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Cleaning Communal Areas
Published on Thursday, 20 September 2012

Cleaning Communal AreasIn the climate of a recession, house and flat sharing between friends is becoming increasingly more popular. This can be fun, especially in a good space with youthful, fun-loving people. However, if the place you end up renting is too small and you end up getting in each other's personal space, or if some other problem should arise, the piece and quiet in the shared home can be disturbed. To keep the peace, it is important to keep the flat or house clean and to share the responsibility, so that nobody feels that they're doing an unfair amount of work. Remember, that part of being an adult is taking care of your own self and your own environment. On that note, here is a quick guide to sharing the workload around a new place and keeping everything clean and tidy, whilst also avoiding having to do massive cleaning jobs as much as possible. This way you can enjoy living with your friends and maybe even turn cleaning nights into fun bonding experiences. There's nothing like a bucket of floor polish to bring people together, after all.

The basic thing to remember is that everyone should always clean up after themselves. While everyone in the flat might be using the kitchen, that doesn't mean that anyone is obligated to clean someone else's puddle of shaving cream, huge grease stains or three-day old pizza boxes. By taking care of each individual stain in a timely manner, the kitchen and bathroom can be kept suitably tidy all the time. This, however, will not save you from a regularly scheduled cleaning session - any space that's used often tends to acquire dust and grime of unknown origin. It is best to assign one day of the week to clean everything and take turns on cleaning duty. That way you would make sure that everyone is sharing in the chores and no one is treated unfairly. If there are more than two people sharing the flat, it might be a good idea to pair up - this would cut the cleaning times in half and make the work less tedious and boring. It can also be a bonding experience, especially if you're sharing a place with people you don't know that well. There's no better time to swap life stories than the moment one of you is bent over cleaning the oven and the other is scrubbing the floor. Manual labour does bring people together. Don't stress, if people occasionally miss their shift, though. Be considerate and understanding and do not turn into the Flatmate from Hell. Sometimes people are busy or have social engagements. Similarly, the cost of cleaning supplies should be shared between everyone. The best strategy is  to buy everything in bulk and split the bill afterwards. However, you could talk to your flat mates and arrange for one person to buy dishwashing liquid, another to get floor polish, etc. When doing either, always remember to make a list of everything that's needed and tick of items as you get them. It might also be a good idea to keep all of the cleaning supplies in one place with a notepad next to them where everyone can write down supplies as they run out. That way, each resident can know where to find everything and what they need to buy.

Following these simple suggestions will ensure that your flat or house stays clean and that the relationship between you and your flatmates doesn't suffer from having to share living quarters. 

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