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Your Guide To Spring Cleaning Your Dorm Room

Spring has finally sprung in Happy Valley. What better way to celebrate than with some good old-fashioned spring cleaning?

If you’re living on campus this semester, you know better than anyone that it doesn’t take long for Penn State’s shoe-box sized dorms to get messy. Clothes pile up on the floor, homework and textbooks clutter the desk, and the fridge quickly becomes overcrowded with food that’s more than a few days old. After a while, the idea of cleaning this mountain of chaos begins to seem too daunting.

But you can’t keep putting off the inevitable forever. Luckily, we have a guide to help you along the path to dorm room order.

Step 1: The Essentials

The best way to get started is by making your bed. Put on a clean set of sheets and watch as the dorm room immediately transforms into a more organized and calming space.

Don’t be afraid to open the windows and let some fresh air in, too. The rest of the cleaning process may take a while.

Step 2: Spark Joy

“Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” provides all the inspiration needed for this step (and an excuse to watch Netflix and say it’s part of cleaning your room). As Kondo would say, “Clear out the clutter and choose joy.”

Take all of the clothes out of your drawers and refold them. Get rid of old clothes you no longer wear — especially that highlighter-orange College of Engineering t-shirt you picked up during freshman orientation that you haven’t seen since the first week of school.

Store your heavy winter sweaters and turtlenecks in a bin under your bed, and keep the spring clothes you plan to wear neatly folded in the drawers you use most frequently.

If you want to be really organizationally savvy, you might even decide to color coordinate your closet.

Re-organizing your clothes in this way will not only create more space inside your dorm room, but it will help you to remain more organized on a day-to-day basis. You won’t have to spend ten minutes in the morning looking through piles of clothes just to find that one red shirt you want to wear to class.

Step 3: Clean Out The Fridge

There is nothing worse than a fridge filled with a grossly eclectic combination of old food and half-opened drinks. Take the example below:


Is it really necessary to keep a box of D.P. Dough from last Friday night, or the styrofoam container filled with Redifer quesadillas? The answer is no — absolutely not.

Clean out the fridge and compost the food that’s starting to spoil. Recycle old plastic and metal containers. Wipe down the shelves and reorganize the contents inside. Before you know it, your fridge will swap its chaotic look for a satisfying, hotel-stocked feel.

Step 4: Grab The Vacuum

A good clean isn’t complete until you vacuum the floor. Get rid of all of those crumbs and tiny pieces of paper you keep stepping on and mashing into the carpet fibers every night before bed. In less than five minutes, the floor will sparkle, and so will the rest of your dorm.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

Some of the smallest things can make the biggest difference. Take some time to dust and spray Febreeze, or even buy some flowers and plants to add a nice touch of spring to your space.

Take a minute to clear the stack of handouts from your ever-shrinking desk space, and maybe even straighten up those pictures, books, and snacks on the shelf.

Soon enough, it will begin to feel like move-in day all over again. Everything will be tidy and neat, and you may actually enjoy spending time in your room for once.

Don’t forget to take the time to sit back and enjoy the finished product. Your parents would be proud.

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About the Author

Rory Pelella

Rory is a senior from Binghamton, New York majoring in Spanish and journalism. She's been bleeding blue and white ever since her older siblings decided to create a family dynasty in Happy Valley in 2006. So, as you can imagine, she loves absolutely everything Penn State (especially the Cheese Shoppe downtown). She's also a die-hard Yankees, Knicks, and Giants fan (it's brutal), and would do anything for a good old fashioned New York slice. Feel free to email her at [email protected] or follow her on twitter @rorypelella.

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