We get it. Your schedule while in college is insane. You wake up early, have classes all day, do homework, go to work, try and have a social life, exercise, all on top of the normal day-to-day things like laundry and cooking. It’s exhausting to even think about.
Sometimes keeping your living space clean and tidy gets put on the back burner. But, it doesn’t need to. It is especially important to keep it clean now that you have great (and affordable) student housing at BYU-Idaho. Keeping a clean apartment is just one facet of making your apartment feel like home.
Numerous studies have been done about people who live in a clean and organized environment versus those who don’t.
Those who live in a clean environment have been found to have better focus, goal setting, increased productivity, and lower stress levels. Those who live in a cluttered, messy environment have been found to have more issues with emotional control and mental health.
With the right supplies and a little bit of time, you can have your apartment sparkling clean, which will increase your motivation, focus, and help you achieve your goals.
Here are 8 simple and affordable tips for cleaning your apartment (and keeping it clean).
- Have a basket of cleaning supplies in one location
- Do one room at a time
- Choose one thing always to have clean
- Take out your garbage
- Organize your clothes
- Don’t ignore the bathroom
- Set up a cleaning schedule with your roommates
- Clean along the way
1. Have a Basket of Cleaning Supplies in A Central Location
Buying cleaning supplies in and of itself is hard (and expensive). It is intimidating to know what to buy, what you will need, and sometimes how to use it. When you check into your apartment, it is wise to bring your own cleaning supplies to prepare you (and your apartment) for the next year at school.
If you haven’t gotten around to it yet, here is a list of a couple of crucial cleaning supplies you will probably want.
- Broom and Dustpan
- All-Purpose Cleaner
- Lysol Wipes
- Toilet Cleaner
- Paper Towels
You may want more along the way, but this will be a great start. Organize this together in a caddy or basket so you know exactly where to look when you need to clean. Having it all together will make cleaning easy because you will never have to wonder where the supplies are.
2. Do One Room at a Time
Thinking about cleaning your whole apartment is intimidating. Trust me, I know. Instead, focus on cleaning one room at a time. Concentrating on your bedroom, the living room, the kitchen, or the bathroom makes cleaning feel a lot less daunting.
Choosing one at a time also helps you feel like you can accomplish it in the time you have, without getting overwhelmed.
To clean your whole apartment, you’d need more hours than you have, but to get one room done is a lot more realistic. Set up a cleaning rotation and then start.
As the days go on, alternate what room gets cleaned.
For example, dedicate Mondays to the kitchen, Tuesday’s are your bedroom, Wednesday’s are the bathroom, Thursday’s are the living room, and Friday’s you sweep the floors. Then take Saturday and Sunday off, or use that time to deep clean the things that need it.
Splitting up your schedule like this will help you stay motivated and keep you from getting overwhelmed.
3. Choose One Thing to Always Have Looking Clean
The worst thing is coming home, exhausted, from a long day to a messy apartment.
Walking in the door and seeing dirty dishes piled high in the sink, clothes strewn all over the bed, yesterday’s dinner leftovers still on the counter, and homework all across the kitchen counter is overwhelming and frustrating.
One of the best tips for cleaning in college is to have just one thing that always looks clean and inviting. Maybe that’s your bed or your couch, or your toilet, whatever it is, promise yourself it will stay clean. That way, when you get home exhausted, you never have to worry about your bed not being made or looking like a disaster.
A great option to choose is your couch. Before going to bed, make sure your couch is clean. Fluff the pillows, and fold the throw blanket. When you get home (or when someone comes over), the first thing they will see is an inviting, clean couch. It will give you, and others, a clean, well put together apartment to enjoy.
4. Take Out Your Trash
Taking out your trash seems like an obvious thing, but it is incredible how much of a difference it makes. For one, keeping your trash inside causes your apartment to smell, invites bugs, and overall doesn’t cultivate a clean living environment. Ensuring you always take it out will drastically improve the cleanliness of your house.
Another great tip is to get an essential oils diffuser and plug that in your kitchen. The diffuser will help your apartment smell amazing, and it is safe because there are no open flames. It’s a win for everyone!
5. Organize Your Clothes
Organizing your clothes shouldn’t be hard, but it is. We all have “the chair.” You know the one I am talking about. The chair where you put clothes that aren’t dirty enough for the laundry basket but are too dirty to go back in the drawer, that’s what I am talking about.
While in theory, this is a great thing, in reality, it ends up collecting a heap of clothes and making your room look cluttered, unorganized, and just overall not inviting.
Taking the time to put your clothes away and keeping them semi-organized will help you feel more at home.
6. Don’t Ignore the Bathroom
The bathroom is daunting. It seems gross. Everyone uses it; it collects germs, and often in cleaning, it gets brushed aside for a day when you have “more time.” Don’t do it. Don’t fall into this trap. Don’t ignore the bathroom.
Even doing simple things like cleaning the mirror, wiping out the sink, and using the toilet brush on the toilet make a massive difference in the cleanliness of your bathroom.
7. Set Up A Cleaning Schedule With Your Roommates
Obviously, some things fall solely on you. No one wants to clean up your dirty clothes, do your dishes, or make your bed (other than you).
But, shared spaces are shared for the glamorous parts of roommates and non-glamorous parts (like cleaning). Creating a mutual understanding of a standard of cleanliness will help you and your roommates get along even better.
We also know that having a clean environment often makes people feel more at home and safe. Cultivating this type of trusting environment will help you and your roommates.
A great idea is to include them in your weekly cleaning rotation or assign everyone a space (other than their own) that they are responsible for keeping clean. You can rotate this every week so it is completely fair.
Assigning spaces helps everyone share the responsibility of keeping a clean apartment where you can all enjoy your college experience.
8. Clean Along the Way
I think this is often overlooked. Doing the simple things as you go helps you keep your apartment clean and tidy, which will save you time in the long run.
Cleaning always feels a lot more intimidating when you let it all pile up. If you do the dishes as you make dinner, make your bed every morning, hang up your clothes when you change, and replace the toilet paper when it runs out, your house will consistently feel a lot cleaner.
Life is busy, and keeping your college apartment clean 24/7 gets overlooked. It just isn’t practical to have everything perfectly spotless. Hopefully, though, this helps you know a little bit better how you can keep your apartment feeling like home.
There are so many benefits to keeping a clean house. We know two of the hardest things in college are staying on top of the cooking and the cleaning, so we hope this helps you come up with ways to keep up with cleaning. We have a great guide on meal prepping if you are looking for great ways to help you while you feed yourself through these hectic four years. We also have outlined some awesome brain foods that you should try and include in your diet.
Let us know if you try any of these cleaning tips!