Recharge Your Life #1 – Kill the Clutter
Picture the scene:
You’re driving, the traffic is horrendous, it’s pouring with rain, the kids are yelling in the back, the car is full of half eaten debris and sweet wrappers, the music’s blaring and you’re going out of the mind. You arrive frazzled, with tempers frayed all round.
OR – the roads are clear, the kids are quietly reading, the car is tidy and smelling only of the new airfreshener, you’ve the window down and can feel the summer breeze whilst you’re listening only to your thoughts. A different result altogether.
Clutter isn’t just the pile of kids’ tat you keep tripping over on the landing each time you go to the toilet, it’s much further reaching than that. It’s the constant noise around you, distracting your thoughts. It’s the stream of texts and messages demanding attention. It’s the to-do lists, the work waiting to be done. The social media notifications constantly stealing your time. It’s everything that steals your time unproductively. Clutter and noise de-energise and one of the easiest and most satisfying pick-me-ups is to have a clear out / switch off. There’s something satisfying about dumping unwanted tat in bags and suddenly seeing the carpet clear before your eyes, and feeling your energy lift with the mess.
A few tips:
1. Little and Often
However tempting, don’t pull the whole house apart at once or you’ll be left sitting in the middle of chaos, feeling an awful lot worse. Focus on one room at a time and start small. Even just 20 minutes a day can make a huge difference and you’ll feel so much better at the end of the week when your room is tidy and clutter free. Empty a drawers, or tidy your wardrobe – small actions that aren’t overwhelming in themselves but satisfying when tidy.
2. Be Ruthless
Worried of throwing something away in case you may need it? That clutter is slowly strangling you – do you really need it that much? If you haven’t wore or used it for over a year, chances are you don’t need it. Recycle, give to charity, sell on Ebay or simply get rid – you’ll feel so much better for it.
- How many appliances do you have you don’t use or need?
- How long is it since you sat at the dining table because it’s used as a dumping ground?
- How much time do you spend trying to find stuff, having to look through piles?
3. Don’t Waste a Journey
Each time you go upstairs, take something that’s been sitting on the stairs or waiting in the kitchen. Each time you come downstairs, bring something ready for the bin. It soon becomes habit and you’ll find much less clutter accumulates.
4. Turn down the Noise
Our lives are often so full of noise, we don’t have time to think. The kids, the TV, the radio in the background. Half the time we’re not even listening, but it’s there, a draw on energy. Silence can take some time to get used to if you’re someone who likes the TV on for company, but just take a small spell – grab a cuppa, switch off the noise, walk the dog and simply listen to your thoughts, without the distraction in the background.
5. Social Silence
How much time do you spend on social media? Be honest – the 10 minute checks of FB throughout the day soon mount up, and when you add together the time spend on the internet or texting, it can come as quite a shock. We’re not saying don’t do it – indeed for some it’s a lifeline – but just manage it, rather than letting it manage you.
6. Tackle your To-Dos
One of the biggest stresses can be to have a task list as long as your arm. It’s overwhelming and you feel like time is never going to be on your side’ . You don’t eat an elephant in one bite, but nibble by nibble it’ll disappear (I’m saying this in theory not practice by the way, my eating habits are a little less ambitious!). Concentrate on 2 things off your list each day and you’ve more chance of getting these done, and feeling the satisfaction of ticking them off.
So that’s it – a good start to decluttering your home, your head and your daily life. A little of the above each day and you’ll find you’ve a lot more head space and clarity and feel ready for the next steps.