Life is shit. Honestly. You aren't asked to be born, but you've still got to do all this stuff in order to 'function as a human being' and 'be a successful member of society'. Fuck that.
Except, well, you can't. Sorry. It is a fact of life I have fought against for many years now, but the time has come for me, as a student, employee, and general living person, to do important boring stuff, especially as I go back home in less than three weeks and I have lots of things that need to get done by that time.
Sometimes it is hard and sometimes it is actually physically painful. But by doing this stuff I've come to the conclusion that there are ways to make things take less time, make them easier, or at least, make them more fun. So keep procrastinating for maybe ten more minutes, and learn something important.
So here, for my poor little lost souls, is part 1 of the series: Cleaning your Room
You know how it goes. One day you wake up late and you have five minutes before the bus and all your t-shirts smell weird and are covered in hot sauce stains, or you can't even find your stained t-shirts because they are buried under everything you own. Nightmare.
Some people live in filth quite happily. For example, the other day I stumbled upon this (hopefully staged) fashion story on Vice and it made me feel itchy, like when people start talking about bugs. My sister's bedroom used to be a bit like these, and venturing into her room made me relate to this scene from Stars Wars a bit too closely.
A reoccurring theme in that story was the fact that they were all in their early 20's and doing artsy/student things. It seems that when you're young, you tend to be busy and lazy at the same time, the perfect 'messy' traits, and I guess maths or science students might be a bit more meticulous with their vacuuming, but jesus christ.
Even if you can't handle properly cleaning, make piles of stuff, like a dirty laundry pile, a clean clothes pile, and paper pile, and a junk pile. And throw out your left-over food, because cockroaches, rats, and fruit flies aren't a fucking joke.
I swear to fucking God if your room is really bad take a day and just sort it out. It will make you feel 100% less stressed out and bummed out, and anyone that you share your bed with (if they're brave enough to come in your room in the first place) will be 100% more into you*.
I'm not gonna lie, I am a tidy person and I did used to clean out my friends 'trays' in primary school on rainy afternoons for whatever money I found in there, partly because I was fucking nosey and wanted 2p coins, and partly because I was a complete loser of a nine year old. So this post is obviously coming from a professional and you should do what I say.
Here's how to clean your room, in a 12-step, alcoholics anonymous kind of way.
1) Carrot this bitch. Basically, plan a reward for yourself, because this is a long, painful task. Plan to buy yourself new sheets, cook your favourite dinner, hang out with your friends, or just take a bath. Have something to keep you going when it all gets a bit fucking crazy.
2) Put on Music. It is distracting, motivating, and also the best, so this really isn't up for dispute. And I'm posting a gross bedroom playlist on Sunday. It's also a good time to open all the windows. Your room probably smells bad and needs air like Rob Ford needs a new PR manager.
3) Assess the damage. If it's really gross (like 2 months worth of mess) then you're going to need serious cleaning stuff. Try to avoid nasty chemical cleaning products because they're bad for you, the environment, and any animals and plants that like to hang out in your room. This is a good site for more detailed info. Get a bunch of bin liners and if you a) suffer from breathing problems b) have animals or c) it's just really dusty, wear a mask. Sounds totally lame but dust is terrible for your lungs.
4) Pick up dirty/stinking/rotten clothes and any other gnarly decomposing stuff that can go in the laundry and throw them in the bin bags. Put the bin bags outside your room.
5) Put any rubbish in the remaining bin bags. Dry heave at the sight of mould in empty takeaway containers (while at the same time feeling weirdly proud that you could cultivate little blue fluff) and then take photographs of said mould and send them to your mum. She'll be stoked.
6) Put all kitchen stuff (like plates and shit) in the kitchen. Deal with them whenever you feel like it because this is about your room idgaf about your dishes.
7) If you haven't already, take all the sheets off your bed. You disgust me. Put them in the bin bags.
8) Now is a good time to sort through 'paperwork' (eg half written essays and photographs of Justin Timberlake with perfect noodle hair from the internet). Go through every single piece twice before you throw anything important away, and then put it back in your now empty draws.
9) Pick up any 'clean' clothes (dubious), shake them out the window to get rid of spiders and crumbs, fold them, or hang them up, and put them away. If they smell they aren't clean, so get 'em outta there.
10) Deal with your leftover floor junk. Books, sunglasses, glittery nail polish, chargers, lose cd's, single shoes, bobby pins, paintbrushes, old magazines, used envelopes, match sticks, safety pins etc. If it is no longer useful or sentimental THROW IT OUT. This is my favourite part because you always find stuff that you thought you'd lost (including money).
11) Your floor should be clean now, so vacuum every surface possible, including your mattress, because human beings are repulsive and there will be loads of dead skin on it. Get into the corners and on tops of door frames and wardrobes and any curtains/blinds/blankets/rugs. You could also clean your mirrors/windows with a sheet of scrunched-up newspaper and vinegar water. At this point if you have the energy, do your laundry that's outside your door.
12) Spray some sort of air freshener around, then go take a shower. When you come back your room will look so fucking good and you'll probably be really fucking tired, so put on new sheets, close your windows and maybe send another picture to your mum.
I'm so proud.
*NOT A FACT BUT IT'S PRETTY LEGIT
1: Photo Credit Maya Fuhr
2: Photo Credit Unknown
If you have your own room, you are very lucky, even if you have to share or you're stuck with the same pink wallpaper you had when you were eleven. A lot of people in the world don't have a room to sleep in at night, a place to be safe, comfortable and private. This is increasingly true in the wake of the Haiyan Typhoon in the Philippines, so if you can help survivors rebuild their lives (even in the smallest way) it will make a difference to them. Here are links for UK, US and Australian appeals. Thank you.