Your kitchen is the dirtiest room in your college apartment.
In fact, unless you’re running a biohazard laboratory out of your bedroom (don’t), the kitchen is the dirtiest place in every home. If you’re not absolutely convinced this space needs extra TLC, we over at College Rentals have put together a little list of reasons why it does:
1. Improves Safety
Several places in your kitchen are dirtier than your toilet. In fact, your dish sponge is ranked #1, and is a common home to bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella. Wipe down your countertops regularly, and stay on top of dirty dishes to prevent the spread of food-borne illnesses.
Bacteria aren’t the only safety issue. You’ll also want to ensure that the floors stay dry and oil-free to prevent potentially serious injuries. The ground may not be the worst part of a fall if you happen to be holding a steak knife.
2. Deters Pests
Believe it or not, it’s not always your landlord’s fault if you have a roach problem. Before you report your property for health-code violations, assess the state of your kitchen and/or dining area. Your complaint may not be justified if there are bits of food all over the place.
3. Reduces Waste
Molds reproduce by spreading its spores through the air. This means that if something in your fridge “goes bad” via moldiness, other foods will become inedible much faster. Inspect all items in your refrigerator and/or fruit bowl once a week to save innocent foods from fungal infection. Your wallet will thank you too.
4. Shows Respect for Others
Even if your roommate is not a self-proclaimed neat freak, nobody wants to see (or smell) your dirty dishes. No one wants to step on crumbs with bare feet, or suffer the unforgivable stepping-in-a-puddle-while-wearing-socks (actual shudder and a moment of silence.) Your roommate should feel comfortable enough with the state of things to invite guests. YOU should feel comfortable enough to invite guests. Everyone appreciates a clean space.
If your counters stay clean, you won’t have to clear off a spot to work. If you put things where they go, you’ll know where they are. Life is hard enough – keep kitchen-ing simple.
6. Improves Mood
Clutter-induced anxiety is scientifically proven. Living in a messy environment can literally make you sad, even if you don’t realize it. A clean kitchen is a happy kitchen, and you’ll feel much more relaxed coming home to one. Cleaning your food space (as with cleaning most things) produces in us a sense of accomplishment, which is most often accompanied by a sense of well-being. Human nature prefers order, and chaos comes with its own assortment of negative emotions that ain’t nobody got time for.
So leave your gaming console on the floor, neglect your laundry for far too long, or find other innocuous avenues to express you inner slob. But do not – for reasons prior enumerated – let your kitchen go to the dumps. Except the kitchen trash… The trash should make it to the dumps.