OK, so I’m one of those people who LOVES to shop! Just like any other girl out there, I find shopping therapeutic! Right ladies?!! I’m sure about 99% of the women out there would agree with me Anyway, I usually go through my clothes every year and sort them out. I create a pile for clothes that I no longer wear because it doesn’t fit me anymore or I’m just over it and I don’t see the need to keep it anymore. Then there’s a pile for clothes that I’m 50/50 about. Clothes that I’m not sure if I’m still going to wear or not and half the time there’s some occasion where I would end up needing that certain clothing item on my 50/50 pile. There’s also a pile for clothes that I will still definitely wear and another pile for giveaway. This has been my routine every year when I do my spring cleaning but it’s been two years since the last time I did some sorting with my clothes. It’s not that I was feeling lazy or didn’t want to get rid of some clothes. I just can’t get myself to go through my clothes because my weight gain has been fluctuating like the stock market within the last two years and it’s driving me crazy! Seriously! One week, I fit in one of my favorite jeans then the next week, I can’t even button it anymore and same thing with my shirts and blouses! It’s frustrating but I can’t blame anyone but myself for my weight gain because I stopped going to the gym, I’ve been eating whatever I want, and my sleeping pattern has been completely off for quite sometime now. Gosh, I’ve been sleep deprived for the last two years and I need to do something about it! Pronto! A friend of mine has actually called me zombie (hahahaha!) because I always complain about not getting enough sleep! Anyway, aside from these factors that caused me to gain weight…I think the main culprit is aging! The big 3-0 has definitely contributed to my weight gain. Hormone changes, slow metabolism…etc…etc….all the stuff the only US women go through! It’s really a lot of work being a woman you know and we do so much too for everyone, that is why men need to appreciate us more! Hehehehehe! Ok…ok…I think I’m getting carried away with this weight issue and I’m a little off the subject now…which is about spring cleaning…decluttering :)
Anyway, so today I’ve decided to start my spring cleaning and go through my clothes first, then my shoes and get rid of whatever stuff I have that I no longer need. It’s the new year so I have to get rid of the old and make room for the new! I have to apply the same principle mentally in order for me to achieve my goals this year such as losing weight, getting more sleep and focusing more on the things that really matter. My goal is not just to do a spring cleaning in my surroundings but also to declutter my life to reduce stress and hopefully in no time I can be stress free! I know it’s a lot of work to be stress free in life but it can definitely be done. We just have to change our way of thinking and try our best not to let the little things in life get the best of us I’m going to try my best this year to follow my own advice! Hehehehe!
Well, off I go to start my decluttering! Fun! Fun! Fun!
Meanwhile, below are some tips on how to declutter your life and reduce stress. Happy reading
Your Work Area
If you want to be more productive and focused in your work, getting the clutter out of your work area is essential.
- Start with your desk. Clear everything off the top of it and take everything out of the drawers. Assemble the items in piles on the floor. Clean and wipe down your desk, and marvel at how pretty and clean it looks. Sort through all of the “stuff” that was both in and on your desk. Toss out as much as possible a relatively small amount. Once you’ve weeded things out, it’s time to sort through the remains. Set up a basic alphabetical filing system with a folder for each project or client. Keep your office supplies and other items in designated drawers. If you need to, label things, but the main thing you should do is designate a spot for every item you decided to keep and make sure that it stays there, or goes back there when you’re done using it. Keep flat surfaces clear, and have an inbox for all incoming papers. When the papers come in, sort them each day – toss, delegate, do immediately, or file simply file all documents, but whatever you do, DO NOT KEEP THEM ON TOP OF YOUR DESK. All you want on the surface of your desk is your phone, computer, inbox, and maybe a special photo in addition to the documents you are working with at the moment.
- Declutter your computer. Get rid of files and programs on your computer that you don’t need. Get rid of most or all of the icons on your desktop. They not only slow down your computer, but they also create visual clutter. There are better ways of accessing your information. Regularly purge old, unused files. If organization is not your thing, utilize a program such as Google Desktop to search for your files when you need them.
- Then move on to information. In the digital world of today, there are so many different ways that information creeps into our lives. Information in itself can become overwhelming when you have too much of it, and this is called information clutter. Instead of letting information take over your life, set limits. Reduce the number of things that you read each day and get rid of things from your RSS feed. Chuck those magazine subscriptions, and reduce your consumption of news and television. I’m not suggesting that you cut yourself off from the world, just that setting some boundaries will help. Instead of letting information, even the kind that friends share on Facebook, take over your life, control how and when you receive it by limiting what you read.
Outside of work, home is where many of a bulk of our time. So it’s no wonder that a messy house can add to daily stress.
- Simply your rooms. If your rooms are too cluttered, you’ll want to simplify them. Start by clearing off anything that is on the floors. Throw out or donate unused things. After clearing the floor, move to flat surfaces such as countertops, shelves, tops of dressers, etc. Clear them as much as possible, and then move onto furniture. Consider if you need everything . Sort things in piles – toss, donate, or keep. Organize everything that you’ve decided to keep into drawers, cabinets, and closets, keeping them out of sight, but still neatly organized and uncluttered. Do this one room at a time.
- Tackle the closets. Closets are a great place to store things that you don’t want out in the open, and can easily become a place where you shove things just to keep them out of view. Go through your closets – take everything out, clean it, and toss , donate as much as you can. Decided a specific place to store anything you decide to keep. Keep only the things that you love and use frequently. As for your clothes, get rid of anything that you haven’t worn in six months.
- Clean out your drawers. Drawers are prime place for things to get shoved into. Empty out your drawers, and sorting them by whether you’re keeping, tossing, or donating them.
Decluttering your work area and your home are great ways to start reducing the clutter and stress in your life, but there’s still more than you can do.
- Reduce your commitments. Often times, our lives are too clutterd with all of the things that we need to do at home, work, school, in our religious or civic lives, with friends and family, with hobbies, and so on. Take a look at each area of your life and write down all of your commitments. Seeing it all written down can be quite an eye-opening experience, as well as overwhelming. From here, look at each one and decide whether it really brings you joy and value, and if it is worth the amount of time that you invest in it. Another way to reduce your commitments is to identify a few that you truly love, and get rid of the rest. Learn how to say no and decline offers. If you eliminate the things that don’t bring you joy or value, you’ll have more time for the things that you love.
- Reconsider your routines. Many of us do not have any set routines in our daily lives, and simply tackle our obligations, chores, and daily tasks haphazardly. Without structure, it can lead to chaotic days and a drop in productivity. Instead, batch tasks together. Instead of doing your laundry several times throughout the week, do it all on one day. It’s helpful to write down all of your weekly and daily obligations, chores, and tasks, and then plan out daily and weekly routines. Hang it up where you can see it and try to follow it. You might find that having a routine brings a new sense of calm and order to your life.
How to Maintain Order Over the Long-Term
Once you’ve successfully decluttered, whether it be one area or all the areas mentioned above, clutter will inevitably begin to creep back into your life. You must be vigilant in weeding it out on a regular basis, or it will just take over your life again.
- Set up a system to keep clutter in check. Examine the way that you do things and how things make their way into your life, and consider whether you can put together a simple system for everything, from your laundry to work projects and email. Write down your systems step-by-step and try to follow them as best as you can. Follow your systems and you’ll keep the clutter minimized.
- Don’t slack off. It’s easy to put things off for another day, but it’ll save you headaches in the long-run if you deal with things immediately. Throw it out, donate it, or keep it and put it in a designated area.