5 Easy Ways to Minimize

One of the biggest struggles of packing for college is figuring out what you’ll actually need and use. With limited space, it’s easy to run out of room.

Minimalism has been a rising fad encouraging followers to strip everything down to its essential quality and achieve simplicity. The idea behind it is that the less stuff we have cluttering our homes, and the less “to-do’s” cluttering our time, the more energy we can devote to the things that really matter. This provides us with more room to move freely, think clearly, and open ourselves to the beauty and wonder of life. You only have what you need and can find happiness in those items or commitments.

Now, I am by no means a minimalist. I like my things. I cover my walls in photos, I have far too much stationary, and my closet is consistently filled. However, this past summer I began trying to minimize on the number of things I own because I certainly have plenty of things I don’t need or never get any use out of. And I felt amazing after. I was so proud of myself for the number of items I’d donated/recycled/thrown away and my room seemed so much cleaner. I started doing the exact same thing as soon as I was unpacked at college this year with the same results. Plus, more room in my small apartment!

So, what can you minimize?

1. Clothes.

Come on, we all know we have far too many clothes. Start by getting rid of anything that has holes, is stained or discolored, or doesn’t fit. Once you’ve completed that, manage through every piece of clothing and think, “Have I worn this in the past six months?” If no, “Will I wear this in the next six months?” Still no? Toss it in the giveaway box. Have duplicates? Do you really need them? Or is a piece really cute, but it doesn’t match with anything else you own? You should probably give that away too…

2. Purse/Wallets

For one, we definitely all have a million purses when we usually use two, three tops. Ask the same questions, “Have I used this in the past six months? Will I use this in the next sixth months?” Add that to the giveaway box. Next, purge everything inside your purses/wallets. Get rid of those punch cards you haven’t used in two years, toss those used/expired gift cards, and God, hide that High School ID where no one will ever find it.

3. Books, Movies, and Music

Unless it’s one of your favorites or you actively reread, watch, or listen to it, start another box for books, movies, and music. Head to a Half-Priced Books for some extra cash too.

4. Makeup

Clear out those items you used in high school, but haven’t touched since (like my neon blue eyeshadow, may she rest in peace). Plus, know when items expire! You might be dragging out the length of that foundation, but that doesn’t mean you should be. Follow this expiration guide to know what you can keep and what you can toss.

5. Your Phone

I am the absolute worse about doing this, but sometimes your phone just needs to be cleared out too. Delete all the apps you haven’t played or used in the past six months, sync your phone with your computer and clear out your photos, and clear the contacts you haven’t spoken to in years.

Now, how much better do you feel? Is your room/dorm/apartment way cleaner? Do a repeat of this next spring and thank me when your end of year packing is ten times easier!