Summer To Do: Clutter Free Living

Sophia Chang: Staff Photographer

In addition to late-night Starbucks runs, summer school deadlines and review sessions, Week 10 is savvy to the annual making of the glorious “Summer To-Do List.” The list-making becomes a welcomed distraction and often dons items anywhere from “take advantage of the beach” and “learn how to play the guitar,” to “ride a horse” or “discover a hidden talent.”

Now that August is approaching, summer has given plenty of time to cross some items off the bucket list. Sadly, however, as soon as finals are over, the list takes a backseat to mornings spent fast asleep and afternoons spent on the couch in pajamas. What happened to the jolt of urgency felt during Week 10 as we spend countless hours behind our laptops and books? What happened to the student that promised, “If only I could have a day free of the constraints of work and class, I would spend it in the warm sunshine on the Newport coast?”

Perhaps this lackadaisical attitude stems from overlooking what needs to be taken care of. Before we can commit to crossing items off of our thrilling to-do list, it is imperative to take care of things we neglect during the year. Week after week during the school year, I am at fault of walking into my room and tossing aside my book bag — taking out papers and making piles, stashing clothes and a variety of other miscellaneous items in a corner, promising myself to deal with it later.

After 30 weeks of instruction, these piles quickly become a hindrance during the summer. Now that the sun shines almost every day and we find ourselves free of a 20-unit course load, summer is the perfect time to rid our rooms of the clutter that builds throughout the year.

My suggestion: add “de-clutter room” to the top of your summer list. After the completion of the task, we are free to enjoy every minute of our summer bliss. For those spending time back home with your parents, if you are like me, your room has hardly changed since senior year of high school and therefore, remains frozen in time; pictures of homecomings, football games and proms line the walls. It is time to make space for the next chapter of your life. If you will be in Irvine for the summer, this is the perfect opportunity to go through first-year memorabilia and part with items that simply take up valuable space. If you are one that treasures ticket stubs, handouts and old textbooks like me, this process may be a tad more difficult than it appears. Agonizing over every trophy, picture and piece of clothing elongates the process. However, it is a process that comes with a promise of accomplishment. Parting with dated items allows for future findings, future treasures and future successes.

Suggestions for places to de-clutter: the closet, under the bed, desk drawers, desktops and bookshelves. The next step: figuring out what to do with the discarded items.

As the saying goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Having a garage sale not only provides a home for the now parted-with-items, it also presents an opportunity for you to earn a little bit of spending money for summer adventures.

Now that you have made room for the “new,” it is time to celebrate the present. Proudly cross off “de-clutter room” and begin tackling the exciting ideas that made their way onto your summer list during those late nights studying. Here’s to a clutter-free summer! Let your list guide your days while also welcoming spontaneity. Society allows for summer freedoms so relish in the opportunity to create adventure.