Photo by Tyler Spinosa

When someone has been alive on this planet for roughly 20 years, it seems safe to assume that they should have the basic experience and foresight to properly take care of themselves. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Many people are out on their own for the first time and lack the basic skills and knowledge to keep themselves alive and maintain a shared living space.

For those of you in this unfortunate position, there is no need to panic. College, particularly SCAD, is a very demanding atmosphere. So, it isn’t always easy to remember to do everything. Human beings are flawed and we make mistakes. I’ll admit that it took me longer than it should have to understand the importance of maintaining a clean living space and that is OK. No one is perfect.

That being said, there are certain things that you can do everyday/week that might not be fun, but will bring you closer to becoming an actual adult instead of an aimless half-child that society frowns upon.


This might seem like a no brainer, but you would be surprised how many people are legally allowed to vote and die in a foreign war, but still don’t understand the basic importance of showering and brushing their teeth. When making sure you are washing properly, I always like to remember the list of essential areas from one of George Carlin’s later stand-up specials — “Armpits, a******, crotch and teeth.” Just don’t do like George suggests and use the same brush on all four areas.

Wash your clothes

After you make sure your body is clean, the next step is making sure that your clothing is as well. What’s the point of washing your body if you are just going to contaminate it with dirty clothes? Do your laundry before you run out of clean stuff to wear. Set a timer to make sure they don’t get moldy before you move them to the dryer, and always clean out the lint trap for the next person.  

Wash the dishes (immediately!)

Be sure to wash dishes and utensils after every single use, especially if these things are shared items between roommates. Few things are more aesthetically unattractive as a sink full of dirty dishes. This will also save you time when you want to eat right away. It can be incredibly irritating to come home after a long day and be forced to wash everything before you can even begin making a meal.

Mop, dust and vacuum

Even if you manage to keep everything neat and in place, your living space won’t really be clean unless you can thoroughly wash the floor and keep dust off of everything. Without mopping and vacuuming, all of the dirt that you track in from the outside is going to find its way in when you take your shoes off and most likely end up in your bed when you finally tuck yourself in. Additionally, leaving dust everywhere is not only aesthetically revolting, but all of that debris can end up in your lungs and even in your food depending on how bad it is.

Even though it might not always be enjoyable, accomplishing these tasks on a regular basis will help make your life easier to manage.