Fresh Start: Summer Cleaning
I know - there’s absolutely NO WAY that it’s June already. Like, we’re halfway through the new year and still my New Year’s Resolutions have not started themselves. What gives?
I’m normally on my A game with keeping up with cleaning as the seasons change and changing my pumpkin decorations to snowflakes to flowers and suns, but with life sweeping me up and throwing me across the year, I’m currently staring at a jack-o-lantern on my shelf. Summer may not be the most traditional time to start new habits of organization, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be just as effective as spring cleaning. Take these tips, and keep your busy life just as organized as your (newly cleaned) sock drawer - even if it only stays organized for a week.
Make to-do lists and actually look at them.
I’ve always found planners to be super helpful in making sure I got my homework done or remembering to attend that club meeting after school. As I grow up, and suddenly have more responsibilities than restocking my pencil pouch with 47 lead pencils, lists have become my best friend. When I make them, I inevitably become overwhelmed by the daunting stream of appointments and assignments and errands I need to get done. When it’s the end of the week and I’m crossing off that final task on the list, however, there is no other feeling more satisfying.
Keep a file folder on your desk, or dresser, or wherever you find yourself normally throwing important papers that you know should actually be going in a safe place, but don’t find their way into one.
My parents have always been those people who save every single piece of paper that had some sort of relevance or importance at one time or another. I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing, because most of the time, we did wind up needing those papers again, but I learned to adopt their same ways. I have probably 5 folder stuffed with different documents from school, and a file folder stand thing-a-ma-jig on my desk that holds papers that I’ve actually needed to refer to recently - and by recently, I mean within the last year. I probably don’t need the pay stub from the hours that I worked and already spent the paycheck for, but you can bet that I can whip it out in short notice because it’s in that file folder.
Allow yourself to have one junk drawer, or better yet, none at all.
I’ll admit it. My whole room used to be my junk drawer. I was never someone who let my floor collect dirty clothes and trash, but you definitely had to play a game of Jenga when trying to get something off of my dresser. Finally, my dad’s nagging pushed me to clean my room, as well as redecorate and basically make it into a brand new room. On a spur of the moment Tuesday night, I realized I had to get my life together and keep my life clean. I have one drawer in my room designated for miscellaneous items (i.e. Play Doh, a Spanish dictionary, a broken keychain, and pens that I collect from everywhere I travel) and I’ve learned to keep it organized. If I had a sudden urge to sculpt a pizza out of blue and orange Play Doh, I could do it in minutes.
Clean at night, even if you’re exhausted.
This probably sounds bat crazy, but hear me out. Everytime I wake up early to deep clean my room, I start at 9am and sit down at 11am and suddenly I’m hopping over the pile of unfolded shirts to get to my last minute plans to go out with a friend. If you start cleaning at night, there aren’t as many opportunities to get side tracked. Of course, you’ll probably want to take a nap in between dusting and vacuuming, but how will you nap if your bed is covered with old books and magazines you found shoved in the back of your closet? It’s a genius plan.