As I prepare to spring into summer, I feel ready to shed all of the old habits and dead weight from this past school year. Although I cleaned and got rid of a lot as I moved out of my college apartment, it seems like I just simply moved a lot of my clutter and unnecessary belongings home. Now I feel like I see ‘clutter’ everywhere, in my closet, my computer, my phone… basically in every aspect of my life!
So if you are hoping for a fresh start for the warmer months, here is a list of ways to clear away the clutter:
If you haven’t for a while, take the time to go through all of your song downloads. For my phone, I only keep the songs that I regularly listen to. I also edit my playlists to add new songs I like and take off old songs that I tend to skip now. Or maybe just make whole new playlists for summer!
Photos can take up a lot of space on your phone, so I suggest transferring your photos from your phone to your laptop or a memory stick. Delete random screenshots, pointless photos and unedited versions of edited pics. This can be a great opportunity to take a trip down memory lane while organizing your photos. Plus, you will have plenty of room to then take photos of your summer adventures!
After a full school year, chances are you’ve built up a collection worth of school notes and assignments. I like to sort through my old papers to find those worth keeping and those worth pitching. While you can recycle your papers, you could make it an event and kickstart your summer with a bonfire with your friends to burn all of your old papers.
4. Knick-Knacks & Keepsakes
Just like with school work, chances are you’ve built up a collection worth of knick-knacks and keepsakes documenting your school year. I like to sort through these to find those that still bring good memories and are worth keeping. Rather than keep them stored in the back of your drawer, consider getting or making your own memory box that can hold the keepsakes along with any photos you may have.
5. Your Watchlist
Whether on Netflix or Hulu, we all tend to create watchlists with our fave shows and those we think we will like. I suggest evaluating what shows you want to keep on your watchlist and those you are ready to let go. This is a great opportunity to also think of what shows you may want to watch this summer!
6. Social Media
If you’re like me, your tastes and passions are constantly changing and so is your Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook
If your phone is full of page upon page of apps, I would suggest deleting all of those that you don’t use. Also, see if you can organize the apps you want to keep to make it easier to find and use them. Consider modifying the notifications settings for the apps you keep to avoid the annoyance of all those notifications to keep from being sucked into your phone.
8. Computer Folders
Just like your phone apps, consider going through your computer to sort through all of the files you have saved. Dump all essays and memes you’ll never use again. For the documents you plan on keeping, be sure to clearly label them and organize them into folders so you can easily find everything.
After a full school year, chances are that you’ve also got an inbox full of emails. I like to sort through my emails to find those that are still important and worth keeping from those that are spam or just plain old. I even create different labels to help sort my emails, because if I know where it is then I am more likely to use it as a reference or respond to the email.
For my anthropology class, my professor asked us to count up how many t-shirts we had and I was surprised to find that I had more than 50! Since I don’t wear all of them, I like to go through all of my t-shirts to sort out those that I regularly wear from those that I shove to the back of my closet, especially those that are smaller or from my high school days. While you can donate those you don’t wear, if you don’t want to part with your t-shirts you could make them into a t-shirt blanket.
11. Your Fave, Everday Bag
After a full school year, chances are that your fave, everyday bag is pretty full and possibly messy. Throw out any garbage and empty your purse of crumbs and spare change. As you get ready for summer, consider what you will need to have on hand for summer (sunscreen, chapstick, sunglasses) and will no longer need from school. If you’re lucky, your bag will seem like new and will become lighter.
12. Contact List
Going through your contact list is a great way to see who you are still in contact with and who you have lost contact with. I suggest getting rid of those whom you don’t regularly communicate with. This is also a great opportunity to organize the contacts you are going to keep. My favorite is putting descriptions that tell you how or where you know someone from in the ‘company’ slot, such as Tina from “work” or Alex from “English.”
Going along with the contact list, the end of the school year is also a great time to evaluate who you consider your friends. Life is short, so I don’t have time for those who don’t invest in me or just create drama in my life. It’s important to especially cut toxic people out of your life. A gentle reminder: letting go of toxic people is an act of self-care & self-preservation. Don’t feel guilty about keeping in contact with people who only cause you pain & distress. So as you begin your summer, think of it as an opportunity to make new friends and invest in the relationships that you want to keep.
May you start this summer with a clean slate with room for all of the new people and experiences in your life!