School might be the last thing on your mind in July (unless you’re taking summer classes), but chances are good that you have a collection of school “stuff” packed away somewhere right now. Perhaps you’ve even been lugging those boxes from house to house as you’ve moved throughout the years. Take some weight off! Check out these tips for down-sizing those heavy books and stacks of papers.
I feel fairly confident when I say there will never be a time when you’ll need to look back and consult your biology textbook from 1995. We have the latest information on nearly any topic available to us online. Your old textbooks are obsolete at this point, especially for use as reference material. If you’re reluctant to part with them as you recall the pretty penny they cost you, try getting some of that cash back. I sold all of my books on Amazon or at Half Price Books, but there are countless other organizations that offer similar services.
Toss them. One of the major benefits of taking notes is actually accomplished as you write them (note-taking promotes active learning). Then, of course, you study them to prepare for an exam. If you’ve completed the course, you really don’t need them anymore. They will likely be difficult to discern after too much time has passed. And again, we have an abundance of organized information at our fingertips on the internet. Flip through the pages of your notebooks for a stroll down memory lane, and then relocate them to the recycling bin. Some people find it cathartic to burn their notes, but make sure you’re practicing fire safety!
Papers and projects
I know, I know – you spent 100+ hours on that research paper, so you feel like you simply can’t bear the thought of parting with it. That’s okay. Pick and choose some of your greatest accomplishments to save (even better if it’s the electronic version), and disconnect from the rest. If you or your kids have bulky projects / poster boards that can’t be confined to a folder or box, take a photograph of the masterpiece as a keepsake and then discard it.
Unless you’re still using the tools you purchased for your elective art course five years ago, consider donating them. This is the same organizing principle you can apply to most of your possessions: use it or lose it. I like to add “view it”, so if you find something to be beautiful and/or bring you joy, put it on display! Don’t keep things stored away in boxes “just in case”. Give yourself space to engage in a current hobby or even start a new one.
Beat the heat with the above suggestions for taking back your space. If you’re headed back to school in the Fall, this will be a great way to assess whether you have supplies you can reuse (folders, notebooks, binders, etc.). If you’re finished with school, allow yourself to move on! Good luck, and don’t forget to have fun in the process 😊