• Lola Anaya

Reclaim your Space: Decluttering and Spring Cleaning

Updated: Jul 12, 2021

Spring cleaning is getting an early start as we prepare for the beginning of the spring semester. Many of us will still be staying home from college, or maybe some of us are in the mood to spruce up their space before they leave.

There are many accessible options to clean your study space and make it feel more comfortable and decluttered. I will share tips with you that I personally recommend and have worked for me, and some ideas that I have been wanting to try!

1. Organize!

The most basic tip I can give you is to organize your space in a way that works for you and your system for working. Whether you prefer your work alphabetized or color coded, having a good structure for your materials will help you feel better about getting your work done.

I find that aiming for productivity is the wrong idea, as it sets too high a standard for what is believed to be “fulfillment”, but aiming for genuine feelings of goodness at your own standard is best. For me, staying organized with my stuff gets me to that level without listening to the negativity telling me to do more. Some people have a messily clean style, and that works for them too!

Organization is all about finding what matters to you and helps you stay on top of your priorities.

Here is one link for some desk organizers you can use, starting at $13.44.

This is a link to a makeup organizer which could also be repurposed for writing utensils for $9.99!

2. Keep your Work Life and Leisure Life Separate!

Depending on what your space looks like, this could be a tricky tip to navigate, and I am still working on it myself in my bedroom. Having your hobbies and interests separate from school work can make a big difference in keeping everything organized. I have a bed and desk in my room with some shelves, and not a wild amount of space for separation. I still try to keep my schoolwork and fun activities on different shelves, and keep some things underneath my desk if I need to.

Maybe someday I will join the fleet of YouTube lifestyle vloggers, but today is not that day, so for now I have some recommendations of people who have done some great room decorating videos!

Linh Truong’s room redecorating vlog highlights the importance of the separation of space, and is also a really cute example of how to work with the space that you have:

Amanda Maryanna has a great room redecorating vlog on a budget that I think you would all enjoy too:

3. The Minimalists Month-Long Challenge!

This is a really hard one and in essence, you have to get rid of things each day of the month. One thing on the first day, two on the second, three on the third, and more up until day 30!

I found this one to be daunting and to sample it myself, I modified it to get rid of at least one thing each day for thirty days. I allow myself to get rid of one thing if I want, or several if I had a lot of things in mind! I have been wanting to downsize the amount of excess stuff that I have and I find that listening to The Minimalists’ advice has helped me a lot. There is a whole community of people like them as well, like Matt D’Avella and Renea Everyday.

To hold myself accountable, I have been keeping track of my progress in my bullet journal by writing down what I get rid of each day! I decided to start my challenge mid-month and by the time you read this, I will be on day 13. Almost halfway there! I definitely recommend trying some version of this if you are the type of person to hang on to a lot of things in your space, whether it be old magazines (me too), birthday cards, clothes, or anything else. I find that clearing my space helps me to clear my mind and experience a sense of clarity.

Here is The Minimalists’ video explaining their challenge (I LOVE their podcast and recommend it if you value living your life with less stuff):

I hope these tips have helped or at least inspired you all to start cleaning or decluttering your workspace! I know I tend to get less motivated during the winter months, but seeing that other people are in the same boat and want to make a change to their spaces makes me feel encouraged!

Happy cleaning and I hope you found something to enjoy, whether it be some decluttering, or a new YouTube subscription!