We know that once you leave “the nest ” and head out to college you are relieved to not have to hear your mom nag you about keeping your room clean, only to find out that keeping your dorm room clean and clutter free actually can improve your grades. Here we go all over again. This time around though, it is your own responsibility to keep your room clean. There likely won’t be anyone doing room inspections and keeping you on cleaning duty. Instead, it is time to step out into the real world and take some responsibility in keeping your room from looking like a disaster zone.
What is this clean room = Good grades theory anyhow?
Psychologist and room design experts alike can agree on one thing when it comes to room appearances, and that is that a clean and clutter-free room leads to a clear mind. When your environment does not have piles of mess and smelly laundry lying around, it is easier to concentrate, study, and you even retain more information. This is based on the idea that when you are studying in your clean dorm room that you are not distracted or worried about having to clean something up later. It is a pretty simple idea and it makes sense. Now, on to developing a plan for keeping your dorm room clean, and making clean up an easy task.
Tips for a clutter free dorm room
One of the things that make cleaning easier is having less clutter. Less clutter and less “stuff” is really the key to it all here. It is also the hard part because when you leave home for the first time to go away to college, you tend to want to bring everything with you. Not having ALL of your stuff in your small dorm room will actually make your college life on campus much easier in the long run. So, here are our tips for a clutter free room at college:
1. Only bring what you need. Always keep the option open to trade off things like collectables and knick knacks by sending home or putting in storage equal rotations of just a few little extra comfort items.
2. Only bring what you need (part 2). When you head off to school in the early fall, don’t bring your winter or your summer clothes with you. Dorm rooms are small and the closets are even smaller. Leave what you won’t be wearing at home. When you go home for the winter break, bring your fall clothes home and take your winter clothes back with you.
3. Keep all electronic cords neatly tied and organized. This can easily be done with zip ties, bread clips, or twist ties. Label them and color-code them for extra organization here. Not only does this help keep the room clutter free, but it also removes a potential safety hazard.
4. Use organization and space saving tools. Use closet organization set ups, space saving bags, and dual purpose items like a bed with storage space underneath and foot stools that double as an extra seat and have storage space inside.
5. Try not to print papers. If your professors will accept digital assignments or jump drives, not having to print papers will go a long way towards helping you keep your room free of clutter. Whatever papers you do need to print, keep them as organized as possible in folders and filing cabinets.
Dorm room cleaning tips
The actual cleaning of your dorm room should not be too difficult once you maintain the clutter free tips listed above. As we explained, that is a major step in helping you keep your room clean – having less stuff to clean up after. The next step in making it easy on you when it comes to cleaning your dorm room is making a schedule and sticking to it. Making a schedule will mean that cleaning is merely maintenance. Never get your room dirtier than a maintenance level of cleaning and it will not be a burden. This is made easier by making a calendar for cleaning: desk one day, sleeping area the next day, bathroom the next, windows and dusting the next day, and then floors the next day.
Also, empty out the garbage each night. Rotating this schedule should mean that cleaning for about 15 minutes or less each day keeps your dorm room clean as a whistle! This will also help with your grades because you will not be stuck cleaning when you have to study.
Bio: Amanda Greene is blogger and Brand Manager for RHL.org. She enjoys sharing college and dorm living tips and ideas.