A Clean House and a College Education CAN Co-Exist

Online University Student at Home

House work. Yard work. Volunteer work. Throw in school work, and that’s a lot of work outside work.

So how does the busy online college student make it all, well, work?

Students at Western Governors University are known for their time management, organization, and multi-tasking skills, so we recently asked the question of them on the WGU Facebook page:

“With the demands of school, work, family, volunteering in our communities, and trying to find some ‘me’ time, cleaning and housework can seem like luxuries that just don't fit in the schedule. What are your tips for keeping the house and yard work from completely falling by the wayside?”

As usual, the WGU community didn’t let us down, and the group brainstorming began. At the time of this blog post, we have received 52 responses and counting. What’s your tip? Share your ideas, your nuggets of wisdom, or some words of encouragement in the comments section below.

Here are some of the ideas from Facebook:

  • Accounting student Sharona was the first to offer up a tip that was repeated by several others: delegation. “If others in the household are not willing to help, it is impossible,” she wrote. Carol, a student in the special education program, revealed that her secret is “a wonderful husband that handles all that stuff while reminding me I’m almost done!”
  • Leah, a student in elementary education, added to the delegation theme by reminding us that with delegation comes the need to let go of a little control. “Accept that if you delegate you need to appreciate that others do things differently that you do,” she wrote.
  • She added this great idea: “Schedule 15 minutes of each study hour for house/yard; you need the exercise anyway, and your brain needs the rest.”
  • Teachers College student John agreed: “I do chores and yard work as ‘breaks’ from schoolwork. It gives me some peace of mind,” he wrote.
  • Leah continued her advice with some tips for multi-tasking. “Listen to an audio while you wipe counters or try putting your flash cards in a PPT that you can watch while you vacuum.”
  • Scheduling was another useful idea offered by many students and alumni. Leslie, another elementary education student, suggested giving yourself a realistic schedule, with a focus on moderation: Plan to mop the kitchen floor on Monday, clean the bathroom on Tuesday, etc. Elementary education student Ashlee joked that she gets made fun of for planning out her days on paper, “but who has a clean house, homework done, and time to play on Facebook? I do!”
  • For biology student Amanda, the key is consistency. “Every single morning, throw one load of laundry in no matter what – even if you have to strip a bed, or just do a small load,” she wrote.
  • Some, like Kristina, suggested hiring some help. Kristina has someone come in every other week to give her house a good cleaning. That way, the day-to-day upkeep is manageable, something she can do “on autopilot while my brain mulls over the current writing task.”
  • Another student who hires help, Heather, who is in the Teachers College, said she manages the cost by budgeting carefully, cutting out extras like eating out, and business management student Patricia pays her niece $10 every payday to clean for her.
  • This simple mantra works for Jason: “One task at a time.” And this one, for nursing student Tonya: “Keep in mind this is only temporary!”

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