Produced by Sarah
BA (Hons) Sociology
Moving from home to university involves becoming more dependent, which can be quite daunting, and can take time to get used to. Cleaning and laundry is one task that you will need to carry out! This blog gives top tips on how to clean and do your laundry around your university lectures and social lives, and useful things to keep in mind, especially with navigating living with others.
Where you will need to clean as a BU student
When you move into university, you will quickly realise what areas you will need to clean! However, the main ones are your bedroom, including the bathroom, and the kitchen. If you are in a house, this may include the hallways and even the garden if you have one if there is litter after having friends around!
Whilst being at university I felt that it was important for my room to feel homely and calming, and this meant trying to keep on top of the cleaning as best as possible. Your room will go through times of being messier and times of being tidier, and this is perfectly normal, so try not to be too hard on yourself if things get a bit messy now and again!
Below is a guide on what items you could buy to help you with your cleaning and your laundry. This all depends on your budget and also your personal preference!
- Wipes/ antibacterial spray for cleaning the sides of the kitchen and your desk in your room. ‘Pink Stuff’ is always a popular choice as it smells nice!
- Washing up liquid and sponge (a sponge where you put the washing up liquid into the stem is always a great idea!)
- Bleach for cleaning the toilet, alternatively other toilet cleaning products do not include bleach.
- Laundry detergent and fabric softener… however, I find the all-in-one tablets the most useful as all you needed to do is chuck one of them in with the wash and they are easier to store. You can find these in most shops, including Asda!
- Bin bags (always an important one!)
- Hoover bags if there is a Hoover.
Most of these supplies can be bought communally with your housemates if they are happy to do so, for instance, bin bags, washing up liquid, and bleach!
Living with other students can be a great experience however, it is widely known that cleaning can sometimes be tricky to navigate. From my experience, everyone has different standards of living which may not align with yours. Some love everything to be in place and orderly all the time, whereas others may leave a plate or bowl by the sink for a day or two. From experience, this also changes based on people’s stress levels!
It is really important to have a casual chat with your housemates when you move in to see how everyone would like to handle the cleaning. Commonly flats may create a bin rota where you will take turns to take the bin out. This can be good as long as there is a mutual understanding! Again, with buying cleaning supplies it is a nice idea to rotate this to ensure someone is not buying more than others and a rota could be used for this too.
There will be times when someone you live with may feel stressed or upset about cleaning. I have found it is important to listen openly to concerns, and to adjust what you are doing a bit, but not to get too obsessed, as I found it can be easy to get quite panicked about cleaning and what other people think!
For example, my housemate the other day left a plate with leftovers on the stairs for a day (not too sure why), but as it was not a frequent occurrence I decided I would not say anything, rather I moved it to the kitchen! They were probably having a busy or bad day. It is definitely a balance and I recommend open dialog for this and not necessarily over text!
Facilities in BU halls of residence
If you are moving into BU halls of residence, you will have access to a laundry room with multiple washing machines and tumble dryers. You will have a card that you can top up with credit to use. It is a simple process, and you will find out what times are busier or quieter.
If you are moving into a privately rented house these usually have a washing machine and sometimes a tumble dryer. Check with your landlord or your estate agent. Commonly there will be laundrettes around that you can use. For example, I have a washing machine but no tumble dryer so chose to go to the laundrette down the road to use the tumble dryers in winter, and in summer I hang them outside. Alternatively, you could hang the washing in your room on an arier.
Fitting cleaning and washing around your university life
University can feel hectic at times, especially when there are deadlines, or if it is Freshers Week. It may be helpful to think about when you have a spare few hours regularly throughout the week for cleaning around your social life and lectures. For me, this was a Sunday as I had a very busy week. You could also put reminders on your phone if this helps you to be organised, or if you find it hard to carve out a bit of time for this. After a while, you will get into the swing of it.
For information on Halls of Residence Facilities, including laundry, click here.
To talk to a current student, click here.