Semester Decluttering and Destressing Tips

Last updated on November 15, 2017

It never fails.

As you prepare to head home for the summer (or for good, depending on what year you are), you evaluate your room, looking through all you have accumulated over the course of the year or, in some case, four years.

Lava lamps, thrift store items, movies—sure, you gain a lot of knowledge throughout your time spent in college, but rarely does anyone point out the amount of random stuff you collect.

Luckily, the end of the academic year is the perfect time to shed some of your hoarding tendencies and free yourself of excess baggage. Follow the practices and beliefs of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who said:

‘Think simple,’ as my old master used to say—meaning reduce the whole of its parts into the simplest terms, getting back to first principles.

When you’re not studying for finals or wrapping up other end-of-the-year responsibilities, here are 7 ways to declutter your life this spring:

1. Utilize book buybacks

Often, your college bookstore or companies like Chegg and Amazon will buy back textbooks for cash. Sometimes, you don’t get a lot of money back, but purging these books you might never look at again rids yourself of the torment of hauling them home.

If you have a particularly expensive book, you can always post a flier or a status on Facebook asking for half the retail price (probably more than what you might get from the bookstore).

2. Goodwill

If you haven’t worn it all academic year, give it to Goodwill. This is a good rule of thumb for most anything. If you haven’t used it, what’s keeping it in your collection? There’s always someone else who might appreciate it more than you.

3. Motivation

Lack the motivation? Watch an episode of “Hoarders.” This series can motivate the most lackadaisical TV viewer. You’ll be up and boxing stuff in no time.

4. Turn your college tees into a quilt

Many schools give out free T-shirts for certain events like Homecoming and spring fests. Sure, it’s a pretty sweet deal at the time, but sometimes if you’re the last one in line for shirts, you get a 2XXL shirt that’s perfect for a tarp on your car.

Instead of holding onto these tees for sentimental value, turn them into something else—like a quilt courtesy of the Campus Quilt Company.

5. Gift items

Has one of your friends always admired that sweater in your closet (that you RARELY, if ever, wear)? Gift it to them, according to Zen Habits. Your friends will appreciate the “gift,” and it’s one less nonessential clothing item you have to worry about.

6. Donation

Donate old magazines to doctors’ offices or mechanic shops. Plenty of waiting room attendees will be happy to read something other than Highlights magazines and Good Housekeeping.

7. Give it for Free

If you really want rid of something, take it outside and put a “free” sign on it. College students are like scavengers. Whatever you want rid of, it will be gone within a day. There are plenty of freegans around campuses, too.