5 Types of Clutter to Remove from Your Life This Spring

Spring is the ultimate season to remind you just how much of a mess everything in your life currently is. Oftentimes, it’s such an overwhelming process to think of all the different ways to get reorganized that you may feel inclined to create a list… which can get very long and tedious.

No need to fret, though, because lucky for you, I’ve done the work for you (well, the mental power at least!) and thought of five types of clutter you should consider tackling this season for spring cleaning.

 

PHYSICAL

Let’s start with the most obvious one—yep, I’m talking about all the piles you’ve ignored going through or products you never got rid of but meant to. This list could go on for miles, so here are a couple ideas of where to start:

 

Clothes

Raid your closet and create a donation pile with pieces you no longer fit into, wear nor have an attachment to. Finish your duty by dropping off your bag(s) of clothes to the nearest Goodwill, Salvation Army or Plato's Closet, and, of course, congratulating yourself—not only have you made it easier for your closet and chest of drawers to breathe, but also your donation is guaranteed to make someone’s day!

 

 

Paper

Remember all those assignments and lecture printouts you never had the chance to recycle from last semester? Time to say goodbye. And even those countless checklists you’d for sure get to? Adiós.

Start with your desk or main studying space and make two piles of paper as you sort through everything: recyclables and collectables. Then move on to your school folders—you may not have a lot to get rid of right now since we’re in the middle of the semester, but even organizing the papers you currently have by type (textbook notes, class handouts, lecture slides, applications, etc.) will be super helpful in the future when you’re looking for a specific sheet.

 

 

Junk

This category is just too vast to break down into specifics. Coming up with subcategories will allow you to focus on individual areas, which is much easier than trying to organize everything at the same time.

  • Entertainment—go through your books and magazines, CDs and vinyl records, and movie collections; set aside titles you no longer have a passion for revisiting; and donate them to your closest Half Price Books.

  • Medications—this may seem a little strange, but expired medication bottles do, in fact, take up a lot of space (not to mention that they also don’t serve their purpose anymore). Raid your medicine cabinets and homemade first aid kits, and get rid of any prescriptions or over-the-counter meds, vitamins, and even condoms (yes, those puppies expire too!) that are past their age of glory.

  • Bathroom—consolidate your stockpile of soaps and cleaning supplies, shampoos and conditioners, lotions, and even toiletries, such as extra toothbrushes and shaving razors. Put alike products together and combine any bottles of the same item to save space. Also, use these products first before purchasing any more during your next run to the store.

  • Linens—consider donating any bed sheet sets that are worn out or that no longer fit any beds in your house (whether from being shrunken or from recent bedroom furniture upgrades). Organize what’s remaining by bed size for easier future access.

  • Miscellaneous—from numerous empty picture frames to multiple rolls of Christmas and birthday wrapping paper to even retired vacuums and other appliances, set aside items (by category) that no longer serve an explicit purpose in your everyday life but could in someone else’s. Combine alike products and research appropriate donation sites, if possible.

 

 

SOCIAL

Where would we be without our friends? They’re there for us when we need a shoulder to cry on and when we want to pull a caper. As we get older, we begin to realize who we can truly count on—and who, unfortunately, we cannot.

When scrolling through your contact list, be on the lookout for these three kinds of people to eliminate from your life as soon as possible:

  • Fakers—their loyalty is questionable

  • Haters—their support is either infrequent or insincere

  • Takers—their interest is only in themselves (they only come around when they need something)

Do the people in your life build you up or break you down? Are they good influences or shenanigans?

Take the time to thoughtfully consider your friend groups (and even significant others) because who you want to become begins with who lies within your inner circle.

 

 

MENTAL

It’s okay to admit that we don’t always like ourselves every day. We tend to hone in on our imperfections and pine over our past faults, but neither of these habits are ever that productive. Although it may be easier said than done, clear up your mental clutter by following these steps:

  • Live in the present—sometimes it’s helpful to look back and think about how a particular issue could’ve been avoided; however, it’s never healthy to get stuck in the past and fixate on the mistakes themselves. Acknowledge what could’ve been done differently and move on. You can’t prevent the past from happening again unless you’re living in the present.

  • Please yourself—you’ll never be able to please every person in your life, so stop trying altogether; instead, focus on you and what makes you happy.

  • Become your own idol—another tendency we have as imperfect humans is comparing ourselves to others who are supposedly “perfect.” This is a toxic way of thinking because nobody is perfect. Be grateful for the attributes and skills you do have, rather than picking yourself apart and wishing for the ones you don’t have.

  • Create your own space—when all the demands and noises of the world get too much to handle, have a private, go-to spot (whether it be your bedroom or an outdoor park) where you can go to isolate yourself, focus on your breathing and give yourself a pep-talk. This space should also be where you feel most comfortable—where you feel most like yourself.

 

 

ELECTRONIC

Regardless of your age, technology has become an integral part of our everyday lives. Although personal devices have surely made our ability to work online easier, we’ve also acquired quite the collection of electronic clutter that needs to go.

Here are a few ideas of what to cleanse from your personal devices:

  • Email—delete old messages in inbox, clear trash and spam, and create folders to organize future messages by category (e.g. class, clubs, work, appointments, etc.).

  • Desktop shortcuts and applications—get rid of installments no longer used (note: this will clear up a ton of space on your devices!) and update what is still needed to the newest version.

  • Tabs—for the love of God, please collapse the 10-20 tabs still open on your device and bookmark them instead so they’re neatly saved.

  • Bookmarks—comb through the list and unsave any links no longer needed.

  • Documents—delete outdated documents, create folders based on category (especially for class work) and upload data you don’t feel comfortable purging yet onto (labeled) flashdrives to save even more space on your devices. Do this on every platform you use for writing, whether that be Microsoft, Google Drive, or OneDrive.

  • Social media—unfollow profiles you no longer associate with (or that don’t follow you back), and limit yourself to only a few social media platforms if you’ve realized you check them too often.

 

 

NUTRITIONAL

If you’ve been meaning to give your body a good health cleanse, what better time to do so than during spring cleaning? Make a couple lists for future reference and put them on the front of your fridge for daily reminders:

  • What foods you’d like to stay away from

  • What foods you’ve deemed as your guilty pleasures (note: for emergencies only!)

  • What foods you’ve approved for everyday consumption

I personally enjoy planning my meals ahead and recording them so I’m not only aware of how many calories I’m intaking, but also I’m forced to hold myself accountable for what I put into my body.

Make your health a priority from this moment onward (not just this spring) because while eating food like this is fun—

 

 

—having a body that looks good and feels good is even better.

 

Spring cleaning takes time, so be patient. Breaking up the types of clutter to tackle by week will allow you to genuinely focus on what you’re organizing rather than rush you. It’s never easy to recycle or throw away things that were once important to us, but in the end it’s totally worth it. Happy cleaning!

 

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