By Anna Pearson | Lifestyle Editor
Snow is melting, you can go outside without wearing your biggest winter coat and the breeze fills your ears with the sweet song of spring. That is, until there’s suddenly another low of 15 degrees and the muddy puddles are now patches of black ice all over the parking lot. Spring may seem like a messy, gross or dirty season as we transition into summer, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips to keep your life together, even when the giant snowman you and your friends built in January falls apart.
#1: Go through your closet
Switching out your wardrobe is like the Frank Sinatra of spring cleaning – classic and simple. Start by analyzing your clothes. What haven’t you worn since August? What have you been telling yourself you’ll figure out how to style but never actually pulling it off the hanger? Which pair of shoes has no dirt on the bottom of them (besides your lounge shoes of course) and probably won’t be worn outside anytime soon? Some of your clothes may be well-loved, but it’s just time for them to go. Pack up some old pieces in a paper bag and send them off to your favorite thrift store – or pack away to exchange with friends. It’s time.
#2: Rearrange your room
Every dorm room is relatively similar, yet decorations and furniture can make a monumental difference. Just by moving your desk, your room can go from feeling like Harry Potter’s cabinet under the stairs to a five star hotel room. Find a day when your friends can help, and map out a way to rearrange your room. Whether that’s just switching your desk and dresser, un-lofting or lofting your bed or buying a futon, TV, Xbox, Wii, area rug, desk lamp and six plants from The Home Depot, try changing it up! Worst case scenario, your friends might hate you, but you can always change it back to how it was.
#3: Try a new cleaning product
Let’s be real – product packaging really gets you sometimes. You’ll probably pick the cute kelly green shampoo bottle with the little illustrations of leaves and a Linotype Aperto Regular font logo over the blue and white bottle with a lot of words, a stock photo of an almond and condensed American Gothic font logo. AKA, you’re more likely to pick Aveeno over Head & Shoulders if the packaging is cuter. Why not do the same for cleaning products? Invest in a colorful, clean-smelling all-purpose cleaner instead of one with no scent and a plain, industrial-looking bottle. Spending the extra dollar is worth it if your cute cleaning products motivate you to wipe down your countertops a little more often. Stay clean, folks.
#4: Recycle that cardboard packaging
Let’s say you got a new pair of shoes for Christmas. Or a picture frame. Or a hot water kettle. Or a number of other things that usually come in a cardboard box, and you haven’t quite mustered up the time and energy to find a place for it in your room. It could even be new clothes still on the floor in the bag from the store you bought them in – just take the time to put it away. Recycle that packaging, fold the clothes from your grandma and give that tea kettle a place to settle. It might look nice on your side table, or under your kitchen sink. Whatever it is, getting rid of the packaging will give a nice, clean look to your belongings.
#5: Check expiration dates
Did you go out to dinner with your brother who goes to the University of Minnesota two weeks ago, and were unable to finish the burger that you ordered from the Original Malt Shop? Yeah . . . that was two weeks ago. Throw it away. Check the expiration date on that pumpkin spice flavored coffee creamer you bought in October. Rest in peace. It might be time to take out the trash, filled with those cheese sticks and yogurt you never got around to eating. Then take a trip to the Arden Hills Target to replenish your snacks – gone but not forgotten. Next time, make a note of what you have in your fridge, so you actually open it up every once in a while and enjoy those refrigerated goods while they’re still good.
#6: Look in every single nook and cranny
Flashback to August 2022. You’re excited to be moving into a new room for a new school year. You organize all of your drawers with clothes, cleaning supplies, food and notebooks for the semester. When was the last time you opened the bottom drawer of your desk? What did you shove into the top back corner of your closet shelf, hoping you would remember it was there in three months? Check it out. See what’s been hiding away all these months that your February self doesn’t remember. Get rid of things you won’t be needing, like Halloween decorations or candles you aren’t allowed to burn in the dorms. At the very least, reorganize your drawers so you know what’s all in them. Make sure to put the birthday decorations on top, for the next time you have to last-minute decorate for a friend’s birthday you nearly forgot.
#7: Buy a new plant
Propagating plants: the new green and probably eco-friendly trend. If you haven’t tried raising a plant before, maybe now is the time to try a new hobby! Indoor plants can spruce up any space to feel more like spring, even if there’s still a possibility that another snowstorm will strike before April. Find a plant that requires little maintenance (I personally recommend a spider plant) and stick it by the window in the sunlight to watch it grow! You can even give them names and form emotional attachments to them! Just like a little pet. But less messy.
Featured image design by Elise Berry.
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