When you have a packed schedule, it’s easy to let stuff pile up in your room. But dorm rooms are small, and before you know it, you’ve run out of floor space – and there’s a funky smell that won’t go away. For help tackling some of the most common dorm cleaning problems, read the tips below, then check out Class of Clean: The College Student’s Guide to Cleaning for more advice.
Problem: Bad Odors
The smaller the room, the easier it is for a bad odor to overwhelm the space, so clean up spills right away. If you have a fridge, toss out any old food and wipe down the inside weekly. While you’re at it, wipe down the microwave too if you have one.
Your room may start to smell like old food if you leave food in the trash can, so take the trash out regularly – especially anything with a strong odor. If your trash can is empty and still smells, try scrubbing it with soapy water.
For a spot in your room that tends to get smelly, place a container of baking soda near it to help absorb the odors.
If you’ve been sneezing a lot in your room lately, it might be a sign that your room is dusty. Each week, use a cloth or duster to trap dust on surfaces, and vacuum up any dust on the floor.
The dead skin cells you shed at night are a feast for the hundreds of thousands of dust mites that thrive in your bed. To keep dust mites at bay, wash bed linens at least every two weeks. If you have allergies or asthma, increase the frequency to once a week. Dust mites are drawn to towels too, so wash them after three to five uses.
Having a lot of stuff out gives dust room to collect, so keep clutter to a minimum to make cleaning easier later!
Problem: Messy Roommate
Maybe you have your cleaning routine down pat, but your roommate is messy and never cleans up. While working through conflict is never fun, talking to your roommate can help.
First, figure out what bothers you the most – whether it’s the piles of clothes on the floor or the sink full of dishes. Then bring it up to your roommate as something you’d like taken care of as a favor. Make sure to have the conversation when you’re not feeling frustrated.
Consider offering your roommate a helping hand and suggest setting aside time for a group cleaning session. Put on a playlist and use a checklist to divide up the tasks.
When it comes to cleaning shared spaces, it’s a good idea to establish expectations from the start and divide up the workload. A checklist – like our Conscientious Roommate Checklist – can help with assigning chores that need to be done regularly.