If you haven’t realized how important personal hygiene is, then now is the time.
Personal hygiene doesn’t just mean showering every day and wearing deodorant (but don’t forget those!), it includes keeping your living environment clean and tidy.
Especially in your first year of college, sicknesses spread around dormitory buildings like wildfire and you will definitely regret it if you don’t do your part to prevent getting sick. Furthermore, living in an organized space is good for your mental health and will prevent you from losing important items. Read on for a list of key tips to keep your dorm clean and organized in 2020.
1. Set a laundry schedule, and stick to it!
Letting dirty laundry accumulate not only smells bad, but seriously limits your wardrobe choices as weeks pass without laundry day. Set a laundry schedule for yourself that will keep your clothes from piling up in your laundry hamper as well as remind you to wash other items, like sheets and towels. An example schedule to follow is washing clothes and pillowcases every week, sheets and towels every two weeks, and your duvet cover and blanket every month. If you’re worried about forgetting your schedule, try these two tips to stay on track: set recurring reminders on your smartphone and use a dedicated laundry hamper (instead of something less conspicuous like a pillowcase.)
2. Keep your surfaces clean
Many illnesses, including COVID-19, spread via smooth surfaces. For this reason, regularly cleaning surfaces in your dorm is essential to your hygiene. When cleaning surfaces, you should prioritize high-traffic areas, like doorknobs and desk drawers. The easiest way to clean surfaces is with disinfectant wipes, and you should definitely keep a floor brush in your dorm for keeping your floor free of crumbs and dust. If you make a serious mess, try asking your RA if you can borrow a vacuum cleaner or a mop from your college without having to purchase your own. Side note: don’t forget to wash your hands with soap!
3. Don’t let messes accumulate
If you find yourself looking at perfectly-organized dorm rooms and wonder how they did it, the answer is that they didn’t ever let a mess accumulate! As tempting as it is to let clothes pile up on your floor, leave your bed unmade, or leave empty food wrappers lying around your room because you’ll “clean them up tomorrow,” you need to resist the temptation and clean up messes as soon as you spot them. If your dorm is currently a mess and you don’t know where to start, read this article for a step-by-step guide to deep-cleaning your room.
4. Have your roommate hold you accountable
One of the best ways to make sure you get something done is to have someone hold you accountable. If setting reminders on your smartphone isn’t enough, try talking to your roommate (if you have one) about it.
If you tell your roommate to call you out any time your side of the dorm room starts getting messy, you’ll see a two-fold benefit. First, it will remind you to stay on top of keeping your dorm clean and organized. Second, if you have this discussion at the beginning of the school year, this is a subtle way to give your roommate a hint at what standards of cleanliness you expect from him/her, which you can read more about here.
By the way, accountability is a productivity tip that extends far beyond just keeping your dorm clean—you can also try having people to hold you accountable for study time and remembering to attend your extracurricular meetings.
5. Decorate your dorm
The final key tip to keeping your dorm clean and organized is to create a space that you want to keep organized.
The best way to do this is to choose decor that is coordinated around a theme that you really love. Decor does present an upfront investment, but really pays off in terms of feeling at-home and motivated to maintain your space and keep it looking gorgeous.
If you’re on a budget, stores like roombodi have huge selections of dorm decor that are both affordable and very, very trendy.
When decorating your dorm, make sure not to go overboard on small accessories, which can turn into clutter in themselves.
Instead, try the following approaches.
- Choose a bedding set and pillows that you love, which will motivate you to keep your bed made.
- Choose a nice rug, which will force you to keep your stuff off the floor in order for the rug to be visible.
- Choose some cool posters and hang them behind your bed and desk so that you don’t pile your belongings up and block the view.
- In general, the more you like your decor, the less you will want to distract from the design with a disorganized room.
In conclusion, a dorm doesn’t stay clean and organized by itself; it requires work on your part. Luckily, the five tips above should point you in the right direction to make this maintenance easier on you. Without a doubt, instilling good habits of organization and hygiene in yourself pay off in the long term, with health, mental, and work ethic benefits that you can apply to your first apartment, house, and beyond.