College /// Spring Break x
Spring Cleaning for College Students

A guide for spring cleaning that has standards appropriately low enough for college students.

Sprung Has Sprang

A guide for spring cleaning that has standards appropriately low enough for college students.

By Anne Ertle, John Carroll University

The clocks have been set forward, the groundhog is back in the unemployment line and allergies are plaguing anyone unfortunate enough to have a nose.

So it is official: spring has sprung. Now is the prime time for that age-old vernal tradition of making human sacrifices under the light of the full moon spring cleaning.

Apparently us college kids have a bit of trouble cleaning up after ourselves. Luckily, I have consulted with Mr. Clean himself and I’ve come away with a bit of a how-to guide for the average college student.


Mirrors are reflective surfaces that are good for seeing what you look like. They are also very adept at reminding you that you do not look as good as you thought that you did. Fun!

Personal feelings aside, mirrors are easy to clean and make a big difference in your living space.

To tackle this, grab some Windex or any other glass cleaner. Spray the solution onto the top of the mirror and let it trickle down. Then, wipe it off, top to bottom, using either a paper towel or a rag if you’re some cool hippie, in which case, you should know that I also recycle (my paper, plastic and jokes).

Alternately, newspapers seem to make for a streak free shine, so grab that local herald and get to work. Who said print was dead?!

An important tip is to never make eye contact with your own reflection as you’re cleaning. No one deserves to see their face that close up, especially with a furrowed brow that is evidence of your hard work.

When your mirror is clean, stare at yourself in it from a comfortable distance. Take some time to reflect on how much you’ve aged since freshman year, and ask where all those years went and I mean, what do you even really have to show for them? Once that’s done, put away your cleaning supplies and maybe head to the library to check out some existential philosophers.

Air It Out

Take advantage of those crisp spring breezes and air out your room. Open up the windows, throw up the sash and revel in feeling like a happy-go-lucky protagonist from a romantic comedy.Spring Cleaning for College Students


Do this for as long as you can stand it, which is usually until you hear those people on the quad blasting country music that has references to pick-up trucks and teens who loiter in parking lots for fun.

Now that your room is aired out, try airing out your grievances.

All of those malicious thoughts you’ve had toward your roommate: now is the time to let it all out. Disclose how hurt you were when she refused to dress up as the girl duck from the Chuck E. Cheese band, because that would’ve been a really sick group Halloween costume.

Tell him how annoying it was when “Take Me To Church” was always on the radio and he pronounced Hozier like “Ho-zee-ay” when you’re kind of sure that it’s actually “Ho-zee-er.”

Sure, it might seem petty to mention these things that happened so long ago, but it’s important to have a clean conscience. And if they’re that offended by it—maybe it’s time for a clean break.


Clean up your DVR. I cannot stress this enough. If you record too many things, your box might get all filled up.

How tragic if you miss the chance to tape the latest Democratic debate because you had 19 episodes of Shark Tank taking up space? Go through and watch your shows. This counts.


The coolest thing about the Victorian period was that women did not yet have the right to vote, so they didn’t have to burden themselves with “politics” or “things that matter.”

This means that instead of public discourse, they could devote a good amount of time to important stuff, like cleaning carpets. They usually did this by taking rugs outside and beating them with specially made and lazily named “rug beaters.”

Grab a baseball bat and that 3×5 throw carpet your mom got you from Target and head outside. Really go to town and just wail on it. Pretend you’re smashing the patriarchy on behalf of those Victorian women! Show The Man who the boss is.

Let the clouds of dust that rise from your rug remind you of the clouds of oppression that hung over the world (and, you know, still do, but that’s a different article).

Book Bag

Go through your book bag and take out any old papers that are hanging around loosely in the bottom.

Discard any old pens that don’t have ink. How annoying is it when you reach for a pen and it doesn’t write? Answer: very annoying. This is straight up good advice.


Strip your bed and wash your sheets, comforter, pillow case: all of it. Wait the approximately six hours it takes for your subpar dryer to finish doing its job on the comforter, and then remake your bed with the fresh, clean linens.

Don’t even try to do a good job with the fitted sheet. Just know that it will be kicked off at some point in a fever dream and end up in a tangle at your feet anyway.

A little known fact in the health community is that making your bed actually counts as your cardio for the next 6 weeks.

You have so much on your plate and clearly homework is not a priority. Push that aside and continue your cleaning spree.

Then, when you have an eight-page paper due in four hours, you can mash together some words while swaddled in fresh linen. Tell yourself that you made your bed and now you must lie in it. Give a crazed laugh before you get back to work because seriously, you’re in deep on this one.

Assorted/Miscellaneous Grime

Clean up assorted grime, whether that’s a questionable stain (Is that soup or vomit?) on the counter or a ramen noddle crime scene in the microwave. Use any sort of spray disinfectant. If it has a lemon scent then it gives off the idea that you’re a clean person who like, has it together.

While we’re at it, clean up the blemishes from your social media accounts. Maybe that means finally deleting your old MySpace account (Put me in your Top 8 first, though) or nixing that Instagram post of an inspirational quote that is mistakenly attributed to Marilyn Monroe.

Clean Your Floors

You didn’t really need me to tell you to do that, did you?

Writer Profile

Anne Ertle

John Carroll University

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