In between study, work and our social lives (or lack thereof), it can become quite a task to tidy the ol’ college dorm room. We can be in a rush, leaving our old clothes on the floor from the previous day. Perhaps there is a mountain of laundry in the corner of the room, or a stack of papers and books on our desk that only seems to grow higher each day. The bathroom bench may not be visible after all that makeup, those hair ties and appliances have been strewn across it. Looking in the mirror, you can barely recognise your own face – it’s been two and a half months since you wiped the glass clean. Despite, our busy schedule, I am sure you can agree by the blurred reflection in your mirror and the potent sweat stink in your shoes that it may be time for an old fashioned working bee. Location: Your tiny college room. Here’s cleaning hacks for a tiny college room!
#1 “You get what ya’ need!”
All that stuff. Yes, the things staring at you from what was once your bedroom floor. Sorting what you need and do not need, use and do not use, will help a great deal in order to get the room back into shape. You can make this easier by having three different piles for your things: pile a) Keep, pile b) Donate, pile c) Throw away. While this task may seem tedious, clearing away a percentage of things may not be such a bad idea.
If you can think of someone who that top would look great on, or who would really like that knick knack gathering dust on your dresser, than why not give it to them? Into the Donate pile. If you find any bits and bobs that you know doesn’t fit you/has holes or is broken (anything that you believe would be of no use) – trash bag it. The clothes that you know you wear often and love to bits, or the books/dvd’s/stationary/ornamental things you just can’t do without (in a true sense of the phrase), you keep. If you can start with the basic things that are around the room that need to be sorted, then you can work in other areas such as the bathroom, kitchen or your closet. Here is a little helping hand if you are struggling to get rid of clothes in particular:
#2 Taking advantage of your space.
“Space? What space? There are piles stuff all over the shop. I don’t have anywhere to put any of it!” Guess again, Tonto. There are heaps of places to put all of that stuff, but we just have to be a little creative. Buying furniture with storage options, module shelving, and even some DIY solutions are all great ways to manage all the stuff you have in your room. And all the junk under that bed? Why not clear it out and pack some crates under there? If you don’t have a wardrobe rack for your shoes, a crate under the bed can do just nicely. Plus: they are in a convenient place that is out of the way and there is no chance to trip over them or have them get lost on the floor of your room.
Another storage solution that we mentioned was module shelving. You could use those compartments for socks, books, linen or any odds and ends that you believe would help you out in that area of the room. Sticking to the different sections of the room can give the space more coordination and a system to help you feel more organised. This also helps to stop messes starting or can be a quick tidy up. Below are some interesting storage ideas for you to try!
#3 Difficult stains.
So you invite some friends up to your room for some chill time. There’s wine, food and all kinds of things going on. Next minute, there is a spillage all over the carpet/someone’s clothing/the furniture. What do you do? After researching some different scenarios and testing a few, I have found that it may not be as difficult to remove that stain as we may believe.
- Scuffs on leather couches or seats: by rubbing some shoe polish (of similar colour) on the spot with a paper towel, the scuffs or marks become unnoticeable. Remember to use circular motions.
- Spilling nail polish on the carpet: Some rubbing alcohol on a rag or towel can quickly lift any of those red or pink nail polish stains from the carpet.
- Makeup stains on clothing: Spray some hairspray on the effected area, waiting ten minutes or so (depending on the stubbornness of the stain) for it to break down the makeup pigments. After time is up, lightly pat the area with a damp cloth. When putting your item in the wash, the makeup should come right off.
- Getting rid of germs on your mattress or couch: Someone wise once said that Vodka was the answer to everything. Well, perhaps not everything, but certainly gets rid of any germs and bacteria on your couch and mattress. Fill a spray bottle with Vodka, and spray some over the mattress/couch. Let it dry before putting your sheets or cushions back on.
- Red Wine in the carpet: Apply White Wine and let it soak.
- Coffee stains on shirts: Add some water to a couple of teaspoons of baking soda, making a paste. Apply to the effected area and let it work. After washing in the machine, it should be good as new.
This is one of those cleaning hacks for a tiny college room that will carry on for life.
#4 Hint hint. Wink Wink.
An idea that I have come by, trying to organise life better as a student, is leaving things where I know I will be reminded to use them. For example: medication taken first thing, therefore kept by the bed with a fresh bottle of water. My clothes, laid out ready the night before by the dresser. When it comes to cleaning, this method can work the same way.
- Leaving a window wiper in the shower, so that when you shower, you know to clean the glass before you leave.
- Leaving paper towel and multipurpose spray by the bathroom sink to remind you to clean the mirror every so often.
- Two different kinds of sponges by the sink. One thicker for washing of the dishes, and a Chux (thinner and lighter) to wipe down the bench so it is clean for the next use.
- Something as simple as keeping napkins or baby wipes on the table, so if any spillage or mess is present, there is an immediate solution.
#5 DIY Hacks
For the crafty side to us, DIY cleaning ideas, I believe, are some of the best. You trial your ideas, testing them, and seeing if they are easy enough to do. From original cleaner concoctions, to cracking out the scissors and glue gun to turn a storage concept into a reality is a great feeling. All of the following examples are ways we can keep up our space, on a budget.
Here are some homemade and DIY cleaning and storage ideas that you just shouldn’t miss.
- Citrus Vinegar Cleaner: Add citrus peels to a tall jar, covering them with vinegar. You’ll have to let this set for around two weeks before the next step. Strain into a spray bottle, then dilute with a 1:1 ratio. This can be used as a multipurpose cleaner. Citruses you can use include lemons and oranges.
- One household tip when storing you linen: Fold your sheets neatly and slip them into one of the matching pillow cases to ensure a shelf that is tidy and allows more space. Next time you need to change your sheets, you won’t be rummaging around the cupboard for a stray pillowcase, or ending up with one that doesn’t match. This also allows for you to know what is dirty and what is clean.
- Cleaning a wooden chopping board: Something I have noticed in using a wood chopping board, is that is can get mouldy rather quickly. One interesting way to deep clean your wooden chopping board is to sprinkle salt over the wood, squeezing a fresh lemon over it, and again using the lemon to scrub the salt into the grain. Doing this from time to time can help you avoid contact with mould and any invisible germs hiding in the crevices of the grain.
Have cables lying around? What about finished toilet rolls on the bathroom floor? Roll up those stray charger or media cables, and slip on a bare toilet roll. Label the cables by writing their names on the cardboard roll. Adding some colourful tape can make this look much cooler than just cardboard. Find a shoe box, and store all your cables inside, tucking the box under your bed, or somewhere equally as accessible.
#6 Catch some Zzz’s.
This may not be a household tip per-say, but it is good to remember to pace yourself. Don’t forget to take a break, eat something, drink water in between jobs and open the window for some fresh air. You are still human, and still have to cater to needs of a personal nature. Keeping your sugar levels up and getting enough sleep will give you the capacity to get any chores or study out of the way in no time. In between, studies, friends and work, things can burn us out. There is nothing wrong with a moment to take a breather every now and again. Why not take a bath, make your bed as cozy as humanly possible, put on a movie? Time for yourself to do the thing that you like, without pressure to please. Be you, and be proud. This is one of the unorthodox cleaning hacks for a tiny college room.
#7 Desk Organisation.
I can tell you from experience that having a tidy desk is not one of the most easiest things to maintain. I used to constantly have loads of paper, books and stationary scattered across it, having to move things to find my laptop. However, having a tidy study space can help us to concentrate on our work without the need to build piles of clutter and rummage around to find a pen or notebook. This is one of those cleaning hacks for a tiny college room that’s useful.
Now is the time to sort through those piles of paper and think about what are important documents and what are bin-worthy. Some papers, can be put into a display folder or binder, and smaller bits of paper relaying important information (memos, phone numbers and the like) could be pinned to a notice board, which you can buy at any Kmart or Target store. After that, I suggest finding a pen holder, case, a jar, or other interesting, yet useful way to hold your pens and pencils (that still have ink in them). Getting these two things out of the way makes the desk organisation a lot easier to navigate. Investing in a basic notepad nook to hold those stray books will also clear some space, and put those resources in direct reach if you need to review some notes. Making sure that your desk is placed near the powerpoint, allows any charger cables to reach the surface of the desk comfortably and you can get creative with how you organise that as well (see images).
After the desk is cleared of clutter and all tidy, why not try and make it look fresher? Adding a small plant (succulents are good), scented candle or something similar can make it look creative and unique to you. Putting posters on the wall nearby, adding a new lamp or some inspiring quote book standing on your desk gives your space a whole lot of character.
#8 Put a label on it.
The only good time we should put a label on something, is when it is relating to storage. Labelling containers in the pantry or fridge, the crates under the bed or the essential items in the bathroom can make life a whole lot simpler when you are looking for something in particular. If you can afford a label maker (approx. $30 at Kmart), then it will be the perfect thing for this task. Masking or washi tape and a permanent marker do the job just as well. Just remember to write in clear printing. Another option is to order custom decals from online stores like Vistaprint or Etsy.
#9 “Hook me up…”
Hooks and hats stands can be used in a whole variety of ways when looking to increase storage and keep a tidy college room. Any junk shop or hardware store sells hooks in different sizes and styles for only a couple of dollars. Hanging up loose jewelry or bags, straightening or curling irons, bags and hats, kitchen utensils…. the possibilities are truly endless when it comes to simple solutions such as these. This is a famous one of those cleaning hacks for a tiny college room.
#10 Planning Over Time.
Having a set plan of what you and when you do things can help you keep on top of things, keeping the living space tidy. Separating jobs into Daily, Weekly, Monthly and Seasonal tasks can lighten the load a bit and make the jobs seem less than they are.
- Daily: Make bed in the morning, clear miscellaneous items and put them away, washing dishes at the end of each day.
- Weekly: Vacuum and sweep the floor, take out the trash, laundry, disinfect commonly used surfaces (kitchen bench, bathroom, toilet, dusting furniture), get rid of any clutter or building piles.
- Monthly: Clean mirrors and windows, clean out the fridge, go through food (throwing out anything you won’t eat or that is past the use-by date), wash sheets and replace bedding.
- Seasonally: Go through your clothes again (Donate, Throw away or Keep process).
Do not be afraid to ask for help when you need it. If you have roomies that share the space, why not ask them what ideas they have? Or maybe con your friend or significant other into some “washcloth and chill” time? Either way, I hope this list of cleaning hacks for a tiny college room help you out.
Let us know what you think about YOUR favorite cleaning hacks for a tiny college room in the comments below!
Featured Image Source: weheartit.com
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