worst about. Before, “clean,” to me, meant that I didn’t have clothes and trash all over the exposed floor, but as long as it didn’t spill out of the closet or out from under my bed I called it a day.
Now that I actually clean though, the results are amazing. My friends have all commented that my room feels huge, and I even have a home office in my college apartment! Whether or not my home office doubles as my closet is information that cannot be divulged, but seriously, if you stop pushing clutter into a closet or under your bed, you’ll have a much cleaner room and a lot more usable space.
Clean under your couch
In the same vein as the last point, cleaning under your couch is a super important chore that gets overlooked a lot more than anyone realizes. It feels unimportant until you’re looking for the remote and find last week’s chow mein, last month’s potato chips, and last semester’s lab report hanging out together.
Okay, maybe that was an exaggeration, but cleaning under the couch belongs to a category of chores that my mom likes to call the, “No one notices if you do it, but everyone notices if you don’t do it” chores. You’re already vacuuming the living room, just push the couch a few feet to the side and vacuum under there too.
Spray down your toilet/shower
I hate cleaning my bathroom as much as anyone else. Let’s be honest for a second, a lot of gross stuff happens in the porcelain sanctuary and most of us would rather not think about it. But where gross stuff happens, gross stuff grows. No one wants gross stuff growing in their bathroom, but how can anyone find the time to keep their bathroom spotless with such a busy schedule?
If you want to know my dirty — or, I guess, clean — little secret, it’s Scrubbing Bubbles Foaming Bleach. One bottle costs less than $10 and lasted me a full semester. This one cleaner kills all the gross germs and washes away all the gross stains, and all you have to do is spray it and walk away. My bathroom is always clean and I spend no time cleaning it.
So now you know how to make your college place cleaner than the average. Whether you live in Plunkett or the Lofts, these simple tips can help you feel a lot less like a college kid and a lot more like an adult.