Thursday, July 12, 2012

5 Tips To Having A Clean College House!

I have lived through 4 different college houses with various housemates ranging from eight in one place, male and female, married couples and singles. I still have a lot of friends who are sharing their house while studying.

It's a great option for Uni and college (Tafe, correspondence, gosh anything really) to combine and live together not only cutting daily costs but giving ample opportunity to get super cranky at other peoples quirks and mannerisms that only come out in the privacy of home.

While sharing a house I discovered that people can forget they cooked rice ten days ago and left it on the bench, they can deny whole heatedly that the pretty decorations lining the loo was them, and nobody ever splatters oil on the splash back while cooking on the stove. Amazing! I have never lived with such lying clean people.

If you are about to venture into communal living, let me suggest some wonderful tips to help beloveds remember the world doesn't revoke around them... Obviously I'm talking about everyone else and not you *cough cough*

1. Always assume it was you, before assuming it was others. 
The biggest mistake I see is passing-the-buck. Those dishes are not mine... I didn't dirty the floor... It wasn't me... turns out we are all a 2 year old inside. 

Let try: "Maybe that was me"
Yes, you do drop crumbs without knowing, your food does splatter no matter how careful you are, your laundry needs effort to get onto the line, your shoes did dirty the carpet, you do, do number 2s and leave germs, that smell is yours, you did fill the rubbish, you are a responsible adult.

If everyone makes effort and assumes it was them first, it's surprising how much cleaner the house remains and how much less tension there can be between housemates. Plus if all things go to plan you do a little of someone else's mess and they do a little of your mess- happy little society.

2. Grab some masking tape and mark out some squares next to the kitchen sink. One large square per person living in the house. Write names on the front of the tape. Everyone puts their dirty dishes into their designated square. This eliminates who dirtied what, who hasn't done their dishes and who is being grubby.  

3. Routine Routine Routine.
Write a Cleaning Routine. Sit down with everyone and decide together what the roster will be and when things need to get cleaned. Ownership comes when everyone is involved in the decision making process. Remember if it's not on this list and specific it wont get done. Don't assume others can see things that need to be tidied- especially if you live with boys.

Cover every possible area and put a name next to it. Rotate who does what, to keep it interesting and "fair".  Laminate a list of all the jobs and then use a whiteboard marker to write names on it, clean it at the start of every month and let everyone choose the next set of jobs.
The more regular things get cleaned the easier it is to maintain

Make it pretty and colourful! Design it to suit your house!

4. Place a jar on the kitchen bench where everyone places $5 a week into for communal cleaning products... Place a folded piece of paper inside it where you can write your name and date that money was added- keep everything accountable. If one person is forgetting to add their money you will be able to know and they can be banned from using the cleaning products provided (ie loo paper!) they will soon remember!

Stores don't accept monopoly money *sad face*

5.  Have some clear House Rules. 
-Your stuff belongs in your room- I am not your slave- Respect others space- If it's left out, it will be thrown into your room- clean as you go... All those things that you remember and can hear your mum say in your head- do that!! 
"Never go anywhere empty handed"  "Put it away as you go"  "blah blah blah" yes mum...

Write it down and stick them to the fridge. Add some consequences for things not done. (also written on that rules list) like $ into the jar.

Good luck! It's good training for your future house!