Top 5 dorm room cleaning hacks

University life means having to pick up after yourself. Here are some simple tricks to keep your room livable.

How long is their room going to stay this clean?

Have you opened your T-shirt drawer to find a jumbled mess of random clothing, a single shoe, and last semester’s psych notes? This described my dorm room closet for 90% of my first year. Organizing such a small space can be a challenge for many people, and we don't always have the time or energy to do a deep clean. But a clean room can boost your productivity, improve your mood, and keep you healthy.

1. Avoiding the laundry tornado in your closet

Oh boy, where do I begin with the closet organization? This is the part of my room that can go from spotless to Hurricane Katrina in a matter of hours. T-shirts get thrown into my sock drawer, socks are probably under the closet itself, I suddenly don’t know where anything is and, worst of all, I can no longer tell what clothes are clean. It’s not the best situation, but there are some simple things I’ve done that have completely changed my life:

  • Don’t let laundry pile up. Set a schedule to do your laundry every week or two. You’ll have less laundry to fold, making it more likely that you’ll actually fold it instead of throwing it into random places.
  • Make sure all your clothes have a home. Have a specific drawer for shirts, jeans, socks, etc. And stick to it! You can use sticky notes to remind yourself where things are supposed to go.
  • Invest in storage bins. These are especially useful for those sweaters that pile up at the bottom of your closet.
  • Keep your dirty laundry in one place. Put it in a hamper or a bag instead of throwing it in your closet or on the floor.

2. Make your desk a more productive study space

The pile. We’ve all had one at some point. Whether it’s the stack of notes from three different classes, the stack of laundry on your chair that’s been sitting there for weeks, or the drawer that you can no longer open because every piece of stationery you own has been shoved in there. There have been many times I’ve wanted to work at my desk but couldn’t because it was so messy. Desk organizers are magical. Get a pen holder or a paper organizer to keep everything together. Make use of your bulletin board for important papers and use folders to keep notes organized. You’ll be thanking yourself come exams when you have an organized place to study and know where all your notes are.

3. The magic of Lysol wipes

With the limited space in dorm rooms and the lack of your mom’s cleaning supply cabinet, it’s unlikely that you’ll have a ton of products to use. And the single communal mop on my residence floor is not something I plan on touching. Ever. The solution? Lysol wipes. You can use them to clean pretty much every surface in your room. This is essential during flu season or after you’ve been sick to kill any lingering germs.

4. Make use of limited space

I’ve found some pretty creative ways to store things in my room without them getting in the way. Storing your suitcase under your bed saves you from having to look at it all the time. You can also store seasonal clothing, decorations and extra toiletries under your bed or above your closet. Command hooks are another great space saver. Use them on your closet or behind your door to hold bulky coats, bags and bathrobes.

5. Keep it fresh

If there’s one thing I’ve always been good at, it’s making my room smell nice. It’s easy for odours to build up in such a confined space. Since you can't use scented candles, try air freshening wall plug-ins or diffusers. This is especially fun in the winter when I get to make my room smell like holiday joy. You can also get scents to help you relax or to boost your mood. Just make sure you check with your roommate (if you have one) if they’re OK with any scent you’d want to use. Plants also help freshen the air, and opening your window once in a while prevents the room from getting too stuffy.

Spending a bit of time organizing and keeping your room clean does wonders. Even just 30 minutes a week goes a long way to keeping you happy and healthy! So get out your Lysol wipes and get to work!