HOW TO ADULT | Cleaning

in Lifestyle

Nothing quite prepares you for adulthood than your adult sims begging you for social interactions, whilst simultaneously dying of hunger in a house that looks more like a pigsty than anything else. Nothing, I repeat.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with sims – The Sims is a life simulation video game series, to which many of my generation (80s, 90s kids HOLLER!) dedicated a substantial amount of time to – time which should have been used in more useful ways – such as socialising in the real life, learning about taxes, learning how to cook etc.

Whether you’re familiar with the sims or not, we can all agree upon one very sound argument: adulthood sucks. It really does – watching Dawson’s Creek you imagine a life of adventure and freedom especially when you think of living alone – but in reality adulthood turns out to be just generally deciding on whether you want to sleep or socialise, deciphering taxes, and hiding rubbish in cupboards, under beds etc.

As a result of all of this, I decided to start this series of posts called: HOW TO ADULT, because really, how does one adult? Today’s topic: CLEANING.

Most realise that houses are not self-cleaning upon moving out of their parent’s house. Keeping a house clean requires effort and time, and it also turns you into your mum, who rejoices when it’s a sunny day because she can finally air-dry the laundry. Good times.

I’ve lived away from my parent’s house for most of the past 3 years and here are a couple of tips I’ve gathered:

1. Set a laundry day

Find a day during which you’re a little free-er from work or school, such as a Saturday morning and make sure you always get your laundry done on that day. Unless you can dedicate a selected amount of hours to laundry, make sure you allocate different time slots for different types of laundry e.g. bed linen and towels.

Make sure you understand how often the latter need to be washed –  a little logic and google will really help. Also make sure you have extras – you don’t want to end up sleeping on just your mattress cause you have no extra bed linen and the one you have is not dry yet (been there, hated that).

One other small tip for this is that if you can’t really find a good time to do this – choose a day when you usually sleep in, and set your alarm to something like 7am – only to get out of bed, put your laundry in the washing machine, and then head back to sleep. I’ve done this whenever I lived with people I barely knew (and who coincidentally always hogged the washing machine over the weekend).

2. A little cleaning a day goes a long way

Taking out the trash whenever it’s full, and not just piling up more trash and making your trashcans look like a some sort of misinterpreted contemporary art piece, wiping surfaces clean after cooking, doing the dishes after dinner, etc etc. It makes cleaning day much less hassling (and disgusting).

3. Prioritise

Realistically it is close to impossible to constantly having a clean house – which is where, like anything else in life, prioritising is important. In terms of cleaning, my priorities are having a dust-free bedroom because I suffer from allergies, and having a clean kitchen because that is where the food is, and also a clean bathroom because bathrooms are already disgusting by nature. If I’m having a really tough week, I make sure I go through with at least these tasks.

4. Burden sharing

Nothing to do with immigration (sorry, I’m a former interpreting student). If you live with someone else make sure you get the whole cleaning argument straight because everyone likes living in a clean house but nobody likes cleaning. Ideally you can split responsibilities – bearing in mind that these responsibilities can be flexible, i.e. it should be a common goal and interest to have a clean house in general. If you live with people you barely know, just make sure everyone follows some sort of guidelines to a general clean house, and if they don’t, LET THEM KNOW :).

5. Avoid having The Chair

You know, that chair where all your clothes, bags etc end up. If a chair becomes The Chair, dismiss it. The role of The Chair might switch from one chair to the next, one sofa to the other, one table to the other – but in each case, dismiss them by making sure you putting things in their place immediately, or at least, often.

There’s obviously so much more to say about this. I’d really love to hear any tips and suggestions in the comments – whether you’ve just embarked on the journey of adulthood, or whether you can enlighten us with years and years of experience!


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  1. Really enjoyed this and looking forward to the rest of the series! Also a guilty user of multiple ‘CHAIR’s alas! xx

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