How to Keep Your Dorm Clean

Some rooms and spaces are harder to clean and keep tidy than others. You might think: “the smaller, the better!” But not quite. Let’s talk about dorm rooms.

Dorm rooms are known for being cramped, tiny, uncomfortable, tiny, and also tiny. On average, dorm rooms measure up to a whopping 230 square feet (21 square meters), which is smaller than the smallest possible one-car-garage. Yay? So dorm cleaning should be easy, right? Well, it sure has upsides. For example, vacuuming the entire place can take about 90 seconds.

However, thus comes the big problem. With a smaller place, comes a big clutter. The smaller the space, the bigger the clutter. And when that small, tiny place serves as a bedroom, living room, kitchen, and entertainment area, well...it just keeps getting smaller and smaller! So what are great dorm cleaning tips to follow to maintain this space in top clean condition? Do you need to Marie Kondo the whole place? Maybe. But maybe you just need some good old-fashioned guidance! ;) A dorm room can be as clean as you, and your roommate, need it to be. It may take some getting used to new cleaning habits, but it's possible.

Do your bed -and we can’t stress this enough- daily!

The bed is the focal point of every college dorm, so it’s no surprise that it should be the place in which you start your dorm cleaning. Take a couple of minutes every morning to make your bed; it may seem small but it will make a huge difference in the appearance of your room.

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Organize your desk

Right now. Look around. A cluttered desk is not only uninviting, it will also distract you from your studies. Get to organizing! Pick up a filing cabinet or even just a basket where to put loose paper. Use small storage containers for pens and pencils. Finally, get rid of everything not...desk-related. You will instantly feel better. And now that you picked everything off, simply spray some multi surface cleaner on it and wipe away dust/debris/stains.

Vacuum regularly

Remember when we talked about a dorm cleaning vacuum lasting about 90 seconds? Well, use about 90 seconds every other day and vacuum the floor of your dorm. That way you will not only keep your floors clean, but also your bed, clothes, linen, and even your desk will be cleaner.

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Stock up on cleaners

Be sure to never run out of cleaners! There are few things worse than needing something and not having it. Chances are that if you need a cleaner immediately and don’t have it on hand, you will just leave the mess to be cleaned at a later time. So, always be sure to stock up on cleaners. Or even better, have them be delivered right to your dorm!

Dirty dishes? Wash them!

Even though you won’t have dirty dishes often, you should wash them immediately after you use them. Handy tip: if you don’t have a sink in your dorm, you should definitely assemble a dishwashing caddy, complete with dish soap and sponges. Even better if it’s nontoxic dish soap, amiright?

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Use your laundry bin/hamper/laundry bag

Don’t just throw your clothes on the floor or leave them on your bed. When the floor space available is the size of a pair of jeans, leaving just one outfit on the floor will give out the appearance of the entire room being cluttered. Also, it will make laundry day easier!

Take out the papers and the trash!

Empty your trash bin regularly. Chances are it’s a pretty small container, so taking out the trash daily will not only keep your room smelling better, but it’s healthier, keeps bugs and rodents away, and just...looks better! Leftover food and grime from cooking or washing should be taken out immediately.

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Clean up spills, stains, and crumbs immediately

Get a bottle of multi surface cleaner and be prepared to use it. Be sure to wipe down all surface areas after cooking in your dorm (counters, microwave, etc). Food crumbs, grease stains, and other spills are easier to get rid of if you just wipe them instantly. Just getting into this very easy habit will help you get rid of ants and mice!



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* Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation