Ah, to be independent from your parents and siblings – it’s freedom that most college students aren’t ready for, believe it or not. Case in point: you live like a slob ’cause your mom always did your laundry, and your idea of clean is hiding a mess until the smell becomes so repugnant that calling the fumigators may be a lost cause.
Living with like-minded slobs doesn’t help matters. It’s all fun and games until you find yourself less likely to sleep at home and more likely to crash on somebody else’s couch. You have a dorm/apartment so utilize it, you slob!
Here are some convenient and affordable tips to keep your living area clean:
Buy toiletries in bulk
I know the first thing you’re thinking is “What the f*** are toiletries?” Well, “toiletries” is French (or something) for “bathroom stuff” like toilet paper, bathroom spray, shampoo, conditioner, cotton swabs, toothpaste – you know, that stuff you’ve never bought yourself.
Somewhere within a 20 mile radius from your living space is a Wal-Mart, or even better, Sam’s Club. Take a weekend trip with the roomies twice a month to stock up on all the essentials for cheap. If there’s no super-savings store near you – or if you don’t have any source of transportation – ask that guy/gal who goes home every weekend (there’s always one) if they can pick you up a bundle of bathroom stuff. Tip ’em nice and you’re in the clear with a clear conscience.
One more thing: use the products; don’t just stock them up for show.
Designate cleaning days
This is where dorm drama begins. Scheduling out chores reminds you of living with your parents; the last thing you need is your lame-ass roommate Jerry pestering you about the dishes. My advice? Keep it as simple as possible. A whiteboard with daily or weekly chores is the de facto choice for most, but cleaning up after yourself could (and should) be as easy as respecting your own space – you don’t even need to respect your roommate in this case.
If he/she is a slob that makes your life a living hell while you pick up after yourself, then you’re in the right to lash out when necessary. Just don’t ever, ever, get all “passive aggressive,” ok?
Brand-new “clear” Tupperware
Yeah, it was “real cute” when your parents gave you a stack of old, multicolored containers with mismatched lids that only fit together with force. Wanna know what’s not cute? Stuffing a piece of salmon into a random dark-green container that will be forgotten for months. Don’t ever forget that wonderful human skill of “getting used” to your environment, no matter how heinous the stench is. When you invite a potential date over they’ll notice your foul dorm odor in a nanosecond.
Drop a few bucks and purchase some quality Tupperware without fancy colors to mask whatever Mystery Meat is contained within. It’s easier to spot mold festering on last weeks lasagna when it’s visible. And don’t get so discouraged about losing Tupperware tops; they’re like socks, meaning you’ll be replenishing lost pairs for the rest of your life. Get used to it.
The Holy Trinity: Febreze, matches and quarters
You will never get through college without this triumvirate.
First off, Febreze: this scent neutralizer works wonders not only for a quick fix when your RA decides to make a visit – mask that marijuana – but also for general airing out. Spray it often throughout your place, from the folds in your couch to the folds of your roomies’ greasy gut.
Matches are the only foolproof way to hide the scent of your massive dump. Strike a match and voila – your bomb is gone. Keep some normal bathroom spray on hand if you must, but avoid fruity floral sprays like Glade “Strawberry Passion” or whatever they call it – all that will do is make your bathroom smell like you placed a single strawberry on top of a heaping pile of dung. Matches = odor eraser.
It’s laundry day and you don’t have any quarters. No big deal, right? Just run on down to the laundromat with your pile of clothes and get quarters there, right? Wrong. Above anything else quarters are a convenient reminder that yes, you should probably do your laundry now.
Last but not least: don’t just rely on your instinct to find out if your place stinks. Ask your closest bro – if it reeks something awful he will let you know. If your room smells like a dead cow’s innards your RA will have already noticed and reported your smelly ass.