Friday, 14 November 2014

University #11: Home Hygiene

By this point in the university semester the crazy freshers parties are long over, the work load has kicked in, and your room is probably looking a bit like mine:

Looking at all that mess not only makes me feel very annoyed at myself, but it also makes me feel very apathetic. It's not a space I want to do work in. Uni rooms are small and easy to make messy - although my mess is taking the biscuit slightly! - but they can be spruced up really quickly. There are also another couple of things you can do to keep your whole house looking and feeling fresh - so here are my top tips for keeping your uni house feeling homely.

1) Towels. Change tea towels every couple of days, bath towels once a week, and bed sheets every fortnight. Not only does this keep things smelling nice and fresh, but it will keep your skin clean too -there is nothing worse for it than drying off with an old towel and sleeping in a sweaty or oily bed. If you're not changing and cleaning tea towels regularly you can also get food poisoning from drying up with a manky towel. Not nice at all! Wash all of these on a high heat to kill any germs.

2) Hoover. You should really be hovering your room once a week, but if that's too much effort then try for at least once a fortnight. Not only will it deter spiders and other creepy crawlies, but its also not good for your lungs to be breathing in dusty air. Remember to hoover any stairs or landings too - they are often forgotten spaces as you only pass through them - and change the hoover bag if you notice things getting smelly.

3) Washing. Try to use the correct washing up liquid for your clothes. My rule is purple top for colours/darks, green top for lights/whites. It will really help your clothes last, When you can, dry them outside on a line. Not only does it give them a lovely fresh smell, but it stops your house getting manky and damp too. It doesn't have to be super sunny for them to dry, so long as its not raining you should be fine. Remember to take them in before it gets dark though, as they'll just get damp again through the night and that isn't good for them. Use the half load setting if you need to, your wash won't take as long and you'll be more economical if you've only got a mini load.

4) Airing. Whether or not you have to dry your clothes inside, its a good idea to open your windows once a day. Uni houses are famous for their damp build up, so getting fresh air in really helps prevent this as much as possible. Always shower with the windows open, cook with the windows open, and keep your bedroom window open for a couple of hours each day. Obviously it won't do anything if its damp outside, but on a nice day open them up.

5) Life. Have living things in your room - and I don't mean mould build up from a plate you've had under your bed for the past month! A nice green plant or two will really brighten your room up and stop it from feeling dark and dingy. Just make sure you've got a plate under it to catch any excess water, and put it in a spot which gets some light.

6) Light. My uni room has very little natural light, so I put candles in my room to make it feel cosier. A lamp or two are also nice touches. I've also started sleeping with my curtains open so I wake up to natural light, but this won't be an option for some people - especially if you have a ground floor bedroom.

7) Storage. Most uni rooms have little to no storage space, so buy some boxes and tuck things under your bed where you can. It stops clutter build up on surfaces and the floor, and prevents you from loosing things too.

8) Bed. Make it every morning as soon as you've got up. Not only does this air your sheets to give them more life, but its instantly makes your whole room feel tidier. It also stops you from wanting to crawl back into it and have a nap once you've showered.

9) Drawers. They don't have to be tidy themselves, but keeping them shut leaves them dust free and also makes your room look instantly better. Putting away your clothes as soon as you take them off helps too. Either hang them back up or put them for washing so you don't have to sort through a floor-drobe every day for a crinkled top!

10) Decorate. Check with your landlord or letting agency before sticking stuff on or into the walls. Most places won't let you use blue tack or sellotape in case it stains the walls or peels off the paint. If you don't have any hooks to hang things off, ask them if they can put one in, then pop up a pin board. Now you've got somewhere to stick all your pictures up!

After an hour or so of cleaning, this is what my room looks like now:

Its still not perfect - my surfaces are pretty messy and there are a couple of things under my bed and over my bantiser which isn't great, but it is ten times better than what I started off with! I'm going to try and keep on top of it this time - wish me luck! Send me your before and after uni room pictures so I don't feel so bad. You can either tweet me @VickiMaitland or leave a comment below. My next post will be my night time routine - so look out for that on Tuesday.

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