Moving back home – 5 ways to get rid of unwanted things

Finally, it’s nearly time to move out of our beloved dorms back home and enjoy a well-deserved summer break. But moving home can be a pain, especially since we’ve all probably gained more stuff during the course of the year.

Moving from home, all of my stuff only just fit into the car with the driver and me as the passenger, so I don’t have much extra room for the books and clothes I’ve gained. On top of that, I’m going abroad after this summer, so I want to get rid of as much as I possibly can before I leave. That’s why I’m doing a complete re-haul of all of my possessions.

Every now and again, I take a look around and ask myself ‘what should I do with all this stuff?’

Picking up each individual item, I try to mindfully put it into one of the following categories:

1. Donate. First stop – charity shops! They’re a great way to get rid of stuff, whilst doing wonders for your karma. I’ve got a whole bag of clothes waiting for me to give to various local charities. Sometimes it’s hard to give things away, but I just tell myself that I’ve had my time with the item, if I’m not going to use it any more I may as well pass it on to someone who will. Just keep in mind that charity shops aren’t dumping grounds, if they don’t think something will sell, they’ll probably chuck it away, in which case you’re better off with the following options.

2. Sell/Give away. If there aren’t many charity shops willing to take your stuff, don’t forget to ask around your flatmates, friends and family if they would want a few of your things. If they’re not as minimalist as you, you’re bound to have a few people take up on your offer. Also, some university bookshops can help you sell your old books, otherwise hit up amazon or ebay in advance to offload some weight before you leave. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!

3. Recycle. Since many students would be moving out at the same time, hopefully the student dorm officers will have set up various recycling bins, even for old clothes and shoes. The bins are less fussy than charity shops, since the contents either usually go to be recycled or are shipped off to third world countries. Don’t forget to recycle all of those notes and sheets of paper you’ve collected over the year. Be really strict, if you  don’t think you’re ever going to need them again, why keep them? There’s no use transporting it home, only to collect dust and be thrown away when you graduate.

4. Re-purpose. A lot of the time, if you’re creative enough, you can turn things you don’t need into things you do need! If you’re good with the old needle and thread, you can cut up jeans to make shorts, turn old t-shirts into a pillow or even a laptop case, and if you’re like me and lack sufficient creativity, just cut them up into cleaning rags! There’s a whole range of possibilities out there, including customizing shirts with printing (which make great birthday presents), or even making sock puppets for baby cousins 🙂

5. Throw away. The last wasteful resort should be avoided if possible. If there’s nothing you can do with it, you can simply throw it away. It’s probably better for you to get rid of something you don’t need than to hold on to it. Please make sure that whatever it is, it’s disposed of in the least polluting way. Although it doesn’t happen too often, I always feel a bit guilty when I have to put something straight in the bin. At least every time it happens it makes me think a bit more about buying new stuff later! If you haven’t already, please check out The Story of Stuff – it’s enlightening.

So school’s out, but don’t worry Minimal Student will still be going. Please help me share the love by recommending MS via Stumbleupon or Digg etc!

And I would love to hear what you guys decided to do with all your unwanted things, please share in the comments!

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