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A Gaucho’s Guide To Spring Cleaning

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSB chapter.

Spring is just around the corner, and with it comes sunshine, Deltopia, and of course, spring cleaning. If you’re living on your own for the first time, it can be difficult to figure out where to start when it comes to tidying up your dorm or apartment. The location and climate of Isla Vista can even make for cleanliness issues that you may have never faced before: sand, mold, and pests. But don’t get overwhelmed—here is a quick guide to spring cleaning your home here at UCSB.

Get rid of sand in your home

One of the greatest things about UCSB is its proximity to the beach. If you’re like many Gauchos, you probably head to the beach at least a few times a quarter to soak up some sun and destress. However, this also means you and your roommates may bring home sandy shoes and towels that can damage floors and lead to an accumulation of dust. To keep your place neat and tidy, it’s important to invest in a good vacuum and to vacuum frequently. Every once in a while, vacuum your furniture and clean your fans with a dusting rag as well. 

Once your home is sand-free, keep it that way by creating a “beach gear” area outside your front door. You can store sandy beach items such as sandals and towels here. Also, consider purchasing a bristled doormat so that anyone entering your house or apartment can brush off their feet before going inside.

Clean and Prevent Mold

Isla Vista has a fairly humid climate, making it easy for mold to grow in your home. Not only is mold unsightly, but it can lead to health and hygiene issues too, so it’s important to remove it as soon as you see it. To do this, first put on a mask and gloves to limit your exposure to it. Then scrub it away with detergent or a mold removal solution. You can create your own mold removal solution by mixing one cup of bleach with a gallon of water and applying it directly to the surface. On hard surfaces in kitchens and bathrooms, you can also use undiluted white vinegar.

Once you’ve finished removing the mold, immediately throw away any rags you used to clean it and wash the clothes you wore while doing so. You can prevent mold from regrowing by improving your home’s ventilation (i.e. opening your windows and/or using fans) and investing in a dehumidifier. Also, be sure to contact your landlord to repair any new leaks as soon as they occur.

Clean your windows

Due to Isla Vista’s salty sea air, it can be easy for the windows in your home to get clouded and foggy. While this isn’t always a cleanliness issue per se, it can be frustrating. Luckily, this problem has a quick fix — simply mix water and white vinegar to create a cleaning solution that you can apply with a towel or rag. Doing so should clear up any residual salt on your windows, leaving them crystal clear.

The water and white vinegar solution can also be used on bathroom faucets to prevent limescale, another common issue in Isla Vista homes, so you can kill two birds with one stone!

Avoid Pests

Many college towns suffer from a pest problem—unwelcome bugs like cockroaches, earwigs, and ants can nest in students’ homes, creating a nuisance. If you have an existing pest problem, contact your landlord so the bugs can be exterminated. If you don’t have a pest problem yet, it’s important to take the necessary precautions to prevent it from occurring. 

The best way to do this is to keep your kitchen and food storage areas clean. Take care of any food messes immediately, and frequently clear away crumbs on your counters, tables, and stovetops. Ensure all food containers are sealed properly and disinfect your garbage bins once in a while, too.

purge your closet and desk

Over the course of the last few months, there’s no doubt that old clothes and school supplies have piled up in your closet and desk space. The end of winter quarter is a good time to sort through these items and determine what’s worth keeping and what’s not. For example, costumes that you purchased for a themed party might be donated to friends or thrift stores. Heavy coats that you won’t wear for the remainder of the school year can be taken back home over spring break. Notebooks from previous courses can be recycled and old textbooks can be sold to used bookstores. 

Clearing out these unwanted items will not only increase the amount of storage space you have in your room, but it will also leave you feeling refreshed and ready to start your spring quarter off right.

Spring cleaning is not really as daunting as it might seem—just follow the steps above and continue with your usual weekly/monthly cleaning routine to keep your home spotless. After all, you deserve a fresh start to the rest of your school year. Happy spring, Gauchos!

Kendall is a third-year Communication student at UCSB and an editorial intern for Her Campus UCSB. When she isn’t writing, she’s usually either doing yoga, getting coffee, or planning her future travels.