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Cleaning Out Our Childhood Bedrooms

Getting back home for break (or, for some of us, just finishing the semester from our bedrooms) was fun for the first few days. However, with all the COVID restrictions, this got boring quickly. In preparation for college, I cleaned out my childhood bedroom this past summer, but I also helped a couple of my friends clean theirs over winter break. It was great to spend time together, and now they feel more prepared to conquer this upcoming semester!

We started the process by going through their closets — there were so many clothes! A lot of pieces had been shoved to the back because they didn’t fit or were simply forgotten about. Beyond those clothes, we also went through their more current wardrobes and pulled out pieces that no longer fit their sense of style. All the clothes they no longer wore for whatever reason, we opted to donate. When I fully cleaned out my closets over the summer, I ended up with over 10 bags to donate! Alternatively, if you’re trying to make some cash over break, you could also sell your old clothes to a secondhand store. We then reorganized their closets for this season and packed away summer clothes. We found space-saving hacks — like rolling your sweaters — to be immensely helpful in maximizing their closets’s real estate. 

Once their closets were done, we moved on to their desks. Whew, were they messy! We started by emptying their drawers and getting rid of all their old papers and school supplies. If any school supplies were unused (or gently used) we donated them with the clothes. We then organized their desks with minimal necessities for class and bought new materials, which ranged from sketchbooks to graphing calculators (depending on the classes they were taking). 

Lastly, we moved on to their bathrooms. We tossed out any expired beauty products and gave each bathroom a thorough cleaning. For one of my friends, we ran to Target and bought some new countertop organizers. She now keeps her skincare and daily makeup in them — seeing the skincare products every day reminds her to take care of her skin and actually follow through with her routine! 

COVID has driven many people to clean. With little to do outside of the house, we’re spending much more time at home, and we’re trying to improve what we can about our living situations. Transitioning our spaces from a childish, fun, play space into a more mature, enjoyable, and Zoom class-friendly environment will benefit us this semester. Additionally, it gave us a way to start the new year off on the right foot — feeling organized and at peace in our bedrooms inspires us to keep them clean and to continue to make positive decisions. Though cleaning can often seem boring, it was fun with friends — we grabbed a speaker, turned on some music, and grabbed lunch before starting. It’s also a productive way to spend time with your friends in a COVID-cautious way. 

Katie Ryan

Columbia Barnard '24

Katie is an incoming first year at Columbia College. She's a coxswain for the men's heavyweight crew team and spends her free time working out, volunteering, and reading. Katie is planning to double major in English & Comparative Literature and Human Rights, specializing in Economics.
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