This summer, I spent 12 hours a day cleaning rental properties. From homes to apartments, mold and grime covered the spaces I spent my days in.
Aside from general filth — grime, mold, mildew — there were dead bugs, broken doors and shattered glass. In all honesty, I was disgusted.
While I knew not everyone had super clean tendencies, I never knew that there were students who accepted their fate in filth and dust.
However, I realized it could be important to know how to keep your “home away from home” clean in small but impactful ways.
- Invest in a Toilet Brush
It may come as a surprise, but many off-campus homes didn’t invest in a toilet brush — and it showed. Black mold caked the toilet inside and out, so making sure there is at least one toilet brush in the home can be extremely useful in the long run.
- Create a Cleaning Schedule
Whether you’re living in a dorm or in an apartment, creating a cleaning schedule amongst your roommates can help ease the load of cleaning. By dividing up who cleans what, your space will be greatly impacted by the consideration and care of finding time within everyone’s schedule to do a chore — such as taking out the trash, cleaning the showers or vacuuming the living room.
- Develop Small Habits
Small habits lead to big change. Once again, finding time within your schedule to do something small — like putting your shoes away or moving used dishes from the sink to the dishwasher — can help keep your space tidy than if you left all of these things to grow.
- Choose a Deep Clean Day
Having a day where everyone in the space can deep clean can prevent larger messes from festering within a home. On a deep clean day, everyone can pick a chore and make sure the space is spotless. Cleaning the kitchen? Mop behind the oven and fridge, remove old food from the fridge and wipe down all the cabinets. Working in the living room? Vacuum the floors, dust all surfaces, and organize any nicknacks you have in the space.
- Purge Your Home
Near the end of the semester or year, go through everything you have and sort it into piles of what you need or don’t need. Purging your items can help you make some money and get rid of anything you don’t need anymore. Often, there is someone who can use what you’re selling. If you don’t feel like selling it, try donating to thrift stores like Goodwill or The Y.
While cleaning can be daunting or time-consuming, small steps can help you ensure that you can get some of your deposit back — and makes the jobs of a cleaning crew much easier.