I have to start this post with the worst disclaimer ever... I'm not actually a minimalist! I know, I know... why am I writing a post about being a minimalist when I'm not one myself? Well, my whole life I've felt like I have way too much stuff. My room growing up was always a mess because there wasn't enough room for all my stuff! When I moved away to college last year, I was so excited to start fresh and have a clean, organized room. As much as I thought that everything I brought to college was absolutely necessary, I still ended up with a mess in my room and a lot of stuff I never even used.
That was when I decided to do some research on minimalism. I love the idea of it, and I love that there are many different levels of being a minimalist. On one hand, there's people with houses that they keep full of only important items and on the other hand there's people who have nothing but the clothes on their back and a tooth brush. Minimalism is such a unique state of mind. Now, I am no where near being an actual minimalist, but I am a college student who knows what you do and do not need on the "MUST PACK" list. This year, I am narrowing down my packing list quite a bit and I'm sure I'll still feel like it's way too much at the end of the year. It's a constant learning experience!
If you're interested in being as minimal as you can during your college career, here's some tips that will hopefully help!
1. Limit the amount that you can pack:
My number one tip is to limit the amount that you can pack. It is so easy and tempting to grab another cardboard box for the stuff that doesn't quite fit in your suitcase! I recommend using those huge plastic storage tubs, because they are durable and can fit a lot. Give yourself a realistic limit, don't try to fit everything into just one tub! I recommend aiming for 3-5 tubs that you are allowed to bring to college. That should be enough for your clothes, books, and other miscellaneous items.
2. Leave off-season items at home:
This tip can be really helpful, but isn't always possible. A lot of college students will either visit home during the semester, or receive care packages from their parents. I recommend packing your off season items in separate boxes that you leave at home when you first leave for college. For example, the semester starts in fall and ends in winter. For the majority of the semester, you aren't going to need your heavy winter gear. It will save you a lot of space if you can either switch at Thanksgiving or have your parents send them to you.
3. Choose your furniture wisely:
Most college students are going to start out living in some type of student housing that is probably already furnished. Believe me, the ugly outdated dressers are a blessing in disguise! It is so much less stressful to move in and out when you're not moving furniture. I know a lot of college students like to bring their own furniture, like bean bag chairs and alarm clocks. Within reason, these items can make your room feel like home and that is a great thing! However, you want to make sure you choose what you bring wisely, so your room doesn't feel cluttered. Last year, I brought a bunch of little knick knacks, my record player, decorative suitcases, shelves, you name it. This year, I'm limiting myself to bringing only my record player.
4. Limit your hobby items:
If you love reading, it can be tempting to bring every book you own. If you love sports, it can be tempting to bring all of your equipment. Last year, I brought a huge box of books that I never read and a huge bag of art supplies that I barely used. This year, I am going to bring only a few books that are on my to read list and only the art supplies that I use. I'm telling you, as much as you think you will be using your hobby items nonstop, college can get busy and take up all your time!
5. Create a capsule wardrobe:
Ahhhh! This is without a doubt the hardest part for me personally. I have way too many clothes, but somehow I actually do wear them all! That's the worst part! However, I have been trying really hard lately to slowly buy clothing items that are wardrobe staples. Try to have mostly neutrals like black, white, and denim, while adding in trendier statement pieces like my purse in the picture. Make sure your capsule wardrobe is something you feel comfortable in and will feel good wearing. Clothing is my biggest struggle with minimalism, so fingers crossed I can do better this year!
6. De-clutter your makeup:
I know I am guilty of holding onto makeup products way longer than I need to. Sometimes I buy something and hate it, but I'm so determined not to waste it that I end up keeping it unused for years. Recently, I went through my makeup and threw away everything I don't use. Don't force yourself too much on this, if you have a lot of really good pallets then bring them! I just recommend bringing your holy grail products, the ones you use all the time. And remember, you'll probably end up picking up more makeup while you're away at college... so leave some space for that!
7. Be careful of what you buy at college
Now that we've talked about bringing the least amount possible to college, we need to talk about how easy it is to replace that emptiness while at college! If you're used to having a full room and a ton of clothes, you will naturally start buying more and more to fill your room. This is okay within reason, just make sure you're continuing to limit yourself. I'm warning you... if you're not careful, you might end the year with twice the amount of clothes and a ton of furniture you didn't even use! I know for me, thrift stores are particularly tempting! So many cool items for such a low price... don't even get me started on the dumb stuff I've bought at thrift stores.
These are all my tips for being a little bit minimalist as a college student. Hopefully I've helped out some of you, especially any incoming freshman. Let me know below if you're an incoming college freshman!
This is the first post of a back to school series I'm starting for this month! I have a lot of really fun post ideas that aren't the typical back to school style posts. They're mostly themed around college students, but there are some that are more general!
Let me know if you have any back to school/college advice requests or questions! I remember my freshman year like it was yesterday, so I can definitely help. What grade are you going into this year? Are you excited for school to start, or sad to see summer end? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading! New posts every Wednesday and Saturday at 4pm PDT!
P.S. Is the hashtag lame? #BECCTOSCHOOL? Like back to school but BECC because ReBECCa... Okay, it is pretty lame but I don't care, I think it's hilarious!