A study conducted at the University of Lynchburg discovered that 92% of incoming students believed that a clean dorm room would help them feel their best mentally and physically — but only about 25% knew how to clean their rooms. Half worried that they wouldn’t have time.

If you have college students in the dorm or in student apartments (or if you’re a college student yourself) these 5 suggestions can make a world of difference:

  1. Schedule a regular time each week to clean up. Set a timer on your phone to alert you so you don’t miss the time. Gradually, this will become a habit and it will be easy to keep it up. Having a regular clean up time can also inspire roommates to join in.
  2. Set three priorities. Tidying your flat surfaces, doing the laundry, and scrubbing the bathroom might be the most important things. If the dorm janitorial staff takes care of the bathroom, you could swap out vacuuming or washing out coffee cups. This is worth discussing with roommates. If you can agree on the most important tasks, there will be less conflict over cleanup.
  3. Stock up on disposable wipes and even disposable toilet wands. They’re not the best choice for the environment, but they are the most convenient. Busy students are more likely to keep surfaces clean if they can use disposables.
  4. Make the bed. Getting in the habit of making the bed every day keeps the room looking much tidier and more inviting. Use a laundry hamper and a trash bag to keep items from piling up on the bed and the largest surface in your dorm room will look great.
  5. Take turns with roommates on cleaning out the fridge, microwave, and coffee machine.

Consider arranging for an occasional professional clean as a holiday gift or a celebration of academic accomplishments.