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10 Dorm Room Essentials For Keeping Things Fresh & Clean – The Items No One Mentions

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Moving your kid into a dorm room can be both exciting & scary. You spend so much time looking for the perfect color scheme & essential decor to create a haven that will become their new home away from home.

But guess what?

You’re probably still forgetting a few very important little things that they will need to keep their space somewhat sanitary. Even if they have a slob for a roommate (worst case scenario) — these items are legit must-haves that will solidify your status as the greatest parent of all time!

Dorm Room Essentials List

1. Odor Absorber

brown dog sniffing a green stem in a bare room.

Life can get a little smelly from time to time. Try a great odor eliminator to keep foul odors at bay. But when shopping for an odor eliminator, you may want to choose an unscented option to make sure no one will be bothered by heavy fragrances or scents.

A few of our favorites include baking soda or these beautifully packaged charcoal odor removing bags. What else is great about these bad boys is that they can used in gym bags, laundry hampers, cars and even the fridge!

Things To Remember

  • Buy several units of whatever product you decide to try or set up an Amazon subscription. Odor eliminators typically only last 1-2 months depending on the product chosen so you’ll want to have plenty on hand.
  • Set up a reminder on your phone to let you know when it’s time to change out the odor absorber. Let’s face it, with so much going on who’s going to remember to change that out in a month or two?

2. Continuous Clean Shower Spray

 A beautiful white tile shower stall with modern shower head.

Why? Let’s face it, what’s the likelihood that the shower will be cleaned regularly in the dorm room? Zero. This one is a no brainer. A good continuous shower cleaner will repel soap scum and water stains making clean-up effortless.

Before you get any bright ideas, remember that these products extend the time between cleanings — the shower still needs to be cleaned on a regular basis.

Related: How To Clean Your Bathroom Fast!

3. Cleaning Wipes

Method Cleaning Wipes In The Lavendar Scent

Life in college means everything will be done on-the-go — including cleaning. Keep something on hand that’s easily accessible and disposable. Having these bad boys around will make quick clean ups easier than ever!

My Personal Favorite

I actually LOVE Method cleaning products simply because they do not contain harmful toxins and more importantly, they actually work!

4. Poo Poo Odor Eliminator

If you’re living by yourself, you have nothing to worry about but when sharing a space, doing the #2 in private can be challenging!

I’ve been a huge fan of this stuff for a long time and can honestly say it works like a dream! In a dorm room, a little bit of this stuff will definitely go a long way!

5. Swap Bar Soap for Liquid

Bar soap equals a ton of soap scum so let’s prevent the problem altogether and stick to liquid bath soap. Wait a minute, let me back track — I went a little hard there.

Honestly, I do love a good sweet smelling bar of soap. So how about we simply cut back on our bar soap usage, to help extend time between cleanings… That sounds fair right?

6. Hair Catcher For The Shower

Young woman with long, thick hair.

We all know what happens when hair gets caught in the shower drain…the dreaded (and disgusting) slow drain. Let’s prevent that with a hair catcher. And it’s a good idea to keep some draino on hand so that you don’t have to wait on maintenance to (never) show up and unclog the drain.

7. Keep Laundry From Stinking

So this is a tricky one, but in small spaces, it’s important to keep laundry odors from stinking up the whole place! A few little tricks you can do include simple things like:

  • Skip the basket and take musty clothing straight to the washing machine. No need to let stinky clothing marinate.
  • Use a fabric refresher to spray the dirty laundry sitting in the basket to keep odors from getting loud in-between laundry days.
  • If you have a cloth laundry hamper, for the love of God, wash that thing!

8. Keep Plasticware On Hand

A white plate with an unhappy face, joined by a fork and a knife.

Ok, before you get on me about how this is wasteful, let me say I completely agree! However, coming from a place of practicality and reality, the likelihood of college students washing their dishes after each meal is very iffy.

Save them the hassle by making sure there is a nice supply of disposable plates and utensils on hand.

9. Gloves

Often overlooked but sooooo important. Speaking from experience, I’ll clean anything as long as I have a pair of gloves on hand. Keep gloves around to make sure yucky messes still get the attention they need.

10. White Board For The Fridge

Essentially your kid and their roommate will need to discuss chores and a whiteboard in a common space is a great way to keep track of everything. Heck, a whiteboard is essential to life in college so don’t get one — get as many as you can!

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