For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Sep 05 2017
by Shelby Lenhart

The Ultimate Guide to A Cleaner Dorm Room

By Shelby Lenhart - Sep 05 2017

The importance of keeping a clean room has been beaten over our heads since childhood. Not only is it safer to keep a clean room in the event of an emergency, but maintaining a clean sleeping environment is important to maintaining mental health. Studies have shown that disorganized bedrooms can actually promote depression and anxiety. With busy college schedules and new adult responsibilities, however, it can be difficult to keep our spaces clean. Don't worry, though, because there are plenty of tips to get that room clean and keep it that way!

1. Make your bed — every day.

Making your bed seems like something you were instructed to do as a child, but doing so is more helpful than we give it credit for. Making your bed every day serves many purposes, one being that it will become a part of your daily routine. When you make your bed every day, it not only allows you to accomplish something right when you wake up, but it also becomes something normal as opposed to something you only do when undertaking the task of cleaning your entire room. Creating this step allows you to go on autopilot, making the task seem less menial and more important for your day to continue. 

The bed itself is also the focal point of the room, so keeping it tidy can make the room look dramatically different. A neat bed can immediately make a room look more put-together, and can also help to prompt a more restful night's sleep, which is vital for maintaining mental health. 

2. Take out the trash.

An overflowing trash can seems to epitomize the idea of a messy room. Water bottles that belong in the recycling, tissues and potato chip bags can take a somewhat-messy room and transform it into a visual disaster. Dealing with a miniature landfill in your room can be one of the easiest ways to improve the appearance of your room. 

One of the first ways to deal with trash is to not bring it into the room in the first place. Keeping food and other snacks outside of the bedroom is not only much more sanitary, but prevents the buildup of trash that can also attract vermin into your room. 

If you're like most of us and can't help sneaking that bag of Lays into your room, then make sure you're emptying the trash at least once a week. Leaving the trash for more than a week can spawn the growth of certain bacteria, dust and bugs, and can make your room look much worse than it might be. To make it easier to take out, line the trash can with a plastic grocery bag, and leave extras beneath the lining bag. 

3. Deal with your laundry.

One of the easiest ways for a clean room to become messy is allowing clothes, whether they're dirty, clean or totally okay to wear a second day in a row, to sit on floors and dressers, instead of hung up, folded or in the hamper. It becomes so easy to tear every shirt you own out of the closet in search of that perfect night-out outfit, but it seems like a trial to put everything back. 

Dealing with laundry can be done in several ways, some of which are even Pinterest-worthy!

Sort the clothes sitting around the room into two piles. Decide whether or not the clothes are dirty, and put the dirty clothes into a hamper or basket. Even if you can't actively do the laundry, getting the dirty clothes all in one place can give the space some breathing room, and can ease the cluttered feel. 

Dealing with clean clothes isn't as much of a tribulation as it seems in the aftermath of a vicious search for the cutest blouse, but it can certainly be made easier. Using a hanging shoe organizer, clothes can be tucked away in a space-saving method that also makes them readily accessible (and totally easy to roll up and put away without a second thought). 

4. Let it go.

I know, I know, that song seemed to haunt us in our nightmares a few years ago, but Elsa's cathartic motto is actually a really helpful tool in keeping your room organized. 

Take a look around your room. Is that hot-pink bedazzled dollar store goblet collecting dust on your highest shelf? Have you even thought about it in the past week, or has it simply become part of the landscape? 

Experts recommend getting rid of (or, if you can't bear to part with it, just storing) items you haven't thought about in the past two weeks. If an item sits uselessly on your dresser, it adds to the visual disarray of a room. Keeping knick knacks in a room to a minimum also prevents excess dust build-up on top of the items that would eventually have to be cleaned. 

Throwing out items that litter your shelves can also increase the feeling of productivity. Shedding old items from the past not only helps declutter your physical space, but your mental space as well. 

5.  Hide what you can't help.

There are some things in our room that seem like they just don't have a place. Here's where it counts to be creative – utilizing under the bed and overhead spaces can be one of the biggest allies in fighting a messy room. Using under the bed shoe organizers to keep extra bags, coats and yes, even shoes, can help eliminate clutter from the room. Using that extra ten inches of space in the top part of the closet to hide those impulse-buys can also help keep your room tidy. 

Giving a place to items that don't seem to have a place can make even the messiest of rooms look Instagram-worthy, and it's even better when those lost items are tucked out of sight. Keeping your room de-cluttered (even if the clutter is just hidden) can help keep your room looking cleaner when there isn't time to do a full cleaning. 

Cleaning your room isn't just a childhood punishment anymore, it's an important part of mental health in adult life. It seems like an arduous task to do, especially with stressful schedules, and it can seem even harder to keep the room entirely neat, but armed with these tips, hopefully a cleaner bedroom is on the horizon. 

Lead Image Credit: Pexels 

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Shelby Lenhart - Marymount Manhattan College

Shelby is a freshman at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. She is getting her BA in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Playwriting.

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