College is often your first chance to make a living space truly your own. That's a lot of fun, but also a lot of pressure. How do you make a room cute, fun, and homey and without making it cluttered and claustrophobic? It isn't easy, but I'll share with you a few simple mistakes that everyone seems to make that you can avoid.
1. Last Semester's Books
As an English major, I could never suggest throwing away books! But that being said, I would be up to my nose in them if I never stored, sold, or donated them. If you don't think you'll need a book again, consider selling it to a used bookstore or simply drop it off at the library. If you can't part ways with last year's books just yet, but won't be using them any time soon, stash them in some storage bins under your bed.
The beginning of the school year always yields tons of freebies. Not to mention sporting events that give out free T-shirts or water bottles. And I can't count how many temporary tattoos and pins I've gotten over the past few semesters! As poor college students, it's hard to turn down freebies, but honestly most of those trinkets have probably turned to clutter in your room by now. So ignore your thrifty side for just one minute and cleanse your room of pointless freebies.
3. Flyers and Coupons
If your college is near a city, businesses might take advantage of that by handing out flyers, coupons, business cards, etc. around your campus. You might have every intention of getting that 2 for 1 rice bowl, but odds are you probably never will. Now you have a stack of failed advertising attempts taking up space on your desk! Just throw them away, I promise you won't miss them.
College dorms are filled with clothes of questionable cleanliness. It's not your fault; you're busy, tired, and, if you're anything like me, go through 2-4 outfits per day. It's hard to keep straight what you wore all day, what you just tried on in the morning, and everything in between. To fix this, just be diligent about putting your clothes away or putting them in the laundry basket as soon as you undress.
Whether they are your own dishes or ones you stole from the dining hall, they take up a lot of space and can get pretty disgusting if you don't stay on top of things. I won't tell you to stop eating in your dorm because we both know that won't happen, especially with finals approaching! But you should either only eat snacks that don't require dishes or have a designated time in your day when you wash them and store them somewhere out of the way.
If you never had to take our the garbage at your home growing up, it might not occur to you in your dorm either. But it's really important that you stay on top of the garbage level in your room. When your let your trash pile up too much, you not only have to live in a smelly room, you also invite little bugs and mice to explore their new possible home.
7. Poor Use of Space
Maybe spatial organization isn't your forte, so reorganizing your furniture to maximize space and minimize clutter never occurred to you. But doing simple things like placing your bookshelf on top of your desk, storage bins under your bed, and hanging shoe racks in your closet can make your dorm feel so much bigger!
There's nothing wrong with a little clutter here and there; it makes the space feel lived in and gives it a bit of personality. However, being surrounded by clutter can feel stressful and even embarrassing when you have friends over. How do you combat clutter in your dorm?