Establish boundaries to survive dorms

By Bella Keys, Staff Writer

So you’re moving out and onto bigger and better things: your first place of your own. Technically, this isn’t your own place, but it’s pretty close. You only have to share a room with one or two other people, and there are no longer curfews or rules to abide by. This may all seem exciting, but it’s very easy for things to go awry. A problem that could happen is letting your dorm room become a pigsty. This can be avoided with four easy steps, which, if followed, will result in a successful dorm experience.

Step one: Discuss with your roommate(s).

After you’ve set your things up, it’s time to set some ground rules. By setting expectations at the beginning of the year, it will help guarantee that you both respect the living space. To do this, think of rules that matter to you.

One possible rule would be for you to keep your things separate. There are many ways you could approach this, but my recommendation would be to say this after you’ve both set up your individual things and drawn boundaries. This way, if your roommate turns out to be messy, their clutter will be confined to their side of the room, and it won’t affect yours.

Step two: Stop the mess before it starts.

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To implement this strategy, you have to clean up the mess the second it happens. So, if you come home from a night out, don’t leave your clothes in a pile on the floor, but place them in the hamper instead.

Another example this is to avoid the classic “clothes chair.” This is a chair most people develop during their college career, a chair full of random clothes piled up on it. If this happens, you will not be able to distinguish what’s clean from what’s dirty, and the pile will slowly grow into something unmanageable. Fortunately, this strategy applies to more than just clothes. It can apply to your desk too.

Using this strategy for your desk is simple; you just have to clean things after you use them. Annoying, I know, but it saves you from an insurmountable heap as time goes on. This effectively reduces the mess and stops it from piling up to the point where it will take you an absurd amount of time to clean.

Step three: Lay down rules relating to food.

I’m sure both of you will bring snacks to eat, as that is an essential part of the college lifestyle. However, with tasty snacks comes great responsibility. A possible way to keep your snacks organized is to have a certain area to keep them, such as a snack basket.

Once you’ve eaten your snacks, it’s important to dispose of them properly. The larger the trash can, the better! Unfortunately, having a trash can is not the final step to getting rid of your waste.

Food waste can get smelly, and leaving trash for too long can cause an unpleasant odor. An easy fix to this is taking the trash out regularly. It should not be your responsibility to always take the trash out, or vice versa. One idea is one of you takes the trash out once a week. This efficiently stops the room from smelling, and it will also make taking the trash out less of a chore.

Step four: invest in some cleaning supplies.

A key item for your room needs is a vacuum or a Swiffer. Which item you should buy depends on the type of floor you have. If you have a rug or carpet, a vacuum is the best option, and if you have hardwood floors, you should use a Swiffer. Both of these items easily pick up the dirt on your floors.

Now, it’s possible your residence hall already has a vacuum. If this is the case, you still need to pick up a few supplies to help keep it clean. A good start is a toilet brush and all-purpose cleaner. A final idea is to get a duster. These cleaning supplies are a quick and easy way to keep your room looking fresh.

Cleanliness might not be the first thing on your mind, but it is important to make sure clutter is one extra thing you don’t have to worry about. If you implement these simple tricks, your dorm room will be spotless.

Bella is a junior in LAS.

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