Remember being nagged by your parents to tidy your room? Even now I’m anticipating my suitcase for Christmas break being labelled a crime scene after a few hours on the floor. But in those months away from mum and dad, we’re responsible for the mugs with no coasters and bins that go out on thursday – or friday, we’re never too sure.

So how do we deal with this new realm of responsibility  – after a year in halls and a few months in a house, each with a different set of people, I think I’ve cracked the code.

  1. Make a non-scary rota
    Keep it simple, only have one for one particularly gruelling task, like bins. Most student houses should have a timetable delivered for bin collection, so stick it up somewhere obvious in the kitchen and put one flatmates initial/name down next to one week and another for the next week – if you’re in a house big enough you may only have to do the bins once every two months and that’s easy enough.
  2. Allocate counter space
    Those nights spent desperately searching for space amongst the dishes to place down your chopping board aren’t ideal after 9-4 lectures. So when you first move in look at the cupboard space and where each of your drawers are and allocate a nearby counter top (or half) to each person. This way you’re each responsible for your area and you can keep it as clean as you like – and there will always be space to butter your toast.
  3. Wash up after meals
    Don’t hesitate or wait until three days later when your weetabix is a cement mix in the bowl. If you eat and you have nothing immediately after, take half a minute to wash up and whack them on the dryer. Trust me the next time you go to eat it will feel like a little win and you’ll thank yourself.
  4. Shower wiper blades
    You know those things window cleaners use that make lots of squeaky sounds and wake you up from that lay-in you were planning? Purchase one for your shower. Quickly run it over the shower doors after your shower and it makes cleaning bathrooms, whenever that comes about, a lot easier without those drip marks that won’t budge.
  5. Don’t put it down the drain
    We’ve all had a flatmate who thinks tea bags will fit down the sink – sadly they won’t, and at the risk of having to tell your landlady there’s a scary river emerging from the drain down to the garden fence – try to put it all straight in the bin.
  6. Purchase a laundry basket
    You can get pop-up hampers from Primark for a couple of pounds and it makes it a lot easier when it comes to a clothes wash to know you don’t need to search your floor for last weeks discarded clothes. It also reduces the temptation to re-wear things we know are really better off going through the wash, out of sight out of mind – and all that.
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