Max, a student from China, has a roommate with whom he shares the same bedroom. Having always lived with his parents prior to moving to Australia, he did not have any decluttering skills at first as it was always done for him.
“I bought a bedside cupboard to put stuff in. However, there are still too many things in my room, and I always feel crowded,” he said.
As students, we understand how easy it can be to accumulate items over time that no longer serve a purpose (looking at you first year textbooks – why did we ever buy them to begin with?!). But it is also important to declutter your living space, especially when you know you have a lot of junk. For one, decluttering will make your room look and feel that much more comfortable to be in and can also help to make your living space a much more conducive study area.
So if you identify yourself in Max’s situation, perhaps it’s time to start decluttering your space. But just how do you go about removing the junk you don’t need? And hpw do you re-organise and make the best of your living conditions?
One student we spoke with, Sherry, advised that students simply get into the habit of throwing away things regularly, like she has. Have something you’re certain will become obsolete to you in the near future? Throw it out! For her, she feels that girls generally have much more stuff than boys and understands that it may be harder for girls to declutter than boys. Hence why she feels it’s important to start now!
“It’s critical to tidy up rooms regularly, otherwise you would be scared by the huge quantity of work and turn to be a lazy person,” she said.
Trinity College Foundation Studies tutor Lee Pin also gave us an inside tip that she personally found helpful with her daughter who was very bad at tidying her space and decluttering.
“Most teenagers are not good at tidying up rooms because they can survive in the mess,” she said.
To solve this problem, Lee Pin took her daughter to Daiso. There, they chose cheap boxes her daughter liked. She feels people are more likely to declutter with preferred containers.
Hamed, a mentor at Trinity College, echoed the the importance of appropriate storage during the decluttering process.
“It’s good to clear up things regularly. For example, when winter changes into summer you can use the storage to fill your clothes of winter,” Hamed said.
Additionally, he advised us to think about the things we really need. Sometimes we may keep things that have sentimental value to us but more often than not, they aren’t necessary. Ask yourself if you really need to keep an item or if a fond memory is all that is keeping it from being chucked into the bin.
In addition to tips on storage options and keeping only necessary items, we also spoke to a homestay host whose experience hosting international students has forced her to become great at decluttering.
“Don’t put too many little things on your table, keep your table clean, you’ll have space to study and concentrate on your work,” she advises.
This is to avoid a cluttered desk of small items that can be distracting and make your space feel more overcrowded than it out to be.
These are but just a few types of things to consider when you declutter. So when you are due for a bit of spring cleaning, just keep these little tips in mind and they may help you out in the long run!
This story was produced by Media and Communication students at Trinity College Foundation Studies as part of Meld’s community newsroom collaboration. Education institutions, student clubs/societies and community groups interested in being involved can get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org.