How to stay on top of cleaning in a student flat


Once you’re settled in your student accommodation, it won’t be long until the place needs a clean.

Unfortunately, many students run into problems with housemates, arguing about washing up not being done, bins not being emptied or general messiness.

To avoid any tension, and keep your flat a nice place to live, here are a few tips on keeping the place spick and span.




Use cleaning products for everyone

If you’ve just moved into student accommodation, you might need to start by asking your new flatmates if anyone has any specific requests or needs regarding the cleaning products that you’ll all be using.

This can include things like avoiding cleaners that trigger allergic reactions or that have been tested on animals. Others may prefer natural and eco-friendly products, rather than ones full of chemicals that are related to indoor air pollution and illnesses.

It’s important to be sensitive and understanding towards everyone’s opinions and needs regarding what you (as a flat) clean with, which will help everyone feel involved from the start and can avoid someone not cleaning because they don’t like the products.


Make a cleaning schedule

31% of students say they have disagreed about cleaning, so making a cleaning schedule that equally shares chores between everyone will create a fair system.

This can include things like taking it in turns to empty bins, clean the bathroom and scrub the kitchen.

It’s important that this is created together, as opposed to one or two flatmates making a schedule and trying to enforce it.

Of course, you can’t always make everyone stick to what they’ve agreed, which can be frustrating for the tidier members of the household.

If some people are struggling to stick to their share of the cleaning it may be worth offering to do more cleaning in exchange for them doing more cooking, or something else that they enjoy or are more likely to help out with. This helps to keep a peaceful but fair home for everyone.


Get outside help

In some student accommodation, a cleaner might come in to clean your shared kitchen once every week or two. However, if you’re in a privately rented flat or house, you might want to consider clubbing together to pay for one.

This can massively help to resolve hygiene problems, but everyone will still need to do daily chores like washing up and wiping kitchen surfaces.

Other accommodation issues may require contacting your residence team or landlord if you’re privately renting, if you have things like mould that could be caused by damp.

If you feel that landlords are being unreasonable, you can also contact the Citizens Advice Bureau to see what steps you can take to improve your living situation.


Good communication and being respectful of each other will go a long way to keeping shared accommodation clean, tidy and hygienic. The best tip is to foster good friendships with your flatmates.

Ultimately, this will make it a lot easier to talk to them about cleaning up after themselves and sharing the work.


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