The weather is getting warmer, the pollen is blowing in, which means one thing: Spring Cleaning. If you dread this time of year, worry not gamers, we have a list of tried and true methods you already use when gaming to ease into the process!

The best part about cleaning is it’s a repeatable quest so that you can get your strategies down. The worst part is it’s not an optional quest, and sometimes it can be tempting to chase side quests instead of slaying the dust bunnies plaguing the kingdom.

Try thinking about each task as a game quest before you give in to the urge to ditch your spring cleaning for the fishing mini-game with your friends. You won’t unlock achievements, but you will have a lemony fresh toilet and crumb-free bedsheets, so that’s almost as good.

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Tutorial Area   

There are a lot of games that drop players into an area with no direction, expecting them to sink or swim. Even if you are a FromSoftware fan who thrives on an insane difficulty level before starting your cleaning quest, we suggest a tutorial area.

Choose somewhere small, like a nightstand or coffee table. Pick everything up, clean the dust off the top, throw away the trash and celebrate the small victories. You might have finished the most manageable level, but you have proven you are ready for the rest of the game!

Gear Up

Cleaning gear; spring cleaning, gaming

You can’t get into the Water Temple without the iron boots, and you can’t clean without the right gear. Take the time to go to the store and refresh your supplies. It’s like hitting up the merchant before any other quest run — you pick up new supplies and dump the old stuff out to make room. Dried out antibacterial wipes and watered-down window cleaner is no way to start your epic cleaning quest.

Splurge on that cleaning caddy you’ve been eyeing, and think of it as a backpack upgrade! The less time you have to shuffle back and forth between your quest area, the better, especially since fast travel is disabled for levels in real life.

Study the Map

Life is an open-world game, and most of the areas are open to you by the time you hit level 18. If you have already unlocked your dwelling, your map might be more extensive than previous ones. You can choose to tackle areas first to gain experience or get them out of the way. I like to check off the easier sites on my map first that are self-contained.

Remember, some areas might have crossover, so that backtracking can be necessary. Study the area map and plan your day accordingly, so you don’t have to double back too often. If several areas require the bathtub to refill the mop water, don’t wash the tub first, or you’ll have to do that quest again later.

Boss Battles

Let’s face it, not all household chores are created equal, and some tasks are boss battles. Since life is an entirely randomized game and everyone starts with different presets, our bosses might not be the same. Personally, putting away laundry and washing dishes have always been significant battles.

I will do everything else in the house and put the dryer on tumble for DAYS to avoid folding or putting away laundry. Don’t be afraid to ask for a player two to tag on the stages you can’t clear alone. If cooperative play is not an option for your game, you still got this gamer.

Loot Room

Laptop with coffee; spring cleaning, gaming

OK, gamers, you know that moment you step into a small room in a dungeon full of extra healing potions and know there’s a boss behind the next door? Utilize this momentum to psych yourself up to bust through that door and kick ass. Before you start your big task, do whatever you need to refill your mana. Do yoga, eat a snack or whatever feels refreshing to you.

Once you are prepped, put on your dragon-slaying soundtrack and get at it. Don’t forget that the boss often drops loot, too! Reward yourself for a hard-won battle before picking up the next quest.

Side Quests

Side quests can be some of the most satisfying parts of any game. I’ll impulse-buy a game with a good fishing mini-game or aesthetic areas to spend 60 hours in the game without ever touching the main quests.

Before you start your cleaning, sit down and decide what tasks are considered the main story quest, like mopping the kitchen or stripping the sheets from your bed, and don’t lose sight of those goals.

Is it more fun to spend the game on the gardening side quests? Yes, of course. But someone has to save the kingdom gamers, and that someone is you.

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Managing inventory

wardrobe; spring cleaning, gaming

You have to break one gamer habit for a successful spring cleaning session, and that’s inventory hoarding. In case we need them later, we’re all guilty of holding onto too much stuff in games. In Stardew Valley alone, I have three chests full of garbage if I need something or 999 of something for a quest. This habit often spills over into my real life, and inventory management is a struggle.

When you clear out your junk drawers, give in to the urge to toss all of the cords and instruction manuals you’ve been keeping through your last two moves. Ready to clear out your closet? Don’t keep the armor or shirt that looks great that you never wear. Donate it to an excellent NPC or local charity for others to enjoy instead. Life is easier when you aren’t overburdened.

We hope these gaming habits will serve you all well as you start your spring cleaning. Gear up, make a plan and game on!

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Lauren Darnell
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