Unclutter Your Life

I’ve realized in my 21 years of life that I am on the road to becoming a hoarder. Read this article I wrote for my university newspaper, The Pauw Wow on how to avoid being like me. I promise I’m working on changing!

When the snow melts and the breezy air begins to welcome itself, the thought of spring cleaning tends to plague the minds of many. Here are a few tips when getting into the groove of the new season.

First and foremost: if you haven’t used it or worn it in over a year, throw it away.

According to the APA Practice Organization, hoarding is a subtype of obsessive compulsive disorder that is characterized by three core features: the acquisition of a large number of possessions; the failure to discard a large number of possessions; and living in spaces that are sufficiently cluttered as to preclude their intended use.

More often than not, individuals hold onto items for memories and other psychological reasons. The more items you hold onto, as the years go by, the easier it is to want to hold onto everything. This is why organizing and uncluttering your life are necessary.

When asked about her thoughts on spring cleaning, Betty Zhu, said “Why just spring and not every season? You should really clean all year.”

Yes, we all like to think we have impeccable fashion taste, even if you haven’t worn any of the clothes that have sat in your closet for the last three seasons. Ladies and gentlemen, if you have neglected it for the past eight months, it’s safe to say you’re not going to touch it this month. What’s excess is not needed. Repeat this in your head until it becomes your mantra.

We’re going to tackle some of the usual suspects that tend to lead to overcrowding: makeup, clothes, books, etc. According to  an article on the Huffington Post, makeup such as mascara is meant to be replaced every three months or so. Yes, makeup is expensive so it’s understandable why one would want to keep it, but it’s healthier if you don’t.

Grab a big bag and start sifting through clothing to find out what does not fit anymore, what is old, and what you have never worn. Once this is done, put it all in said bag and drop it off to any organization like Goodwill, Veterans of America, or American Red Cross that will take used and gently worn clothing.

Donating clothes rather than throwing them to the garbage is a way of knowing your memories will live on. Most of all, it eliminates space in your drawers or closet and makes room for more.

Miscellaneous items and other small things can pile up quick if you let them and what was once a few hair ties and pens eventually turns into the “junk drawer” which, by the title, suggests that you can do without 95 percent of the items found in the drawer.

The key to minimizing clutter is to set goals for yourself. Write everything you want to accomplish down and tackle the list one item at a time.  A clean living environment and workspace can alleviate the stress clutter can bring.

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