Operation: tidy house

Operation: tidy house

By Brendan Gupta

Dust bunnies everywhere, syrup on door handles and mice scurrying across the floor.

Dirtiness is a common bond that links all facets of college housing, especially in old cities like Boston. The buildings are old, the streets were made for the horse-and-buggy system and about 100,000 students returned over the Labor Day weekend.

Some students arrive in apartments where everything is pre-wrapped and in excellent condition with brand new windows, a clean refrigerator and freshly waxed hardwood floors.

For others however, move-in involves rags, mops, sniffers and spray in order to battle their arch nemesis: rot, mildew, sludge and grime.

Brian Killy, middler physical education major, recently moved into an apartment on Huntington Avenue that was already filled with filth.

“It’s a pain moving all your stuff out of an old apartment and then into a new one, but when your new place is a complete pigsty, it makes it much worse,” he said. “It’s double the work.”

While some places are dirty to begin with, others accumulate filth over time.

Middler information science major Eric Liljebeck moved from Mission Hill to an apartment across the street from his freshman dorm, Stetson West. “Everyone destroys my apartment. I’m constantly cleaning,” Liljebeck said. “I’d rather be cleaning my own apartment though than living in a small, cramped dorm.”

Even though all university residence halls have a service that cleans all the public spaces, including the hallways and common bathrooms, each student is ultimately responsible for his or her individual space.

Tidying this space is a fact of life, and it must be dealt with. If it is not, mice, not uncommon in and around the residence halls or apartments in the city, may begin to show up.

Mice are not the only obstacle one may face in the cleaning battle.

Kate Valentine, a middler graphic design major and Hemenway Street resident, finds it hard to keep a clean space when intoxicated college students are around.

The night Valentine moved in, she opened the door to the lobby of her building to discover that not only was the door’s handle completely doused in syrup. Her hand felt sticky, and she realized it, too, was covered.

“Kids get rowdy when they’re drinking and make massive messes or destroy things,” Valentine said. “It’s annoying to be the one to clean it up. It takes a while.”

For many, independence is new ground, and with it comes new responsibilities. For those not used to the responsibility of cleaning, www.Housekeeping. com writer Susan Aquirre details a 15-minute cleaning technique for any room in the house.

Some points Aquirre stresses are: to only focus on one thing at a time, always have a container to throw trash or odds and ends in and always work from top to bottom.

Novices to cleaning may also be unsure of which products to use. The cleaning supplies most important to the average student, aside from toiletries, will be soap, rags, paper towels, disinfectant spray, Swiffer sweepers, a vacuum or a broom and Clorox wipes.

Disinfectants, like soap and bleach, are effective germ killers and necessary to have in a home. To save money, soda water can act as an ultra cheap oxy-clean.

Although cleaning supplies are mandatory, they should be a commodity. However, these items can cost a pretty penny that some students may not have. But with some comparative shopping, there is bound to be a good deal.

Nerby, Wollaston’s, Symphony Market, and Lucky Store 24 are the closest cleaning-product-carrying businesses on or around campus. However, the prices can be higher compared to wholesale stores or supermarkets.

Out of the three convenience stores on or near campus, Symphony Market currently has the biggest selection and the best prices.

Wholesale stores, such as Costco and BJ’s, offer the biggest bang for your buck, as long as you have space for an economy pack in an economy-sized room (you need a car to get there and a membership to get inside).

Shaw’s and Super Stop ‘ Shop are the golden compromise supermarkets offer what you want in ‘average-sized’ packaging without the price tags of a close convenient store. However, these supermarkets are located blocks from campus, so it is best to plan a shopping list ahead of time and, depending how far the walk, a way to transport the groceries home.

Filth will remain a common characteristic of a student’s living space – whether it be a dorm room, an apartment, or a house. At some point though, each of us has the responsibility to pick up a mop, take one for the team, and start cleaning – even those who didn’t create the mess in the first place.

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