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Summer De-Clutter: What You Need & How to Purge

Aug 14, 2018

We’re already half-way through August! Where has the summer gone?

Whether you’re a commuter student or getting ready to live in residence, it’s probably time to start going through your things and figuring out what you need to keep and what you should really be getting rid of. While I still haven’t read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I find the KonMari method a helpful resource for a big de-clutter, and getting ready to go back to school is the perfect time for a big overhaul of your stuff!

In case you don’t know, the KonMari method has you go through your items by category—not by room—and encourages you to consider which items bring you joy when choosing what to keep and what to get rid of. If something doesn’t “spark joy” anymore, you let it go by thanking it for its service. KonMari is designed to help you go through what you need, but it’s also meant to be a philosophy that encourages you to cherish what brings you joy, especially when it comes to your belongings.

I would recommend working through your things with the KonMari checklists online—it’s a great way to keep track of what you’ve tidied, and make sure you follow the right order. I recently used this method to sort through all my clothes since that’s the first category on the checklist, so I’ll walk you through it!

  1. Gather up all your clothes into one place.
    • Empty your closet, drawers, and clothing storage. If you have seasonal clothes (like coats and shoes) tucked away in another room, go get those too! Having all your clothes out in one place gives you a good idea of just how much you own! I put mine in piles on my bed and bedroom floor according to the subcategories on that online checklist.
  2. Grab a blue recycling bag to hold all the things you’re going to donate.
  3. Go through those sub-categories (the first one is tops).
    • Grab the first shirt in your pile and take a look. Does it still fit you? Are you excited to wear it when you’re getting dressed? Does it bring you joy?
      • If yes, keep it! You can put it away.
      • If no, give it away! Let go of it by thanking it for its service, and then fold it and put it in your donation bag.
      • Optional: If you’re unsure, start a new box or bag for unsure items. Store those away and out of sight for a little while, say three months. If the time limit has gone up and you didn’t miss anything in the box, donate the box without looking at what’s inside!
  4. Keep on going through all your tops the same way.
  5. Once you’re done, check it off on that online checklist!
  6. Move on to the next sub-category and repeat. (After tops, it’s bottoms)

It took me a long time to go through all my clothes, but it was worth it! I ended up with two full recycling bags to donate and a nice pared-down wardrobe full of clothes I actually want to wear. I’d recommend doing one big category a day so you don’t burn out. The category after clothing is books, so I’ll be going through all my books soon.

Happy sorting!


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