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I bought a book about organizing and I’m obsessed with it:

Over winter break, I was getting quite overwhelmed at the state of my bedroom at home. I brought so many, arguably too many, things home for break that were getting lost in the mess of things I’ve had shoved under my desk since coming to college almost two years ago. I decided that it was time for me to revamp my life and belongings in order to become a more functional adult. While I was browsing a bookstore, I found “The Little Book of Tidying” by Beth Penn. I took this as a sign and bought it. This tiny book is so cool because it gives you concrete tips about how to reasonably organize your life. Instead of giving you tips on how to fold clothes (sorry Marie Kondo, I still love you), it gives you lifestyle changes that will make tidying so much easier.

This book explains why having more things makes you less happy and more anxious. I realized that focusing on a quasi-minimalist lifestyle would allow me to focus more of my time, energy, and money on school and other things that are important to me. All of the tips in the book were applicable to college students or people living in small spaces.

Here are two of my favorite tips from the book:

  1. See if you can live without something. Put in in a box, tape it up, and store it away. You can also go through things that have been in storage for years. Go through things in storage that you haven’t pulled out in years, these are probably safe to get rid of. I’ve been doing this with clothes and things from my childhood. I had several bins of stuffed animals sitting in the basement that I had not pulled out in years (which makes sense because I’m twenty years old). Thankfully, my mom volunteers with an organization that gives free clothing, blankets, etc to low income people in our community; she told me that they were looking for stuffed animals to give to the kids who came through with their families. This gave me the extra push to get rid of all of my Webkinz (rip) which the kids loved.

  2. Borrow things from friends. This saves money and space (both of which are scarce in college). If you only need something for a certain event, like a formal or a theme party, see if you can borrow something from a friend or roommate. Your Instagram followers will not connect the dots that you borrowed the dress, trust me. Likewise, if your friend has a jacket or an eyeshadow palette that you’re obsessed with, see if you can borrow it a few times. Take it for a test drive. If you love it and know that you would use it regularly, buy your own. If you find out it’s not all you had dreamed of, you saved yourself money by not making a purchase without thinking it through. Or if you’re somewhere in between, you can continue to borrow.

    I would definitely recommend this book. It’s adorable and packed full of genuinely

useful content. As cheesy as it sounds, its changed the way I think when I’m cleaning, organizing, and shopping.

Political Science Major at Marquette University
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