How to Declutter After College

The best tips to clear your clutter after college and create more space in your new home.

As you’re starting your new life as a college graduate, it’s a great time to clear out your space. When you finally declutter after college, you can start your new life on a lighter foot! My advice: Keep it simple. Don’t over think it! Let me show you how to do it.

How to declutter after college - what to do with old college tshirts

What To Do With Old College T-Shirts

I’ve been guilty of saving dozens upon dozens of old shirts from middle school through college. However, if you’re not wearing them right now, there’s no purpose in keeping them.

Many people hold on to old shirts because of the nostalgia and memories tied to them. But know this: Your memories are not tied to pieces of clothing. You can get rid of clothing and still have your memories.

I recommend getting rid of any t-shirts you haven’t worn in the past 2 months. If it’s not an active part of your wardrobe now, it won’t be in the future.

I promise you that a year from now, you won’t think, “I wish I still had that thing I had stored in a packed box for 5 years.”

How To Get Rid Of Old College Shirts

When it comes to old college t-shirts, I recommend donating them to a local organization. In Arizona, I love donating to House of Refuge. If you can find a local organization who can give your clothing to people who really need it, your donation will feel much more satisfying! That being said, donating to Goodwill is an option, too.

If a shirt has holes or is really worn, just throw them away. It’s just a t-shirt. It’s fine. 🙂

Don’t Succumb to the T-Shirt Quilt

I’ve lost count of the number of people who hold on to old clothes so that they can have them made into a quilt. If they actually get around to having the quilt made, they never end up using it. Honestly, who wants to use a bunch of old t-shirts as home decor?

So, skip the t-shirt blanket and donate your old clothing to an organization who will put it to good use.

What To Do With Old College Textbooks & Homework

When you declutter after college, text books are a big point of contention. Unless you actively use the information in a textbook, throw it away. If you just graduated, you could sell it back to the book store or to another student on campus.

Don’t hold on to old textbooks just because it was from your favorite class. The most value you got from that textbook was from reading it for the first time during the course and studying it during the semester. When the course ended, the textbook’s value ended, too.

Old College Homework

Homework and projects can be hard to dispose of because you put so much time and energy into them. However, after you’ve happily graduated, I promise that you won’t spend the time to go back and look at old college homework and projects. Throw them away.

You likely have lots of papers and reports saved on your computer, too. Take some time to delete those files. Only save the files that bring you a huge sense of pride and joy. Don’t save anything just because you spent a lot of hours on it.

Decluttering Awards From College

After graduation, you may have some awards, trophies, or medals, that you’ve collected over the years.

When you declutter after college, I recommend to get a small box for the extra-special awards that would make you happy to look back at later. Or, hang it up in your home if you’re so proud of it.

What to do with college trinkets and knick knacks when you declutter after college

Decluttering College Regalia and Knick-Knacks

In the past, free stuff was my weakness. “This key chain says ISU on it, so I NEED to keep it!”

When I was a freshman in college, it was cool to collect as much college gear as possible and wear it proudly. But after you’ve graduated, it’s time for a new chapter of life. It’s time to find the things that you truly love and wear them proudly.

Of course, you may still have pride in your college and want to keep some regalia – that is perfectly OK! Only keep the things that you really love, not only because it has your college’s logo on it.

What To Do With College Dorm Decor

Have your tastes changed since you were 18 years old? My recommendation is to get rid of any dorm room decor that screams, “I’m a college student!”

This also holds true for furniture and belongings that are at the end of their life, like pillows and bedding you’ve been using for 4 years. Ick.

If you’re still actively using it, it’s in good shape, and it makes you happy, keep it! But don’t hold on to things just because you’ve always had them.

Remember, your memories are not tied to your belongings.

what to do with old photos when you declutter after college

How To Declutter Photos After College

No doubt, the Photos app in your iPhone is a hot mess. You likely have not deleted any photos… ever. So as you’re decluttering, take some time to weed through the photos on your phone, too. See here how I deleted over 19,000 photos in my iPhone.

After college, I had many photos printed on cheap paper and taped around my dorm room. When you declutter after college, I recommend throwing all of them away.

If you want to decorate with photos, have a few favorite photos printed at a local print shop and frame them behind glass.

Start Your New Life!

Not only have you graduated from college, you’ve graduated into a new season of life – congrats! Now is the time to start figuring out who you are without the identity of being a college student, which might be weird at first. I recommend you embrace it wholeheartedly and start your new life on a lighter foot, without your college stuff weighing you down. Good luck!

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