It’s a loud, Loud, LOUD, over-stimulated world. A De-clutter Checklist.
If most people were to be really honest, they would probably tell you that they often feel overwhelmed. Tired. Stuck. Like they have too much on their plates, and they aren’t quite sure at times where to start.
In today’s world, it is easy to feel over-stimulated. Our phone and computer constantly demands our attention and expects us to respond right away. As does work, family, health, and home. And debt. And so on. And so on.
The good news is that while all of your problems probably can’t be erased overnight, it IS possible to start to live in a more clean and clear way, and you can start today. Start small, and begin to manage situations, places and events that continuously suck your energy dry, keeping you blocked, busy, drained and frustrated.
De-clutter test: “Take a stroll around your home and estimate the percentage of things you own that evoke strong memories from bygone times. If this applies to more than 50% of your belongings, then you are living more in the past than in the present, and are not so available to engage the new and embrace the future.” - Karen Kingston
Let’s begin with a few easy fixes on things that hit hard mentally. And the best part is, these are things that can be implemented today!
The phone. Set some boundaries, for crying out loud! It’s a tool, not a lifeline. You control it, let’s not forget. It should not control you. Try shutting it off for two hours a day. Off, not on mute. You will live. Free yourself from messages, texts, calls– most things really can wait for two hours. Level two would be to shut it off for an entire weekend day. Think of it as a much needed mini-vacation.
The dreaded inbox. It doesn’t matter if you just cleared it out yesterday, when you go back online, it seems to have pages of emails that demand your attention. Take the time to go through and unsubscribe to newsletters and emails that really do not interest you. Hit the ‘spam’ button freely. Also, realize that not every email requires a lengthy response. Sometimes a simple response of ‘okay’ or ‘thanks’ really is enough.
And now for the physical clutter…
This is simple. You probably own fifty times more things than what you really need. So getting rid of, oh, let’s say 10%, probably won’t kill you. It will feel good, I promise. Re-gift, it’s okay. Give old tools or home items to Habitat for Humanity. Donate old clothes to a family who just lost everything in a fire (contact your local fire department to find one). Toys and kids' stuff can go to a Domestic Violence Shelter – these kids probably need that old teddy bear.
Spring Clean, and make it fun. Invite a group of friends over to help, put on loud music and dance your way through the dirt, and finish the day by sharing an easy, but yummy, take-out meal to show your gratitude. It is amazing what wonders a good physical cleaning can do for how you feel.
Here are a couple of life hack articles worth checking out, with some great ideas for how to manage clutter, both mental and physical:
And, last but not least, emotional clutter. While it may seem difficult to begin a spring clean, it is often harder to know where to begin to clear up our minds and emotions.
What have you been hanging onto for years? A certain resentment? A fear? Something left unsaid? Confront it. Make a phone call to and say what needs to be said. Reach out and write an old childhood friend you parted ways with and still miss. Forgive, both yourselves and others. Give yourself permission to cry if that is what needs to happen. Meditate. As often as you can. And that is probably more than you think.
On the flip side, take a good hard look at who you currently let into your life, who you give your time and your energy to. Do you give more than you get? Is the relationship something that only drains you, or does it offer you something positive? Go through your social media platforms and unfollow ‘friends’ who only seem to annoy or tire you with their posts. Hold your head high and show integrity by setting boundaries for who you let in – no one abusive or constantly negative should be allowed into your physical or mental space for any lengthy period of time.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, it is logical that you might not know where to start. The important thing is to start somewhere. Take control of your life little by little to create situations where you can feel relaxed, empowered, and clear - physically, mentally and emotionally.
Here are a few more links to check out. They offer wonderful advice for space clearing!