College is a time when you are learning everything about yourself: when to eat, when to sleep, how much time you can really put that project off for. But what happens when you live with someone else and then learn about all of their living habits? Things can get tough. Think back to your freshman year, waking up to a clean room for about the first week of school, and gradually not being able to see the floor by the end of the week. We pack our whole lives into a 10' x 10' room. Sometimes two people's lives have to fit in the room. It can be really hard to keep things neat and organized.
First, you should take a deep breath. Even thought you can't find a path to your bed because there are one too many pairs of pants on the floor, there is a way. I promise. Pick things up as you walk into your room, it’ll make you feel like you’re accomplishing something.
Second, bins. That’s all. Just bins. Put things in them. Label them. Love them. They are here for you. But seriously, bins and under-the-bed storage is a great way to utilize extra space that you forgot was even there. Store your extra sheets and blankets there, or your snacks. There is a bin for everything.
Third, take things home. Even though you may love your favorite summer shoes, or tank top, you probably won’t need it in the upcoming months. Take a few minutes to think about transitional pieces in your wardrobe that can survive the harsh, cold months, and take the rest home with you over break. This will eliminate clutter, and it’s one less thing you can throw on the floor.
Fourth, talk to your roommate. Make sure you guys are on the same page about where stuff can be thrown and who picks up what, who takes the trash out, and so on. This communication will go a long way.
Finally, designate a day once a week to dust and clean your mirrors, do laundry, etc. Getting on a set schedule will help you to feel more in control about cleaning, and in turn will make your small room feel more like home and more livable.
Dorm-room life, or apartment life, can be a huge struggle. People are sharing rooms, living styles are clashing, but it’s not impossible to keep things organized. Cleaning as you go, organizing, and storing are just some of the ways you can combat pesky messes in your small space.