College is an interesting part of life. Starting out on your own for the first time, in a new environment — it’s a wonderful time of change. While some people tend to hold onto old things, and cling to the past, the best thing to do is embrace the change that is coming.
To that end, we’ve put together a list of some things people often take with them to college, that you should either replace or get rid of as you move on towards this new phase of your life.
1. Your old laptop
Everyone has a laptop that has stood by them for years. It’s lasted you through juice spills, big falls, and uncountable hours of Netflix binges. But every year more and more of the work done at college is done online and on computers — a breakdown at a bad time can cost you both a lot of money and possibly your grades.
If you can, it might be better to replace it now, so you know you’ll be set for the next four years. And, if you’re lucky, beyond.
If you do purchase a new computer, make sure to delete all files from the old computer and either wipe the hard drive with a magnet or physically destroy it before throwing it away. You can recycle it, or you can give it to an e-waste disposal service, who take better care to make sure it gets handled in the right way.
If they don’t have a recycler near you, most large computer stores have their own trade-in programs. Whatever you choose, it’s important to dispose of your old computer properly since many electronics — including your laptop — contain hazardous material.
2. Your old clothes
No one wants to be stuck looking like a high-schooler in college. I know, your letterman jacket is like, so cool, but you’ll end up collecting much more gear from your college. Besides, old clothes are one of the ways people most hang on to old identities and old lifestyles. College should be a time of experimentation and exploration, and that’s made much harder by hanging onto an old wardrobe.
Take a day to go through everything and take all of your clothes out of your closet and dresser. Go back through and get rid of anything you haven’t worn in the last year. You’d be surprised how little remains. Better yet, keep only the few things that are absolutely necessary, or that you hold real personal attachment to. Now your wardrobe is free to get really spiced up, and you can step into the clothes of an adult in the world.
Clothes that are gently used (read: not destroyed) can be taken to the local thrift shop or salvation army. Vietnam Veterans of America will also pick up donations straight from your house.
3) Your old toiletries
That extra-large bottle of Axe in your bathroom? It’s got to go. Along with any of its counterparts you may have lying around your shower. Get rid of the old bottle of bulk hair gel and go with something classic. There are tons of great products out there that can make you look, and feel, like an adult, and the ladies will thank you.
However, ladies, you’re not exempt from this either. Perfume and make-up samples you’ve been holding on to are just dead weight. Also, get rid of any makeup that has expired and chuck it. While you’re at it, get rid of any extra contact containers you have lying around. You only need to take two with you on your journey. A lot of these containers are plastic, so make sure you wash them out and put them in the recycling bin instead of just chucking them in the trash.
4) Your old school papers and assignments
This last one gets away from most people. Go into your desk, old backpacks, and file folders and sort out everything you’re not going to need anymore. This includes old assignments, binders, report cards, photos — anything that you’re not going to use or doesn’t hold extreme sentimental value.
Old notebooks, binders, and whatever drawer you stashed the letters and marketing material from the colleges you’re not attending can all get thrown in the recycling bin. Be ruthless with what you cut out here, you’d be amazed what you can get rid of without ever looking back.
Whatever it is you need to purge, it’s important to get rid of it before you go to college. Don’t leave the burden on your parents. Also, motivation to declutter will be obsolete if you leave it for when you return home on a break. If you’re deciding to live at home while going to college, getting rid of your junk will allow for a new beginning!
About Haley Kieser: Haley has a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and Entrepreneurial Studies. She loves to travel, write, adventure outdoors, and watch football on Sundays!