messy dorm roomFor college students, keeping their dorm rooms clean can be a real challenge. Balancing classes, labs, and socialization with the demands of roommates makes for a very full schedule, and sometimes cleaning can keep getting pushed to the bottom of the to-do list. For a lot of students, this will be the first time they’ve ever moved away from home.

That said, having a clean room can make a big difference in how you feel. Here are some tips both for ongoing cleanliness and deep cleaning.

Cleaning Tips to Deal with a Big Mess

Let’s start with what to do if your room is already a mess. It can be overwhelming, but if you follow these guidelines you can get through it with relative ease.

  1. Start by getting some trash bags and clearing out everything that needs to be thrown away. Empty trash cans, get rid of pizza boxes and soda cans, and while you’re at it, ditch any clothes with holes. You don’t need any objects you don’t use.
  2. Next, invest in some organizers. Things like shower caddies, shoe racks, milk crates, bookcases, and desk organizers can help you corral stray items and keep everything where it belongs. As you put each organizer in place, go around and collect the items that belong in it. With each pass, your room will get a bit cleaner.
  3. Gather all your dirty laundry together and wash it. Make sure that you have a dedicated laundry bag or laundry basket to put clothes in going forward so they don’t end up strewn all over the room.
  4. Buy some cleaning products and attack one part of the room at a time. For example, you might start by cleaning desks and tables as you put organizers together and sort items into them.
  5. Dust anything that needs to be dusted. You can use a feather duster or something else, but make sure to get everything.
  6. After you’ve dusted, vacuum or mop to clean the floors and get any dust that may have fallen there.
  7. Finish up by buying air fresheners or room deodorizers and use them. It’s easy for smells to get out of control in a dorm room. Something as simple as spraying air freshener can make the whole room feel clean.

Clean Dorm RoomBy the time you’ve spritzed air freshener on everything, your room will feel like new. Then all you have to do is figure out how to keep it that way.

Tips to Keep Your Dorm Room Neat

Once you’ve got your dorm room clean, here are some tips to help you keep the mess in your dorm room from getting out of control again. You might not have several hours to do a deep clean, but here are some ways to keep the mess to a minimum:

  • Make your bed every day.
  • Get in the habit of returning things to their places after you use them.
  • Keep dirty dishes in a caddy so you can easily take them to the bathroom to clean them if you don’t have the ability to wash them in your room.
  • Set up two cleaning schedules, one for personal chores and one for those that you share with roommates. For example, you might decide that Thursday is your laundry day, and designate Sunday as a day to vacuum and clean the room.

Of course, you might find that you have a challenge if one or more of your roommates resists the idea of a cleaning schedule. In that case, you’ll have to decide how much mess you’re willing to endure – and what you’re willing to do to prevent it.

Remember, you have control over your own things and not anybody else’s. The key to a clean dorm room is doing what you can to keep it clean on an ongoing basis so it doesn’t get out of control.

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