Gretchen Rubin

A Little Happier: Don’t Wait Until You’re Moving to Clean Your Apartment.


My daughter Eliza left for college last month. Getting her settled got me reflecting back on my own college experience, and on the various dorm rooms and off-campus apartments where I spent my time.

My friend Sarah lived off campus. At the end of our senior year, after she'd frantically cleaned up her apartment in order to get her safety deposit back, she made a remark that I’ve always remembered: "Don’t wait until you’re moving out to clean your apartment."  She added, "After it’s clean, you realize how nice it was all along."

Often, when we want to make a change or improve an experience, we think, “I need to do something drastic. Like move to a new apartment.”

Sometimes, that’s absolutely true. But sometimes we can take steps to improve our current situation, right now, within the bounds of our present experience. If we clean the apartment, we might find that it's nicer than we thought.

Have you ever had an experience like that?

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