Ahh, spring. A time of growth and new life, the budding of flowers and imminence of sunshine after months of snow and 4pm sunsets. I like to deem this time of year as an informal “new year:” a cleanse of old habits and dead weight so I can effectively spring into the warm summer months. The other day, I found myself in hysterics at the sight of my cluttered dorm room which, though I had just cleaned it, appeared to be busting at its seams with admittedly unnecessary belongings. Shocking was not only the incredible amount of stuff I had managed to fit in my triple-occupancy room, but also the uselessness of most all of my stuff-- clothes I’ve never worn, books I’ll never read, syllabi from classes that are long over. Once I became aware of this overwhelming clutter, I couldn’t stop seeing the "clutter" in literally every other aspect of my life. Anyone else craving a fresh start for the warmer months? Here’s a list of ways to clear your closet, computers, and conscience this spring.
1. Social Media
If you’re anything like me, the ever-growing feeds of content that spew from Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter tend to feel more like never-ending to-do lists than they do entertainment. Go through the lists of who you follow on social media and unfollow all of the accounts or pages that simply don’t serve you. These friends lists will only continue to grow and, I promise you, you won’t miss out on anything by unfollowing that friend-of-a-friend that you sat next to in one class in high school. This leads me to…
2. Your Phone
Delete, like, everything. Scroll all the way to the top of your camera roll and do a deep cleanse; delete random screenshots, pointless photos, and unedited versions of edited pics. Move the old photos and videos that you want to keep to your computer or an external hard drive so you have more storage on your phone.
Next, delete all of those apps that you never use, but have kept anyway. Modify the notifications settings of the apps that you keep to save yourself the constant annoyance of all those notifications that only suck you into your phone throughout the day.
Delete old text messages-- I’m pretty sure I won’t be looking for my 11th grade biology group message anytime soon.
Finally, and most satisfyingly, delete old contacts. I don't know why, but it's just liberating #newphonewhodis
3. Your Closet
No matter how much you convince yourself, you don’t need 40 different t-shirts just to keep your drawers company. I get it, each one of them commemorates some special event you went to (probably for the t-shirt), but photos and journals can hold these memories while using a lot less space.
Go through your entire closet and donate or sell anything that you haven’t worn in the past month or don’t see yourself wearing in the next month. Come to terms with the fact that, if you're anything like me, you wear a slight variation of the same thing every single day, so let all of those things you don't wear become someone else's everyday piece.
4. Nic-Nacs and Keepsakes
Donate any books you’re saving for that rainy day that never comes. Sort through bookshelves, desk drawers, and any other place you stash your nonsense. This category can encompass the most random of belongings; I’m not really sure if your bottom drawer also harvests a miscellaneous collection of used paints, Mardi Gras beads, and instruction manuals, but whatever your equivalent of that is: get rid of it.
5. Your Thoughts
Yes, even these can get overwhelmingly cluttered. Practice using a journal or the notes section of your phone to jot down the random thoughts that nag your conscience throughout the day. Lists, to-do’s, reminders, daydreams, jokes, ideas, anything that won’t leave you alone once it has come to mind-- write it down so you can think about it later and free yourself to focus on the present.