Even if you’re a neat freak, the chances that you actually want to do more than your share of cleaning in a home you share with roommates are pretty slim. There’s something about cleaning up other people’s stuff that just seems gross, whether it’s wiping a glob of toothpaste off the bathroom sink or smooshing down the garbage pile so the trashcan lid will close. When it’s not yours, it’s hard to want to touch it, clean it, or throw it away. Especially if it’s food or bathroom-related.
Because of this fear of the unknown, and also because most of us are very lazy, shared homes are usually pretty bad examples of cleanliness. So today I wanted to share with you guys some cleaning tips for semi-clean people living with roommates. This isn’t a list that teaches you how to clean the dishes. We all know how to clean the dishes; we just don’t like to clean them. Think of it as a guide to cleaning your way to a half-assed home, which is really the goal we’re all secretly aiming for, right? I don’t actually need to be able to eat off my floor, I just want the house to smell okay.
Let’s get started:
1. Dish Duty
How You’re Living: You and your roommate don’t have “rules” because they’re impossible to stick to, but you don’t feel like cleaning your dishes from Thursday night because your roommate’s dishes from Tuesday night are taking up the whole sink. Did I mention that it’s Monday?
The Tip: Because of dishes overlapping in the sink, you will never be able to stick to an easy rule of “everyone is responsible for his or her own dishes.” It’s pretty much the worst method to doing dishes ever. And fun fact, the longer you let the dishes sit in the sink, the higher your chances are of getting flies or mosquitoes in your drain. The best approach is to put aside your frustrations, wear a pair of gloves if touching your roommate’s dishes grosses you out, and wash everything in the sink before three days have passed. After three days, bad things happen.
2. Fly Infestations
How You’re Living: You and your roommate let the dishes sit for way longer than three days. It’s probably been at least a week, if not two, and after finally doing the dishes (which have gotten really nasty), you see that your drain appears to be the new home of several dozen flies/gnats/mosquitoes/something with wings.
The Tip: The first tip would be to do your dishes every three days. But barring that, you must do several things in order to get rid of the fly creatures quickly before a crazy takeover occurs. (I know because I’ve lived through one.) Many people will tell you create a sugar and vinegar mixture in a plastic-covered jar that’s been poked with small holes that will lure the flies in and cause them to drown. But in my experience, that method only works half the time. So do that, but also pour lots of hot water down the drain and stock up on Windex. If the flies don’t take to the mixture, the Windex causes their wings to stick together, forcing them to drop to the ground where you’re able to kill them proper. That sounds terrible, but anyone who’s had a fly infestation knows there is much satisfaction to be had in spraying the suckers.