As the semester shifts into full swing we tend to find our lives getting more chaotic with balancing heavy loads of homework, work schedules and extracurricular activities. Due to the pressures of everyday life, it can be hard to set aside time for yourself, let alone your dorm room. Here’s a mid-semester challenge for you – set aside a Saturday, turn on a movie or your iTunes playlist and take care of where you live for a change. There is no better feeling than starting a busy week with a clean room. Here are a few tips and tricks from and on ways to “zenify” your living space during this hectic time of year.


First things first, remove the clutter:

-Depending on where you live on campus, the spacing in your room may be limited so instead of throwing things in your closet or on your bed, try to use shelves – they are the best way to optimize limited space without investing a bunch of money on furniture

-Make use of all available closet, dresser, and desk storage

-Visit your local Target or Wal-Mart and invest in bed risers to raise the bed up in order to place storage drawers under your bed

-Start to think about what you can take home with you and leave there on your next visit. Remember, less clutter = more Zen.

The 30-day rule:

It can sometimes be hard to resist the temptation to buy the newest Michael Kors bag or even the latest video game. But in order to reduce the clutter in your room, put together a list of everything you think you need to buy. After 30 days, if you’re not interested in that item anymore, it’s not worth getting. Instead, save the extra cash for an even bigger item in the future.

Clean seasonally:

-Check your closet before you go on any breaks and clean it out

-If you have scarves and swimsuits in the same drawer, take time to do some rearranging

-Pack the items you don’t need and take them home in order to make room for more stuff

-Designate a space in your room for things that need to go home, things that are going to stay in your dorm room and things that can be donated. The local Salvation Army and Goodwill are always looking for donations to take off your hands.

Goodwill: 2129 North Church Street Burlington, NC

Salvation Army: 260 West Davis Street Burlington, NC

Take advantage of lighting:

Here’s a trick for making a room appear bigger, turn on the lights, open up the blinds and take full advantage of sunlight. The use of lighting can make your room look double the size by exposing all the dark vacuums in your place and creating a sense of openness.

Designate spots in your room:

We spend a lot of time searching our rooms for misplaced items. In order to prevent this, assign items in your room to different spots, if you have a cup for your pens, only put pens in the cup, and if you have a drawer for workout clothes only put workout clothes in that drawer. Little acts like theses go a long way when it comes to keeping your room clean on a hectic schedule.

 Create a weekly schedule:

 -Force yourself to clean, even if you don’t think you have to

-Set a day aside in the middle of the week to do some mid week cleaning in order to keep yourself rejuvenated and motivated for the rest of the week


Bringing Zen elements into a cramped dorm room requires a bit of creativity and clutter control. But with a little effort and dedication, it can be easily done. The benefits of a peaceful escape will be well worth it once you take the first steps.

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