It is that time of the year again. Crisp September days. The beginning of autumn. School buses, backpacks overloaded with textbooks, and for many students, the start of a higher echelon of education. Moving in your campus dormitory will be an adventure of mixed emotions and tight spaces.
If you find yourself squeezing into your sleeping space between your roommate’s belongings and your own, it might be time to figure out how to declutter your dorm room. Here is a list of the common suspects devouring the living space. You might be surprised to find out what is cluttering your dorm room.
1. Campus freebies
One thing you will find yourself neck deep in by the second week of college is the sheer amount of trial-sized freebies and memorabilia that get shoved into your reluctant arms from day one. Aside from food samples and toiletries, you can immediately begin to get rid of the things you know for sure you will not be using.
There is going to be millions of flags, flyers, pamphlets and other products that will only serve to hug the corners of your living space. Unless the phone number of your crush is written on that health insurance brochure, you can get recycle it. Everything can usually be found online anyway.
2. Paper documents and files
Take a look around your dorm room for a moment. How many piles of papers do you have? How many of them are acting as pedestals for empty water bottles and other gadgets? Everything has gone electronic in some way, so why don’t you too?
Think about renting eBook versions of textbooks. Scan those handouts the teachers give you, notebooks and other copies then convert them into PDFs or upload them to a cloud server. You won’t forget them that way. And you can recycle all of those worksheets and notes to be a bit more eco-friendly.
3. Piles of clothing
Trust me, I know the feeling. Who really wants to unpack those luggage bags? Hanging up your shirts is just annoying. Doing laundry on your off time turns into a nuisance when there are reports to write up and parties to go to. Well, those heaps of dirty undies aren’t going to do anything but attract unsanitary conditions, bugs, and take up more space than needed.
First, do not pack so many clothes. You are going to be living in sweatpants and campus hoodies for the next two to four years. Have an interview outfit, something nice for dates, and some undergarments.
Other than that, you do not need your entire wardrobe. Secondly, you might as well use those soda and beer can tabs for something, so hook them over the clothes hangers in your closet to add another hanger. Do not forget the stack-ability and usefulness of storage bins.
4. Lack of storage space
Dormitories suck when it comes to providing places to tuck away your belongings. You are lucky to have an average sized closet let alone a full wardrobe. That is why space-saving plastic bins and files will be your savior. There is a variety of sizes, and some will even stack, have wheels, or other ways to simplify your life.
5. A low mattress
In combination with a lack of storage space, a low mattress limits how much stuff you can put beneath the bed. That means a lot of space going unused. Instead of raising a dust bunny clan under there, consider getting some bed risers. There are even ones with electronic plugs that will make them all the more convenient. And once your bed is higher, you have to shove those aforementioned storage bins underneath.
6. Wires, wires everywhere
I remember my roommates and I having to drag Ethernet cables everywhere around the apartment. These would intertwine, tangle with other electronic appliance wires, and ultimately become trip wires that would send us stumbling across the dorm room in the middle of night. It was terrible.
Save yourself the spider-web of wires and frustration. A simple fix with using bread ties to keep the longer lines together. Use command strips along baseboards to run cords along the walls instead of keeping them on the ground. You can even use clips to thread cables through then connect them to the edge of desks and tables.
Don’t deny it. As soon as you got into your dormitory personal hygiene went home with mom and dad. There are dishes in the sink. The garbage can could be emptied. You have not mopped the floor in three weeks, and there is permanent spaghetti sauce on the linoleum.
That’s college for you. But all this mess is bound to make your dorm room way smaller than it should be. Cleaning up will not only save your room from becoming a petri dish, it will give you a breath of fresh air.
8. Organizational mayhem
Aside from the inundation of garbage, you and your roommates (if you have them), will no doubt have a need for organizing your things. Get over-the-door shoe organizers for more than just your shoes.
If you all have a lot of toiletries, over-the-door hangers and shoe organizers can help with separating personal items without having to leave usable vertical space empty. Share magazine organizers. Keep personal mail in named folders instead of throwing them on the coffee table. Incorporate storage containers for keeping one’s groceries out of others hands. Same goes for makeup.
Living in a dormitory can be rewarding if you learn to compromise and keep things organized. By decluttering, your dorm will start to feel less like borrowed space and more like home. Add your personal touches. As you begin to organize your space, you might even feel less anxious about this new chapter of your life. Good luck in college. Happy studying! Don’t party too hard.