That season is nearly upon us – the “new college student migration” season. Having your son or daughter move away to college for the first time is an adjustment, both for the parent and for the college student. Before they pack away everything that can possibly fit into their car, take some time and offer some proactive help in the cleaning department.

Pack sparingly

They may be tempted to pack everything into their small car and head off to college, but help reduce clutter in the dorm room and sort out what is really needed for each season. Colleges typically have more than one student sharing a dorm room, so there isn’t as much space and you might expect. Since there are planned breaks from the learning schedule, plan out the packing according to what is needed until the first break, when they can come home and switch out seasonal things and bring back only what they need for the next season.

Bundle supplies

The easiest way to keep an area clean is to have the cleaning supplies gathered in one space, ready to use. Invest in a small cleaning caddy that can be stored under a bed or inside a closet, and stock it with essentials. Consider packing an all-purpose cleaner, glass cleaner, paper towels, and extra of the small sized trash bags. It’s easier to wipe up spills or clean up trash if everything they need for quick cleanups is in one place,

Simple lists to help

The dreaded laundry drop-off doesn’t have to happen, especially if Junior was taught how to do laundry and he has a “cheat sheet” of instructions on an index card to follow. Make up some small cards in advance that itemize the steps for spot-treating stains, washing different types of fabric, etc. The cards are small enough to carry in a pocket to the laundry room, and if you’ve stocked the cleaning caddy with laundry items, he’s all set to clean his own clothes!

Many of these cleaning tips may seem obvious, but sometimes explaining things to a new college student helps with the transition to dorm life. It may also avoid the alternative of having Mom drive hundreds of miles once a week to clean the dorm room!