Piles of washing up, crisp packets tucking out of sofa cushions and takeaway containers hidden the bed; it’s all bound to take its toll on you after a while.
There’s no better opportunity to give your student accommodation the once-over than spring – and you’ll no doubt shortly receive oodles of leaflets through your front door and posters up in halls offering you professional cleaning services.
Here at Student Discount Squirrel, we wouldn’t dream of letting you waste your money on such a thing! Why would you, when it can all be managed easily and cheaply? Read on for our guide to spring cleaning your student digs… on a budget, of course.
Don’t take everything on by yourself
OK, so you’re a bit old for a rota chart and gold stars, but it should never be just one member of the flat taking on all of the cleaning duties and the rest just leaving them to it!
Mention to your flatmates that you’d like to have a good clear-out and if it’s a hard sell, start with your room and leave the door open.
Once they see how much better your room looks compared to theirs, they’ll soon be on board! Failing that, just ask each other person in your flat to do one small chunk – even if it’s just clearing up their own mess. Every little helps and many hands make light work!
Really struggling? Use your student discount and pick up a label maker from Currys. Once labelled, named and shame mess will soon have everyone scrambling to tidy it away – even if just to look better in front of other people!
Rearrange the furniture
Nothing makes a room feel fresher than moving it around a little.
Of course, for communal areas, you’ll need to seek your roommate’s permission but for your own bedroom you’re free to do as you like.
Rearranging a room also highlights nicely any parts well in need of a thorough clean (those dusty areas you just don’t look at and parts of the carpet that were otherwise hidden) as well as helping you find any lost belongings.
Text books from last semester, old socks, change and even food… you’re bound to find it as you move things about!
Clean the oven
The oven is the first place letting agents and meticulous universities look when you leave a student property behind, and if it’s not tip top, they’ll withhold your deposit or even fine you.
Ovens get pretty gross pretty quickly, but it’s easily rectified. Amazon have a great range of oven cleaning products and you can read the reviews to see how best to use them. And don’t forget that there is an Amazon student discount programme where you get special codes and free prime next day delivery FOR FREE!
At the very least an oven cleaning spray alongside some heavy duty rubber gloves and a scourer will soon see the black gunk you find pouring out of it… and your housemates will thank you when the ££s come through at the end of your tenancy.
You won’t be able to eat food cooked in your oven for 24-hours from cleaning, so order in a Papa John’s pizza with one of their student offers. You will have deserved it!
Sell any books or other stuff you don’t need
Check first that your text books are still being used for your course or modules, and if so, sell them to other students! Posting a notice up in the student union may be all it takes to shift some titles and generate some extra cash.
After all, none of us likes forking out for expensive text books each semester… particularly if they don’t look all that interesting.
A simple online way to sell your uni books, or lots of other things for that matter is Magpie. You simply enter the barcode for your book, cd, dvd or whatever it is and they will tell you how much they will pay you for it. You can do mobile phones too and even lego or gold now!
And a total plus of getting rid of your unwanted things is you don’t need to cart it back home when the academic year ends! Your Mum or Dad will thank you greatly for that one.
Scrub the windows – on the inside
Even if you’re lucky enough to have a regular window cleaner who pops along and washes your windows on the outside, you shouldn’t forget about the inside too. It’s one of those jobs that seems thankless until its done and the result is evident, but give it a go and you’ll soon be enjoying the Spring sunshine in ways you haven’t since you moved in.
Be careful not to leave things streaky and don’t bother with the old housewives solution of using vinegar: you’ll just stink out the flat.
Just use water and a glass cleaner if you can find one on offer. Remember to rinse your squeegee after EVERY stroke to avoid inadvertent smearing… and grab a cheap window cleaning kit from Argos to start as clean as you intend to finish!
Accent with colour
Once things are looking tidier and cleaner, and you’ve binned or donated any old furniture or ‘bits and bobs’ you no longer need, you can give your digs some summery accents with bright, bold colours.
Student accommodation tends to come in various shades of beige and white, so make things really stand out where you can. Sure, you can’t paint the walls or rip up the floors, but you have creative control on the furnishings within.
Colours can be co-ordinated for a theme or varied for a rainbow effect but try changing a lamp here or a cushion there. Throws and blankets as well as little rugs also make for a great warm vibe in any room – the more colourful the better!
Bright home accessories can be found at bargain prices from Debenhams online or House of Fraser (and keep an eye out for their various weekend ‘brand events’, as these often stack discounts on top of one another for some hefty savings).
If you’ve been caught with the spring-cleaning bug, why not give your social media a detox, take some time out to improve your mental health and wellbeing and give some physical exercise a go too? January’s long gone now and summer is fast approaching, so now’s as good a time as any to get into shape across all aspects of your life… even if you are a skint student.
However you decide to spring clean your life, check Student Discount Squirrel for online discounts and money-off codes before splashing the cash!