Spring Cleaning for Students: Finish the School Year Strong
My mom grew up in Chicago, IL. It’s not called the “Windy City” for nothing. Located right off of Lake Michigan, the wind blew coal dust and dirt into her family’s house all winter long. She remembers having to spring clean the house from top to bottom each year. And it was always filthy work.
While hopefully, you’re not cleaning coal dust (yikes!) off your bedroom walls, there are some spring cleaning tasks students can complete. Yes, school might be ending in a few months, but they are an incredibly important few months. Standardized exams, group projects galore, and final exams are all on the horizon.
We sometimes think that it’s too late in the school year to get organized. But getting organized now is always the right idea. I’ve seen students fall apart at the end of the school year and ruin their hard work and grades.
Luckily, spring cleaning doesn’t need to take a ton of time. You could complete all of my suggestions in a single day. Or spread them out over a weekend. Easy peasy, friends. A little cleaning time this weekend can keep you on track academically.
Academic Spring Cleaning
Yes, almost all backpacks can be thrown in the washer and most can go in the dryer. There is usually a tag somewhere in the bag with washing directions. If you know the brand, you can also look up the washing directions online.
If the washing machine is a no-go, at least grab some cleaning wipes and wipe that thing down, especially the bottom which sits on dirty floors each and every day. And then Febreze the heck out of it.
While you have the wipes out, wipes down your notebooks, calculator, phone case, and anything else that lives in your backpack on a regular basis.
And please, please, please put your water bottle in the dishwasher.
Go through your backpack and notebooks and take out any papers that don’t belong or are really old. Place all those papers in piles by class and then look at each piece. Is this from a current class? Is this my only copy? Will this help me study? If you answer yes to all 3 questions, keep it. Recycle the rest.
Take an inventory of your supplies. While you may have started the year off with tons of sharpened pencils and crisp paper, that has probably dwindled. Find the extra supplies in your house and restock your homework caddy and your backpack.
Update the planner
I know – you started the year or semester with the best of intentions. But that planner is sitting sad and lonely in a corner. Grab it, turn to this week, and start adding your commitments and assignments to it. It is NEVER too late to start using a planner. (Psst – this one is my favorite!)
Check Your Grades
Sometimes, we don’t even realize that we missed an assignment. Check your grades and see if there is any work missing. Ask your teacher (in a very polite e-mail) if you can still complete the assignment for credit. If so, get on it! Also, sometimes teachers make mistakes entering grades. Shocking, I know. So double-check those assignment grades for any mistakes.
If you or your teen more of an organization intervention, try Organization Jumpstart. It’s a FREE online course that walks students through a more in-depth organization process.