Monday, November 5, 2012

Dorm Cleaning 101

I have a confession to make, one that I am honestly embarrassed to admit: my roommates and I went eight weeks without vacuuming. Trust me, it was as disgusting as it sounds. But this weekend one of my roommates and I battled the grime and took our apartment back from the brink of utter filth. 

One of the most challenging aspects of living with roommates is negotiating who is responsible for cleaning what. This year my roommates and I would bring up cleaning, but no decision was ever made about responsibilities. After cleaning up nearly everything last year, I refused to do so again this year (thus the eight weeks). 

But working together this weekend the two of us had our apartment absolutely spotless in an hour and all we used was castile soap, a touch of baking soda in the tub, and three microfiber cloths. For a step by step guide to effective, cheap, and easy cleaning check out my previous post.

Image courtesy of Real Simple

In hindsight, I have some advice for not waiting eight weeks to clean:

1. Make an agreement with your roommates. Even if they are willing to live in a dirtier place than you or it's uncomfortable to bring it up, you will both be happier if you lay out expectations and reach an agreement before you can't see each other through the dust and trash.

2. Set up a weekly cleaning schedule or routine. You don't have to have one massive cleaning montage all at once. Instead plan ahead so you only spend a few minutes each day to keep everything in good shape. 

3. Make cleaning fun. We blasted the music and danced the dirt away.

4. Have a plan of attack. No good general (or housecleaner) could ever win the battle if there wasn't proper planning and consideration. Don't mop the floors and then clean your counters or you will ruin all of the hard work you just did (same goes for not cleaning the toilet and then your sink). Consider a top down, least to most disgusting, approach. 

5. No excuses. Everyone is busy, no one has time. Get over it and get your hands dirty. Ten to 15 minutes can do amazing things to clear your head and make you more productive when you are finished. 

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