We've all had a messy dorm room at one point or another. Over time, your comforter finds itself tangled, the piles of clothing on your chair and floor are in constant need of the "smell test," and trash stops finding its way into the garbage. It happens-- class work starts to build, stress starts to peek it's way through, and napping wants to replace anything productive, especially in the realm of cleaning. Nevertheless, there are ways to keep your room clean without devoting an entire day to it.
Your Bed: Build a couple minutes into your morning routine to make it each day. If you're competitive, try getting it done in less than 1 minute. How your bed looks makes a significant difference on one's perception of the cleanliness of your room. And according to elitedaily.com, "it [can] increase productivity and happiness!"
Your Clothing: You do your laundry, fold some, hang some and bask in the glory at the end. Then typically 3 days later everything's all over the floor, your chairs, and sometimes the bed. Pick your outfit out the night before, set it to the side and don't go back on your decision. At the end of the day, put it in the laundry basket. There won't be any mess from changing shirt after shirt on your floor, and there won't be any guesswork later on deciding whether or not your pants are clean.
Your Desk: One of your top priorities should be school. Don't leave your desk to be the holding place for anything and everything-- last night's pizza, old coffee mugs, or any kind of trash. This should be the home of your laptop, pencils, and books. Keep it clean and keep school a priority.
What's Necessary?: What do you really need? Go through your closet and drawers with a box and toss in clothes you haven't worn in the last two months. What will distract you from your studies? What is just totally useless and taking up space? Be honest with yourself. (You really don't need 6 different plastic/glass water bottles-- 1 is sufficient.) Remember, the less you have, the less you have to keep organized. Take the box, and take it home, or donate it all to a charity!
Schedule: Take your planner, and make your living space a priority. Dedicate 10 minutes a week to vacuuming and dusting. Work cleaning into your weekly (or monthly) routine, and overtime, keeping a tidy room will happen out of muscle memory. Afterwards, feel free to reward yourself with something small.
Roommates: If you have a roommate who doesn't believe in a clean room philosophy, simply communicate your perspective. Seek out their reason, listen, and see if there's a middle ground. Emphasize that a clean room is necessary to you. Create and adapt a daily/weekly cleaning routine that work for the both of you. Consistency is key, so try to stick with these routines over the entire semester. Maintaining a clean space saves you from unnecessary stress that comes with walking into a tornado zone every time you open your bedroom door.
In the end, your room is ultimately your living space. If it feels more home-y to have a messy bed and room that's slightly disorganized, then do it, unless it's going to negatively affect your roommate. If that's the case, meet in the middle. I personally believe that my room directly effects my mood. If I let it go, I'm working through some emotions. If I keep it organized and clean, I feel like my life is in line. Do what works for you-- but please, still throw away any old pizza.
About the Author
Erica received a bachelor’s degree in Advertising in 2017 from Ball State University and a master’s degree in Business Administration in 2019. She has a passion for learning more about design, technology and strategic communication. Being from Indiana, she actively tries to avoid warm clothes in the winter to assert dominance over the southerners.