One of the coolest things about coming to college includes all of the free stuff that you’ll get over the years. So many different organizations, clubs, departments, and offices are willing to put a lot of money into giveaways for students just to get their name out there. It’s a win-win situation because college students love free stuff and those said places are willing to give free stuff away in order to spread their services. But after a while, some people might think you’re becoming a hoarder of all that free stuff you’ve accumulated over the years. How do you stop this from happening? Here are some of my own tips.

Assess

Once you get an item, make sure that you figure out whether or not you really need it. Things like pens will always come in handy. T-shirts are always good things to have extras of as well. But do you really need 13 bottle cap openers and 7 flimsy frisbees? My sources say, probably not. (I’m the only source that I have, honestly.) If you stop yourself from taking the extra things that people give away, you’re doing two things:

  • Helping the people that give this free stuff away by saving that item for the next person that comes along.
  • Helping yourself by saving the time and the energy to do the things that come later in this article.

I know, I know. Free stuff is exciting. But don’t just take things to take them. The people giving them away want you to use those items. If you have a million of the same items, you’re not going to be using it very often.

Donate

If you find yourself keeping a lot of the free stuff, designate a time at the end of the year to decide on whether or not you want to keep them for good. You’ll be moving out of your dorm room and back in with your parents. Once you find those things that you know you won’t keep, go and donate them to the Salvation Army or Goodwill- honestly anywhere that will take them. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Keep that phrase in mind.

Re-gift

Parents and siblings love things that come from your school, especially if you don’t live near home. Any little gadget or piece of clothing that you bring home for them they’ll cherish, even if it isn’t that useful in your opinion. So if you’ve got a ton of free sunglasses, maybe it’d be a good idea to give away some of them to your family. They’ll appreciate that you’re thinking of them every now and then, more than just the regular phone call that you give them every week or so.

Organize, organize, organize

If you find yourself keeping all of this free stuff and you simply cannot give it up, make sure that you organize it. You wouldn’t want your roommate to mistake something for trash because your side of the room isn’t clean and all of your free stuff is all over the place. Make sure that it all stays together, neatly put away. This way you’ll be able to find it all when you need it.