5 Tips On How To Make Your Dorm Appear Cleaner

5 Tips On How To Make Your Dorm Appear Cleaner

This is for all the lazy people and non-neat freaks like me.

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I've always been what I call an "organized mess." In other words, I'm messy but in a clean way. I may have things all over my desk like notebooks and scrunchies but my bed is (most of the time) made and I very rarely have things laying on the floor. In a dorm, it's a whole lot easier to be cleaner than it is at home because there's only so much you can fit in the tiny space. For all the lazy people and non-neat freaks, like me, I want to give you all my tips on how to easily have the perfect balance of clean and messy in your dorm. All of these tips are small habits but go a long way. As I previously stated, a dorm room is a small space so changing something so small does make a difference.

1. Never leave any clothes on the floor.

This is probably the one tip that will make you the cleanest. No matter how clean your room is, it will always look so much messier if there's even one article of clothing on the floor. I can have my messy moments but this is one of the few messy habits that I don't have. I have always made it my goal to never throw clothes on my floor. I have stuck to this. But don't think that because I don't have any clothes on my floor I actually hang up my clothes and put them back in my closet after I wear them because I don't. I put my clothes on top of my chair until the pile gets too high that the clothes start to fall over. That's when I'll put them in my closet. This does not make you look the cleanest but because it's all in one spot and it's not on the floor it makes your room appear cleaner.

2. Make your bed.

I'm sure your parents have probably yelled at you about this a million times but it makes such a difference. The bed is the largest thing in the room and takes up a majority of the space in your room, which means that it's probably the first thing a person notices when coming into your dorm. Even when my room was at its most cluttered, my mom didn't care; all she wanted was for me to make my bed. Also, if you make your bed every morning, it is the first productive thing you've done that day, leading you to want to be more productive throughout the day.

3. Close your closet door.

This one has always been a tough one for me. I don't understand why but I have always had this habit of leaving my closet door wide open for the whole world to see. But in reality, I do not need everyone to see how much clothes are in there, and how I need a lot more space for all the clothes I want to buy. After living with my roommate for several months already, I noticed that she always has her door closed. Then my eyes moved in the direction of my closet and I saw that the door was as open as it could be. I started feeling guilty about it. So much so, whenever I would walk into one of my friend's dorms, I would always make it a point to look at their closet doors to see if they were open or closed. I made it one of my habits to start closing the door and it has given my room more of a cleaner appearance.

4. Push in your desk chair.

I know this sounds so meticulous but think about the impact this one has. This is something we've all been taught in kindergarten. It's probably annoyed you every time your teacher would demand you pushed in your chair. Why push in the chair when another person is going to sit in it? It's similar to making your bed. When it's made, it looks clean and put together. Pushing in your chair has the same effect.

5. Make sure that your sink is not cluttered. 

Having a sink inside the dorm totally weirds me out too. But it is smack dab in the middle of the room. It's one of the first things I see when I open my door, besides the bed. Having a clean sink area makes the room just a tad bit cleaner, and it shows you have good hygiene.

You never know when one of your or your roommate's friends will unexpectedly come into your room. You wouldn't want them thinking you are messy. Not only is this important but it makes your life easier when your living space is clean. It's the little things that make the biggest difference.

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6 Things I Didn't Really Need in My Freshman Dorm, And 6 Things I Wish I Brought Instead

I promise you, being Pinterest-worthy just doesn't make sense in a dorm.
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As I packed up my dorm room and unpacked it all once I got home, I kinda felt stupid. I moved in with 2 cars full of stuff (yes, I know how extra that sounds and yes, it was indeed that extra) and I didn't end up needing half of it. Now, I'm swimming in stuff I need to get rid of while holding on to the stuff I didn't realize I would need and ended up buying mid-year. No matter how much you think you know everything, first-time dorm residents, please listen.

6 things I DIDN'T need but swore I did

1. All my personal books

I mean, I'm an English major and I love to read, but no one, and I mean no one, A) has free time and B) uses that free time to read in college.

2. Keurig

There's a coffee shop I can use my cafe credits at on my way to class. I never woke up early enough to brew my own coffee, and I never craved it bad enough in the afternoon to feel like I needed to make my own immediately. It was nice to make tea with though.

3. Dishes and Silverware/Excessive Mugs

All you need is 1 mug and a couple of water bottles. I promise you paper plates and plastic silverware are all you need.

4. An overabundance of office supplies

I didn't use all those fancy office supplies in high school, so as much as I love them, I have yet to reach for them in college.

5. T.V.

The T.V. I had was only slightly bigger than my laptop screen and the wifi at my dorm wasn't good enough for streaming. I hardly used it, but I know others used theirs a lot. Just a personal preference!

6. Tons of wall art

I totally believe wall art has the power to make a dorm room feel less institutional, but I wish I had brought more pictures from home to make my room personal. Pinterest dorm rooms just aren't real, and they aren't what you want when you're homesick.

6 things I wish I had bought before school started

1. ID Lanyard

I personally love these ones from Vera Bradley , but honestly, any way you can carry your ID, money, and keys all in one is a life changer.

2. Earplugs / Eye Mask

Dorms are loud even during quiet hours and sometimes your roommate stays up later or gets up earlier than you do. Amazon couldn't ship these to me fast enough.

3. Wireless Headphones/Earbuds

Personally, I'm an earbuds girl, but either one does the trick. It's nice to not have to deal with cords and to be able to connect to any of your devices without an adapter.

4. Laptop Shell/Stickers

Almost everyone ends up ordering stickers to put on their laptop to express themselves to those around them. On a practical level though, you're probably going to have the same laptop as 5+ other students in your lecture and you will probably throw your laptop in a bag and run at some point. A shell and some stickers will provide more protection than you realize. Check out RedBubble for some great options.

5. Small vacuum

This is especially important if you get a rug. Sweeping is not pleasant, and the vacuums at your dorm are probably older than you are.

6. Pictures from home

Like I said before, wall art isn't going to comfort you when you want to go home. A picture of your dog or best friend sure will though.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Gherna

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College Made Me Feel Like I Can't Have Free Time

Every second that I do have free, I feel like I need to be working on some type of homework.

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There's no doubt that college is taxing on most student's mental health. You get to the point where you feel stressed about even breathing. I have hit the point where I feel like I'm permanently affected by the stress that I've dealt with this semester.

I used to have so much free time. Even in my other semesters, I had time to hang out with my friends, work, and even be lazy when I wanted to be.

I was still a good student, I got all my assignments done on time and I worked hard on them, but I never really had an overwhelming workload.

That is, until this semester. I got to a point where work was overwhelming, I was working longer hours than I was used to, and having to spend every second that I wasn't in class or at work doing homework, whether it was just lengthy math problems or writing multiple essays or scripts.

After months of being in this habit, when my workload from both work and school died down and I actually had free time, I didn't know what to do with myself.

When my friends were busy and I just wanted a relaxing day at home, since I felt like I deserved it, I would try to just lay down and rest, either reading a good book or catching up on all the shows that my stress had caused me to miss.

But there was always a voice in the back of my head reminding me of every upcoming assignment. I would start thinking about the essay due the next week, or a test that I could be studying for ahead of time.

That voice kept telling me I was being unproductive and wasting my time if I wasn't getting ahead on school work when I finally had the time.

And so I'm still in a position, at the end of the semester, where I feel like I'm wasting my time every time I lay down and just want to take a nap because I'm exhausted from running between work and school. I'm trying to fight myself and tell myself that I am allowed to be lazy for at least a little bit, and I don't need to be constantly working.

Hopefully, that voice wins over, especially with summer coming up. With all of the free time, I'll have since I won't have to stress about school, hopefully, I'll be able to better balance my busy days with my lazy days.

I know this is probably an issue for many college students who are overwhelmed with everything that they have to do. Hopefully, summer break is a nice break for all of us and it gives us the chance to get the free time that we all deserve for surviving this semester, and the school year overall.

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