In preparation for a new year and a fresh start for 2016 I’ve spent this week working towards the goal and concept that is Declutter Your Space >>> Declutter Your Mind.
There are numerous articles, experts, research and stories that support this theory and in it’s simplicity it works. But when you are overwhelmed, unmotivated, unwell or even lazy, how and where do you start?
This is what I have done…
- WARDROBE – Now I started doing this on Monday with fresh enthusiasm and a plan of my Declutter adventure, and it took me two days. 3 garbage bags later and a bag of appliances (all donated to charity The Feel Good Initiative) and I had cut my apparel my 1/3. Clothes, shoes, accessories, jewellery, beauty and hair appliances. I also had a garbage bag of rubbish (anything with holes or worn out) and scissors to turn tees into muscle singlets. I was pretty ruthless, if I hadn’t worn/used it in 3 months out it went. My wardrobe looks better after I organised it by items, and have been able to maintain it so far. I’m actually surprised how much lighter I feel even after this small act.
- UNSUBSCRIBE – For some reason I seem to have gotten my email address on every bloody spam and marketing list out there. I swear, some days I would get up to 100 spam emails PLUS what went to my junk mail. So over this past week, throughout the day I spent time going through my inbox unsubscribing every new spam message that came in. I also blocked senders and got my junk mail folder sorted. Again, after 5 days, my inbox has reduced, which doesn’t make me feel overwhelmed! This is definitely going to be an ongoing process but doing it daily gets it into my routine.
- GO PAPERLESS – I admit I am a bit of a paper hoarder. I think it stems from my days working as a paralegal years ago, where you must always have paper copies! Going through all my documents, photos and papers was a tough slog as I got distracted reading and reminiscing. Eventually after a while, it got easy to through stuff out and I managed to cull everything down by half, organise it in folders and plastic slips and into a storage box they went. As it happened this week, I was being filmed for a mini documentary and the producer required photos of me in my younger years so I had a great excuse to cull.
- HOME MAINTENANCE – We don’t have a lawnmower or any gardening tools for that matter, so we do have a tendency to let the garden go to shit. I think that, much like when your bedroom looks instantly tidier when your bed is made, your home/view instantly feels and looks better when the backyard is well groomed. $50 and a guy came in, tidied the edges, cut down all the bamboo, trimmed all the edges, mowed and removed everything! Thank you Gumtree! Now the backyard is usable again.
- CLEAN AND TIDY – Having a clutter free home is crucial to having a clutter free mind. Now, I know this and have known it for years but have always struggled to keep things tidy. Clean yes, but not always tidy. I’d have big spring cleans putting everything away, vacuuming, mopping, sweeping, clean bathroom & toilet, dusting and changing of sheets (all weekly tasks to be sure). My home would look amazing, and my mood always improved. The problem I had was maintenance. Over the years, this is something that I’ve really worked hard on, even when I was unwell and lacked the motivation to even have a shower. Now, the task of tidying, cleaning and looking after my home is becoming more natural to me and as a result of having a clutter-less and tidier home, my stress levels have reduced. As I said, it has taken training on my part. Doing one task at a time regularly then starting on something else. For example, I hated doing the dishes, and years ago it wasn’t uncommon for me to have a week’s worth + of dirty dishes in the sink. So, I started slowly just doing a load at a time, no pressure, and it built from there.
- ORGANISE ROOMS – Like most people their “spare” bedroom if it doesn’t have a bed in it (sometimes even when it does) tends to be the junk room. For us, moving from a 4 bedroom house to a very small 2 bedroom townhouse with ZERO storage has been a nightmare, so the spare room was the place where everything was just dumped including a bookcase for linen, my shoes and accessory table. Opening the door would give me instant anxiety and I tended to avoid it as much as I could. Clearing this room up has allowed us to keep the blinds open now (because the room is tidy) which gives more light – an added bonus and it’s now useable again.
- BEDROOM – Both the boy and I have bad backs and admittedly we need a new mattress, however with future plans being discussed for 2016 we decided we wouldn’t make any big purchases especially furniture until we knew what we were doing. So to keep our backs from completely caving in, we flipped the mattress (something we do every few months or so) upside down and back to front. Fresh linen, change of pillows and our sleep has improved.
- SLEEPING – Sleep is crucial for us humans, it allows our body to regenerate, heal and most importantly rest. To ensure we have the best possible snooze time, having good quality linen is a must! And washing weekly to remove all your gross dead skin cells and other crap you drag into bed. Plus there is nothing like slipping into fresh clean sheets for a dream night’s sleep. Realistically you only need two sets of bed linen, so I threw out all my old worn and holy stuff. Saved room and in 3 months I’ll replace what I have and throw those out.
- VANITY – I’m terrible when it comes to getting rid of this stuff. I think it’s the “girl” in me. Going through my bathroom and various toiletry bags, I discovered make up from 2010 (OMG), that I was still using! (OMG). Keeping your products fresh and within the expiration date (duh) is crucial to ensuring you don’t get any rashes or skin infections – oh and cleaning your brushes. Changing the brands you use every 6 months to a year is also recommended. I used the same philosophy as the wardrobe cull but was even more ruthless, anything I didn’t use daily – out it went! Scary as hell, but I realised if I REALLY needed anything I could buy it and all of a sudden I had space in my bathroom cupboards and sink! This has also meant my morning and evening routine has simplified.
- UNFRIEND/UNFOLLOW – Social media… Everyone has their own views on how these platforms affect individuals and how they use it. For me, at times I am vulnerable to the “life comparison” syndrome that leaves me feeling bad about myself (see a post I wrote about this here. So why the hell do I continue to put myself through it? As part of the DECLUTTER I made the decision to unfriend/unfollow profiles and pages on my social media accounts that made me doubt my own self worth or ability. Much like the unsubscribing, this is time consuming and an ongoing process. But limiting my news feed to things that make me smile or people that make me happy is a winner!
So although it doesn’t sound like much, it’s made a positive impact to my life and mood, which ultimately is all that matters. I’ve noticed an increase in productivity, creativity flowing more freely, ability to develop and maintain a daily routine incorporating work, domestic duties, free time and time with my boyfriend.
If you are feeling a bit cluttered and claustrophobic, don’t put any pressure on yourself but slowly try some of the above. I guarantee you’ll feel better!
Images | google