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A UBC student cleaning their residence room.
November 6, 2019
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 tedious, so here’s a couple of benefits that can get you going:

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 also bring that refreshed, cathartic quality.

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. Ask the RAs in your building if they have any, too—some houses have their own vacuums!)

Or, you can toss out bags of garbage as if they contain not leftovers but haunting images, especially that classic shade of WeBWorK red with 0 attempts remaining. But wait! Make sure you’re removing junk properly, and if your floor doesn’t have compost bins, take the opportunity to walk to a floor that does.

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 (and here I sing an ode to Thermodynamics)—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 pets pests

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, 5-star 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 and over-territorial. Remember to communicate your concerns and try to keep your side of the space clean.

Clean it like you mean it!