It is hard to stay clean and tidy in the dorms, even for the most organized of people. For a number of reasons, you just won’t have the same energy and drive to put things away or keep things in their respective places. I attribute the aforementioned to a number of factors that are not present in high school life.
Number 1 is the roommate. This beastly creature can be your best friend or your worst enemy. He or she can share in your aspirations of a clean room or destroy any hopes you have of ever achieving such. Imagine your new dorm room is a person–except this person now has two personalities. No matter how well the two mesh, there is bound to be some clash and discomfort.
In my opinion the number 2 reason is the shock of new-found independence. The world just got a whole lot bigger. That is right. Mommy and Daddy are gone, everything needs to get done and you need to do it. This increased workload often forces the best of us to push our organizational skills out the window and spend that precious time recuperating from the night before (whether it was studying for a midterm or winning the local beer pong tournament).
And lastly, coming in at number 3, rooms are unorganized simply because it’s the norm to have a messy room. Very few people in college maintain a clean dorm room for the reasons listed above and more.
So what can you do? A few tips that you would inevitably learn through experience, but it might be helpful to know them before things get too out of hand. First, keep track of all shared expenses. This way you won’t be nervous about getting reimbursed for something your room absolutely needs. Second, take mandatory turns cleaning up the room completely. By completely, I mean sparkling clean. If you have ever spent two hours doing a complete clean job on your apartment or room or dishes even for that matter, you know that once you appreciate how much effort goes into making it look nice you try to keep it nice for as long as possible.
My last tip for keeping your room clean is, don’t be afraid to confront your roommate about his or her habits. If you are fine with it, by all means, let it continue. But if it bothers you let him or her know. It is in essence peer pressure, but it works. You voice your opinions and your roommate would not want to let you down.
I hope these tips help, and if all else fails you can always change roommates, rooms, or even schools. But don’t do anything to drastic over a little pile of laundry. Enjoy the dorms because there is nothing in the world like being a freshman in a crowded building of your peers. So take it slow, try and keep it clean but if not, go out and enjoy it.