EducationSkills

It’s summer! You get to sleep in, waking to the sound of chirping birds, sunlight coming through the windows, illuminating your room. You wake up with bed hair and you stumble out of your bed, walking past the pile of dirty laundry and bowl of cereal you went to get in the middle of the night. Your desk is a mess. Nail polish bottles, papers, pencils, eraser dust, an earring missing its sister, a collection of bracelets, a chipped cup, a photo of you and your friends, Post-Its that have lost their stick…

Listen. You’re a lovely and awesome person, but it’s time for an intervention. It’s time… to clean your room. Summer is a great time to clean your room or workspace. You can get rid of old things and prepare for the next semester. There are some things you can do to make it easy for you to keep your room clean until September, without making your room too sparse or boring.

Ah, yes. The satisfying feeling of a clean room. The space on your desk, the unused hangers in your closet, the shelves of books organized by height, color, or author’s last name. If you’re anything like me, you love that refreshing feeling, the sense of accomplishment, and the pride that you did all of that work. But there’s something in the back of your mind.

Can you keep it this way?

I always have a hard time keeping my room tidy during the semester. After all, I wake up at 7am and I come home at around 9pm to midnight almost every day. I live in school and at my job more than I’m in my own bed. What are the chances that I can keep this place organized?

The best medicine is always prevention. Getting into the habit of keeping things a certain way is one of the best way to keep your room clean. Now that it’s summer, it’s a good time to practice these habits. For example, always put clothes back into the closet if you decide you don’t want to wear them. I’ll try two or three things in the morning before deciding on one outfit, and I make sure I always fold my tank tops and hang my dresses up before I close that closet door.

Putting things back where you found them is the general idea. This goes for your necklaces, pens, books, umbrellas, shoes, anything! You’ll appreciate it when you’re in a rush and it’s raining outside. Or maybe you forgot you had to meet someone for a study group date and all your notes are on your USB. Have key spots for your things, like a plate or a tray, so you’ll always know where to look first.

It’s good to keep often­-used items in an open, easy to ­grab spot, such as on your desk or by the door. These items might include keys, phone chargers, chapstick, things that you throw in a purse or in a book bag. Keep a tiny trash bin next to it so you can throw out garbage from your bag, like gum wrappers, used tissues, and receipts. It’s surprising how much can gather in your bag.

Finally, have a dedicated day to clean. Just as you had a schedule for who cleans the dorm back in freshman year (yes, people have that), have a day of the week for cleaning. Some people clean every half a month, others once a week. Do whatever you think you need, but remember that it’s your room, so make it feel like home!

Check out Cleaning Your Room Part I and Part II.

Image: husohem.se

EducationSkills

It’s summer! You get to sleep in, waking to the sound of chirping birds, sunlight coming through the windows, illuminating your room. You wake up with bed hair and you stumble out of your bed, walking past the pile of dirty laundry and bowl of cereal you went to get in the middle of the night. Your desk is a mess. Nail polish bottles, papers, pencils, eraser dust, an earring missing its sister, a collection of bracelets, a chipped cup, a photo of you and your friends, Post-Its that have lost their stick…

Listen. You’re a lovely and awesome person, but it’s time for an intervention. It’s time… to clean your room. Summer is a great time to clean your room or workspace. You can get rid of old things and prepare for the next semester. There are some things you can do to make it easy for you to keep your room clean until September, without making your room too sparse or boring.

When most people clean their room, they clean their closet. But there are other parts of your room that you can’t neglect. You have that Economics textbook propping up your laptop. The Victorian novels you bought for Lit class are scattered on three shelves and you probably spent $200 buying all of those last semester.

Students often forget (or don’t have time) to sell their textbooks at the end of each semester. Finals can get in the way, or going back home/going abroad will be more of a priority than a few books lying around. But unless they’re on a shelf (and you’ll be using them again), there isn’t any reason to keep them. There are many options to sell them, either back to the school’s bookstore or online.

Speaking of things you’ll need again, you might want to sort through all your notes. Some students use a laptop and save their docx. or PDFs there. Luddites like me like to print things out (sorry trees!) and write notes on them before putting them in a folder. All those papers scattered in your room? The Post­Its reminding of you an upcoming final? The pens that dried out because you lost the pen cap? (I prefer clicky pens myself) This is a good chance to go through what you want to keep (or not keep) and delete/throw out what you don’t want.

Laptop users, this is a good time to back up your data! You might unexpectedly need that final paper’s works cited page again, or you might get a handout that you’ve gotten before. I like to back data up every half a semester, but the summer is the best time to do it. You might want to tune-up your computer and all that techy stuff while you’re at it!

This time of the year is a good chance for you to make a workspace for yourself. If you’ve been living off your bed with laptop in lap, you might have found yourself falling asleep while doing a paper (sounds familiar?). If your desk space was cramped up with dirty laundry, old lip gloss, and a dusty printer, well, it should all cleaned up and free for you to use. If you create a workspace, it will help you concentrate.

Remember, if you always push your chair in after you use it, it won’t be piled up with clothes and other things. Keep a container for pens and other office supplies, and make sure your printer is in a spot that’s easy to access. Ink is also easy to refill, so always have that somewhere in case you have to emergency­print a handout or something. Things like that can distract you from working during the school year, and if you start the habit this summer, you are more likely to maintain it (and get to know where everything is) by fall.

Now that your room looks like it’s ready for summer fun, as well as for the next semester, there are a few things you can do to keep it that way. Next week, I will share my tips on how to maintain your organized space.

Read Summer Action Item – Clean Your Room: Part I

Image: Kikette Interiors