If you’ve shared a property with housemates before, you’ll know that it can sometimes be a challenge to keep everything clean and tidy. Let's face it, there can be lots of other priorities, which include studying, socialising, exercising – and having a great time!
But if you let your student house descend into grime and chaos with a sea of takeaway boxes, piles of recycling and bathrooms full of body hair, relationships and academic achievement can suffer.
Fortunately, maintaining a clean and tidy living environment for your second year university accommodation doesn’t have to be to taxing - if you take the right approach.
As soon as you move in, everyone should get together for a house meeting and agree to take shared responsibility for the cleanliness and tidiness of the house. Decide as a group that you will have a house rule of cleaning proactively through the week. If you create the mess- you clean it up. This approach can be really effective if everyone sticks to it.
Too often, cleaning in a student house is left to the person who simply can’t live with it. While others might be prepared to live in squalor, certain people will be so stressed and uncomfortable they’ll have no choice but to take on the responsibility single-handedly. This will inevitably lead to resentment and confrontation.
Write a list of all the essential cleaning jobs in the home, and divide them equally among all the members of the household. To make sure everyone has to clean everything, rotate the responsibilities every few weeks or so.
It’s a great idea to also have a kitty to share costs for communal items like washing up liquid and cleaning products, bin bags, cleaning cloths, toilet rolls etc
Once a week, go through the fridges, freezers and cupboards, and throw away perishable food that is past its “use by” date. Clean out the fridge with lemon juice, white vinegar and water, and place a small bowl of baking powder in there to absorb any unpleasant smells.
When it comes to perishable waste, and emptying the bin, make sure this is done before the bag overspills. If the bin is taken out regularly, it will stop overspill on to the floor, reduce bad smells and won’t attract pests.
With shared bathrooms, it’s not fair to leave a mess for the next person. Giving a quick clean after use only takes a minute and makes it much more pleasant for everyone. Your guests, partner and your Mum and Dad will be impressed when they visit.
If you are lucky enough to have a dishwasher, look after it! You need to scrape food into the bin before it goes in the dishwasher or it will block the filter and stop working. Rice gets stuck in the spinners and stops water from coming out the small holes. Make sure you keep the salt and rinse aid topped up.
Empty pocked of coins, hair clips etc before clothes go in the washing machine. These block the filters and water won’t drain out of the machine. Colour catchers also block the machine – please don’t use them.
Tumble dryers need to have the fluff cleaned before every use. Condensing dryers need the condenser unit cleaned out every few weeks. This will make your clothes dry much quicker, and use less power.
Don't forget that your own room, while being your private bedroom, still needs to be kept in good, clean condition.
That means not letting your laundry pile up - make sure you wash everything regularly, and also tidy up any litter or dirty crockery to avoid any nasty smells, spillages or stains.
Don't forget to dust around now and then too - as well as keeping your stuff shiny and new, it will also make the atmosphere of your room more breathable - speaking of which, don't forget to open your window now and then to let the air circulate, give you a boost of fresh air, and help reduce possible issues with damp.
If you are planning to study at the University of Plymouth and live in the city, be sure to check out our superb range of Plymouth student accommodation available now.