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Cleaning ALL The Things

Cleaning ALL The Things

Hello and welcome to the same article that half the internet has already written. I haven’t written it yet though, so yay, here we go! I just returned to Boulder after a month spent in Florida to start my spring semester. I live with three other people, and we’re not a total mess, so when I got back my first thought was not “wow the apartment is total disaster.” Not even my room was a complete disaster, I haven’t always been the most organized person, and I didn’t leave things completely in order, but it wasn’t as bad as I’d expected. Of course, once I set out to unpack all of my stuff it quickly became a mess, but whatever.

You have undoubtedly heard people say that they feel better when their spaces are clean and organized. I believe there was some kind of psychological thing that I learned about and have since forgotten. Perhaps you know? Whether it’s based in science or not, it’s always worked for me. Clearing a space to clear my head. Do I ever keep the room that way? Not for long, but hey, I try.

When I got back to Boulder, and unpacked all my things, I determined I was just going to clean  and reorganize everything. I tend to not throw things away. Maybe it is an artist thing, “Don’t throw out that tiny piece of plastic Olivia…you could make something with it”, or maybe because I kind of feel bad about throwing away notes I’ve taken. Because of this, things just pile up. In drawers, in bags, under desks. It’s no good. But, as I’ve discovered, throwing stuff away is great! You get free up space and it’s super satisfying.

It started with me fixing my room. I cleaned, reorganized, did my laundry, got all my books in order, generally made things look good and function well. That was all I was going to do, but then I was going to make food and I thought “Well hey, why not clean this mess of a kitchen. And the living room and bathroom while I’m at it. And just sweep…everything.” And that was great…but then I thought “I should go through my phone and reorganize my apps and like delete all the ones I don’t use anymore. Like I have so many versions of chess it’s ridiculous. And when’s the last time I actually checked my email? And doesn’t my computer keep bothering me about updating something” I didn’t just clean my spaces, I cleaned all the things. And sometimes what qualified as “cleaning” was dealing with the notification my computer had been throwing at me for around a year.

So here I am, starring at my beautifully organized books, having checked my 15 voicemails and 75 emails, recorded a new voicemail greeting (that doesn’t sound like much, but I’ve had the same one since middle school and I’m nearly 22…), picked up my school books, and generally on board with the whole organization thing. I’m writing at my desk. I haven’t done that since…have I ever done that?

Some of you reading this who are more responsible than I am are probably thinking, “Well yes of course Olivia, you are not going be as stressed if you clean, you absolute fool. That’s how it works. That way you can find your things more easily and etc, etc, etc…”, but listen…I’ve never been good at that.  I’m not saying this is the key to happiness or that everyone should immediately go and deep clean their entire life, I’m not here to tell you how to live , but it’s still a neat idea (neat…get it…) So, what’s your take on the whole organized space organized mind thing? (I mean regardless of your take on organization I encourage cleaning because dirt and dust and that’s just gross man) I’m feeling super chill right now, which if you know me you know is an extraordinary achievement. Who knows what level of organization I’ll maintain throughout the semester, but hey, it’s worth a try.



Olivia Allen
Olivia Allen is a writer and artist, who manages social media for IDEAS, and is in the business of recommending Good Omens to everyone she knows. We love stories, got an idea for a guest blog, contact her at