When you’re super busy balancing classwork, a job or internship, and your social life, cleaning up after yourself can be easily pushed to the back of your mind. I’ll do it later tonight becomes I’ll make time on Saturday. And at that point it’s best to just stop lying to yourself; your room will be messy for about another week or so, possibly till the end of the semester.
In all honesty, I hate cleaning my room. I can’t really recall a time when I was absolutely thrilled to clean anything, really. But, having an already clean room is extremely helpful when you’re moving out at the end of the semester because you’ll have much less trash to sort through. Plus, you never know when you’ll have a surprise visitor. So, here are some tips to help you get organized and get cleaning — plus, stick around till the end of the post to download a free copy of my dorm cleaning schedule!
Make your bed.
Your roommate probably doesn’t want to see pillows strewn all over the place. Make a habit out of smoothing out your comforter and fluffing your pillows every morning before leaving for class. Bonus tip: if you have an early morning class, make your bed as soon as you wake up so you aren’t tempted to crawl back under the covers and hit snooze!
Wash any dirty dishes.
We’re probably all guilty of leaving cereal bowls with milk still in them out to rot for at least a week before finally deciding to wash them (oops). Take care of dirty dishes as soon as you have them. They start to smell awful, and the longer you wait, the harder they are to clean.
Dispose of unwanted or unfinished food.
I’ve gotten into the habit of throwing my unwanted food or food containers from the dining hall in the trash room in the hallway instead of throwing them in the garbage can in my room. This unfinished food can attract bugs, and can make the room smell terrible. So, if you’ve had enough of the mac and cheese from the dining hall, get rid of it ASAP, and don’t leave it to melt under the heat of your un-air conditioned room.
Throw dirty clothes in your laundry bag.
Keywords: In. Your. Laundry. Bag. I’m super guilty of throwing sweat-soaked workout shirts on my bed or on the back of my chair because I’m too lazy to pull out my laundry bag and throw them in there. Don’t be like me. This adds to clutter, which gets really annoying when you can’t find what you’re looking for. If you’re absolutely sure you can’t wear a pair of pants one more time before you sentence it to the washing machine, do yourself a favor and put it where the other dirty clothes are.
Clean up the clothes pile on your desk chair.
We all have that desk chair that becomes Mt. Neverest when we’re too lazy to put our clothes away. It’s really aggravating to have to move the clothing pile to your bed when you want to sit at your desk, and then move the pile back to the chair when you want your bed. Make sure you take the time to put your clothes where they’re supposed to be instead of letting them pile up.
Get rid of expired food.
Have you ever kept bread way past its expiration date? Yeah, it’s not pretty…Toss anything that’s no good as soon as you realize it’s gone bad. Check expiration dates weekly, so if something’s about to spoil soon, you can at least finish it off so your money doesn’t go to waste. Also, because I love cooking, I created a post on Tips For Cooking Meals In College that you might love!
I’d say laundry is best done every other week instead of every week. It gives you a chance to build up a load that’s really worthy of your $1.50 (if your school makes you pay for your own laundry). Because laundry can literally take up half the day, be sure to plan your schedule accordingly, and figure out when the best times for doing laundry are.
Take out the trash.
You’d be surprised by how quickly you can accumulate trash in a week in college. If you fill up the garbage can, you must take the garbage out. It’s as simple as that, yet you won’t believe how many people just let the crap pile up as though the trash can will grow wings and take itself out. Living in a space that’s full of trash is really annoying and can get super gross. Too much trash can also cause roommate problems if you aren’t careful. Create a trash schedule if you need to—just make sure it’s taken care of weekly.
Clean off your desk.
Clear out any papers, wrappers, and tissues. Your desk can accumulate a lot of dust, so make sure you’re wiping it down. Freeing this surface from dust and germs will also ensure that you avoid getting sick. Be sure to clean off any other surfaces that you’re frequently touching, as well.
Related: How To Avoid Getting Sick In College
Vacuum the carpet.
For the sake of all that is allergy-free, VACUUM REGULARLY. I vacuum my dorm room once every couple of months when things get really dusty and annoying, and half the time I’m sneezing up a storm. Cleaning your carpet regularly can help you avoid all that. Since dorm rooms are notoriously tiny, it’ll probably take you just five minutes to go through the entire space if you’re vacuuming weekly.
Wash your bedding.
Whether you prefer washing your pillowcases and sheets at the beginning of the month of the end, pick a day or weekend to be your designated bedding-washing day (I really tried to come up with a better name. Sorry). You can even throw them in with a light clothing load so you don’t have to snag extra machines.
Go through your closet.
The weather can change drastically in a month if you go to school in a region that experiences all four seasons. Make sure everything in your closet is suitable for the suddenly chilly November weather, or the insanely hot May weather. Put away anything you likely won’t be wearing for a while. Also, re-fold any clothing you just stuffed inside your drawers. This will make it so much easier to find what you’re looking for in the mornings.
Wipe down windows.
If you live in a campus apartment, you might want to make cleaning the windows a monthly task. You might be surprised by how quickly they can get dirty. Just pass a window wipe over the glass and you’re done!
Clean out your mini fridge.
Get rid of anything that smells bad, and anything growing mold. Also, get rid of anything you thought you’d eat but didn’t so it doesn’t go bad (give it to a friend who might like it).
If you made it this far, thanks so much for reading! Click on the image below or click here to download your free, printable dorm cleaning schedule. Happy cleaning!
What are your tips for keeping your dorm room clean?