As the saying goes, there’s always a “man” of the house. Of course, there are SO many men-whether they be a father, grandfather, stepfather, brother, or uncle-out there that take care of their homes. But what about the women? We can’t forget about the single moms, older sisters, aunts, and grandmothers that run their homes. We better change that phrase, especially in this generation, because us women are taking over. Just like Beyonce once said, girls do really run the world.
Anyway, once we go off or back to college, we’re living in houses, apartments, and dorms where the man of the house is non-existent. Take the opportunity to be in charge! Don’t let your academic and social responsibilities override your domestic responsibilities. They are just as important! Living in a healthy, happy, and clean environment has more of an effect on you than you know.
Imagine this. You spend the entire day in the library cramming for an exam you have the next day. You’re day isn’t going so great as it is, and you run into that guy from last weekend. Things are awkward, and you find out he invited someone else to his date party. Therefore, the entire day, you’re balancing between teaching yourself 3 chapters of a textbook and being upset about him. Finally after 6 hours at the library, you decide to come home to your favorite therapeutic activity, making dinner. However, you walk in the door, and there’s leftover take-out boxes and scraps on the table. There’s not a clean pan in sight. The sink is full of dirty dishes. The garbage is overflowing. The ketchup bottle has spilled on the floor. Your toilet is clogged. All of this just adds to the stress from your entire day and you don’t even know where to go from here.
There’s no reason your home at school should ever come to this. Cleaning and maintaining your home takes just a little bit of effort, but goes a long way. The mentality that “my roommates are messes so I’m not going to bother” is garbage. No pun intended. Who cares what your roommates do or don’t do. Step up and clean, because you know it makes things easier on you, and it makes you happy.
With a couple of tips and words of encouragement, I ensure you that you will become the woman of your college home. Oh, and by the way, being a feminist doesn’t mean you have to live in a dirty house!
- Don’t go to bed in a messy space: This is one of my biggest pet-peeves but it’s so effective. Tidy up a bit before bed. Waking up to a clean place is a really good feeling.
- After you eat, clean up right away: Cleaning up should be included in the activity of eating. Dishes, take out boxes, leftovers should all be put away before you move on after meals.
- Make a list of things you are running out of: Take note of when you’re using the last of something. Make a list so you can get more before it’s all gone. Don’t be the person who re-uses paper-ware and substitutes cups for bowls.
- Don’t expect anything from anyone: The only person you should expect to clean up after yourself is YOU. If you are under the impression that your roommate(s) are going to help, you’ll just set yourself up to be let down, which could lead to resentment, fights, and unnecessary arguments. If they do help, that’s awesome!
- There should be a place for everything and everything should be in its place: Assign spots for everything! This will make it easier to find, clean, and not lose your stuff!
- Do a garbage sweep: By this, I mean take a garbage bag and walk around the room and just throw any sort of trash in there. Empty bottles, loose paper, wrappers, and scraps are always left around the house. A quick sweep can help avoid clutter.
- Teach your roommate(s) your ways: Try and involve them. Get them to clean with you. Show them how to do certain tasks so you (both) can make a conscious effort to live in a healthy, happy home.
Stefanie Sabar is a student at University of Maryland.