1. Your inboxes — plural
Put a finger down if you still have those fortune-telling email chains from your fifth grade email address that was probably “firstname.lastname@example.org” or something like that. The unread messages you leave sitting in your email inbox take up energy that actually contributes to your carbon footprint. Now that the semester is nearing the end, it’s a good idea to go through and clear out your school email and other emails. It’s also a good idea to get into the habit of sorting or deleting emails as soon as you read them to prevent your inbox from filling up again and help out the environment a little bit.
With all those extra #quarantinephotoshoots and TikTok videos you’re making, it might be time to go through your devices to clear up some storage and sneak in a little extra organization amidst all the chaos. Backing up your computer, getting rid of old, unused apps and filtering through media is really good for adding a little order to your life and resurfacing embarrassing videos of your friends from first year.
3. Bathroom cabinets
Most beauty and personal hygiene products have an expiration date of six months to a year, despite there being no indication of such information on the packaging. Who would have thought? Definitely not me. We all probably have some smelly skin care bottles or dried out nail polish that’s been rotting in there this whole time.
It might be cool to go through the bookshelf and see what you read back in high school — or finally read the books you didn’t but have anyway because they were required reading. Or, just clean it because you're bored enough to start noticing the dust collecting on the shelf and you’ve been laying in bed since you woke up four hours ago.
5. The junk drawer
This could actually be interesting to do, because the junk drawer is hidden with so many gems. Beneath the scissors, loose pens and old, wrinkled take-out menus, there could be buried treasures. There could be a five dollar bill, some earrings your mom took away a long time ago or an old note that your high school ex-boyfriend left on your fridge sophomore year — okay, be careful with this one.
6. The skeletons in your closet
Sometimes it’s easy to forget about the issues we hung up a while back that might still be lurking. Maybe clear the air with old friends you haven’t talked to in awhile, or confront that one high school ex that still texts you at 3 a.m. once or twice every two months. That one is less forgettable.
7. And also your closet
Chances are the clothes you leave at home during college would mostly go unworn anyway, so why not do a little spring cleaning? Depending on your area, your local donation center might still be open and probably needs donations pretty badly. Many community members are still in need, and donating clothes and pantry items is a good way to contribute — from six feet away, of course.
8. Under the bed
Since you don’t usually live at home, there’s probably some stuff under there that you don’t even recall existing. My boyfriend found an entire Casio keyboard from his childhood under his bed over winter break. It probably didn’t make a ton of sense at the time, but since we’re in a cleaning mood now, it doesn’t matter if it makes sense — it needs to be moved sometime. Snag wrappers from midnight snacks, sweep any dust that may have settled and count it as a start to the next thing you should clean.
9. The floor
Sure, your floors might not be nearly as dirty as any of the ones on Rugby Road, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need a lil’ sweepy-sweep. Particularly if you’ve got a rug in your room, the amount of dust, dirt and spare change that you find might just be astounding. And if your room does look like it belongs on Rugby, then you’ve only got one option — left hand first, put your right hand on top — and mop — more than once, if necessary.
Hairdressers, barbershops, spas, waxing joints and nail salons are all closed. Does this mean you need to cut your own hair, sugar or wax yourself, do your own nails or find strange home remedies to exfoliate? No. However, keep yourself clean — use shampoo and conditioner, actually scrub instead of just rinsing and brush your teeth and still floss, you animal. Larger grocery stores still carry everything from mouthwash to loofahs, so there’s not many excuses for not keeping your fine self lookin’ fine. But self-cleaning doesn’t stop at the physical. Keeping in touch with your friends and family often creates a nice morale boost in these trying times. People like therapists and counselors all over the country are still scheduling appointments via Zoom, FaceTime and more. Also, it’s important to find things to occupy you — find a new hobby, discover some new music, get some exercise in or maybe utilize something you found while doing the rest of this cleaning.