So one of your kids is finally going off to college. Congratulations! We’re sure there are a thousand thoughts going through your head right now, but we have to ask: Are they ready to clean up after themselves? Taking care of some chores around the house is not the same of taking care of ALL the chores around the house, and while a dorm is not precisely a mansion, there are a few tips you should share with them before sending them out to the real world.
The following tips are easy to follow, take little to no time at all, and you can feel the results immediately afterward. They mostly focus on clutter management, quick-cleaning lifehacks, and a few corners they can cut (because c’mon, it’s college). Let’s check them out.
They should follow a schedule
Your kids should know that college is going to bombard them with things to do, so they probably won’t have enough free time to just randomly decide “hey, I’m going to do some laundry!”. They will be better off making a cleaning schedule of their own and try their hardest to stick to it, because chores will definitely pile up otherwise (along with dirty dishes in the sink).
They should keep a variety of air fresheners hidden
It’s understandable that a college dorm won’t get a lot of air, especially if their occupants are spending most of the day running from the classroom to the part-time job to a social event and elsewhere; this, obviously, means that the air can get a little stale once in a while. As a remedy for that, they should hide a couple of air fresheners around each room to keep the whole place smelling nice all day long. A few good places are behind bookcases, inside cabinets, under couches, and just sitting on the counter.
They should clean out the fridge regularly
A college student’s refrigerator is not exactly what you’d call “well-stocked”, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a couple of expired items in there that kids just completely forget about. This is not only completely unhygienic, but it eventually turns into clutter that only gets harder and harder to clean out. They should check and throw away any expired foods or old leftovers at least once every week.
They should tidy up at least 5 minutes every night
If they definitely have no time in their schedule to properly clean up their dorm, they should at least dedicate 5 minutes each night to tidying up before studying or going to bed. This is not enough to take care of the whole place, but it will keep the mess at a certain level until they can find enough time to do a proper cleanup. But if that moment just won’t arrive, surprise them with a visit from a professional cleaning team; they’ll be thankful and you’ll have some peace of mind knowing they’re not sleeping on a pile of dirty laundry.
They should have a place for everything
Everyone likes to have a nicely decorated home to come back at night, however brief that might be. But as a college student, your kids might have to sacrifice the allure of an appealing room setup for an extremely pragmatic one; that means having a place for everything and dividing the dorm with that in mind. Textbooks and school materials? All of it in this corner. Clothes and backpack? All of them in that other corner. Gadgets and entertainment stuff? You get the idea.
They should always remember self-care
What’s the point of having a clean, functional dorm if you’re not feeling clean and functional yourself? Tell your kids to remember that, before they get carried away with tidying up, they should always remember to take care of themselves; shower regularly, catch up on lost sleep, eat properly whenever they can, and even change their hairstyle if they feel like it. Those things add up! If they’re not feeling like a million dollars, how can their room look like it?
These are basic tips, but they’ll go a long way in college since students play by different rules anyway. We’re not saying they should have a photoshoot-ready bedroom every single day, but it will do wonders for their emotional state if they come home after a long, grueling day and find a nice, clean and cozy bedroom waiting for them.