Something that we as people don’t pay as much attention to as we probably should is how our living space affects our mental health. As a university student, I know what it’s like to live in small spaces, and I also know that I haven’t even experienced the worst of the worst. I do know, though, that when you are just starting to figure out who you want to be, it always feels like you don’t have the kind of time you’d like to take care of yourself. But one thing that I’ve realized this year while living in my first apartment is that it really doesn’t take as much effort as you might think to maintain a healthy living environment. You just need to be conscious of the choices that you make. With that in mind, here are 5 easy tips you can use to create a healthy, low-maintenance living environment.
1. Keep it Clean
When I say keep it clean, I don’t mean that you need to spend hours every week vacuuming the floor or wiping table tops, washing dishes or anything like that. My number one tip would be to clean things as you need to. For example, if you decide to cook, wash your dishes and cooking utensils as you finish using them. That way, there is no big mess in the end to clean up. Or, maybe one day you are eating a bag of chips at your desk or drinking some tea. Whenever you decide to take a break, check your space and make sure that there isn’t trash lying around or anything like that. When you are done working, your space will be as clean as it was when you started and there won’t be extra work to do.
One really good thing that I did for myself this year was organize space so that there wouldn’t be room to multi-task; in other words, every part of my room only serves one purpose. What I realized after living in a smaller dorm room during my freshman and sophomore years of college was that if you try to make space multi-functional, the space can get cluttered and disorganized really quickly. I wouldn’t recommend working in bed, or eating a meal at the same desk where you work. I also wouldn’t recommend doing your makeup at the same place you do your homework. Doing this also reduces the amount of cleaning and reorganizing that you have to do, because everything already has a specific spot in your room.
3.Make Your Bed
This is something that really doesn’t seem that significant but really is. Last year, I bunked my bed above my desk and because it was already hard to get in and out of it, I never bothered to really make my bed. I realized later in the year that seeing a clean, made-up bed really did make my living space look clean, comfy, and welcoming. I also realized that when my space did not look that way, I never really felt like being there other than when I had to. If you create an easy, 30-second routine to make your bed in the morning, it will be super low maintenance but will have a huge impact on how you feel about your living space.
4. Keep Food Away
This tip is still one that’s really hard for me, but this one also goes with tip #2, to categorize and organize. Keeping food out of the parts of your living space where you sleep or do your work really helps in terms of keeping things clean. No food means no crumbs or stains or other things that you have to spend extra time on.
If having food in these spaces is an absolute must, then make sure that you are prepared to take care of the extra mess, or just be careful about spilling while you’re eating.
5.Bring in Life
This is another tip that made a huge difference for me in terms of creating a positive living environment. I’d highly recommend bringing in succulents, money plants, herbs, flowers like lavender or other low-maintenance plants into your living space. In places like Seattle where it is always cold, gray and gloomy, its especially nice to see little spots of green here and there. I don’t know how other people feel about them, but whenever I see my little plants, I always feel more positive.
These are all the tips that I have to share! If there are any others you all know about, feel free to comment them below and share them with me and everyone else! If you like what you read and want to stay posted, feel free to subscribe to my email list!