It’s in the early months of your first year at university when you start planning your second-year house. Now to me, this has always seemed far too soon, but it’s just how the property/renting market works. You make decisions on who you’ll live with, where you’ll live and the dreaded, how many bathrooms you’ll want, way before you’re even settled into your first-year accommodation. Complications can arise, people can change and the walk may seem like it gets longer everytime, but going back to an organised house will make all the difference.
Here are my top tips and advice for keeping your student house organised!
The first thing I do is work out with your housemates what you’ll be sharing, and what you won’t be. For example, you may feel your housemates using your tin opener is perfectly fine, but your special mug or Tupperware… not a chance. By doing this, it sets some ground rules, after all, to others it may just be a mug.
Knowing this, you’ll then need to decide whether you’ll have designated areas for each thing, for example, a cupboard full of plates, or if you’ll have areas for everyone’s stuff individually. This will be most prominent in the kitchen.
Knowing the ‘designated areas’ will also help when unpacking things such as jackets or shoes, as this will dictate whether they go in the downstairs cupboard for example, or if the expectation is to keep them in your room. You can also use these tips when sorting out the bathroom. If you are sharing a bathroom, are you sharing shower gel for example? If so, you could buy a waterproof stand for all your stuff, or alternatively, you could get a set of waterproof drawers where you can keep your belongings separated.
The boring part but definitely one of the more fundamental parts of keeping organised is creating schedules. Whether it is a cleaning schedule, a schedule for when the bins need taking out, or a short to-do list before you go to university, this will help with keeping you organised and on track. These to-do lists could be as simple as ‘make your bed’ in the morning, or ‘hang up clothes’, as there is nothing worse than a huge pile of clothes.
My Nan once told me, “never go to bed without doing the washing up”. Now, this may sound like cleaning advice, but used as a metaphor, this simple phrase helps to keep you organised. Why would you leave your books scattered across your desk, when you’ll want them ready in your bag in the morning? Why would you leave a cushion on the floor, that belongs on the sofa? Why would you leave your washing-up in the sink overnight? The fairies won’t fix it. Being organised means being proactive. When you live with others, it also means helping people out sometimes, without wanting recognition.
The last thing I’d suggest when keeping your house organised is utilising your space. Do you have a basement that does nothing, or an airing cupboard with empty shelves? You’ve got to think creatively, but I don’t doubt you can do it, as a group of innovative university students.