Being a student in the Mississauga Student Residences means that you don’t really have to worry about the typical spring cleaning. We take care of all common areas, including bathrooms, kitchens and living areas on a weekly basis. This way, when spring comes around all you really have to do is organize yourself! Meaning your personal space in the residence, and well..your life.
This post is going to focus on helping you clean out your old academic materials, for a fresh start in your new semester!
Let’s talk about the hundreds of notes you have accumulated this semester, and perhaps even the year. Do you really need all of them? The rule of thumb I like to go by is the importance the course notes have on your future academic career. Let’s say you are majoring in Psychology. I don’t suggest you discard your Psychology 100 lecture notes. Hang on to those. That way when you need to refer to the basics in later years, you are referring to the core concepts in your own words. This will help jig your memory much more than reading from a textbook you barley understand.
To help with de-clutter, type out your notes-if you haven’t already, and keep them on your laptop as opposed to having hundreds of loose papers in your room. You can even further organize them digitally by creating folders for school years, sub folders for semesters, and then sub-sub folders for the courses! But, for courses that do not relate to your program, and are just those courses that you have to take to fulfill those pesky compulsory degree requirements, you don’t need to hold on to those.
There are exceptions of course. If the course was of interest to you, and it is something you potentially want to explore later on in more depth, then definitely keep those so you can refer to them later. But again, if you don’t have them already make digital copies. If storage space on your laptop is an issue, I suggest grabbing an external hard drive to back up your files. Do a backup at the end of every semester. That way you start fresh.
If you do not have a laptop, or access to one, here are some tips to help you de-clutter your papers.
Buy a some sort of organizer - I love expanding file folders.
The ones from Indigo are so cute, and you are sure to find a style that goes well with your living/desk space.
Indigo has great sales around the end of semester so keep an eye out for those. The last one a bought was $4.40! I know right.
Have a paper purge
Do I actually need these notes from 2018?
Will I ever look at this again?
Are these even good notes worth keeping...?
Label, Label and Label
Please trust me, there is nothing more visually appealing than having your notes labelled by course every year if you want to get fancy, but I always prefer to section the notes out by courses, and in those sections have it further organised by Lecture #/Date. This makes it so much easier when you are trying to find something specific. You can even store you old papers and exam booklets in here!
Tell me why I have textbooks from 2 years ago…from an old major. Why?
I feel like we, as students, can become textbook hoarders. We feel like we will need them for later on. Trust me, I have never referred to an old textbook before. Ever. Why would we, when everything is accessible online? Once you learn and understand the concepts, referring back to old text seems like an archaic task. I get it. So what can we do with them?
You can sell them!
There are many avenues you can use to do this. You can sell them back to your school's bookstore - if they still sell that book. Then the bookstore can re-sell them as a used copy. This is not my preferred method as you can usually get more money back from "private sales."
Private sales are when you sell them on a website like Kijiji. Be as fare as possible with your price though. If there are notes and highlights everywhere, no one is going to spend 80-100% of the books worth on it-it would make more sense to them to buy a brand new one for that price. So have the more overly used ones at about the 40-70% mark-depending on the amount of notes.
You can also sell them to your friends and friends of friends!
If you know someone that is going to take the course soon, save them some money and get some back for yourself too! The same rules apply for pricing here too. I know its tempting to want to get back as much as possible but try to be fare. We are all students learning how to budget our time and money effectively, so let's help each other out! Institutions usually have Buy/Sell Facebook pages-UTM definately does! But try to search Facebook groups for your school. Students will post textbooks they want to buy second-hand, or ones they want to sell. If you are monitoring the page regularly, you will be sure to find someone interested!
We truly hope these few tips helps to get you "spring ready."
Comment below on your spring cleaning routine- we would love to know!