Breaking News
The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

March 2024 Centerspread

Spring Cleaning: Declutter your Room, Bag and Mind

Dust bunnies settle in room, bag and mind, mirroring the chaotic energy of looming tests, March Madness and sleep deprivation (the average Celsius drinker). Navigating cluttered spaces is exhausting and decluttering them too often goes forgotten, but some spring cleaning both physically and spiritually can bring peace and calm to an otherwise tumultuous time of year.


Start by cleaning a space where you’ll notice the biggest improvement right away. Don’t dive into the messiest part of the room first; choose an area that’s already somewhat tidy but could use some reorganizing, like your bed. Seeing immediate results can keep you motivated to keep cleaning.

After tidying up that area, think about investing in a tiered lazy susan. You can put a lazy susan in any corner you have space. It is a really versatile, organizing tool since you can put almost anything on it, from beauty products to stationery to medication. It’s a game-changer for avoiding the cycle of using something and forgetting to put items back (definitely not because you felt lazy that day, not speaking from personal experience). With a lazy susan, everything stays easily accessible.

Even after every item has “found its place,” your room can still feel crowded. To make your room feel more spacious (without knocking down a wall), consider maximizing your vertical space, with an over-the-door hanger for frequently used jackets and your backpack. You can even invest in a floating bookshelf to put school supplies and textbooks. By freeing up closet and floor space, your rooms feel more spacious and less like you are a Barbie doll in the dream house.


You probably don’t need those old English and math worksheets cluttering up your bag: clearing them out will literally lighten your load. After finishing a unit, clean out your folders and consider reusing those worksheet papers as scratch paper or recycling them. If you are concerned you will need the worksheets in the future, you can scan and store them digitally.

To make sure you don’t lose those worksheets (because that excuse is getting old), have a dedicated space for everything in your bag: your laptop and notebooks in the back, while your pencil case is in the front. The habit of consistently putting something somewhere in your bag will help you find it when you need it.

Keep your bag as light as possible by carrying only the essentials for the day or week. For example, if you don’t use a different color pen for each class, leave that 15-pack of Muji pens at home. Or, only bring one notebook to school if you only take notes in one or two classes.

If you’re already bringing a pencil case to school, you can save space by making it multi-functional. For instance, storing lip balm in your pencil case eliminates the need for an extra bag for personal items and ensures better organization than simply tossing it in your front pocket.


Your internal thoughts heavily influence how you view situations; if you convince yourself you’re overwhelmed, every new task may seem like an additional burden on your already crowded to-do list, ultimately resulting in burnout. To ease that feeling, start by listing your worries: this will calm you down. Identify your stressors, distinguish between real concerns and exaggerated fears and then try to problem-solve to find solutions.

Make sure you remove the “but,” or the excuses you’re making to justify your situation, and try to start finding solutions. This will empower you to regain control and actively work towards overcoming your challenges. To keep yourself motivated and avoid procrastination, verbalize what you want to accomplish for the day. Repeat after me: I will do (the thing) at (time) at (location). This forces you to make clear goals and hold yourself accountable for them.

I recommend trying out different productivity apps to get a sense of what works for you. Todo Mate is a great option for making a basic to-do list due to its aesthetic and minimalist app design. If you’re having trouble focusing because you are distracted with your phone, try Dote Timer, an app that sets a timer when you flip your phone over and rewards with donation points for every 10 minutes you don’t move your phone. You can donate these coins towards disadvantaged students.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributors
Rikkie Gunawan
Rikkie Gunawan, Centerspread Editor
Rikkie is the Centerspread Editor of The Northwood Howler and on a mission to turn the newspaper into a magazine (kidding!). They’re always drawing in the margins of papers, but also love to read and try creative writing when they get the chance. At any given moment, they’re thinking about what to wear next for their outfit account.
Courtney Lee
Courtney Lee, Staff Writer
Courtney Lee is a sophomore staff writer still figuring out if she's a winter cool or a spring cool. If you spot someone struggling with a locker in 501, it's probably her. In her free time, she loves playing the bass clarinet, reading new and emerging authors and amassing a collection of the fanciest mechanical pencils in town.

Comments (0)

All The Northwood Howler Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *