Living with housemates can be great in so many ways. You can share the responsibilities so you don’t need to handle everything yourself, split the bills to cut down on costs, socialize without going anywhere, and know that there’ll be someone around to help if you take a tumble off a ladder or trip over an overly-energetic dog.
It does present some challenges, though. Crosswords can make things awkward, privacy can take a hit, and organizational issues can add complexity back to basic responsibilities. That last obstacle can be particularly tricky when it comes to arranging a deep clean — something that’s tough enough when you live alone.
In this post, we’re going to offer up some tips for how you can most effectively organize a deep clean in a property you share. We’ll largely be thinking of the typical housemate setup, but you can also apply these suggestions to some extent if you don’t actually live in the property and merely share the ownership.
Let’s get started.
Make A Clear & Rational Case for the Deep Clean
Let’s face it: some people are extremely stubborn when it comes to cleaning, and not in a good way. They don’t see the point in cleaning things that are just going to get dirty again, and will allow the dishes to pile up until it reaches the point of absurdity.
Some take the tack of trying to shame these people, calling them disgusting and pointing out their shared responsibilities,
but that approach is very unlikely to work.
So what should you do?
Well, you need to make a clear and rational case for why you should proceed with a deep clean. Talk about how nice it will be to share a spotless environment, if only for a while — but most importantly, explain that cleanliness problems left unaddressed can easily compound and start to affect property value. Even if they aren’t houseproud, people will care about money.
When counterarguments come up, face them calmly and steadily. People will admire your commitment to the task, and eventually run out of reasons to object. They may even decide to agree just to stop you mentioning it, and that’s still a victory in this context!
Confidently Assert Your Organizational Reliability
Picture this scenario. You convince everyone that a deep clean is necessary, but they decide to get it done themselves — and they do a horrible job.
They don’t even know how to keep the kitchen floor clean, so it’s no surprise when they botch a task that’s markedly harder and more complicated. You’ve ostensibly got what you asked for, but it’s all gone wrong.
To avoid this fate, you need to make it clear from the outset that you should be making the arrangements, and that means demonstrating your credentials. Consider getting involved in various administrative elements of shared ownership first: you might write up a schedule for taking out the trash, pitch specific insurance policies to cover everyone’s preferences (services like Duuo are great for this), come up with house rules, or even arrange bulk-buying trips to help everyone save money (I’m thinking of wholesalers like CostCo).
The more you do to safeguard the household, the more people will trust you, and the easier it will be to take charge of the deep clean (and ensure that it’s actually done properly).
Get Input from Everyone about Timing & Cost
How you should approach the deep clean will depend massively on the circumstances. On one end of the spectrum is the full-service no-expense-spared outsourcing of the job: in other words, bringing in a cleaning service to leave no stone unturned and leave you with a house that’s almost supernaturally clean, but spending a not-inconsiderate amount of money in the process.
On the other end is the full amateur effort of getting everyone to pitch in their time, achieving a deep clean of some sort without costing anything more than a day in your lives. This can actually be a great bonding experience (as iHomeschoolNetwork points out, teaming up can even make chores feel somewhat fun), but it can also be a disaster that leads to heated bickering and opens major rifts in your relationships.
You need to talk to everyone involved to see what they think is the best way to proceed, then come up with a simple plan that occupies a fair middle ground and won’t spark any strong objections. Why is this important? Because it’s incredibly common for a proposal that’s almost approved to be immediately forgotten, leading to the deep clean never taking place. It’s better to have a middling plan that proceeds than an optimized plan that doesn’t.
Before you carry about a deep clean in your shared property, you need to organize it, and that’s what these suggestions will help you achieve. By building a strong case, positioning yourself as a reliable person, and making everyone feel heard, you can move ahead with a sensible plan that gets the results you need in an efficient and cost-effective way.
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Now, It’s Over To You!
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