11 Little Ways to Practice Spring Cleaning

March 19, 2020, marks the first official day of Spring, which means (arguably) the best season is right around the corner. Spring is synonymous with opportunity, and nothing makes me happier than warm weather and high pollen counts. I’m often a victim of low energy in the winter, and the dark days indoors put me in a funk. I lose sight of my goals and feel like the semester is dragging on too long. But once the sun returns and the crocuses pop up from the barren earth, I once again feel brightened, productive, and willing to make important changes in my life. While spring cleaning commonly applies to de-cluttering the home, I think it’s just as important to use the same inspiration to re-evaluate other areas of life. Whether it’s looking towards the summer or applying changes in the day-to-day, here are 11 ways to embrace spring cleaning:

1. Be conscious academically

It’s always good to practice being proactive, and spring is the perfect time to make an appointment with your academic advisor. It’s helpful to look widely at your plan for college and make sure you’re not under or overwhelmed with your course load. Be open to a new major or minor and summer study abroads, especially if you don’t currently feel excited and challenged in class.

2. Adopt better habits

It could mean a more consistent sleep schedule, a new workout routine, taking time away from screens or using a planner to stay on top of schoolwork. Whatever it is, spring is the ideal time to take another go at a New Year’s resolution that fizzled due to holiday lull or lack of motivation. 

3. Cut off toxic relationships

Spring = more daylight hours. There’s now more time for commutes into D.C., weekend parties, camping trips and concerts. If spending time with someone constantly leaves you feeling down and unsatisfied, it’s probably time to make new friends or consider a breakup.

4. Clear out your fridge

First, think about mold, then actually empty your fridge. Get rid of unfinished, far-past expired morsels of food you thought you wanted later. Next, fill it with healthy snacks to get through the second half of the spring semester and happily feel like one area of your life is controlled. 

5. Update your wardrobe and donate clothes

The weather is changing from sweaters and scarves to rain boots and crop tops. A new look could be just what you need to shake the winter blues and gain extra confidence about whatever challenges you’re currently taking on. Fight fast fashion and consider donating anything you haven’t worn in the last six months. 

6. Clean up (or ditch) social media

Less screen time is, generally, better for you. Set a goal to limit time scrolling on Instagram and Twitter so that you can get outdoors more and actually get your homework done. That’s okay, I feel called-out too. 

7. Set sights on a summer internship

Internship applications opened before 2020 even started. Get on top of it before all the opportunities are gone. Most internships can count for course credits and, if paid, you’ll have funds for weekend plans and pool parties. Polish up that dusty resume and make some connections.

8. Get a check-up for your health

It’s never, ever, a bad time to make sure you’re in good health. Good ideas include: your annual physical, testing for STIs, a breast self-exam, a dental checkup… 

9. Try something new

Up to your discretion, but, consider quitting something that’s not fun anymore and opting for a new activity that will help boost morale. Spring is excellent for anything outdoors. My suggestions include team sports, hiking, gardening, biking, camping and photography. 

10. Adopt a new philosophy

The first week of March brought Super Tuesday, which means your new philosophy could definitely be political. But if it’s not, consider mindfulness, a new religion, debate or something similar. 

11. Volunteer

The weather makes it easy to get out and change the world. There are plenty of opportunities on campus and in the community including clean-ups, holding food drives or taking political action. 

Spring can be everything you choose to make it. It’s here to lighten our hearts and prove that there’s still time to solve all the problems we forgot to address in the winter. Use it wisely, but most of all, appreciate the wonders of mother nature.