November 5, 2012, by Shane

Sound familiar, look familiar, is familiar?

There are three types of people in the word: the clean freaks, the lazy bodies, and the ones who don’t care what state the house is in as long as their stuff is tidied away so they can’t be blamed for the mess. As any student not living in catered halls knows (and boy do we miss those days) living with people can be … an experience, particularly surrounding the kitchen!

In the grand scheme of life’s problems, kitchen cleanliness doesn’t even make the shortlist, yet for students it can be the. Most. Frustrating. Thing.

It takes less than twenty seconds to wash out a cereal bowl or coffee mug, less than five minutes to wash up everything used to make a dinner meal. Yet such items can be found sitting on the kitchen counter 4 days later, forcing everyone else to work around YOUR mess (you know who you are).

I guess I don’t have it so bad, I’ve heard of students finding house mate’s dirty dishes in cupboards, using cling-film as a plate (for Spaghetti Bolognese) or having the recycling overflowing with pizza boxes (actually that would create less dirty dishes …).

Yet I’ve also heard of houses which inhabit eight Rugby lads that are spotless, because when things get messy one guy will give the order and the rest will stop what they’re doing and perform operation ‘domestic goddess’ in 5 minutes and then returning to “as you were”. I realise this is a very military style, but hey, it gets the job done.

The recycling bin on a good day

Unfortunately it’s an inevitable evil in student’s lives that requires certain strategies to encourage a cleaner house. After racking my brain for some ideas, I came up with:

  • Dividing your house into teams and alternating who cleans up when the house gets messy (more fun if you’ve got some competitive housemates).
  • Eating out every night (time-consuming and expensive).
  • Designating each housemate a day when they’re in charge of the cleaning (ideal for 7 person cribs).
  • Having a monetary penalty for anyone whose dishes have been sitting there for longer than two days/have grown mould (progressive dirty tax – the more frequently they’re lazy, the more expensive their fine).
  • Creating a dictatorship and designating jobs on a weekly basis.
  • Naming and shaming the culprit by tagging them in a picture of their mess on Facebook (ineffective if said housemate has no shame).

Then there’s always the obvious solution of everyone cleaning up after themselves … yeah, wishful thinking.

Let me know if you have any housemate horror stories or successful cleaning strategies; it could provide a laugh or de-stress to a lot more students than you realise.

Now if only I could get my house to try one of these methods …

P.s. if it didn’t come through in the blog, I fall into the ‘clean freak’ category.

Posted in 2012 Shane