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Dirty Apartments

Girls cleaning their apartment kitchen
Every roommate is responsible for keeping an apartment clean. Learn how to work together to make your apartment a peaceful and inviting place to live.
  • Determine roommate preferences regarding daily cleanliness standards
  • Do your part to keep your personal items tidy
  • Learn how to prevent and resolve conflict through appropriate and kind communication

Why Should I Keep My Apartment Clean?

It seems like a small thing when a pile of trash is left next to a garbage can. But when ignored, it soon feels like you’re being invaded. If you’ve been in a similar situation as the students in this video, you know how challenging it is to live with a tower of trash between you and your roommates—literally and figuratively.

Giant Trash

After you have watched the video, consider the following questions:

  • How can keeping my apartment clean avoid damages or charges from the Landlord?
  • How can keeping my apartment clean reduce conflict with my roommates?
  • How can keeping my apartment clean prepare me for white-glove and my future home?

What is My Part in Keeping My Apartment Clean?

A clean apartment is inviting, peaceful, and relaxing. It reduces contention and helps you to be happy in your space and with your roommates. Everyone can feel comfortable at home and inviting guests to a clean environment. It also helps to avoid clean-check fees and deductions from the deposit at the end of the semester.

You can create a comfortable space by working together as roommates to keep your apartment clean. Your apartment can be a place where you are happy to be and find joy in your personal life. Use these suggestions to help make your home an apartment of light:

Mutual Respect: Treat your roommates the way you want to be treated. Avoid passive-aggressive behaviors (notes or signs) or comments that lead to resentment, anger, and fear.

Be Proactive: Discuss how to keep the apartment clean with roommates. Lead out and be the first to do the dishes. Invite others to join you in tidying up the apartment.

Non-judgmental: Avoid thoughts about how lame, disrespectful, or rude your roommates are. Assume the best in others and be solution-oriented when approaching cleaning concerns.

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Video Companion
Looking through Windows

Resolve Conflict: When contention arises over apartment messes, seek to resolve the problem rather than allow it to escalate. Use the Roommate Guide for ideas to resolve conflicts.

Try these Cleaning Tips
Plan to clean together. Identify a time every week that all roommates are available to help clean.

Choose one or two areas to clean each day. Start small. Keep cleaning simple . . . wash dishes and wipe counters or remove personal items from common spaces.

Make cleaning consistent. Daily upkeep, like taking out the garbage or wiping the stovetop, is much easier if not left to build up.

Set a timer. Devote time each day as an apartment for a Ten-Minute Tidy and work together to see how much you can accomplish in ten minutes.

Look for a chance to serve. Sometimes busy roommates need help, so serve them by helping them clean.