Cleaning (The Student Approach)

Jack Evans - Reporter

Most of us would conveniently forget about the need to clean and quite happily pretend the word never existed. However, it does exist and it is a task that you will have to face sooner or later. We take a look at some of the top tips and methods that can be used when cleaning.

Which cleaner are you?

When it comes to cleaning everyone has different strategies, chances are you will fall under one of these:

The mover – You start by clearing all of the clutter that can be seen as you walk through the door, stashing it out of sight in the back of your wardrobe, under the bed or under blankets. In fact you stash it just about anywhere out of sight – if it looks tidy it’s good enough.

The tickler –  Guilty of half-hearted approach to cleaning. You get out a duster but only tickle a few spots where the dust is visibly collecting – at least you have made an attempt, there are more important things to do.

The ignorer- Conveniently unaware of the mounds of rubbish and clutter building up. You choose not to see the mess and after a while become used to searching through three stacks of paper before you find the right piece. An expert at treasure hunting behind the bed for a crumpled up assignment briefs – it looks tidy enough and you know where everything is.

The procrastinator – You recognise the cleaning tasks that need to be done but something else always seems to crop up instead. You know you should get around to emptying the bins but it would be much better to do it later on – you could even do it tomorrow.

The professional – A rare category. You have all the tools of the trade, powerful Stardrops and disinfectant along with colour coded dusters. As soon as there is a spill you wipe it up and always maintain a professional cleanliness level, with rooms looking 5* quality – you can read on with a smug smile and sit horrified at the hygiene crimes others commit.

Prevention is better than cure

Prevention is the best method in the world of cleaning, as the less mess is made in the first place the less will be there to clean up. Take for instance the piles of pizza boxes stacked in the corner, or the empty alcohol bottles stood proudly on the kitchen windowsill. If these were disposed of properly after having them, it would be less time consuming having to go around and clear up. It may not seem like a big deal but empty wrappers, unwashed plates and stacks of dirty washing pile up fast.

Time to Clean

So you have set time aside and finally got around to cleaning but where do you start? Under the bed? On the desk? The task seems impossible but it is not time to throw the duster down yet.

Choose one area and stick with it. Methodically clear and clean that area before moving on to the next. In certain situations break up the room into manageable chunks which will make it feel less daunting. Using this method and being patient will lead to good results.

Common problems solved

Problem Student approach Better solution
The bin is overflowing Continue to put waste in it until it erupts onto the floor. Empty the bin regularly – assign a set day.
The washing basket is full Leave it piled in one corner until you have nothing left to wear – then return to see which items are the cleanest. Wash the washing on a weekly basis saving money and giving you fresh clothes to wear.
You have finished with a plate and it needs cleaning Slide it under the bed with the rest of the used dishes. Wash up after each meal and leave pots to air dry on kitchen drainer. No time spent drying pots and dishes are ready for use again.


Cleaning is a chore that is regularly overlooked by students and it is has other benefits other than just hygiene. Having a clean space to work can help you feel more organised and less stressed, therefore increasing your productivity when it comes to work. Communal areas also need cleaning and it helps if you have a rota between flatmates of who is going to clean which room and when. It is often better to rotate on a weekly basis so everyone has to do rooms such as the toilet and bathroom. If everyone tidies up as they go along, this weekly task such take you no more than 20 minutes.

Remember a tidy flat is a tidy mind.

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