Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

My Dorm Room Cleaning Essentials

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MCLA chapter.

This is my third year living in a dorm room, and I am obsessed with keeping it as clean as possible. That doesn’t mean I don’t leave clothes on the floor and papers all over my desk from time to time, but I strive to always have clean dishes, clean sheets, a clean floor and more. For me, a clean room means better mental health. When I know my surroundings are in order, I feel more in control and more able to relax. Not to mention, when my room smells and looks nice, I feel so much better inviting my friends in. (Nobody wants to hang out in a messy, stale-smelling room.) Here are some cleaning essentials I can’t live without as a college student:

1) Dish-washing tools

 Personally, as a Junior, I spend more time eating in my room than in the dining hall compared to past years. That being said, dirty dishes can be a major pain. In order to stop them from piling up, I make it as easy as possible on myself. My dirty dishes go in a wire basket I got from Dollar General. This makes it way easier to carry dishes down the hall to the bathroom sink. I wash everything with a dish sponge that has a plastic handle you can fill with soap, so I don’t have to bother lugging around my dish soap. (It’s also great for me as I hate the sensation of touching a wet sponge.) When I bring my clean dishes back to my room, they all go in a plastic dish rack I got for around two dollars at Job Lots. This system is the most cheap and effective way I’ve found to deal with dorm room dishes.

2) Laundry basket, detergent and dryer balls

Next to dishes, laundry is one of those things that piles up insanely fast. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a good, sturdy laundry basket. I’ve had mine from day one of freshman year, and it’s still going strong. I use it for laundry, but also to take my belongings to and from home. I’m not picky about laundry detergent (I just use a cheap bottle of Tide) but it is a necessity. For the dryer, I use reusable dryer balls I picked up at Walmart—and I can’t recommend them enough! They are very environmentally friendly, as they create way less waste than single-use dryer sheets. Not to mention, they leave my clothes fluffy and soft without the nauseating perfumey smell of dryer sheets.

3) Paper towels and Windex

I feel like this is a given. Everyone should have paper towels and Windex, no matter what kind of room or house you live in. I use these to clean everything: mirrors, windows, tabletops, my microwave, my fridge, door handles, you name it. I buy mine at a super low price from places like Dollar General or Big Lots, and they get the job done.

4) A vacuum

I’ve always wanted a vacuum for my room, but didn’t put the money towards it until this year. When doing back-to-school shopping, they had some cheap 20 dollar vacuums at Walmart, and I caved. It’s not the best quality, but it’s so helpful just having one around. And it’s far easier to use than a broom and dustpan. Once every week I give my floor a quick vacuum, and my room instantly feels so much cleaner. I also now have an area rug, so I need something to vacuum all the fuzz and dirt that shows up on it. 

5) Plug-in air freshener

Okay, this isn’t so much a cleaning tool as it is a luxury. Nonetheless, now that I have one, I can’t live without it. I bought a Glade air freshener and some cartridges for pretty cheap at Walmart a couple months ago. I’m a sucker for things that smell good, and there’s nothing better than coming home everyday to a room that smells like vanilla or apples. Not to mention, anyone that comes in my room can’t stop complimenting how good it smells. 

Do yourself a favor and pay attention to how you clean your room—do you only clean it once a semester? If so, give more frequent cleaning a try! You’ll be surprised how it can positively affect your mood, your productivity and your social life.

Tessa is an English Literature and Elementary Education major currently in her junior year. She is a staff writer and senior editor for Her Campus MCLA.