The age-old stereotype that all students are messy narcoleptics, unable to find real trousers can be a really hard one to shake. Especially when you fall asleep at weird hours, always seem to be wearing pyjama bottoms or swimming shorts and can’t keep anything tidy for more than four minutes.
The sleeping and choices in clothing are pretty much down to you; however, UnCOVered might just be able to give you a hand with the messy part. Below you’ll find some great tips that could help you bust at least one part of the stereotype and give you that Zen environment you (or your mum) always wanted.
Avoid the domino affect, tidy up after yourself!
We’ve all been there… First it starts with a sock, or a t-shirt from the gym, then maybe it’s a coat and before you know it everything you own is piled on the floor like a 100% cotton mountain range. Yes, this domino affect has gotten the best of us all, and while dodging the ‘old pants landmine’ isn’t the biggest hardship, a little willpower can stop it from being there at all. Simply put, take the extra 30 seconds to put something away rather then drop and go. Always keep in mind how much better things look (and how much less burning shame you feel if someone pops round unexpectedly) when you’re in tidy surroundings. This might just stop the dominos falling again.
Have a ‘place’ for everything:
Everyone’s got their sock drawer, pot of odd earrings and that random bit of the desk where they shove all the pencils and rubbers that they swore would come in handy someday, but what about everything else? Avoiding clutter can be made easy if everything has its own place. Stuff you need for lectures, sports kits and everything else should all have spots they’re always kept in. And if you can’t find a place for them, think whether they really need be there at all. It might sound a little OCD (not a bad thing), but it really does make sense.
Get under the bed:
If you’re willing to face whatever crisp packets, dirty plates and/or former students that may be lurking under there, your bed can be the perfect storage spot. Ikea under-bed storage crates are ideal for keeping things tidy, and vacuum bags are your saviour if you tend to collect clothes and can’t bear to give anything away. Warning: Do not store things under your bed that you need on a regular basis, trying to fish them out all the time is a real pain, and will make you late to class!
Leave some things at home:
While you’re studying at Uni there is one place that is guaranteed to have storage space, your old, trusty bedroom. (Provided a younger sibling didn’t move in three minutes after your departure). Think of all the things you don’t currently need, or just never seem to use, but can’t throw away. Would these items be better stored back home? If so you’ve got a perfect excuse for a road trip, a home cooked meal and somewhere to put that candyfloss machine you insisted was a worthwhile investment.
Make time for tidying:
Ok, so nothing is working and everything is still a mess. Unfortunately, it seems that’s your natural inclination, you’re a stereotypical, untidy student. However, there is still hope for you! Try making frequent time-slots for cleaning. Maybe it’s Tuesday morning when you get back from your lecture, or Friday just before lunch. Either way, you need to pick a time that suits you and stick to it. Regular tidying will stop the mess from piling up again, meaning it never gets too frightening to deal with!
Keep a kitchen rota:
(and make everyone follow it, no matter how much they whine…!)
Carrying on from your shiny cleaning schedule (see above) you could even try to influence your equally messy friends. The typical student kitchen can often become a hellish nightmare of dirty pots, coffee mugs with new life forms growing inside and inexplicable amounts of cutlery. But this can be avoided by keeping a kitchen rota of who’s turn it is to clean, while also creating amusing punishments for those who refuse to pull their weight. You might not always have a sparkling kitchen but at least you’ll get to see someone do hill sprints in their underwear.
Avoid the dangers of laundry day:
No matter how well you think you may be picking up this ‘being tidy’ stuff, you must always be aware of laundry day. It’s a lovely feeling, getting your clothes all clean and fresh again, but what’s this? The clean and fresh clothes have been dumped in the back of your wardrobe because you don’t know what to do with them!
The only ways around this are, A) continue staring at the wardrobe and hope for the best, or B) get domesticated. Ironing, folding and hanging things up really aren’t as difficult as everyone makes them out to be. Get a trained professional (mum, nan, that super neat person that lives down the hall) and ask them to show you how. These are skills that you will need if you’re still hoping to become a fully functioning adult one day, why not learn them now?
If you’re still struggling after all that, you do always have the option of paying someone do all these things for you. Although, for your own personal development we think you should give it a go and take on the challenge. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the one to break that age-old stereotype.