Spring cleaning encapsulates more than just your physical belongings

Photo by Qiao Liu

Students have an incredibly hard time staying organized and managing their belongings, from free pens given out in the concourse, to water bottles from O-Week and ticket stubs from 12 Barz; students are the ultimate hoarders.

With every year it seems like more “stuff” is accumulated and less stuff is discarded.  Although decluttering may seem like a daunting task, clearing your living space can lead to mental clarity and peace of mind.  If you’re struggling to declutter your life, here are a few tips and tricks to make your spring cleaning a success.

Make decluttering an event; Don’t do it every day!

There are two types of cleaning: “every day tidying” and “special event tidying.”  Every day tidying is simply putting things in their proper place, while special event tidying is a major life changing event.  If you try to declutter a little every day you will be decluttering forever, so before you even start, you need to make a dedication to changing your living space.

Discard miscellaneous items

We all have those random items laying around in the back of our drawers or at the bottom of our bags. Get rid of them all! These items can include: Kinder egg toys, receipts, unused pens, lanyards, makeup samples, unidentified cords, broken objects, magazines, books we’ve never read and any novelty items like promotional calendars, post-it notes from your best friend’s dad’s work and those stupid cell phone screen cleaners. If you don’t use it, toss it.


Only keep what brings you joy

A great rule of thumb to use when deciding what to discard is to ask yourself, “if your house were on fire would you grab this item/would you be sad to lose it?”  When you hold the item, does it make you happy? And be honest with yourself. You can’t honestly say that starring at a pile of unread books, a pile or random paper or a sock with a hole in it brings you joy and stirs your heart.  Only keep the things that speak to you.

Don’t forget to declutter your schedule and digital life

People often don’t realize a cluttered calendar and digital life not only slow your devices down but are a source of stress as well. Reconsider your schedule and try to reduce your commitments; whether civic, religious, friends or hobbies, make sure all the things you are committed to really bring you joy and are of value.

Reconsider your schedule and create a routine.  Instead of doing a little laundry several times a week, do it all at once.  A life without structure is a life of chaos.

Don’t forget to organize your digital life, this includes decluttering your desktop from random saved images and documents. Organize using folders and delete what you don’t need anymore. Don’t be that person with 11 tabs open in their browser. Next, tack your email. Delete useless emails and unsubscribe to all the sites you don’t actually need otherwise you’ll be spending more time deleting emails than reading. Say no to notifications on your phone and delete everyone from your social media who are not of value or bring you joy.

Spring cleaning is a good opportunity to throw out the physical trash you accumulate in your life, but it’s also a good time to let go of that emotional trash, too.

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