Roommates and clean environments: better for your health

Jen Meinhardt, Staff Writer

Cleanliness is akin to godliness. You may have heard this phrase before, which suggests that keeping a clean home and person can give you superpowers. Well, that isn’t what it really means, but it does suggest that keeping an organized environment can keep the peace.

    The typical Augsburg freshman is making the transition into college and adulthood straight from their parent’s home. Many are also learning what it means to be responsible for their own environment as well. Several students starting their first semester now must do their own laundry, clean their own plates and take out their own trash for what’s probably the first time. Cleaning sucks, and some people will be tempted not to do it. Don’t be this person. If you have a roommate, you run the risk of both of you being this person, which is super uncool.

     So, cleanliness is kind of close to godliness. What does this actually mean? This means that some of the things you’ve heard before are true. For one, an organized space does encourage an organized mind. It’s also healthier for you to keep a clean environment. With the flu season officially here, keeping an environment clean of rotting food and stinking clothes can reduce the stress which encourages illness to take root into a person’s system. If you do get sick, you definitely won’t trip on a pile of unwashed laundry on the run to the toilet if that laundry is washed and put away where it belongs. Your roommate won’t trip on that pile of unwashed t-shirts and jeans only to vomit all over your bed. This exchange in vomit-based bedding disasters is completely avoidable: just clean. 

      If this isn’t enough to convince you that cleaning is beneficial to your lifestyle, then maybe this will convince you: Minnesota’s moving into the grayest and bleakest part of the year, that season called winter. In the entirety of the United States, Minnesota has been voted as having the worst winters.

What does this have to do with cleaning? It’s all about your mood and mental health. October is quintessential mid-western fall, so most probably aren’t thinking about what’s coming. I wouldn’t blame you except for the fact that it snowed last Sunday, and we’ve already gone through several days of highs-in-the-upper-thirties. It’s so easy to forget that after the colorful leaves and pumpkins comes bare trees and dead grass and gray, gray skies. With that grayness includes a decrease in happiness. Your brain is absorbing less Vitamin D which your skin absorbs from the sun, and with less of that vitamin, you produce less serotonin. This can lead to mood swings as well as general unhappiness and lethargy, and ultimately depression.

Cleanliness isn’t godliness, but it is a general reduction in stress and an allowance of control of your environment. Not only that, but it also improves relations with your roommate. After all, no one’s accidentally vomiting on anyone, right?

This article was originally published in the Oct. 19, 2018 issue.