Spring cleaning

March 23, 2017, 3:52 a.m.

The shortened, darker days of winter quarter are nearly gone, and it’s time for a change as we spring into a lighter, much brighter season. Winter quarter may not have been entirely enjoyable for all of us, but the next quarter brings about a new opportunity for us to reframe our lives, whether that’s switching up your sluggish routines or setting time apart to reflect about your current state of mind.

Here are just a few ways to declutter your life and get a bit of your own personal spring cleaning done!

1. Rise and shine

Waking up earlier than usual on any day of the week may not necessarily sound like the best idea out there, but it’s no lie when people say the early bird gets the worm! According to a study conducted by Harvard biologist Christoph Randler in 2008, those who wake up early in the mornings tend to be more “proactive.” In general, proactivity is linked to success. However, even though success is surely a subjective topic, what we do know for sure is that when you wake up early, you have a longer day ahead of you, and a longer day ahead of you means that you have more time not only to get things done but to also do other things you love!

2. To-do

Keeping a weekly planner always comes in handy; however, consistently seeing all the tasks you have to do by countless deadlines is inevitably overwhelming. If you get into the habit of making daily to-do lists, it’ll be easier for you to accomplish mini goals as you break down the work you have to do. Keep a to-do planner – don’t just plan, do! And also, do a daily one, not a long-term one that’ll make it harder for you to accomplish your short-term goals.

3. Wash

Letting our laundry pile up for days, weeks – and sometimes even months – is fairly common among us college students. However, having dirty clothes and a messy room will stress you out, so remember to keep up with your laundry!

4. Write on

Not only is keeping a journal a way to document your day or the current state of your life, it’s also an easy and amazing way to let off steam. Take a few minutes at the end of each day to think about the moments you enjoyed as well as the things that are bothering you at the moment. Even when you can’t find direct solutions to all of your problems, all it takes sometimes is to jot it down to let it out of your system and clear your mind. If you ever go back to your old entries, you’ll be able to see how far you’ve come from your past ruts and feel more appreciative of the good times.

5. Meditate to eliminate

It’s a well-known fact that meditative practices such as yoga allow us to cultivate our peace of mind, and that’s because meditation has a positive impact on our mental well-being. Not only does it help you sleep better, but it also puts you in a lighter, happier mood, because the pituitary gland in your brain produces endorphins whenever you meditate.

6. Exhale the bad, inhale the good

Wipe out all the negativity in your life, whether that means dropping that class that’s taking a toll on your overall mental and emotional health or cutting ties with those who are bringing you down instead of lifting you up. Branch out and bring new people into your life, but also remember to maintain your close friendships. Talk about the “bad” with your friends so you can create more room for the “good” life.

7. Check your emails

This one is a little obvious, but letting your emails pile up in your inbox is pretty much the same as letting your dirty laundry pile up in your humble abode. I know we get about 20 emails per hour, but take the time to scroll and delete the unnecessary or irrelevant messages. Essentially, don’t let them reach 4,500 unread emails like I have in the past, because that is a prime example of the opposite of  decluttering your life.

8. Fun in the sun for everyone

The rainy days are over!!! And you know what that means? No more biking in the rain, which instantly makes spring quarter days look sunnier than ever. Have some fun as you hike the Dish with your friends, and get fit while you’re at it! Take a nap or have a picnic on Meyer Green – a must before anyone graduates from Stanford. And don’t forget to check out Lake Lagunita – hands down the best product that we could have ever had from the abundant downpour. Whatever you do, don’t forget to go outside and soak up the sun.

I hope you got a few ideas on how to clear your mind and enjoy the simplicities in life. Happy spring!


Contact Clarissa Gutierrez at cgutier ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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