Spring break sometimes sees students at the beach, but just as often they stay home to catch up on work and save money. For these students, it may be time for their first spring cleaning as a (semi) independent adult. If this describes you, use these tips for college student spring cleaning tips to straighten up your space and get ready for the final few weeks of the semester.
Hopefully you have been using prioritized lists to keep your schoolwork in order and your grades great. Well, this is also a useful way to approach cleaning. When every chore you need to do is written down, it makes follow-through easier. A specific stopping point makes it harder to get away with cleaning less. And of course, we all know the pleasure and little sense of accomplishment we get from crossing off homework (or housework) from a to-do list.
2. Have a Routine
If you really want to have a clean home, you have to clean regularly, not just during spring break. The idea behind having a specified long-term cleaning schedule is the same as the one behind having a small one-time to-do list: it will hold you accountable (even if it’s only to yourself). Write down a list of chores and with what frequency they should be done: weekly, monthly, or yearly.
3. Have the Proper Equipment
Whether you’re just using this time to catch up on chores or really do a deep and thorough spring cleaning, you need the proper equipment. If you’ve been using a piece of paper as a dust pan, you need to upgrade. However, we understand that college student spring cleaning has to be cheap! Get just the essentials for a couple bucks and borrow what you can’t afford to buy. Here are some of the absolute basics you’ll need:
- cleaning rags or sponges (you can use a t-shirt you were going to get rid of for free)
- toilet brush
- something to clean with (there are lots of inexpensive and natural cleaners out there)
There are lots more things that would be handy, but this will get you started.
4. Share the Chores
If you’re in college, you’re likely living with other people in a shared space. On paper, this makes cleaning a lot easier: more people, less cleaning per person. However, in reality this is almost never the case. If you have a messy roommate, first try talking to your roommates about fairly splitting up the chores.
However, messy people are messy either because they hate cleaning more than they like living in a clean space or they’re the strange minority that likes mess. Either way, it’s likely talking to them won’t get them to change. So what do you do? We have two creative options.
a. Keep everything very clean for a week or so. Clean up after yourself and them. Go above and beyond by doing chores you normally wouldn’t do, like washing the windows. Then, right as your roommate has gotten used to living in such a wonderland of clean, stop. Let the mess quickly come back and surpass what it ever had been before. Let it go in the total opposite direction, as disgusting as you can stand it. Then try talking again. Hopefully, they will have gotten used to having such a nice home, seen how quickly their mess adds up, and agree to pitch in, albeit reluctantly.
b. So what if you show your roommate the power of their own filthiness and they agreed to clean, but they didn’t really mean it and there are still dirty dishes in the sink? You move on to step 2. When they are gone, get everything gorgeously clean again except their area. Instead of putting their dirty dishes in the sink and washing them, put them on their bed. Wet towels, left-out books, anything of theirs that is dirtying up the shared space, pile it all on. A meaner variation is to hide this stuff under their bed or in another friend’s room. This may be a good one to do as spring break is starting (just in time to escape the roommate’s wrath). Yes, this might mean war. But it also means your stuff is clean. Read Quick Ways to Organize a Child Backpack.
College Student Spring Cleaning
Spring break is the perfect time in the semester to play catch-up, and that includes housework. College student spring cleaning doesn’t have to be an oxymoron and it doesn’t have to be difficult, time-consuming, or expensive. Use these tips (or if you’re a parent, share them with your college student) to make this break the most productive it can be.
You might like Yay! Back to School—Preparing for Busy School Times.