The Collegiates Guide to Keeping your Dorm Clean.

Living in the dorms definitely has it’s pros and cons – while I love the convenience and prime location on  campus, there are definitely downsides. Between rude neighbors, and having to eat dining hall food – living in an apartment is going to be a luxury. With that said, I will miss my little dorm. The best part about living here was deciding how to decorate and managing to turn this yellow tinged dorm into a place that I am happy to spend time in.

At the bottom of this post you’ll find my dorm room tour, if you want to see what I’ve done to make the room my own, but to expand on the tour, I thought I’d tell you guys how I keep the dorm room clean. Living in a small space any mess seems 100x worse, and despite not typically being the neatest person, when my side of the room is messy I get a sense of dread and anxiety and it’s hard for me to do my work.

With a few little tricks that I try and do daily – I really have no trouble keeping the dorm clean, and I feel so much better for it!



Tidy everyday.

I read somewhere that as soon as you get home (or in my case, to the dorm) before doing anything else, take just two or three minutes to tidy up the messiest part of the room. For me, this usually means throwing wrappers away from my desk, putting any wandering clothes into the hamper, and straightening out my blankets on my bed. Doing this only takes a moment and it has a huge impact on the room.

Organize your papers.

I get so many papers every week, and if I’m not careful they end up piled on my desk or shoved haphazardly into my notebooks. I have an accordion folder that I organize my papers with, and it really makes a huge difference. My main pockets are for: to-do, to turn in, and a folder for all of the important papers in each of my classes. Not having papers everywhere is going to make you feel 100x more organized, but it’s also going to make the dorm look nicer, too.

Dust regularly.

I use Lysol Wipes like it’s my job. About once a week (give or take) I use them to wipe down and dust surfaces like my desk, the microwave and fridge, and my windowsill. I’m always shocked (and disgusted) by how much grime can build up in just a few days. Dusting is super quick and it’s really going to improve your quality of living – dust is gross and you do not want to be breathing that in!

Manage your laundry.

The only time my side of the room gets unreasonably messy is when I haven’t done laundry in a while. I mention in this post how I theoretically have enough clothes that I can go almost 2 months without having to do laundry. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough space to make this a viable option. I can go about two weeks before my hamper starts to overflow. When my hamper overflows my closet door will no longer close, and in turn dirty clothes spill out into the room and that’s where it all starts. I get it – laundry is the worst, but if you keep on top of it, then it won’t be that bad! Also, pro-tip: don’t be a laundry room jerk – set a timer and get your clothes as soon as your cycle is over – nobody wants to wait for you!

Take out the trash.

I never take out the garbage unless I am 100 percent certain that I absolutely cannot fit another piece of trash into the bag, so this is a big hypocritical of me to say, but once your trash can is filled – take out the trash. An overflowing trash can is going to instantly make the room look sloppy. Luckily for me, my roommate isn’t as obsessive about the trash, and she usually takes it out before I would, and before the room looks too messy.

Close your drawers!

You wouldn’t believe how messy open drawers can make your room look! It takes a second to close a drawer, and it will instantly make your room look better. This especially goes if you are like me and your drawers are stuffed full and have no organization whatsoever!

General Tips:

  • For motivation to keep your room clean – have your door propped open whenever you’re in the dorm. If your room is clean you won’t be embarrassed to have people see!
  • If you have a carpet – keep it vacuumed. I never realize how bad our floor looks until one of us vacuums, and then things look instantly brighter.
  • Does your room have an odor you can’t get rid of? Open all of the windows and your door to get a cross breeze going and that should air it out. If it’s not working quickly enough, tape a dryer sheet onto your air conditioner or a fan and turn it on to mask the odor until you either identify the cause or it gets aired out.
  • If you get something out – put it back when you’re done. It sounds simple, but personally I struggle with this so much. If I get my trail mix out, chances are it’s going to sit on my desk for a few days until  I put it away. I try to be very purposeful in putting my things away.

Do you or have you lived in a dorm? Did you struggle to keep it clean? I’d love to hear if you have any tips that I may have missed!