During the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have taken the opportunity to clean your spaces. However, there is a difference between cleaning your house versus decluttering your life.
Decluttering your life is a combination of organizing items and tidying your mindset. We often become accustomed to feeling stressed at all times, so we don’t recognize that always feeling busy is not useful or healthy.
By following these steps, you will realize what areas of your life have given you unnecessary burdens and learn how to ensure that they don’t come back.
1. Organize physical objects.
Usually, when it comes to decluttering, the easiest place to start is going through the stuff you no longer need. Try dividing up the task based on the objects and their level of difficulty. Starting in the area that is the least stressful can set you up for a more efficient decluttering experience.
Tackle one area of your house every day. Don’t feel pressured to have your entire house organized in a single day. Instead, every day for a week or two, tackle a single task, no matter how big or small. This way, you will stay motivated and on track without risk of burning out.
When going through these different categories of items—clothes, shoes, kitchenware, books, etc.—channel your inner Marie Kondo and ask yourself if these items bring you joy. If you’re unsure of this, then chances are, you won’t use it, so place it in a donation bin and move on.
2. Buy things purposefully.
While you’re going through all of your items, you might think to yourself, why did I even buy this? A lot of times, we shop impulsively, especially when there are so many online stores that make adding to your cart so simple.
After you’re done going through all of your items, write down any commonalities that you’ve noticed among your more impulsive purchases, such as random trinkets you never use or clothes you never wore. Becoming aware of why you purchased certain items is crucial to becoming a better, more sustainable shopper.
Next time you’re perusing on a website, ask yourself why you’re shopping at that moment. Do you need this item for something in particular? Or are you just bored and want to do something? By asking yourself these questions, you train your brain to think more carefully about your purchases.
In addition to removing physical objects, decluttering is also about getting rid of mental and emotional distractions, and our reliance on technology can often be an unnecessary burden.
Perhaps your phone rings multiple times a day and you feel as though you can never get a moment of peace. Or maybe you find yourself easily sucked into the whirlpool of scrolling through social media.
It is important to stay connected and up-to-date with news, but sometimes, we become so consumed by our phones that we end up scrolling for hours, only to end up in a worse, and less productive, mindset than before.
Try switching your phone onto “do not disturb” mode and logging out of all your social media apps one day a week. By setting these boundaries for yourself, you’ll have a day where you won’t feel as anxious and won’t waste as much time.
4. Lighten your load.
Another thing that negatively impacts our mindset is doing too much. In the midst of the pandemic, you might have felt like you needed to do something every day in order to have a sense of normalcy, but there’s a difference between being productive and overdoing it.
Try not to take on any unnecessary tasks and limit the amount of scheduled activities on your calendar, if you can. You don’t have to be productive 24/7 in order to be efficient. It’s important to take breaks every few hours in order to recharge, and on the weekends, make sure to block off some time for yourself.
5. Do something you love every day!
When you cut unnecessary tasks from your to-do list, you’ll find that you have a little extra time for yourself. Do you like to do crosswords, knit, or play an instrument? Try to spend at least 10 minutes every day doing something that brings you joy.
Whether that’s going for a run or calling a friend, try to incorporate one thing you love to do into your daily routine. Schedule it in your calendar if you need to remind yourself. Once you do this on a normal basis, you will be accustomed to blocking off time for yourself that it will eventually become second nature.
Although cleaning and re-organizing our spaces is important, it is also important to give ourselves that same care to ensure that our minds are just as refreshed. Try these tasks to stay organized and live a more simplistic life.