Everyone experiences those days where you just feel off. You forgot your wallet at home; the dog escaped the fence, you didn’t have time for a healthy breakfast, so you stopped and got a donut. Days like this are inevitable. It is impossible to avoid the woes of life and keep everything running smoothly 100% of the time. However, if you constantly feel overwhelmed, disorganized, stressed, and out of control, it is time to take action. All it takes is a few hours of dedicated effort to completely declutter your life and reduce stress.
Ways to declutter your life
Unplug from electronics
It’s incredible how much you can get done when you don’t have access to the constant notifications and distractions of the internet. Set aside at least an hour every day as an “electronic-free” time. Use this hour to exercise, clean, make the bed, meal prep, or put away that clean laundry that’s been sitting in a chair for a week. It is excellent to do this in the morning to help you prepare for the day and even spend some time in quiet meditation. Your mind will feel clearer, and you will have a better handle on your to-do list.
Start tackling the stuff
Decluttering your life isn’t all about getting rid of stuff; however, it certainly helps. Pick one room of your house every weekend (or more if you have time) and go through everything. No stone left unturned. Look in the closet, the drawers, under the bed. Clean and sort through your excess stuff. Do you really need to keep those loose receipts or shoes that haven’t fit you in years? What about all those random cords tangling up your junk drawer? Be brutal and ask yourself if you truly need something or even if you will ever use it again. Hint: If you haven’t touched it in a year, or if you forgot you had it, you probably don’t need it. Donate any unwanted items to a thrift store or have a yard sale if you have a lot of stuff.
Make a schedule
Even if you’re not a list person, creating a schedule with any appointments, meetings, or obligations will help get all of that information out of your head. You can even use this schedule for meal planning, daily reminders, or simple words of encouragement.
Ask for help
Decluttering doesn’t have to be a lonely process. Invite one of your close friends over for a pot of coffee, a bottle of wine, or some ice cream and enlist their help. It can often be hard to let go of things due to emotional attachment, but your friend’s impartial eyes can help you make the hard decisions. Set up some good music and turn the organization into a party. Don’t forget to offer your services in return as a thank you.
Reevaluate your routines
Routines are an essential part of an organized lifestyle. Though it may seem impossible, with your hectic, fast-paced life, you can actually develop routines and stick to them. Even if you start with something as simple as making the bed in the morning. You can build off of this routine and eventually start incorporating other healthy, time-saving habits.
Eliminate toxic relationships
If you dread hanging out with a particular friend, it is probably time to reconsider why they are your friend and if they help keep you positive and encouraged. If they bring you down with constant complaining and gossip and are a detriment to the healthy lifestyle you are striving for, don’t hesitate to limit your interactions. Though it sounds terrible to say “friend decluttering,” the term is fairly accurate. Once you take a close look at your so-called friends, you will realize who cares.
Take a picture
Sentimental attachment to stuff is one of the main reasons that people experience clutter buildup. One of the greatest ways to eliminate this problem is to take a picture of the item and then get rid of it. That gag gift you thought was hilarious but will never use again, the teddy bear your first boyfriend got you for valentines day, that ripped t-shirt from your favorite band in high school…just let it go. A fun idea is to take pictures and then print them out and place them in a journal or scrapbook with a date and short sentence about why it was important to you. A journal takes up a lot less space than that dusty chinaware set from your grandmother.
Do you have any helpful suggestions for those just beginning their decluttering journey? Let us know in the comments below.