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What to Do with Your Stuff When The College Year Ends

Updated on August 28, 2015

The end of a college year is a hectic time. Along with final exams and term papers, many students find themselves facing changes in their living situations. Whether it’s a simple change in room assignments, or a whole new off-campus address, the question of what to do with old furniture, electronics and accumulated stuff over the summer is one many students dread. The good news is that the answer doesn’t have to be complicated, and can even generate some much needed cash.

Reduce the task to a manageable size

As with all organizational projects, the first step is to come up with a plan. By dividing belongings up into smaller groups, the task becomes significantly less daunting. Sort them into three categories: things that will make the trip to the new housing assignment, things that are clearly meant for the dumpster, and things that don’t quite fit into either of the first two categories. Furniture and mini self storage items should go in the first category. Anything that’s broken or unusable can be thrown away. Gently used clothing, reference books, and outdated appliances are examples of things that can go into the last category.

Reuse any belongings that are in good working order

Because the end of the school year usually means a trip back home, any belongings that survive the cut will have to find a place to reside over the summer break. Renting a storage unit is a good option, they are secure, climate controlled, and reasonably priced. Sharing the space with one or two friends will make rental fees more affordable. Another option is to store items at a nearby friend’s house. While this may seem like a good way to save money, it’s less secure, less accessible, and ultimately less convenient than investing in some storage space.

Recycle items by selling or donating them

Anything that is still in good working order but won’t be traveling to the new living quarters can be a source of potential income. Sites like Ebay, Craigslist, and Amazon offer users a convenient way to advertise and sell their belongings. Another way to make a little cash is to have a garage sale with friends. Used clothing in good condition can be sold online or through a consignment shop. Textbooks can be sold back to the bookstore or online through sites such as Half.com. Used items can also be given away to incoming students or interested friends. Sites like Freecycle and Craigslist are a way to announce free items to a large audience. Local charities are always in need of donations, and public libraries are usually willing to take used books.

Regardless of future plans, taking some time to organize and plan the fate of your belongings is an endeavor that will have to be tackled before summer begins. Breaking the project up into manageable tasks, however, will make the job less complicated and keep it from becoming overwhelming.

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