Wednesday, May 7, 2014

College Clean Out: This one is for YOU college students!

Living in a college town and working with college students on a daily basis is seriously awesome.  I get to work with bright, motivated individuals who want to change the world.  Today marked the last day of classes and the students are getting ready to complete their final exams, papers and projects.  Soon many will pack up to go home, travel, or move into different apartments.  All of these options require packing up a lot of stuff.  So this post is specifically for you my college student reader.  Here are the best tips I wish I would have had in my college days for packing up at the end of an academic year.

Whether you are a senior who is graduating and either moving back home or to your first non-college apartment all the way to a freshman leaving your first dorm room, you may have noticed that your stuff has multiplied this year.  The t-shirts from the different clubs or events you were involved with, your papers and text books that you are starting to think you may need again, or the kitchen supplies you stocked up on but never had the time to really use.

Take some study breaks this week to think about the state of your stuff.  What has your space felt like this year and how do you want it to feel and function for next year?  In college, many of us don't have a lot of space to begin with, so why fill it to the brim with things you don't use anyway?

Tips for the College Clean Out:

1) If you haven't worn a clothing item ALL year, trust me you won't be wearing it again.  Donate it or sell it in a consignment shop.

2) Really think if you need EVERY Fraternity/Sorority Insignia item you own?  Will one item be enough to capture the memories?  Take pictures of anything you want to remember and hand down to younger 'brothers' or 'sisters' in your house as you head out. Maybe you will start a new tradition, and a minimalist one at that!

3) Sell your textbooks to other students for decent prices.  Trust me, you won't need them again and they are heavy and cumbersome.  

4) Projects and Papers should be saved digitally and never in paper.  If you do want to refer to it later you will more easily find it on the cloud than in a pile.

5) Kitchenware can be tricky but you probably already know your housing plans for the fall at this point.  Talk to your roommates/housemates and see who has what and then get rid of the excess.  No need to have doubles and triples of plates and pots that you won't end up using.  Down the line you can always re-buy if you need and in the meantime you don't have to worry about storing and adding clutter to an already small living space.

6) Donate unopened food items to local food pantries, don't just throw away food that others could use.

7) Take a study break to actually find out where you can donate furniture items instead of tossing by the dumpsters.  Many places will even pick up the items for free. One example: The University of Illinois YMCA has a great program called "Dump and Run" where you can drop off items or have them picked up.  The items will be sold and the proceeds will go to fund YMCA programming.

I hope these tips will help you cut down on the clutter to make move-out and your next move-in a lot easier and less stressful.  Let me know if any of you have any awesome tips or if you have any questions!  

I will also put a plug in here for my home simplifying business: Your Simple Home for any local students who may need some extra help.  Special discounts for students, please inquire with me at yoursimplehome@gmail.com.