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The Right Way to Do Spring Cleaning

Alright, so we’re all college students and as busy as our schedules get, we all still try to keep our spaces livable, right? But now spring is here and you can finally let some air in. When you crank that window open you can feel the breeze on your face right before a gigantic wave of dust hits you and you’re gagging and you realize… livable isn’t the same as clean.

Unfortunately, tidying up isn’t going to fix anything at all. Spring cleaning, when done right, is deep cleaning and at this point in the semester, everyone is going to need a really good spring cleaning. 

So, first thing’s first. Fabric.

Wash the sheets, pick up the pieces of clothing that got lost under the bed, start pulling out the spring and summer wardrobe. It might not be necessary yet since the weather has been a little temperamental lately, but later on, when the heat suddenly hits, it’ll be one less thing to do. 

Clean the curtains; yep, that’s a thing. Did you know? I didn’t. Vacuum the rugs, wash the throw rugs. Clean the shower liner. Anything with fabric, clean it and get the dust off of it.

Oh, and last but not least, get rid of the cloth-pile chair! Sort through it and see if there’s anything that needs to be put away or if it needs to go. 

Next up. Wood and Glass.

Break out the cleaner and wipe everything down. Pledge for wood, Windex for glass. The vanity, the bedside tables, the bookshelf, the kitchen table, the bureau. Anything that could possibly be wood, polish it with an old rag. Warning: Do not use Pledge on your wood floor, it will be slippery for a while afterward and you could get hurt. Clean your mirrors, clean your windows (just remove the screen if there is one. If you are up high, be extremely careful and don’t do it if the risk is too high. Just forget about it, some things can’t be cleaned) and clean the glass on picture frames. Dust can end up anywhere.

By the way, you can actually clean window screens. There are a lot of ways to do it, but if you’re short on time like me (or lazy like me) take it outside, wet it down with a hose and let it air dry.

Continuing onward… The Chaos.

Pick up stray textbooks, old books and new books. Organize them and see what can be thrown out, what can be donated and what might be able to be sold again. Go through that gigantic pile of papers on the desk, rip up anything old or irrelevant and remember to recycle it! Flip your calendar to the right month. If emails have started to pile up, sort through them and get rid of the spam. Trash all of the old to-do lists and write out a brand new one.

Next? Nooks and Crannies. 

Vacuum underneath the bed, the bedside tables, the desk and the couch. Vacuum underneath all of them as well. Clean out the bottom of the closet and clean the air vents! Any place that is hard to reach, just suck it up and clean it. Lay down on the floor if you have to — anything to get to the corners that are never touched.

And last but not least, Yourself and Your Things.

Go through everything and see what clothes are old or ripped past the point of salvation. If there are any that are good, but they either don’t fit or are no longer your style, donate them! Recycling clothes is awesome for both the planet and humanity. Goodwill takes pretty much anything besides underwear. 

Has it been awhile since your last trim? See if you can squeeze in a quick haircut. When was the last time you got a new toothbrush? If you can’t remember, go get a new one. Running out of shampoo? Pick up some while you’re getting the toothbrush! Does the car need a wash? You know what to do!

All of this might seem a little excessive, but a clean place is akin to a clean slate, and it will definitely clear your mind. When the visuals of a messy floor, dusty tables, and a cluttered desk are gone, it declutters your head as well. It’ll make it easier to focus, work on other—more enjoyable—things, and you won’t be breathing in clumps of dust every time you open a window. And if you just despise cleaning, try to make it fun. Like Selena Gomez and Drew Seeley did in Another Cinderella Story.

Good luck!


Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3

Ashley Altieri

Montclair '19

Ashley is a double major at Montclair State University; she majors in English and Psychology, while minoring in Mythology. She is part of the Pinterest team for her branch and is also a contributing writer. When not getting wound up in academia, she's either with her friends, with her computer, or with a good cup of coffee. Instagram: ashleyaltrose
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