Student Support

Housekeeping Tips


Food Storage

Foods purchased from the refrigerator case at the supermarket or from the freezer section should be stored in those areas in your refrigerator. Leftover foods and open containers should also be stored in the refrigerator even if they did not require refrigeration before opening. There are many products available in American supermarkets, which can help you to keep food fresh and safe for several days, such as plastic re-sealable bags, aluminum foil wrap, and re-usable plastic containers.

Most perishable products sold in American supermarkets are marked with “use by...” dates. If the date has passed, do not eat the food. Likewise, these dates are based on ideal storage conditions. If you have not refrigerated a food as directed, this date is not accurate. The US government strictly enforces standards for meat and milk products. You may be assured that these products are safe when stored and handled properly.


City trucks haul away refuse on a regular basis. Ask your landlord or your neighbors where to leave your trash and on which mornings during the week you may expect trash pickup to occur. Most apartment buildings have large metal containers at the back where you can place bags of trash. The trucks will not collect large items such as discarded furniture or appliances. To keep your trash areas clean and odor-free, line your trash cans with plastic bags designed for this purpose.

Many apartments are equipped with a garbage disposal unit in the kitchen sink. These units are useful for disposing of soft food materials. Run water while you have the unit switched on and avoid grinding fibrous materials, which may get stuck in the blades. Stand clear and do not put additional material in the disposal while the unit is running. Be very careful to keep the disposal clear of hidden solid items such as spoons, bottle caps, or other items, which may fall into it without your knowledge.


Many cities sponsor recycling programs for paper, aluminum cans, glass and plastic bottles. There are also centers where these materials may be delivered and bought by recycling companies. For recycling information in Santa Monica please contact the following:

Santa Monica Public Works Resource Recovery and Recycling

2500 Michigan Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Tel: 310-458-2223
Fax: 310-264-7750

Santa Monica College is committed to recycling campus waste materials. You will see many bins for paper, cans and bottles on campus. Please help us out by using these “recycle bins” instead of the regular trashcans when you can.

Cleaning & Household Products

Your supermarket will display a large assortment of cleaning solutions, each designed for a different household job. Read the labels carefully and use a cleaning solution only for the job intended by the manufacturer. Mixing these chemical agents together can be very dangerous, creating poisonous fumes or even explosions. Using too strong a chemical for a particular surface can also be harmful to the item you are trying to clean.

Toilet paper is designed to dissolve in water and therefore is safe to flush in toilets. Do not dispose of any other kind of paper in the toilet.

Laundry products and automatic dishwasher soap should be used sparingly to avoid disastrous overflows. Never exceed the recommended amount of soap in cleaning machines, and never use a type of soap that has not been specifically designed for the machines.

Many apartments in this area are carpeted, and you may need to purchase a vacuum cleaner.