College,  Weekly Lists

Weekly Lists #32: Dorm Organization

Every Wednesday, I post a list of 5 random things. This week: how to keep your dorm organized.
Now, this is my fifth year of university and living in a dorm, and every year has mainly just taught me how hard it is to keep such a small place clean – and how, because it’s small, any disarray looks ten times worse!

Luckily, I’ve also picked up some tricks and bits across the years, so here’s my take on the top 5 things you need to keep your dorm organized!

1. A place for everything, and everything in its place

I know this is such a cliche, but unfortunately that’s for a reason: if you only have a small place and you need all your stuff to fit in there – you need to be sure you have one spot for everything, and to put it back there always.
It’s so easy to just drop it wherever when you’re done (and I’m totally also guilty of this) but that literally only ends up in you twisting your ankle because your purse is on the floor because your backpack was sitting where your purse was supposed to go, because your suitcase was where your backpack was supposed to go, because you had some books where your suitcase was supposed to go because you put your dirty plates where your books were supposed to go – and yes, this actually happened to me – twice.
So, yes, you need to put everything back where it goes, or otherwise you’ll end up with an endless “because”-situation as the one above!

2. Clean daily

Now, this doesn’t mean you have to swipe the floor, vacuum, clean all the cabinets, and so on and so forth every single day – however, this does mean that every day, if nothing else, you take 15 minutes to put everything back in its place – it’s a bit of a drag to have to do this, but it makes n°1 on this list so much easier.
Also, a lot of people sleep better in an organized space, so it might even help you get a better night’s rest! (this is also why I take those 15 minutes every day just before I go to bed – actually, it might also be the only reason I actually do this every day… But hey, at least I do it, right?)

3. Have a schedule

This one ties in to the previous one, obviously – sure, you don’t need to clean your entire dorm every day, but it helps if you do a little bit every day! For example, I sweep and mop on Mondays and Thursdays, carry the trash out on Tuesday and Friday (and when necessary in between, of course, but I have to take two flights of stairs and actually go outside to take the trash out, and sometimes I just don’t want to do that, so it helps to have it scheduled!). Every Friday, I clean out my microwave and fridge, and any other appliance as necessary.
Now, as I said – of course, if you need to do any of these more often: do so. But I find that it really helps if I do have a schedule just to make sure my dorm remains presentable – after all: there’s so little space that all the dirt, which would normally spread over an entire house, is now concentrated in one room – cleaning is necessary!

4. Dishes

Yes, I need a separate point for this one. Why? Because I absolutely hate doing the dishes – it’s kind of gross, it always takes too long, somehow I manage to accidentally get water on me every single time and quite often, I just don’t feel like doing them right after I’ve eaten because I’m busy, okay?
What do I do then? Well, I got smart about it. I’m a huge tea drinker. Like, the minute I get back from class, I make myself a cup of tea, basically.
What on earth does that have to do with cleaning the dishes, you ask? Well, I combined it!
Before I leave for class, I put 5 or 6 plates, or cups, or whatever in my sink, in the water with some detergent. By the time I get back from class, they’re ready for easy washings. I put on my boiler and by the time my water’s boiling, I can easily have the 5 or 6 dishes done. By the time my tea is done, I’ve dried them ànd put them away!
Of course, I try to clean my dishes as I use them – as one should – but if that isn’t working (and, let’s face it, it doesn’t more often than it does) this trick helps me keep on top of the whole dishes-situation – and it doesn’t feel like it takes me a long time, because I’m just making a cup of tea, right?
My needs are mainly shelves and all the books, of course!

5. Anticipate your needs

This is actually probably the most important one, because this one is going to make everything else so much easier – you know what kind of stuff you own and/or need, you know whether you prefer to have everything in view or safe behind closet doors – so anticipate that when you choose your dorm and/or decorate it! My dorm is tiny, but I managed to arrange my furniture so that it’s actually perfect for what I need – and if I had to bring two tiny sets of drawers and one pair of shelves, well, that’s just my personal touch, isn’t it?
I actually wrote about this a bit in my Desk Tour-post: I study Linguistics and Literature, so of course I’m going to need more shelves than just the two above my desk – so I got some and as a result my books aren’t taking up half of my desk anymore! (and, yes, they actually were).
Of course, you can get creative with this – after all, it’s your dorm, it’s yours to decorate, but mainly: make sure you have what you need, before you get what looks pretty – and takes up space 🙂
So, there you have it, my top 5 tips on how to keep your dorm organized – do you agree with them? Do you, perhaps, have another golden rule? Be sure to let me know below!