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A messy desk in a residence room
October 30, 2018
3 mins read

Why you should clean your residence room

The UBC Life Residence Guide

Months after moving in, you may find that your room is filling up with Ancient Wonders: the Great Pyramid of Pizza crusts and the Statue of Zeus...or should I say the Statue of Juice boxes?

Regularly cleaning your room can feel so tedious it seems awful. But remember, this awfulness can become awesomeness if you treat cleaning like an adventure.

So, what can you gain from cleaning your room?

Achieve catharsis

Have you ever felt relaxed after finishing a tough assignment? Or emotionally cleansed after working out? The process and aftermath of tidying your room can bring that refreshed, cathartic quality, too.

You can release pent-up stress by channeling post-midterm repressed emotions and pre-final internal screams into furious vacuuming. (Vacuum cleaners are available at the front desk in common areas, are first-come-first-served, and can be borrowed for 30 minutes in exchange for a piece of photo ID.)

Or, you can toss out bags of garbage as if they contain not leftovers but haunting images, especially that classic shade of WeBWorK red when the answer's wrong. But wait! Make sure you’re removing junk properly!

This healthy pastime alternative to procrastination offers a double combo of a tidy room and a fresh beginning. And hey, you’ve triumphed over the forces of entropy—no small accomplishment!

Improve your focus

You may have heard of multi-tasking, the juggling of many tasks at once.

But be wary. Multitasking can actually be a common study mistake that we should watch out for. Although tackling multiple projects all at once may feel more productive, focussing on finishing one thing at a time can be the magic portal to success.

During cleaning, you can hone your ability to concentrate—a skill that boosts your productivity during studying or taking exams—by motivating yourself to focus on getting one cleaning task done at a time.

Avoid the temptation to check your phone while you’re cleaning. Doing this can wean you off reaching for your phone every five minutes and escaping into the Internet (booking flights, updating statuses, refreshing Reddit) when you’re supposed to be studying. With practice, you can boost your concentration span just by taking things task by task.

Ward off unwanted friends

I’m guessing you don’t want your room to be populated with filthy interlopers at an advanced stage of belly fat gain. Be sure to recognize the gravity of pest treatment and maintain your room’s cleanliness to avoid furnishing a perfect holiday resort for homeless raccoons.

In the case that a pest has somehow gotten the nerve to intrude, report its presence to Student Housing and Hospitality Services by contacting the front desk or filing a work order (just as you would with room accidents you can’t clean up alone) on the SHHS Online Service Centre.

Build solidarity

Cleaning doesn’t have to be a solitary task. If you live in a shared room or a suite, this “chore” can be an opportunity to build your relationship with your roommate or suitemates.

If they are up for it, schedule a time for cleaning together and spend some bonding time as you resurrect your shared living space (and maybe the shared bathroom) from yet another ancient ruin, I mean, um, Ancient Wonder. Compile a list of cleaning chores and work together.

Meanwhile, if your roommates’ mess is invading your space, and they don’t seem too thrilled to clean with you (or clean at all), avoid being passive-aggressive. Remember to communicate your concerns and try to keep your side of the space clean.

Clean it like you mean it!