Move out made simple: hacks for leaving apartments and dorms

Jill O'Brien

Picture this: it’s move out day. You’re scrambling to pack up your dorm or apartment, waiting for the impending room check from your CA. Hurriedly throwing clothes into your suitcases and stuffing large items wherever they fit, you’ve forgotten that you also need to clean the place from top from bottom.

However, it doesn’t have to be a stressful, haphazard process. Here are a few hacks for getting your dorm or apartment clean in a timely, stress-free and cost-efficient manner.

Make a plan with the people you live with

Maybe one of your roommates is leaving before you. Maybe you’re the one leaving first. Either way, make a cleaning plan with the people you live with so the responsibility doesn’t fall on one person. While the Department of Residence move-out packets usually encourage students to make these plans with their roommates, make sure everyone knows what they are responsible for cleaning so no one is left to clean up someone else’s mess.

Invest in totes

Large items, like calendars, wall hangings and other trinkets won’t fit in a suitcase, and leaving them bare in the car could be risky, especially if they’re made of delicate or easily breakable materials. Buy several plastic totes at Walmart or Target and use them to store all of those cumbersome items. They’re deep, sturdy and can fit everything from clothes to desk lamps to kitchen supplies.

Bag your clothes

If you don’t want to fold up all your clothes and stuff them into suitcases or totes, just wrap them in garbage bags. Leave them on their hangers, wrap them in the bags and lay them flat in your car, or poke a hole at the top, near the hangers, so you can hang them in your car.

Use cleaning supplies right up to the last spritz

Instead of buying a ton of cleaning supplies to deep clean your apartment or dorm, just use up what you may have underneath sinks or in bathrooms. If you need extra supplies, get them, but don’t rush out to buy what you already have.

If you don’t have any supplies and don’t want to buy them, make your own all-purpose cleaner with what you may already have: combine 1 cup of white vinegar, 1 tbsp of baking soda, 1 cup of water and a few drops of lemon juice (the recipe calls for essential oil, but if you don’t have essential oil, lemon juice will work fine) in a spray bottle.