While dropping my son off to college recently I was suddenly hit with the fact that no one is going to be there to do his laundry, make him wash his sheets, or clean his room.
He has a roommate in his dorm room and I have absolutely no idea of how this other young man feels about cleanliness…but they both are about to find out.
I will admit that my son wasn’t a slob at all; however, I did have to nag about certain cleaning situations in his room. Let’s see if you too can empathize with the below nagging questions.
- Did you change your sheets this month?
- Is that a pizza box under your bed?
- Does that cup that used to be filled with Sprite now have mold growing?
- WHAT IS THAT SMELL?
Guess who has to clean their own room now? That’s right – your child who you had to beg to clean their room, do their stinky laundry, and make their bed now most likely has a roommate and the odors will overwhelm them quickly. It’s easy to avoid your own smelly socks but when you have to deal with someone else’s smelly socks… “Houston, we may have a problem!”
But the main factor that we need to address is that communication is key. You may have constantly had to communicate to them to clean their room but it eventually worked.
Now we must teach our college kids to communicate with their dorm roommate and hopefully come up with a schedule to keep their room clean.
I am sure you bought the average needed dorm items such as small fridge, microwave, sheets, pillow, comforter and storage items but let’s back track to the fridge and microwave. Has your child ever cleaned the microwave or fridge at home? Probably not! Let’s send your college kid a list of “to do” items and cross our fingers and toes that they start to actually apply the “to do” list to their weekly or daily college lives.
Laundry must be done weekly. At home our children were blessed with a laundry hamper they kept in the bathroom or laundry room and whenever it overflowed they then (and probably only then) paid attention to it. Now you have two college children in a room that is most likely 12 by 19 feet and they have the odor of dirty laundry locked into that space.
Also, don’t forget to send them a small laundry detergent bottle or capsules monthly to add that soft reminder that it may be time to wash those sheets!
The luxury of the Swiffer, vacuum, broom and dustpan are no longer around. The college dorm space doesn’t really allow a separate area for storing of these things. We suggest stocking your child with a wet Swiffer and refillable wipes to wipe up spills immediately.
The invisible line of the dorm room is always there; however, when it comes to cleaning the dorm mates need to communicate monthly on at least cleaning their floors. They are not taking their shoes off when they walk in the room, so imagining turf, gum, and whatever else is on the floors of those rooms can be quite sickening.
Bringing College Germs Home
I hope you got the memo about Bed Bugs in college dorms because it’s a true fact that they exist and love to live in these places. Equip your college kid with a mattress cover and hints to keep their items in sealable and lockable places.
If laundry comes home when they do, you better believe that so does a college germ or two or three or a million. Take the precautionary steps now not to bring the germs home for Thanksgiving break.
Illnesses Can Spread Faster In A College Dorm Room Than At Home
If their roommate gets a cold, your child will most likely get a cold. If their roommate gets the flu, they most likely will too. Stress a monthly cleaning schedule of their microwaves, fridge and overall cleaning of their sides of the room. Habits can rub off on people so if you instill cleanliness in your new college student hopefully their dorm mate will follow suit. Keep this “to do” list handy so your child knows exactly what is needed and when to use it.
|ROOM CLEANING SUPPLIES||INDIVIDUAL CLEANING SUPPLIES||LIST|
|SWIFFER MOP WITH REFILLABLE WET WIPES BROOM & DUSTPAN||LAUNDRY HAMPER WITH A TIGHT ENCLOSURE||WEEKLY: DO ALL LAUNDRY INCLUDING SHEETS, TOWELS, CLOTHES|
|PAPERTOWELS, RAGS, WET DISINFECTING WIPES FOR DESK AREA||LAUNDRY DETERGENT||MONTHLY: SCHEDULE ROOM CLEANING WITH ROOMMATE|
|SMALL VACUUM (YOUR R.A. MAY HAVE ONE ON YOUR FLOOR)||ECO FRIENDLY AIR FRESHNER||UPON NOTICE: CLEAN SPLATTERS, SPILLS AND EMPTY TRASH|
|SMALL DUSTER||MICROWAVE SPLATTER COVER||ASK: ASK PARENTS TO REFILL EMPTY CLEANING/LAUNDRY ITEMS|
|BAKING SODA FOR FRIDGE|
College is a big milestone for your child (and you)! Congratulations…you have both made it to a wonderful time in both of your lives. I hope these tips will help get your child’s dorm room tidy and organized so they can start this exciting chapter in their lives clean and healthy. In the meantime, you should get some rest…a big pile of laundry is probably coming your way over the Thanksgiving break!