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Be Well.

A health and wellness blogazine for Auburn University Students. 

The Five Steps of Decluttering

The Five Steps of Decluttering

There are so many books and articles that talk about the benefits of decluttering your life.


They claim you will feel lighter and better just from cleaning out your junk. Since I have a lot of junk, I figured it was time I tried out what they all say.

The Desk

I decided to start with the hardest one first: my desk. It took approximately forever. I found a ton of old craft materials that I forgot I had, including two containers of Spackle in my drawer. Why do I even still have those? I also learned that I must really enjoy hiding pennies in odd places. I found about one billion other things strewn throughout my desk, and though they are not all gone, most are, and the remainders are much more organized. I can see the surface of my desk now, and I finally have a neat and organized craft toolbox that I can open without having to simultaneously press down everything inside. So far, decluttering has been a good and moderately tiring experience, and I will definitely think twice next time I’m about to shove my receipts in a random drawer.

The Car

This one worried me less, which was good after the catastrophe my desk caused. I am super thankful I have a refillable water bottle now because if you had sat in my passenger seat a year ago, you would have been at least ankle deep in plastic water or green tea bottles. Now, I only needed to clean was the place I stow wrappers on long car rides. It didn’t take too long, and I discovered I must like granola bars much more than I thought.

The Closet

Surprisingly, the clothes in my closet were already organized. I have them separated by season, so I’m not dealing with clothes I’m not wearing. But if you’re like me, your closet is the perfect place to put those random materials you might wrap someone’s present in. Or maybe it’s the place for all of your old shoeboxes. Apparently, it’s also a great place to find spiders, which was definitely my least favorite part of this experience. But I recycled all of the shoeboxes and papers and organized the rest. I now know where everything in my closet is, which is a good feeling.

The Bookshelf

Along with my books, my shelf is home to a significant number of DVDs (mostly Disney), a container of random office supplies, and an area where I keep notes and papers I have been given — everything from kind letters to super old Valentines from friends and family. So this area was less about throwing things away and more about organizing. My books are now arranged by purpose, with textbooks, sketchbooks, journals and fun-reads separated. My movies are split into Disney and non-Disney, and all of my notes are safely tucked away in an organizer.

The Bathroom Drawer Set

Even though I’m sure I have thrown away empty shampoo bottles before, the drawers in my bathroom may have proven me wrong. I threw away countless shampoo bottles and recycled at least 20 empty boxes that used to hold NyQuil, allergy medicine or even bottles of lotion. Once I finally untangled the wires of my straighteners and curling wands, I organized the drawers by hair appliances, shower products and body products. It was quite satisfying.

When the only downsides of a task are getting a little tired and finding a few spiders, it must not be that bad. Though decluttering did take some time, it was completely worth it. I definitely do feel lighter and even more comfortable in the spaces I so often occupy. While it was a good experience, I hope to stay organized enough from now on so that I will never need to do this again.


Thinking of getting rid of the clutter in your life? Try it out, and tell us about it in the comments below!

Be well, Auburn.


Photography: Julia B.

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