Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Confessions of a Messy College Kid (Tips for Cleaning, Organizing, and Decorating a Dorm)

I'm the first to admit I'm a hot mess when it comes to my room. I mean for anyone else it would be dysfunctional. I know I'm not the only one. The problem with this is that dorm rooms aren't really big enough to be throwing all my clothes in piles on the floor and over the end of my bed. It just looks like a bomb went off. I really got to the point where I couldn't even think straight when I was sitting in my bed. I knew it was getting bad, so I cleaned and can now see my floor. I am also currently in the process of redecorating in my room. I thought I'd give you a few tips for cleaning/organizing/decorating.

Some of my necklaces on a hook
1) Cleaning Supply Must Haves - There are few things that I always recommend having around to keep your room clean (or at least sanitary.) My number one must have is disinfecting wipes. I'm not a germaphobe, but disinfecting wipes are inexpensive and they are easy for wiping down EVERYTHING! I use them for wiping down our bathroom or my desk or the microwave.  My second must have is dish soap/sponge/towel. It's important to have these around if you any sort of eating supplies like utensils, plates, or Tupperware. You will you use all through the year. I recommend having it from the get go. Also, bring an air freshener. Even if you aren't smelly, they add a nice fresh scent to the room. You can buy really easy to use ones for $1.29 in all sorts of smells at Rite Aid or Walgreens, ect. 

The sarong hanging on my wall
2) Organizational Supply Must Haves -  For the closet, I recommend two things. If you are someone who hangs all of your clothes, invest in several of the "multi-item hangers" that allow you hang like 5 pairs of pants on one hanger. It creates a TON of space. Second, I recommend the closet hangers that are typically used for shoe storage. I don't actually use mine to store shoes. For the most part, I use the little cubbies for sweaters, pajamas, or other bigger items that can be rolled up and put into the small show cubbies. The shoes can easily just be thrown on the bottom of the closet. Depending on where you are living, you may decide to buy some extra plastic drawers for your room. I have a nice set of small drawers from Walmart for underwear, swimsuits, and scarfs. That helps create more space for clothes in the drawers under my bed.  For your desk, purchase an office desk supplies organizing set to hold pencils and papers and note cards. It may seem like overkill right now, but you will seriously love it when you are trying to find post-it notes in the mountain that has formed on your desk. Last minute thought: Hooks! Get big hooks that can hold jackets or purses. They can stick on the back of a door or on you wall and get things off the floor. I use some of mine for necklaces.

Fun pillow case
3) Decorating Tips - You really start with a blank slate when you move into your dorm room. It's blank white walls. You aren't confined by the fact that your parents want it to look a certain way. It's just you against the world. I recently discovered the battery powered candles. They look like real candles, but they don't make smoke. In the past my walls have been big photo collages of places I've traveled, my friends, and my family. It's a way to stay less home sick by keeping your family around. I also have my Men of Hawaii calendar on my wall as well as a large sarong that I bough in Hawaii with turtles on it. Christmas lights are another big decoration on campus. If you get white lights, it adds a nice twinkle. If you go for colored, it adds a different flair! Either way they are fun. You can also find more 'silly' Christmas lights shaped like Chilis or hula dancers if that is your thing. You can usually find those in the patio section of Pier One or other home goods stores. White boards are also a great decorating piece. You can doodle on them, write down your weekly schedule, or communicate with your roommate. They are very sensible and a very worth while.  The important thing to remember is that it is YOUR space. Decorate it in a way that will make you happy and comfortable. Make it suitable for fun and studying. Make it yours!

I really hope you find this helpful! Feel free to ask me questions about dorm life and other college questions you might have in the "Ask Questions About SMC" tab above or shoot me an email!


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