The Iglu Guide | Blog

5 quick and easy ways to spring clean your space

Student housing has a reputation for being less than sparkling clean, and it’s hardly surprising. A group of young adults who barely know each other are suddenly living independently in one space, probably for the first time. It certainly doesn’t scream hygiene on any level. Whether you fall into this category or not, most students would probably agree that cleaning up the house is not their favourite activity. So what happens when the fridge starts offering up some unusual smells, the bathroom is less than welcoming and you’re not sure where your floorspace used to be? Here’s what every student should know.

1. Clean as you go

The quickest and easiest way to keep your student accommodation spruced up is to make an effort to clean and tidy up as you go along. In real life, that means keeping on top of your laundry, getting the washing cycles in and out, washing up straight after a meal and taking the rubbish out before the bin spills over. Sounds easy enough, right? You’d be amazed at how quickly the system can fail. And before you know it, the cutlery drawer is empty, you’ve run out of clothes and there’s no toilet roll within grasping distance. If you’re living alone, this shouldn’t really be too difficult to achieve – you only have yourself to answer to! If you live with roommates, there needs to be a joint understanding that the entire household takes shared responsibility for all the mess. Decide as a group what the best approach should be, and have an agreement that whoever creates the mess should be the one that deals with it. With everyone leading independent lives, it’s unfair to expect another housemate to have to operate in a dirty environment and will ultimately lead to household conflict. And that’s best avoided!

Top tip: Avoid the jobs piling up by paying a little bit of attention to the everyday action – and encourage your housemates to do the same.

2. Keep on top of the kitchen

The centre of the action and the heart of any home, the kitchen is where the party really happens. As a result, it is one of the most high-traffic – and dirty – areas of any student accommodation. As well as witnessing questionable food safety habits, the kitchen is the epicentre of all kinds of cooking activities – at all hours of the day. The grime that inevitably builds up from constant cooking and heavy footfall can create a greasy film that likes to take hold and linger lovingly across surface areas, cupboards and drawers. As an added benefit, it also leaves a fairly unpleasant residual smell. Here’s how to avoid the kitchen from hell:

  • Give each cupboard a thorough cleanout using lemon juice, white vinegar and water. Leave some baking powder inside to absorb unpleasant smells.
  • Investigate all fridge items and ensure that everything is still in date and safe to eat. Any products that are no longer recognisable should be discarded immediately.
  • Go through the fridge every Sunday night and throw out anything beyond the use-by date. Be ruthless, you won’t regret it.
  • Wipe down surfaces after every use.
  • Empty the bins regularly to avoid nasty smells and unwanted pests.
  • Invest in antibacterial wipes for an easy reach and no excuses.

3. Tidy away before you clean

With spring well on the way, it’s the perfect time to get your student accommodation ready for the hot summer months ahead. This is quite difficult to achieve if you’re struggling to see the floor, so be sure to have a really good tidy before you get down to business. The easiest way to clear the decks is to make sure everything has a place to return to – and that means storage. Head to Kmart or Target and invest in cheap storage items that can really revamp your space, and leave room to move. So even if you do end up using your floor as a temporary dumping ground, you can quickly restore it to normality. Once you have decluttered and everything is in place, you can grab the vacuum and quickly get to work.

Top tip: Don’t forget the importance of your study environment on your academic output – a cluttered desk means a cluttered mind.

4. Lock it in

Committing to household tasks on a regular day each week is a good way to avoid procrastination. Not only does this start a great habit, it means the jobs will become easier over time and get done more quickly. Make the tasks more enjoyable by listening to your favourite playlist or trying a new podcast along the way. If you’re worried about losing out academically, try incorporating the two. Record some study notes on your phone and listen back to them while you change the bed sheets, or tune into a lecture while you dust the shelves. Make it more social by facetiming a friend, and encourage each other along as you get the jobs done together. If you live in shared accommodation, agree a schedule that allocates tasks for all housemates.

Top tip: Be flexible with your schedule – if something important comes up, don’t be afraid to move the jobs to another day!

5. Motivate your household

We all know the prospect of cleaning and tidying can make assignments suddenly look like an attractive pastime. Staying motivated to clean up a messy house can be hard enough on your own – but it’s even more difficult if you’re in shared accommodation. It’s not really fair for one person to get left with all the jobs, and if everyone will feel the benefit it’s only right that the whole house takes part in the process. The more hands on deck, the quicker the jobs get done. Here’s some ideas on how to get everyone involved:

  • Schedule a regular house meeting to discuss any practical issues – make it a fun experience with take-out or games as part of the mix
  • Create a roster of all the essential jobs so that everyone has an equal share of the load
  • Suggest introducing a house kitty so that communal items like toilet paper and cleaning products can be a shared resource
  • Remember the golden rule – whoever uses it, cleans it

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