Things You Will Find While Cleaning Out Your Dorm

Alex Braun is the editor of’s Eye of the Intern blog.

Summer’s almost here and it’s time to move out of your dorm or apartment. You have to clean that stain at the foot of your bed, fix that whole in the wall from that party two months back, and buy new window blinds because the one in your room is…well, it stopped serving its purpose months ago. While cleaning you’re bound to find things you thought you lost weeks after you moved in. You’ll also find some stuff that makes you wonder if it’s even of this planet. Here are five compelling and often disturbing things you’ll find when cleaning out your dorm.

Substance from the Black Lagoon

Sophomore year, one of the guys on the other side of my suite-style dorm liked to come over to my side and have long conversations while using my roommate’s jet-style lighter to destroy various objects. He was especially fond of melting plastic burger containers until the lid would literally sink into the plate and fuse to the top of our mini-fridge.

Initially, I was concerned about the toxic fumes being released directly into my lungs, but this was soon superseded by the discovery that some sort of unearthly jet-black runoff had accrued beneath the fridge and fused it solidly to the goddamn ground. From there, it took several days’ exposure to industrial strength oven cleaner to free my prized beer-chilling vessel.

A Shit Ton of Spoons

I guess this isn’t really horrifying, but I was always amazed by the number of spoons I would unearth when cleaning out my dorm. They appeared everywhere – under the bed, in desk drawers, in my clothes hamper, and (somehow) behind the subwoofer. The most chillingly inexplicable aspect of this phenomenon is that I use forks just as often as spoons, but I would never, EVER find forks.


Finding a condom that belongs to you is gross, yet there’s still a voice in your head that’s like, “Hell yeah.” Finding other people’s condoms in your room is deeply unsettling.

Sink Film


Senior year, I actually had a sink in my bedroom — which made very little sense, but I was cool with it. Until second semester, when the sum total of all the people who ever snuck into my room during a party to make out had dumped enough stuff you’re not supposed to dump into a sink to obstruct 99.8% of the water flow. From there on, any idiot who turned on the faucet created a standing water issue.

Being as I was broke as hell and a collegiate dude, I figured I’d leave it alone until a Magic and Perhaps Suggestively Dressed Roto-Rooting Fairy restored everything to normal. Instead, I learned about all the gross crap that’s in tap water firsthand, by scrubbing Mammoth Cave-style mineral deposits off the inside of my sink with my dad.

Four Pounds of Bottlecaps

If they so wished, most college males could probably construct a human-sized robot out of all the stuffty-beer bottlecaps they collect when moving out – and I have no doubt that some do. Some recall fond memories – “That was sweet when Wal-Mart had Modelo on sale”; some are hard to explain to Dad – “I would never drink Zima, what???”; and some recall no memories at all – “Steel Reserve comes in bottles?” For some reason, half of these bottle-caps will contain pennies. Someday, physics will be able to tell us why.

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