How To Not Suck At: Spring Cleaning

Story by Eric Christenson

I’ll admit, I’m kind of a nester, a hibernator. I enjoy sitting on the couch, powering through disc after disc of “Parks and Recreation” or “Community” and creating a giant, comfy mess all around me. It’s the best!

But when it gets to the point where I could almost be in an episode of “Hoarders,” that’s where I draw the line.

In winter, this is usually fine, but come spring, cleaning up is the worst!

I’m no champion at cleaning up after myself, but here are some tips to make it easier on yourself:

1. Don’t do it all at once
Cleaning everything up at one time takes forever and puts you in the worst mood! You’d be doing yourself a huge favor by splitting the work up. Take breaks every so often and you’ll feel way better about cleaning.

2. Throw it away!
You can’t hold onto everything forever, so it’s probably a good idea to convince yourself you don’t need some things.

I know the Halloween costume of a sailor you bought six years ago is so sexy and super crucial to you life, but just let it go.

If you get rid of old things you never use, you can make room for new things that you might enjoy … or new things you’ll never use either, but hey! New things!

3. Take allergy meds before starting
Let’s be real. You’re gonna kick up a lot of dust during your spring cleaning adventure. If you’re like me, then spring allergies are one of your worst enemies (behind grapes with seeds and biking up the Gray Street hill).

When that dust gets in your system, you might be sneezing for hours, which doesn’t motivate you to keep cleaning so much as it makes you want to die, which doesn’t help.

4. Have a rummage sale!
Hey, why not? It’s a great way to get rid of a LOT of dumb things you don’t want, PLUS you get a little money for it.

Rummage sales are great! Your stupid garbage might really mean something to someone.

They are ideal for getting rid of clothes while also making a few coins.

And if you want to feel good about yourself …

5. Donate to Goodwill
Donating your things to Goodwill or Hope Gospel will get rid of your stuff without the hassle of putting together a rummage sale. Who knows, maybe someone who really needs your stuff might come across it. It’s a really good thing!

To donate to Goodwill, you can go to to find the nearest Goodwill store and take your stuff there, or sometimes they’ll even come pick it up.

And, if you didn’t know, their profits made from the stores go to job training and other services for people who need it!

You’d feel really great about yourself, and you’d be helping people, which never goes out of style.

Mom’s Advice

“1. Turn off the ringer on your phone and have your roommate hide it really well. Clean as you are looking for it. One caution: Resist the temptation to toss stuff aside instead of dealing with it. That’s how you got into this mess to begin with.

2. There are many spring rituals. Incorporate one into your cleaning. Start by donning a face mask — a necessity for dusting and cleaning out the refrigerator. Wear a funky shirt for inspiration. I saw one in a magazine today that would work. It said “plays in the dirt.”

3. Some of your mess can be recycled. String, pet hair, carpet fibers, and toothpicks may be used by birds for nesting materials. There may be other things that YOU can’t identify that they might find useful in THEIR spring cleaning.”


So even if you’re terrible at spring cleaning, just try to use these tips to hopefully gain some sort of peace in your cleaning journey. It’ll feel real good once
you’re done.