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7 Things You Don’t Need In Your Dorm Room: What to Get Rid of Now

Winter break is wrapping up and it is time to get back to campus for the spring semester. By now, you are (hopefully) well-rested, well-fed, and well-dressed, lugging the spoils of a lovely visit home in your cute duffel bag.  

But wait—what’s this? If you’re anything like me, entering your room might be a bit of a shocker. After the whirlwind of a hectic finals season, it looks like a twister blew through! Clothes cover every surface, you can barely find your bed under the mess, and there is just so much stuff everywhere.

You, a smart and savvy collegiette, are not going to start your term off in a pigsty, so it’s time to clean up. And clean-up time is the perfect opportunity for a little cleaning out—space is a hot commodity in any collegiette’s cramped dorm room, after all, and with all those new Christmas presents to move in, something has to move out.  

But what should go? Here’s a quick list of seven things you don’t need in your dorm room. 

1. All the loose papers you have flying around—yes, those handouts and articles from class are well-written and maybe even interesting. Yes, those flyers have some pretty snazzy graphic design. No, chances are you’ll never really need any of them again. Print-outs make up the bulk of general accumulated clutter, so these have got to go. Since you’re eco-savvy, as we collegiettes are, I know you’ll remember to recycle! Also, don’t forget to check it before you chuck it: while most notes won’t do much more than take up space, some old notes might be useful. For example, if you’re planning on taking the MCAT, you might want to keep notes from science courses to help you review later.  

2. Old Textbooks—seriously?! You still have those? SELL THEM. Just do it. Not only do you clear up space, be eco-friendly, and make cheaper used books available for your peers, but you also get some money back to help buy this semester’s books. Really, at the risk of sounding like a used pen salesman, I’m going to have to call this one a true win-win-win-win situation.  Check out sites like BookByte, Textbooks.com, BookRenter and Swap for buying and selling back books, and also check what your campus bookstore’s policy is.

3. Old magazines—you’ve read them, sighed over the gorgeous dresses and envied the stars’ perfect lives, but now it’s time to get rid of them. Realistically, there are only so many times that you’ll reread the same magazine. Instead of trashing them, however, donate them to your gym’s collection! Your contributions keep the elliptical reading supplies fresh for other fit collegiettes and who knows? You might inspire them to return the favor.

4. A huge collection of sweats—keep a few pairs for the gym and sick days, but you really don’t need too many. They’re big and bulky, so donating a few to your local Goodwill will clear up a lot of space while also letting you start off the new year with a good deed! Plus, if you have fewer sweats on hand, you’ll be less tempted to wear them. Let’s make this a more fashionable semester, no slobs allowed!

5. Clothes you never wear—rather than having them take up space in your tiny dorm-sized closet/dresser, trade them in for something you’ll actually wear! Go through and weed out all your unloved clothes, then set up a clothing swap with your friends. It’s a fun bonding activity and very planet-friendly. Plus, you’ll come out of it with more cool new (to you) stuff!

6. Your printer—I know this might seem counterintuitive. ‘Okay, I was with you for the first 5, but now you’re just talking crazy,’ you’re probably thinking. But here’s the thing: printers break and ink costs a lot. Unless you’re doing a lot of printing, you’ll probably save money by printing in the libraries and computer labs on campus. Plus, if you don’t have a printer in your room, you’ll probably think twice before printing out every email or article you stumble across online. Let’s be a little more eco-friendly this semester and save some trees (no, you don’t have to hug them. We will not be responsible for the funny looks you get if you do). To be extra eco-friendly (and people-friendly) donate your printer to a public school in your area.  

7. Old food—check all the expiration dates, let’s not let this become a health violation! Trust me, when it’s late at night and you’re starving, chances are you won’t think to check if your food is still edible. So check now and toss out everything that’s gone bad. Food poisoning is no fun. And if you have any non-perishables that are still good but you just don’t like anymore (say, for example, you finally got sick of Ramen) donate them to your local soup kitchen or homeless shelter. Someone will appreciate it!

So there you have it. Now clean out your room, move in your great new stuff, and get ready for an awesome semester!

Danai Kadzere is a Human Evolutionary Biology Concentrator at Harvard College. In addition to Her Campus, she blogs at http://living-learning-eating.blogspot.com and loves acting, reading, writing, fashion, trying new things, yogurt, apples, and life. After college, she's being absolutely ridiculous and moving at NYC to be an actress or a poor writer (whichever sounds more plausible to you).