4 ThingsTo Minimize Post Graduation

What was I thinking keeping this all of these years?

That's usually what you say to yourself a few years from now as you help your parents declutter and remove items from their house.

It's been some time since I've graduated from anything, high school, college or grad school, but my sister came back from college a few weeks ago, schlepping all of her stuff back into my parents house. This was my cue to try to influence her to reduce and minimize her belongings.

 

Textbooks

We all have the best intentions when it comes to saving textbooks. We absolutely loved a class and want to keep the book for reference. We absolutely think we are going to re-read insightful chapters. The truth is and take it from someone who kept a few textbooks for over 10 years that this is never the case. You will never re-open an old textbook, let alone re-read it. The best thing to do is to sell the book. Textbooks become obsolete usually every 2-3 years so it's value declines pretty quickly. With the internet at our fingertips, any information in a textbook can be found on the world wide web. Don't burden yourself with figuring out where to store your old textbooks or spend the time packing and moving textbooks from one new apartment to the next. Trust me, it's not worth it. Sell it today and if you really need it sometime in the future, re-purchase it back on eBay for a few cents.

 

Clothes

Our time in college sees us through many growth phases. We not only grow intellectually, but physically as well. It's time that our style also reflects that. Remember that college and the professional environment are two completely different worlds. While your new, cool office may be casual, it may not mean that your Thursday night outfits are acceptable. Take inventory of your clothes. Donate, sell or toss clothes that no longer fit. Make room for better things in your closet. Start buying quality and quantity. Don't hold on on items that are of cheap quality because they will never last long and they will never come back in style. That is the truth. It's OK to keep a few key pieces that reminds of good times.

 

Notebooks/Papers

In the same vein as textbooks, we always have the best intentions keeping our notebooks and papers. Perhaps, we will look back on our handwriting and our amazing notes, but again rarely the case. These days, it's so easy to convert these items into digital scans which makes it even easier to search should you really need to reference something. Unless next semester's class relies on a few basic foundations from last year's class, it might not be necessary to keep all of your notes. Recycle old notebooks and papers and reduce the clutter. It will make for a fresher semester.

 

Free Stuff

For some reason, one accumulates a lot of free stuff in college. From football t-shirts, to plastic leis to lots of pens and folders, we readily accept items because it's free. We never consider that for each item we accept and we never use, we are wasting resources and building clutter in our current dorm rooms and future apartments. Take it from me who had a shoe box of stuff from each year in college. Majority of the items in these boxes were trinkets. Perhaps a memory was attached to them, but definitely unnecessary. It's time to let these go.  While college is all about forming great memories and meeting wonderful new people, you don't need stuff to remember those moments. 

 

It may be early to think about the stuff that you are accumulating now, but you would be surprised at quickly everything adds up. There is a burden to all of the stuff. It takes time to maintain things. It takes a mental load to worry about where things are. Perhaps, this won't click with you yet as you venture into the working world, but keep this in mind as you pack and move from apartment to apartment, as you move in with a future beau, as you look for a house, do you want a home or a place to store your stuff because in the end, what matters is not all of these things, but the people and the time you spend with them.

 

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