Bring on the Clean
By: Julia Rosow
Spring has come early in 2021 and after a year of lockdowns and quarantines, there is no better time to clear out your closets, declutter your desks, and start anew this spring season.
Spring cleaning is an annual tradition practiced around the world, done to freshen up living spaces and reset the mind as the warmer weather welcomes in a new season. The thought of cleaning can seem like a daunting task after a long winter of hibernation, especially one that has kept millions indoors this year. Thankfully, there are some easy tips that can simplify the cleaning process and ultimately, revamp your living space.
Clean Room by Room
The more space there is, the more overwhelming the thought of cleaning can be. Start with the smallest space, like the closet, the bathroom, or your desk surfaces.
“I definitely focus on one specific area to clean rather than doing one task through my entire apartment,” University of Maryland junior Kelly Sherman said. “That makes cleaning an easier project to get done.”
Next, tackle your bedroom before moving on to any living room or kitchen space. The area in which you sleep is often where you spend the most time and for many, it can be a safe haven. Keeping this space clean and organized can take more effort, but tackling this room first will help to combat any cleaning fatigue.
Also, feel free to skip areas that you may clean more frequently. Use your energy to focus on spaces that haven’t been sorted through in months. Many times this means going through your closet and donating the clothes you haven’t worn in a few months. A rule of thumb for closet organization is if you can’t remember the last time you wore an article of clothing, you probably won’t be wearing it anytime soon. A clean closet will automatically give your room a fresh, more organized feel.
This strategy can apply to college apartments and dorm rooms too. Although, there may not seem like much to clean in small resident halls or apartments, taking the time to deep clean your space will pay off. A clean living area is a key element to achieving a healthy headspace.
Brainstorm areas that you haven’t cleaned in a while and write them down. Checking off each task will give you the motivation to keep going. Creating checklists not only makes you more productive but also helps you work efficiently. You can even pin your checklist to your refrigerator door or write it down in your planner to better remind you of your cleaning goals. Never underestimate the importance of setting objectives: if your end goal is a clean, reorganized bedroom, the first steps to achieve this may be dusting and vacuuming.
The common saying, many hands make light work is familiar for good reason. Consider recruiting the help of your family members, friends, or roommates in the cleaning process. You can work together when sprucing up your common areas and before you know it, you will have living space that looks brand new.
Also, many roommate disputes can revolve around cleaning habits, especially when one roommate does more of the tidying up. An easy solution to this common problem is creating a chore chart. This quick-fix can help hold each roommate accountable for their weekly chores. For example, a four-person apartment might rotate through the tasks of doing the dishes, taking out the trash, and cleaning the counters and floors.
Kick Out the Allergens
Spring also means allergy season for many, so get ready to welcome the pollen, dust mites and ants once again. This means a thorough clean is never more necessary than at the start of the spring season.
“My allergies always get worse during the spring and I need to come home to a clean space,” said UMD Junior Krisitina Woodis. “I am on several allergy medications when the weather begins to get warmer, so although it’s a basic task, spring cleaning is a must for me every year.”
Good thing masks are in this spring season as this can help reduce the effects of seasonal allergies while cleaning inside and outdoors. Funnily enough, this may be one of the silver linings brought on by the pandemic.
“I always think spring cleaning is fun because it gets me in the mood for warm weather and being outside,” said Woodis. “So before you see it as a chore, I would recommend other students try it out and I bet it will make them enjoy their living space a lot more.”
So whether you are a cleaning fanatic, or dread the thought of tidying up, these tips will help turn the seasonal chore into an opportunity to declutter both your living space and life.