A student studying in her clean dorm room

Dorm rooms tend to be…messier than a typical living space. But have no fear! In this blog, you will find some clear steps to clean up a dorm room disaster and keep it in good shape going forward. 

This dorm room cleaning checklist will get you started.

First Things First, Get It Clean

Before we discuss ways to keep your dorm room clean, first you’ll need to clean up the mess that’s already there. Let’s be honest, most dorm rooms can use at least some cleanup work. Anyone who’s ever lived in one can agree. So whether some or all of these steps apply to your room, surely by the end you will have a far more livable space. These steps generally go from big to small, meaning that each level gets a bit more detailed. Fortunately, after you complete just the first few, you will see your room begin to transform.

Create a Staging Area

Before you can begin, it’s a good idea to set aside a temporary space on the floor or on a cleared table where you can put the random items, papers, sports equipment, or whatever else you have lying on your bed, on your desk, or on other surfaces. This will give you access to the larger areas of your room and will let you accomplish some of the major tasks quickly. If anything, this step helps you stay encouraged to push through and get the job done. 

While you’re moving items around, it’s a good time to take care of large or obvious pieces of trash. Section off your new staging area into categories: keep, think about later, and trash. Once everything is laid out in front of you, it will be far easier to determine what exactly you can get rid of immediately. It’s likely that you will be able to throw away quite a lot, and your room should already begin to look significantly cleaner after this step. 

Strip Your Sheets and Pick Up Clothes

After all of your random “keep” and “think about later” items are moved away from your furniture and trash is thrown away, you can clear a lot of space to work by piling your dirty clothes and sheets on top of your bed. Now is a good time to throw a load or two in the laundry or at the very least separate your clothes from other areas to be cleaned. Once this is accomplished, you should have a lot of free space to work with and the stress of a dirty or messy room should begin to diminish. 

Address Your “Think About Later” Pile

This pile is likely made up of three categories: dishes, papers, and miscellaneous items. Your miscellaneous items are, in all likelihood, things you don’t really need and might not even want to keep. You put them in this pile, not the “keep” pile, right? Make it a goal to trash at least one-third of these items.

Take a seat on the floor and take a look at each of your papers. Much of this is probably trash as well. Things that you need to keep, such as notebooks, homework assignments, warranty information, and more, can be set up on your desk (which should be cleared by now). The rest is probably unnecessary.

Dishes, dirty or otherwise, should be set aside in a sink or in a bin so that they can be addressed properly. If you have access to a sink in your dorm room, now would be a good time to clean up and put away your dishes. 

In the end, you’ll probably trash about 50% of this pile. 

Wipe Down or Dust and Organize Your Desk

At this point, most of your furniture should be cleared. This is a simple step, but take some cleaning wipes and hit all of your hard surfaces. Dust your desk lamp or bookshelves, and now you’re free to start putting the items you’ve kept back up on your desk, shelves, or table.

Pick up all of the items that are still lying on the floor and place them neatly on your furniture. Your floor should now be totally clear. If it’s not, you’ll have to decide once and for all whether you want to keep the remaining items. If so, put them away. If not, into the trash they go.

Vacuum and Final Steps

All that should be left on the floor is crumbs. Borrow a vacuum if you don’t own one (surely someone on your floor does) and make sure to get every corner of your floor. All that’s left should be the clothes on your bed (or in the laundry) and the dishes in your sink. If you haven’t addressed that stuff yet, this is your last step! 

Dorm Room Cleaning Schedule

To keep your dorm room clean after all that work, it’s a good idea to create a schedule with your roommate and hold each other accountable. Now that the heavy lifting is done, cleaning doesn’t have to be a big deal. Do laundry consistently (and declare the floor an off-limits zone) and keep dirty dishes out only as long as they need to be and you won’t have any problems. 

One important thing to remember: You don’t want to come back to a dirty room after breaks. If you keep your dorm clean, you won’t have to rush around before or after breaks to clean up before your parents can see the mess.

Dorm room cleaning services typically consist of residents themselves, not professionals. While experts like those at Kep Klen might come in when the rooms are unoccupied, the responsibility for keeping your living space livable is up to you. These steps should keep you on the right track, so make sure to bookmark this page for future reference!