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Spring Cleaning for Students

With two feet of snow and lethal amounts of ice on the streets, you might well not believe that in many parts of the world, it is already spring. Here in Montreal, winter—complete with sub-zero temperatures, common unwillingness to set foot out of doors, and in my own case, a persistent dependence on Second Cup’s hot apple cider—is most definitely clinging on. But while it may not be time to pack away your snow boots or Canada Goose jackets just yet, midterms are coming to an end, providing a good opportunity for that long-delayed spring cleaning. In the spirit of the (hopefully soon) impending season, Her Campus McGill is here to give you some tips!

Believe it or not, somewhere beneath those piles of laundry, empty cereal boxes, overdue library books, and the remnants of last weekend’s party, there is an apartment you wouldn’t be ashamed to let your mother see.

Perhaps the best place to start is with the basics. As shocking as it sounds, in the vast majority of apartments, loose DVDs don’t spontaneously take up residence on your dining table, and last month’s takeout menu would probably be as comfortable in the bin as stuffed down the back of your sofa. Little things such as these can make a huge difference to your morale in the spring cleaning ritual. Try something as simple as pairing up shoes by the front door or making your bed properly before you start—the room will already feel much tidier before you even start.

There is a risk in this though: make sure that the ‘simple’ tasks are important ones, so you don’t get tired of spring cleaning before you ever really being. Be prepared to do the gross stuff early on (someone’s got to get rid that hair in the plughole, girls, there’s no way it’s going to get rid of itself) so that it isn’t hanging over you when the rest of the place is looking outwardly spotless. As an illustration, it’s probably best to avoid obsessively rearranging the fridge magnets before you had the chance to clean out the fridge itself.

Hopefully you will not be in the position where you know that it is beyond necessary for you to clean the kitchen floor (because your feet stick to it) and the dust bunnies have begun to grow fangs, but as students, we might as well face that this is perfectly possible. The best remedy? Invite people over: the pressure to make the place presentable is a major incentive to fix things. Incidentally, this works especially well if you invite the sort of friends who don’t mind helping out with the washing up afterwards.

The next big thing is de-cluttering. This doesn’t apply exclusively to your apartment, but it’s a pretty good place to start. It’s worth questioning whether or not those library books really do need to be in a pile on your bedroom floor, a position that has been unaltered since January. If the answer is not affirmative, bite the bullet and brave the walk to the library. And if your clothes have taken to forming a persistent ‘floor-drobe,’ it’s time to either consider getting some new storage space or getting rid of those things you no longer like or wear. There are plenty of places that would appreciate the donation.

Love it or loathe it, there is something satisfying in the tangible result of a good spring cleaning. My grandmother always used to say ‘tidy house, tidy mind,’ which in these final few weeks of the term, probably wouldn’t be the worst thing. Failing that, there’s no denying that the process makes for excellent and totally justifiable procrastination.

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