How to Spring Clean Your Apartment

April showers bring May flowers—or at least that’s something we can hope for. Earlier this month, the infamous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, did not see his shadow, signaling an early Spring. If the legend is correct, this means you have less time to snuggle inside on a snow day because the coats are coming off and the sun is coming out. As the spring months approach, you may come to the realization that your apartment is a pigsty. It’s chock-full of numerous cable knit sweaters, salt-filled boots from walking through the slushy streets, and—let’s face it—just a lot of accumulated crap from the holidays. In order to really clean your place, you have to be in the right mindset. Be positive and stay focused, because it is only a matter of time until the leaves begin to fall again and the days get shorter. So play some music, get in some comfy clothes, and start cleaning. Here are some tips to keep you on track.

1. CLOSET — This is probably the first place you should start. Switching your closet from winter items to spring/summer can be a drag and a job in itself. However, once it’s over, you’ll be SO glad you did it. Start by emptying your closet...literally. Take all of your garments into consideration and create three piles: Keep/Summer, Donate, and Winter.

I typically give the completed “Donate” pile to my siblings and have them rummage through my stuff. I usually decide to donate something if I haven’t worn it within the past eight months because that means one of two things: 1) it has gone out of style, or 2) I just don’t like it anymore. But if you take one thing from this article, I want it to be this: don’t be afraid to let go of things. I know that there are some inevitable emotional connections to our clothes, but try to be practical (after all, you are trying to spring clean your apartment). Once you have gone through all your clothes, put the ‘Keep’ items back on hangers for spring/summer and organize the ‘Winter’ pile into a container for easy switching later in the year. Donate the ‘Donate’ pile and bam, you’re done with part one of the cleaning process. P.S-here are the BEST apps for selling your clothes because let’s face it, we could all use some extra cash. Poshmark, Depop and eBay seem to be the most popular options for making the most profit!

2. LIGHTEN UP THE PLACE — The winter months can be dreary and dark, which is why you should take the time to brighten up your apartment for spring. If you’re like me, your bed has been topped with about six blankets since it dropped below 50 degrees last year. Fold up the unwanted blankets to make your bed lighter and more comfortable for the warmer months. Lose the fleece sheets and get some new throw pillows. Your new bed will have you feeling rejuvenated and stress-free. Next, declutter your desk by getting rid of anything unnecessary and maybe acquiring some organizers for your drawers. To liven up the space, it needs to be bright. Here are some cute lamps that can brighten up any corner to really make your place feel spacious.

3. KITCHEN — You might not realize it, but you probably have some old, stale Doritos in your pantry from November, or maybe some sour milk crammed in the back corner of your fridge. Well, all of this can be fixed with a little spring cleaning. Empty out your pantry area and give it a good wipe down. Throw away the snacks you haven’t eaten in a while and make a mental note of it for future grocery shopping. Keep the things that you’ve been consistently munching on, but make sure they’re sealed with chip-clips. Do the same thing with your fridge and freezer. Trash the expired items and wipe down the shelves. To ensure that you are only buying the things you need at the grocery store, make a list of meals and snacks that you eat often. This will decrease how much waste you produce and it will get you to save some money in the long run.

4. BATHROOM — Complete your spring cleaning with a deep clean of the bathroom. Wipe down all the surfaces and make sure to stock up on your necessities. I keep a small container in my bathroom that houses extra toothpaste, makeup remover wipes, Q-tips, and dry shampoo. This little trick will save you from running to CVS at 8:00 AM before class for the hairspray that you “swore you had”. To end your spring cleaning day (potentially week), stock up on some face masks because—let’s face it—the weather is going to start shifting soon and we can never really predict what’s going to happen to our skin. Spring cleaning can be a hassle, but take it one step at a time. Have fun while doing it, and before you know it you’ll have the tidiest apartment on the block. If you’re looking for some tips on how to declutter, make sure to check out Yusra Marie Kondo’s show on Netflix called Tidying Up.