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Stephanie Koo / Staff Illustrator

Clear space, clear mind: The old adage rings true. And yet, it’s likely that after three months of living, studying, and partying, your room is looking far from tidy these days. There’s no need to become content with the mysterious stains on your sheets or your Cheeto-dust-covered floors, however. Follow this step-by-step guide, courtesy of Spectrum, and your room should be in tip-top shape in preparation for finals season.

— Do your laundry (and make sure to wash your sheets)!

The first step is always the hardest, so we’re gonna make this one a freebie: grab your laundry hamper and a few Tide pods, and head down to your nearest laundry room. Bonus points for getting started on step two while everything is still in the wash.

— Clean the floor!

Grab a handful of Clorox, or better yet, a Swiffer, roll up your sleeves, play your favorite jam, and get that floor squeaky clean. If you have a rug (or perhaps just to get those pesky crumbs under your desk), grab a hand vacuum or borrow one from your RA (they all have them).

— Wipe down all surfaces and appliances.

You haven’t disinfected your room since getting here, have you? Don’t worry though—you can do it now. Grab those Clorox wipes and alcohol swabs if you have them, and get working. Make sure to remember your refrigerator and microwave if you have one.

— Put away summer clothes.

By now, your laundry should be ready. Get it, take a moment to put your (now clean!) sheets back on your bed, and then dump your clean clothes on top of your sheets. Open up your closets and drawers and make two piles: summer/early fall, and late fall/winter. Categorize your clothes accordingly, and say goodbye to all your warmer-weather garments (if you’re like me, this means putting them into a storage container under your bed). Hang up all your winter clothes or store them in your drawers.

— Organize your notes.

Now it’s time to move to what’s likely the real disaster zone. First, find all the stacks of tear-stained econometrics notes and all the UWriting handouts you never read. Find a space on your floor, separate everything by subject, and then determine what can stay and what can go. Proceed to put everything into a corresponding manila folder and sigh heavily.

— Organize your desk.

Find a home for all your miscellaneous pens and Post-it Notes! If you have a relatively empty drawer, use that; if not, invest in this desk organizer from Amazon Basics.

— Clean your kitchen/common room (optional).

Because it’s likely that you have suitemates if this point applies to you, make it a group effort: Delegate tasks, put on some good tunes, and get your communal space squeaky clean!

— Watch some Netflix. Chill. Relax.

Congratulations! Pat yourself on the back, because you’ve done it. If you’re feeling fancy, spray some Febreze as a finishing touch. Then, flop onto your freshly made bed, watch some Netflix, or host some friends in your now immaculate room. You deserve it.

Barnard Columbia Organization
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