On New Year’s Day, Japanese organizing consultant Marie Kondo released a Netflix series called “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” While Kondo visits families across the country to organize and declutter their homes, many students at Binghamton University also struggle with organizing and keeping their dorms mess-free. Even in the newest dorm communities on campus, such as Dickinson Community, Newing College and Mountainview College, space is limited and it may seem impossible to bring all your favorite items and everything you need for college while staying clutter-free. Here are a few tips to help stay organized despite cramped living situations.
1. Decide what you want to toss or keep
The most effective and efficient way to reduce clutter is to simply own less stuff. This means seriously taking into consideration whether you need all those rompers and sundresses when the weather is cloudy and below 50 degrees for most of the academic year, or whether 15 pillows are really necessary for you to have a good night’s rest. You can leave these items at home, donate them or sell clothing items to thrift stores or on second-hand shopping sites. Plato’s Closet in Vestal, for example, offers cash for gently used clothes that people no longer want.
2. Invest in multipurpose items
Wall boxes, shelved nightstands and storage racks are examples of easy-to-assemble multipurpose objects that can help reduce clutter and can even double as dorm room decor. Shelves can be organized according to category in separate rows for snacks, cosmetics or miscellaneous items. These items can be bought at stores like Target or Walmart or even online on Amazon, Etsy or other sites for relatively cheap.
3. Utilize the space under your bed
If your bed can be lofted, the room underneath your bed can be used for valuable storage space. You can place drawers and cabinets, a laundry basket or extra bulky items such as a vacuum cleaner there. By placing larger items beneath your bed, you can clear up precious space while maintaining the aesthetic appeal of your dorm room. The higher up your bed is lofted, the easier it will be to access the items stored underneath it. You can even use bed risers to raise your bed even higher.
4. Set aside one day to clean with your roommate
Regardless of how much of a conscious effort you may make to stay organized, the daily upkeep of your dorm room is extremely difficult when you’re a busy student. In addition to this, sharing a living space with your roommate adds double the amount of clutter to a single room. Setting aside an hour or so every week or every other week to clean your dorm room with your roommate can help prevent extreme messiness while still accounting for your busy life. This way, both roommates are held accountable for the cleanliness of a room. Cleaning is also easier, faster and overall more fun with a partner rather than by yourself.