Finally, the semester is over! Now that school’s out, it’s time for spring cleaning or moving out of your dorm. Your room is probably a mess, whether it’s from all the coffee cups you never threw out or the huge piles of notes and textbooks you’ve accumulated throughout the semester. At first, it may seem tedious and daunting to start decluttering, but it doesn’t have to be! Keep reading for 10 simple tips to make the process as smooth as possible.
1. Plan out your decluttering goals.
Write on a sheet of paper or use your planner–you’ll be less likely to abandon your tasks if you write them out. How you want to approach your decluttering is up to you. You could do your closet this week, your study space next week, and your bathroom the week after. You could also aim to fill one trash bag of things you don’t need anymore by the end of 10 days.
2. Sort and organize your things into three categories.
As you go through your stuff, determine whether items should be 1) kept, 2) thrown out, or 3) sold or donated. Not everything you don’t need has to go to waste! Having a few large boxes can make this process easier; you’d be able to easily go through the boxes later while avoiding creating more mess.
3. Start tossing and organizing before buying storage bins.
It might seem logical to buy organizers and storage bins before you begin decluttering, since it means that you’ll be getting more organized, right? Not necessarily. You don’t really know how much you’ll actually be getting rid of and keeping until you start going through your things, so you run the risk of buying too many or not the right type of organizing and storage pieces. In addition, you might realize at the end of your decluttering session that you don’t actually need to buy any.
4. Use the 80/20 rule for your wardrobe.
You wear about 20% of your clothes 80% of the time. This means that the majority of the clothes you own aren’t actually being worn. While digging through your closet, you’ll probably pull out quite a few pieces from ages ago that you’ve grown attached to over the years. Yeah, you looove that skirt, but you haven’t worn it in 2 years…perhaps it’s time to give it a better home?
5. Trade items with your friends.
Maybe a friend needs one of the items you have, and have something they could give to you in return. A novel for a couple binders? A gym bag for notes for a class you took? You could also host a swap party with your friends! It can be themed (clothes only, books only, etc.) or generic–at the gathering, everyone brings the stuff they want to get rid of and swaps for items that they like.
6. Sell reusable items you don’t need anymore on the bgon app.
Old textbooks? Lightly-used clothes? The Bath & Body Works candles you never got to use? Bgon lets you list your items exclusively to your school’s community, which means no more sketchy Kijiji meetups, as well as targeting a better audience when listing your textbooks for sale. The best part is that you get to earn some cash back for your things! If your school isn’t listed on the app, you can request for it to be listed here.
7. Prioritize clearing off large surfaces.
This includes your work desk, countertops, kitchen island, dining table, or nightstand. Especially if you’re the type of person who tosses anything and everything aside once you get home, you probably have a lot of clutter on these surfaces. Clearing them off first during your decluttering process will give the impression that you’ve been productive and might even be de-stressing.
8. Organize the belongings you plan to keep.
Put similar items together: stationary and books by your work desk, clothes and accessories in your closet or dresser, and all your electronics cables in a drawer. Fold or hang up your clothes and unload your dishwasher. By clearing these things out of your way and organizing them, you’ll tidy up your place while keeping a clear focus on the next areas you need to declutter. Keeping organized will save you time during the decluttering process!
9. Get help from someone.
Having a second pair of hands on deck will cut down the time you need in half, as well as provide you with a more objective second opinion how what to keep or dump. Whether it’s a parent, friend, or housemate, find someone you can trust to tell you when you really need to ditch that raggedy summer camp shirt you’ve been hoarding all year.
10. Be reasonable.
If you have a habit of hoarding things you don’t really need, it’ll always be a struggle to declutter. But think about how much more refreshed you’ll feel when you’ve gotten rid of the excess clutter you’ve been pushing around your place all semester. Think about the future objectively rather than holding onto the past. If you own something that is of sentimental value, you’d want to keep it; if it’s just something of a small memory, consider taking a picture of it to preserve the memory and tossing the item. Be a good judge of what’s actually worth keeping, because it’s quite certain that you don’t need to keep all those freebies you got during frosh week!
What other decluttering tips do you find helpful? Let us know in the comments!