Going Home for the Holidays: How Students Can Clean Their Space Before Leaving Town

By Abby Cloud

It’s the time of year that most students look forward to: going home for the holidays. After a semester of completing projects, writing essays, studying for exams, and eating a scarce diet of dining hall food or microwaveable meals, it’s not a big surprise that your student is ready to see some old friends, relax, and have a nice, home-cooked meal. But, there are some things your student should take care of before jumping in the car and driving straight home. Whether they live in a dorm or an apartment, your student should consider the following prior to leaving Tallahassee for the holiday break. 

Clean their room. Let’s face it, your student’s room might be a total disaster after the last week of classes and exam week hit. Between turning in those final research papers and cramming for exams, cleanliness doesn’t exactly take priority. And while it may not bother them now, they’ll want to come back home to a clean room so that they have one less thing to worry about by the time the spring semester rolls around. Students should make sure to throw away trash piled in their room, return dishes to the kitchen, make their bed, and put everything in its place. As far as laundry goes, make sure to get it done before they leave, or take it home with them to finish while they stay with family over the break.

Clean the kitchen or eating area. While dorms aren’t always equipped with kitchens, chances are there could still be some perishable food items that need to be thrown out or dirty dishes that need to be cleaned. Students should avoid letting dishes pile up in the sink all month long while they’re gone because they’ll come back to an even grosser mess than it was to begin with- and I can assure you that their roommates won’t appreciate it either. Additionally, take the time to throw out or take home any food items your student has that could possibly expire while they’re gone. Things like bread and milk can join them on their journey home, but if they don’t plan on using it (or if it’s already expired), consider just tossing it out before leaving. Advising your student to take out the trash might be beneficial as well. 

Clean the bathroom. Similar to both mentioned above, make sure your student cleans their bathroom too. This act goes along with being able to leave for the holidays and knowing they can come home to a nice and fresh dorm room or apartment and not have to worry about spending their last day cleaning before the spring semester. Clean your shower, sink, countertop, and toilet; even though they won’t be there to use these things, it is still best to clean them now so they don’t have any gross or germy surfaces after they come back. 

Bring home valuables. While this seems like a very obvious part of packing up for the break, you’d be surprised at what students might overlook. The best way to advise your student on what to pack is if they wouldn’t want it to be taken or lost, then they should probably keep it in their possession. Some expensive and valuable items to consider bringing home are laptops, headphones, watches, jewelry, phones, and video game consoles, just to name a few. It’s best to avoid a potential disaster by bringing these things home versus leaving them behind in their dorm or apartment.

Some final pieces of advice include making sure your student has their necessary medicines or prescriptions, a plan in place for mail or bills, returned any rented textbooks, and locked their doors and have their keys before they leave. For Florida State University dorms, University Housing closes the halls at noon on Saturday, December 14 and reopen them at 9 am on Friday, January 3.