Let's start 2021 off a little lighter.
Dec 28, 2020
One of the things you notice when you start decluttering is how so much of the clutter in your house reflects the clutter in your mind. If you’re hanging onto clothes that don’t fit, or the ugly vase your mother gave you for Christmas or the exercise bike you might get around to using, you don’t just have a problem with too much stuff. You have a problem letting go. Chances are you’re also hanging onto a whole bunch of bad feelings, ill-founded assumptions, old grievances and future worries.
If it feels good to declutter your house, it feels even better to declutter your mind. Here are some useful expert tips to make some space in your mind.
- Use some meditation techniques
You don’t have to do the full sitting on a cushion in a darkened room thing to benefit from meditation techniques. If you’re feeling overwound, some simple breathing techniques can help you calm down and focus. For a few minutes, focus only on your breathing and nothing else. If your mind wanders or gets back into the worrying groove, you must put that aside and come back to focus on your breath. You can also join us for a daily meditation and journaling program each day.
- Write it down
It can help to write down anything that’s on your mind. Once all those worries are down on paper, you can prioritize them and work out a plan to deal with them. You can also assess them to identify what’s essential and what isn’t. When you can see what’s important, you can focus your energy and free up some of that mental space! Journaling is great for this, want to have a daily practice with accountability? Join our Morning Calm Program.
- Stay in the present
Brooding over the past and worrying about the future takes up a lot of space in your mind and achieves precisely nothing. Let go of regret over past mistakes or resentment of past slights and move on. Keep your focus on what you can influence right here, right now.
- Do one thing at a time
Multitasking is not only overrated (it’s very inefficient), it also leads to greater anxiety, and you never do any one thing properly. Focus on doing things methodically and thoroughly. As you finish one task, move onto the next.
- Control all the incoming data
We talk about being available 24/7 and the 24-hour news cycle, but there is only one person who can control that, You! You can choose to switch off your computer, smartphone, and tv, and control the amount of data your brain is trying to process.
Decluttering your mind will pay off in all sorts of ways you hadn’t imagined. You will be more productive, less stressed and more motivated.
- Decluttering your home also helps to declutter your mind
Over the holidays everything that was in the way ended up in my office. The wrapping paper, the gifts we won't get to deliver until sometime in January, the new craft and art supplies, and the ones I used to create holiday gifts and cards.
I am so glad I got it done because I was dreading walking into my office, I knew I was back to work today but the office was stressing me out. I made that my first priority so I could come back to work with a clear mind… and office.
So, this week’s creative exercise is actually a 52 week exercise to declutter one area of your home each week. Just check one off each week. Maybe pick one day a week that will be your declutter day. Trust me, it will help. You don’t need to do them in order.
You can throw out, gift to someone else, donate, or sell. But, lets clean it out and help clear our minds out as well. Download your own list to declutter your home this year.
A year of declutter - one week at a time
- Holiday Decor, while you are putting it away get rid of any broken or not so favourite items.
- Go through that junk drawer, we all have one. Clean it out and get rid of anything that is of no use anymore.
- Pens that don’t work. Check the drawers, the cups, the purses for all pens and get rid of any that don’t work anymore.
- Toys or items the kids have grown out of. I always did this with my kids in December or January to help remind them of all they have and those who do not have as much as they did.
- Odd socks, stop hoping that the mate is coming back...This is a single sock now.
- Books you won’t read or have already read. Donate these to someone who needs a book. Women’s shelters, friends, libraries, schools.
- Tupperware and other kitchen containers, do you even have the same amount of lids and containers...I bet you don’t.
- Front Hall Closet. Clean out old coats and donate them, shoes that are too beat up, get rid of them. How many mitts still have a mate? Do you really need 6 umbrellas, put one in your car and leave one in the house, get rid of the rest.
- Your purse or backpack. Empty it out, throw out all the garbage, put the lids back on your make up and give it a good wipe down, maybe even with lysol.
- Linen closet, get rid of those old towels you don’t use, the sheets with the holes.
- Underwear and swimsuits with no elastic or saggy bottoms, or more holes then required.
- Outdated Tech equipment, wipe it clean and donate it or drop it off at a local eco-centre.
- Old magazines and newspapers, you do not need them all, keep a few for your next vision board or collage, get rid of the rest.
- Dried up and old craft and art supplies. You do not need every craft supply you have ever gotten, someone else can use it if you are not. Or chuck it if it isn’t good anymore.
- DVD’s, CD’s or worse cassette tapes and 8-tracks. Anything you can’t or won’t be watching or playing anymore.
- Excess plastic, paper and reusable shopping bags. Put some (or all) of the reusable shopping bags in the car and get rid of all the excess.
- Old calendars, planners, and journals. They have done their job, throw them in the recycle bin now.
- Jewelry, clean out those boxes and drawers. Get rid of all the old plastic junk, sell or melt into something new the things you don’t wear. My Mother melted down all her mother’s old jewelry and had a pendant made for each of us. It was a great reminder of family and something we would wear.
- The front and top of your fridge. I am constantly putting things on top of the fridge because I am short, so to me it is out of sight, out of mind. When I cleaned the front of my fridge off I was shocked at how many expired coupons and such were there. We now keep them in the car so they are handy to use.
- Inside of the fridge, throw out all the expired foods, and anything you don’t use. Wipe it down and rearrange it so you can see what you have.
- Boxes from purchases, clean out that closet of boxes. Unless you move every 6 months, you do not need them.
- Luggage, purses and other bags. Sure, it’s nice to have a new purse for every season, but do you actually use them? Do you need 12 pieces of luggage or could you make do with 2?
- Old house paint and stains. Find out where you need to take it, and take it there.
- Old light bulbs, batteries and other things you can’t throw away, but you need to get rid of. Find out where to take them, and take them there. We have an ecostation for these types of items.
- Old wrapping paper and gift boxes that you don’t use or are too wrinkled now.
- Your clothes closet. Do you ever wear that blouse or those pants you haven’t fit for 2 years. Clean it all out. If you are not positive about something turn your hangers backward on the rod and when you wear it turn the hanger around. If they are still on the rod backward next season, get rid of it.
- Decorative knick knacks, you know the ones… you have to dust them (but you don’t), or the ones you think you need to keep because someone gave them to you. If they don’t bring you joy, get rid of them.
- Games, board games, video games, whatever games you no longer play.
- Kitchen gadgets, do you need or use all those slicer dicer fancy gadgets or did you just think you needed them but now you don’t use them. Get rid of them.
- Home office and desk, clean it out, clean it up and off.
- Costumes, Halloween or otherwise, if you don’t use them or they don't fit. Get rid of them.
- Bath and Beauty products, if you don’t like the scent, the color, the way it makes you feel. Get rid of it.
- Tools you aren’t using or don’t need anymore, I know you always need tools but do you need 14 screwdrivers or would one interchangeable one work? Will you ever again cut your own tile? Get rid of that cutter.
- Garden tools, and decorations. 12 gnomes, or your one favorite? Do you still pull weeds by hand, do you need that tool anymore?
- Mugs, plates, cutlery that is mismatched,chipped or not used.
- Storage room, what do you have in there that can go? This room usually gets ignored until it is completely full. If you haven’t opened it in over a year, you probably don’t need it. Remember to get rid of one thing for each thing you put in.
- Pantry and Spices. Check for expiry dates, and things that never get used.
- Freezer, what is stuck at the back or bottom? What has been there way too long?
- Sports and exercise equipment that you no longer use. Do you still play racquetball? If not get rid of those racquets. What about that exercise bike, are you really going to use it or has it become a clothes rack?
- Kitchen counters, do you need everything that is cluttering up your counter? Do you use it daily, if not move it or get rid of it.
- Laundry room, cleaning supplies. Do things keep piling up, do you have soaps and cleaners you never use?
- Front entrance way, do you have a bowl like I do for keys that get filled with everything you don’t know what to do with? What about the shoes you trip over.
- Sideboard or dining room hutch, do you keep things because you think you should? If it isn’t bringing you joy get rid of it.
- Papers that need to be sorted and filed. Maybe you did this when you did your office, if so do the papers again, if not do the papers now.
- Under the kitchen sink, what is under there that you haven’t seen in a while?
- Top kitchen cupboards, what is stuffed at the back that you never use?
- Bottom kitchen cupboards, did you even know you had 3 cheesecake pans?
- That drawer under the oven, did you know that is actually a warming drawer not a storage drawer?
- Computer desktop, do you have a bunch of files on your desktop, they take up running space on your computer. File them or delete them.
- Computer files, clean out what you don’t need, file away what you do need.
- Email, delete all the email you don’t need, unsubscribe what you are no longer interested in, file what you may need in the future.
- Tax papers and receipts, get ready to end the year on a positive organized note.
Have an Amazingly Creative Day,