It is a great feeling to be on your own for the first time as you attend college. However, independence also means taking care of yourself and your belongings. If you live in a dorm with a roommate, then cleaning will not only free up room in an already tiny space, but tidying up will also reduce germs, dirt, and debris that can easily build up over time. Yes, cleaning can be daunting, but you can do it with these practical tips.
1. Know You Are Not Alone
First, understand that if you are unsure where to start when it comes to cleaning your college dorm, then know that you are not alone. In a recent study, 28% of college students said that they were only somewhat prepared to clean their own room. Many respondents said that they weren’t prepared at all. The fact is that many adults also do not know how to properly clean their homes, so you just need to learn how to do it right.
The best way to stay ahead of clutter and debris is to clean your room when you notice it is starting to get dirty. If you wait too long, then the mess will be so large that you may give up before you even start. However, if you clean every week or you clean up immediately after using a dish or making a mess, then you won’t have to turn cleaning your dorm into such a project.
2. Start By Decluttering
If your dorm is a mess, then the first step that you should take is to organize and declutter the space. Put everything in its place, organize your drawers, and dispose of everything you don’t need. If your closet is full of clothes that you may never wear, then consider donating them. Some professors still give out a lot of physical paperwork. You can save space by digitizing all of those files. You can get rid of notebooks altogether by bringing a laptop to class or recording the lectures on a computer or smartphone.
By decluttering the space, you get a better picture of the dirt and debris that you need to clean to make your dorm spotless. Plus, many people are stressed around clutter because subconsciously, they feel like if their home is out of control, then they are losing control of their life as well. An organized room could be instrumental in your success at school.
3. Put Effort Into It
It is important to put a focus on cleaning the table, chairs, desk, and other spaces where you spend a lot of time. Germs can quickly build in these areas, and if you don’t take the time to clean, then you could easily get sick. While a casual wipe here and there may be a temporary solution, you really need to wipe with purpose to effectively clean a surface.
When you wipe down a table or desk, avoid wiping in a circular pattern and instead wipe in a linear fashion. When you wipe in circles, you might clean up some debris, but you are essentially moving the other dirt out to other areas of the surface and onto the floor. By wiping in a linear fashion, you can trap the dirt in one place and dispose of it. Remember that you may need to use more than one wipe on any given surface to really get the job done.
4. Clean To Stay Healthy
While wiping down surfaces is a good way to remove caked-on dirt, you need to take a comprehensive approach to cleaning your dorm. Contact with germs is only one of the ways that you can get sick. For instance, many college students get pink eye (conjunctivitis) when they are in college because they use the same towel, sleep on the same bedding, and even share the same contact lenses with a floormate. The fact is that pink eye can cause blurred vision, watery discharge, and excessive tearing, and you don’t want to experience that while studying for the big final.
The best way to prevent pink eye and other communicable diseases is to clean your towels and bedding regularly and don’t share these fabrics with others. Also, make it a point to clean yourself and wash your hands whenever you use the bathroom or touch food. The fact is that the cleaner you are, the less likely you are to get sick.
5. Share Responsibilities With Your Roommate
The great thing about living in the dorm is that you often have roommates to help out with the cleaning. If you are in your very first year of college and you have never met this roommate before, then you should sit down with them and create a schedule of cleaning responsibilities, from dusting to vacuuming. Add each of your names to a calendar and follow it throughout the semester. You can also split the costs of everything from the decorations in your dorm to the cleaning supplies, so it is fair.
If your roommate becomes difficult or combative, sit down with them and ask what is on their mind. Maybe they want to switch chores or maybe they feel pressured to clean and complete their schoolwork. Have an open mind and come to a compromise that suits both of you.
As you can see, there are several practical tips that you can start practicing today to maintain a clean and uncluttered dorm room. Consider this advice, and you can be cleaner and healthier during your college career.