Welcome to Freshman year! While there are a ton of exciting experiences to be had during your first time living independently, there are also plenty of mundane tasks to also be managed. Including keeping your new student apartment clean and clutter-free.
We’re a bit biased. It’s easier on us if you have clean habits, but it also saves you money on repairs after you move out! To keep things easy, and to prevent yourself from having to do weekly all-day clean-a-thons, put these easy cleaning hacks into your daily regimen:
- Drop the excess at the door. Install a small shelf or put a side table next to your front door and treat it as a sort of ‘landing strip’ for all incoming items. Every time you go home, put your keys, mail, change, and other small purchases on this strip. This will help you be more conscious of what comes into your home to keep excess paper and items from cluttering up the rest of your space. Some people also opt to treat this as a type of ‘command center’ where you can keep a calendar to organize your schedule, upcoming dorm events, and organize housekeeping chores with your roommates.
- Do the dishes after every meal. No one wants to do the dishes. Full stop. But practicing immediate cleaning after every meal is one of the best cleaning habits you can have. This prevents gunk from cluttering up and keeps your apartment smelling fresh. If you find yourself stumbling with this, then try practicing the one dish rule; meaning, for every person, keep only one cup, one fork, one spoon, one plate, etc. This will force you into regular dish cleaning and, should you have roommates, will stop the ‘who’s turn to do the dishes’ argument from ever popping up.
- Be strategic with your room’s set-up. Good habits are best learned in a conducive environment. A great way to keep your room trash-free and dirty clothes from piling up is to arrange your room so that it’s easy to stay organized. Place small trash cans by your desk, kitchen, and your front door landing strip to make it easy for you to toss out trash the moment you’re done — such as shoving the empty energy drink can into the bin after a long night of exam studying. Likewise, having an easily-accessible laundry basket will make it easy for you to pitch in your dirty clothes to keep them from accumulating on your floor and furniture. Just be sure to wash as soon as it’s full.