Since it is officially Spring time and another semester/quarter is preparing to come to a close, it is time to start thinking about Spring cleaning your apartment or dorm.  Whether you will be staying in the same living space through the summer or preparing to pack up your dorm and head home, now is the time to get your living space into tip-top shape.  Put on your favorite music playlist and use these three painless tips to spring cleaning your living space:

Declutter: My philosophy is to only clean the stuff you will keep.  So first things first: dump anything that is trash, broken, or otherwise unusable.  The next step is to divide the remaining items into either a donate, keep, or send home piles.  Since the living space of college students is often incredibly tiny, it is important to only keep items that are regularly used and/or have a special meaning.  Keeping only the items you regularly use and/or love will make it easier to find things and easier to pack at the end of the year.

If there are things you want to keep but you don’t need it to be taking up space in your dorm or apartment, I recommend mailing it home.  While the price will vary, you can always use a program like the USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate envelopes and boxes.  Stuff the box full and pay one price – no matter the weight.

Wipe it Clean: Now that you know what your place is only filled with items you are keeping, it is time to get everything cleaned up.  Now is the time for some deep cleaning: Vacuum the space – including the tiny crevices behind the bookshelf and under the bed.  Dust bookshelves, televisions, and window blinds.  Disinfect and wipe down the other surfaces in your living spaces (when was the last time you cleaned the door handle of your fridge?).  Don’t forget to wash that giant pile of laundry too.  There is no better feeling in the world than sleeping in a bed of freshly washed sheets and blankets.

Give Everything a Home: Finally, it is time to take your clean possessions and give everything a home.  Put like items together and do your best to put them where they are most used.  I love to use baskets and trays to corral items in a visually pleasing way.

Since space is at a premium for us college students, don’t be afraid to get creative.  Lift your bed and store items under the bed.  Use hooks on the walls or insides of cabinets to hang items.  If you have an excess of papers that you might want to reference one day, scan them and save them into a note-taking program like Evernote.

Do you ever Spring Clean your apartment or dorm?  What are your best cleaning tips?

[Photo Courtesy of Flickr User MamaMusings and used by a CC 2.0 Attribution License]