I know, crazy. But it actually felt really good. I usually sit on my computer all day (no, not literally) and the feeling of being completely unplugged from my laptop felt really different - a good different, but different. I don't know how often I'd be able to pull that off, but once in a while I guess I can handle it. Anyway, the reason I was unplugged was that I finally got around to my spring cleaning which for me meant cleaning that hasn't been done in, oh! around 5 years...
No, it's really not that bad. My room wasn't a mess. I didn't have things strewn all over my floor, nor did I have no room left on my bed to sleep. I started by tackling all the notebooks, folders and binders that I kept from my school days. I had two boxes and a shelf full of school notes, tests, and assignments that I wanted to go through and decide what I'd like to keep and what will get a new home in the garbage. It's a tedious task (especially since I found things from as early as 3rd grade!). I kept pushing off, thinking that eventually it'll get done - I was kind of hoping on its own somehow... I was also waiting to get a bookcase in which to store all these treasures.
Well, the cleaning day finally came! Okay, no, it didn't take only 1 measly little day. It took a few days of non-stop, tedious, tiresome work. But it's done. All in the bookcase I bought!
Oh, wait! You think I was really done? Oh, no! I also save magazine articles - I clip out the ones I want to keep, place them in sheet protectors, and put them categorically into binders. I had 2 boxes full of magazines that were waiting for me (impatiently screaming for me to finally visit them), and of course, after going through my school stuff, I had to tackle this job next. So for the past 5 days, I was sitting there amidst piles and piles of magazines and carefully determining which articles I'm keeping and which ones go in which binders. And I am happy to say that today I placed the binders with all the article clippings in my bookcase along with my school notebooks.
Okay, not really. I still have to actually clean. But that's not so bad. I got the hard part done with and now I can have some down time.
Is cleaning something that you dread doing? Well, I've got some great tips I use that have helped me tremendously!
- Tackle the big stuff as little stuff - do you have something that you know is going to take hours to finish? BREAK IT UP! Don't do it all as one huge job. Divide the job into parts and take small breaks in between. For example, I divided the magazines into different piles and went through one pile at a time. It won't be so bad after all!
- Don't stress - if there's something you don't know whether or not you want to keep, leave it alone and come back to the decision a little later. First of all, you don't want to waste your time thinking, because then you wouldn't be very productive. Secondly, if you're stressed, you can't make the right decisions. That said...
- THROW IT OUT! - There are some things that should just be thrown away - or donated if it's still in good condition. If you haven't used it in a while (you can determine what a while means, but 5 years is a pretty good base number) then you can be pretty sure it belongs in a garbage, not in your room. For example, that broken flashlight that still doesn't work after you changed the bulb and battery - yeah, it's going out. (If you're wondering why I'm saying this after I just went through all the magazines it's because, yes, I do actually re-read the articles I keep, but something that's broken is not worth keeping.)
- Spot it - pick a corner of your room and clean it thoroughly. Here are tips to get this done correctly: a. Take everything off the shelf/dresser/desk/table or out of the drawer/closet
b. Clean whatever you emptied with a wet rag or Lysol wipe (or whatever brand!)
c. Look at the things you put aside and see what you're keeping and what you're not. Clean what you will be putting back in its place
d. Put things your keeping back in their proper places and discard what you're not. Yes, do that right now. You can keep a large garbage bag in your room so you don't have to keep walking back and forth.
e. Take a break!
f. Repeat until all areas are done and you have a clean room :)
- Revisit - go back to the things you weren't sure about keeping. Now is the time you can think about each one carefully. I'm very against throwing things away that you will be upset about, so take your time to think each one through. But this doesn't mean everything should be kept.
CONGRATS! Your room is clean and beautiful. Maybe next time I'll talk about redecorating...