Set Aside a Day.
I’m not kidding. If you want to clean your entire space, set aside a day for it. If you get done early, then you have the rest of the day free, but there’s nothing worse than starting a large cleaning project and having to leave it. Chances are, you’ll never find the motivation to begin again once you drop it.
Make a Donation Pile.
As you begin to clean, you’ll definitely find items that you haven’t used or worn in months, maybe even years. If you haven’t used something in a year, it’s time for it to go. Setting up a donation pile even before you clean is a great reminder that you don’t have to hold onto all this stuff. And, the less stuff we have, the less we have to clean; so, donating is always a great idea.
Make a Shopping List.
The other thing to set up before you begin is a shopping list. This may seem odd, but as you clean, I’m sure you’ll find instances of “Oh, wow, I’ve been using paper napkins from the dining hall to blow my nose for the past three months... Maybe it’s time to buy some Kleenex,” or “I’ve been washing my face with body wash for a while now... It’s time to get some face wash.” Keep this list to essential things; this isn’t a shopping list for all the non-essentials. Additionally, if you don’t have any basic cleaning supplies, it might be important to get any supplies you may need to wash dishes, do laundry, clean windows, and dust surfaces.
Pump the Jams!
Cleaning always goes by quicker with music, and I find it to be more enjoyable that way. So, turn on your tunes, and blast them loud.
Tidy Your Room
If you haven’t already gotten the mounds of dirty clothes off your floor, now would be the time. The easiest way to tidy a room is to make sure everything has a place. Once everything has a place to go, tidying your room will be a breeze. Dirty laundry goes in the laundry hamper, extra pens and pencils go in the container on the desk, snack bags go on the shelf in the pantry, and so on.
Start with Laundry
The first order of business is always to start loads of laundry. Gather all your dirty clothes, and don’t forget to grab your bath towels, hand towels, bathrobe, and bedsheets. College students often forget to wash these, but they should be washed at least once a month. Start your first load of laundry once your room is clean but before you start anything else. If you live in an apartment complex or a dorm, washers are often shared, which means starting laundry early will help you get ahead. Don’t forget to set a timer to remind you when it’s done!
Top to Bottom
When I was taught to deep clean, I was always taught to start from the top and move towards the bottom. Especially when you’re dusting, the dust will fall of shelves and you don’t want to vacuum three times. So, start in one space and then commit to cleaning it, top to bottom. Take everything off the surface that you’re cleaning, clean the surface, wipe down all the things you’re putting back on the surface, and then set them all back in their place. As you clean, I’m sure you’ll find other mini-cleaning projects – don’t be afraid to tackle them in the process! Just remember to always come back to the top to bottom cleaning.
Deep cleaning is the only time you’ll move things, so move some furniture! Take everything out from under your bed and wipe it all down. Reorganize hidden spaces like this. Vacuum under the furniture while it’s moved but leave the big vacuuming for the end.
IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: Put your bedsheets on only after you’re done cleaning the room. There’s nothing worse than fresh sheets with a fallen layer of dust.
Washing Windows and Mirrors
People often forget about the windows and mirrors in their space, but these need to be cleaned, too. Windex works the best for that non-streaky finish. Get all the fingerprints off!
Dishes can happen whenever works for you in this process. If you’ve picked the space of your kitchen area doing dishes will be a major part of that. Hopefully, when you tidied your space, you found all the dirty dishes you need to do. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself with a pile at the end.
Vacuuming and Area Rugs
Vacuuming your floor and cleaning your rugs should be one of the last steps. Hopefully, you’ve cleaned everything else and you’re feeling great. Before you begin, check to see if your vacuum needs a new bag and that all the bristles are clean underneath the vacuum. If the bag is full and the bristles are stuck together with hair and debris, your vacuum won’t work as well. Once you check that, vacuum in a distinct pattern so you don’t miss any spots. A lot of people would take the easy way out and leave the rugs on the ground, but I say take the rugs outside!! Hang them up somewhere and beat the hell out of them with a broom, a baseball bat, or whatever works for you. Rugs hold tons of dirt and even vacuuming doesn’t do the same job as a good beat down. While the rug is hanging, vacuum under where it would be, and then bring it back in, reposition it, and vacuum it again. This will get rid of any last dirt that hung onto your rug.
Enjoy the Fruits of Your Labor
You’ve done it! You’ve spring cleaned better than you’ve ever spring cleaned before. Once you’re done, open a window, shower off all the grime you’ve just accumulated on your body, and relax knowing that everything around you is so clean. College students don’t often take the time to clean their space, and spring break gives you that extra bit of time to tackle it. Now that your room is clean, you can enjoy your break more fully and be better equipped to finish off your year strong. Happy Spring Cleaning, everyone!