The typical college dorm room is pretty small. That makes it easy to keep clean, right? Not necessarily. With studying, classes, socializing, etc., it’s easy to neglect a room and let the mess pile up.
Since a clean room is easier to study (and live) in, you’ll want your college-bound child to know the right steps to keep it that way. Here are 6 tips to help them keep their dorm room looking its best all semester long.
Tip #1: Stock up on the right cleaning supplies
Whether you choose to clean before piling in the furniture of their new dorm, or not, a trip to the store for basic cleaning supplies on moving day is inevitable. They’ll need dishwashing liquid, a small tub, and a scrubber for dishes. Sponges, cleaning wipes, paper towels, a glass cleaner, and a general cleaner or disinfectant spray for wiping down surfaces. And for the floors, they’ll want a broom, dustpan, microfiber mop, and if you have carpet, a vacuum.
- Coffee filters work well as lint-free cloths for dusting.
- You can make your own cleaning solution of baking soda and vinegar. Mix one-part baking soda to two-parts vinegar (e.g. ¼ cup baking soda and ½ cup vinegar). Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
Tip #2: Make room for storage
Having a place for everything, and making sure to return everything to its place, will help them keep things tidy. Before they head off to school, make sure your child has furniture that has enough storage for all of their things, or furniture/décor that can dual as storage. A cube organizer can easily become a place where towels and toiletries are kept, videos games and electronics can be placed in tubs, a desktop organizer can be used for papers and books, etc.
- College kids these days have more items worth more money than ever before. Protect those items through renter’s insurance. Surprisingly it’s very affordable; it even costs less than textbooks!
Tip #3: Keep the air fresh and clean
Odors can easily overwhelm a dorm room because it’s such a small space. So, you should also stock up on freshening or purifying products and scented trash can liners before move-in day. Make sure they know to remove trash and food before it spoils. And if you do notice a smell, try to identify its source—or call maintenance.
- Put a container of baking soda out to absorb odors.
Tip #4: Make cleaning fun
We all know cleaning can be quite a chore, but now’s the time to change that mindset. Pass on these helpful cleaning tips to encourage your college student that cleaning doesn’t have to be boring. 1. Transform cleaning into a fun activity. 2. Play your favorite music or listen to a podcast. 3. Set a timer and see how much you can do. 4. Cleaning can be a workout, and you can track the calories that you burn. 5. Clean with your roommate for double the fun—and results. Before they know it, cleaning will become a habit!
- Clean and listen to a recording of a class lecture to kill two birds with one stone.
Tip #5: Negotiate with a messy roommate
Roommates could make or break your child’s college experience. And roommates may not be on the same page about cleaning. Encourage your child to talk to his/her roommate about some basic tasks, such as picking up clothes or taking out the trash. And even ask him/her to join in the cleaning fun, with music on a designated day.
- Make a roommate contract when you move in together to set expectations about cleanliness, guests, etc.
Tip #6: Schedule time for cleaning
This is the most important part. If they remember anything, tell them to remember this. Schedule cleaning into their daily routine just as they do studying and classes. Just 15 minutes at the end of each day will make a big difference. Then, schedule time on the weekend to clean. Do a deeper clean once a month. Have them use the following list or put together their own list of cleaning hacks.
Cleaning schedule breakdown:
- Make your bed.
- Wash your dishes.
- Tidy up. Put everything in its place.
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs and light switches.
- Check to see if the trash needs to be taken out.
- Do your laundry, including your bedding and towels.
- Clean out your fridge of old food.
- Wipe down the inside of the microwave.
- Dust with a damp cloth or microfiber duster. Dust is especially attracted to electronics, computers, speakers, and televisions.
- Sweep and mop or vacuum.
- Clean the bathroom if you have one in your room.
- Clean the windows and mirrors.
- Wipe down appliances.
- Clean inside the refrigerator and microwave.
- Dust the ceiling corners and get rid of cobwebs.
- Dispose of any food supplies that are out of date.
End of semester cleaning
- Clean underneath the refrigerator, other appliances, and under furniture.
- Wash your trash cans.
- Wipe down your walls and doors.
- Vacuum your curtains.
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