Finishing the semester clean and strong: simple tips for spring cleaning

Leave coats for the left and sweaters on the right of the closet

Liz Jacavino

It’s that time again. The weather is getting warmer and students are starting to catch spring fever, and summer is very close behind. Before students can throw up their hands, toss any and all syllabuses and write their professors’ feedback reports, they have to tackle another half of the semester.

With spring break comes spring cleaning. Whether you’re staying in Ames or aiming to finish out the year with a clean mindset and clean living space, here are a few tips to help your spring cleaning.

Clean, clean, clean

Haven’t bought cleaning supplies for the impending cleaning tasks? Baking soda and vinegar will come in handy quickly. Make an all-purpose cleaner with 1 cup of white vinegar, 1 tablespoon baking soda and 1 cup water. Place ingredients into a spray bottle and use for your bathroom, kitchen or floors. Mix in some citrus essential oils to help create a fresh scent around the apartment. It’s easy, cost efficient and your roommate will thank you for going to town on those grimy countertops and cabinets. (Cleaner recipe courtesy of

Ditch those clothes that don’t fit or you don’t wear anymore

Decluttering your space is important and easier than most people think. Break away from those clothes that don’t make you happy anymore (and maybe get some money back for those clothes, depending on where you go).

Take stock of your clothes. If you haven’t worn something in a year or more, it’s time to say goodbye. The Loft, Random Goods and Overflow are a few of the consignment and thrift stores around the Ames area that are accepting spring and summer clothing.

Clean out your inbox

A simple, yet neglected task. Going through your emails can be tedious, time consuming and oftentimes falls to the wayside when it comes to cleaning. Have over 100 or even 1,000 emails sitting in your inbox? Go ahead and unsubscribe from online shops, create folders for important emails you need to keep and simply delete all those promotional or spam emails that are only taking up space.

Spruce up your online look

Along with cleaning out your emails, go through your Instagram and Facebook posts and take time to clean up your professional presence. We are students soon emerging into the working world, so updating a resume or online portfolio will freshen up how you look to potential employers or internship recruiters.

Reconnect and Revise

Think back to the beginning of the semester, when your planner was full of promise, determination and carefully planned out study goals. Take the time this spring to gather your thoughts and reconnect with your goals. There are 38 school days left in the year. Evaluate where you are in the semester, plan out what’s left to do and get it done.