"Good sanitation makes pest control work. Older generations knew this fact and were raised to take appropriate measures—namely, good housekeeping. But kids these days seem to have missed the memo.
"As I did my spring cleaning this past weekend, I reflected on how I learned to clean and keep a neat house. My grandmother had a 6th sense for loose laundry—I always had to pick up before starting the next activity. My mom had a fly-fishing vest that she outfitted with cleaning products and tools before going to town on our house. And my dad used organizing as a way of procrastinating, something I certainly picked up—you can be sure to find my Tupperware drawer organized around tax time.
"I learned by example and grew up with standards for housekeeping that were enforced by family members. In public housing, there may not be family members to teach the next generation. It’s up to property managers and housing inspectors to teach by example and enforce housekeeping standards. I encourage [them] to focus on the teaching at least as much as the enforcement.
"One of the main lessons I learned while getting my teaching degree was to determine what my student knows about a topic before trying to teach him or her my take on it. The teacher must address misunderstandings, acknowledge correct thinking, and find gaps in understanding. In teaching residents to comply with housekeeping standards, I’ve found a lot of gaps. Three of the most common I run into are residents not knowing that:As Ally says, simple things that can have a major impact on housekeeping. If you work with housing authorities, or apartment complexes, these three lessons might be worth sharing in the form of a door hanger, or email newsletter, or leave-behind flier. Also, check out this interesting and insightful page devoted to the question, “Why do residents not cooperate or maintain a clean and clutter-free home?”
- They could use a vacuum cleaner in a home without carpet;
- The stove top lifts up for easy cleaning; and
- The stove and fridge should be pulled out and cleaned under at least once a year.
Ally is sponsoring a webinar next Thursday, April 26 on “Managing Pests in Multifamily Housing.” The focus of the training will be on how one housing authority focused specially on residents with housekeeping problems. If you have the time and are interested in participating, click here.