Tips to Decluttering and Simplifying Your Life
The words ‘simplify your life’ have a lovely ring to them don’t you think? They evoke feelings of direction, clarity, soothing horizons and of course, white linen. But how do we ever reach this mirage? And a mirage it is to so many people. It’s an elusive concept we are continuously trying to reach with the idea that once we do everything will be better.
I have good news and bad news
The good news is that simple living doesn’t have to be a mirage even for the busiest, highly driven folks, in fact, they are the ones who need it most. But the bad news is simple living is not utopia.
Simple living does not mean your car will no longer breakdown and you likely will still get called by childcare right before an important meeting.
Yet how you react in these situations will be improved. With less stuff absorbing your energy supply, you should (and will) have more resilience to deal with the inevitable ups and downs of life.
There is no secret formular
So how do we convert this mirage into a reality? There is no secret formula, as one of my yoga teachers would say “you just have to do the work”.
Here are my tried and testest ways to simplify (and declutter) your life.
Make a list of what you love
“When do you feel most yourself? What activities or moments do you feel most like you?” – This is the very first question I ask my workshop attendees, and many of them are stumped. And rightly so. We can tell you what success looks like to our boss, what makes our kids happy and our partners appreciate us, heck I can even tell you what makes my digestive system happy….but want makes me feel like me? It’s a tricky one.
Begin understanding what you love by writing a list of what makes you you.
To begin understanding what you love, and what makes you you, write a list. No need to mull over it, there are no Nobel prizes to be won here, merely jot down the first things that come to mind. The clearer you can be on what you love, the easier it will be to get rid of those nasty “energy-sucking” activities.
Start saying no
Saying no is easier said than done, but without those two little words (“no thanks”), your path to a simpler way of living will be a long one.
If saying no doesn’t come naturally, refer back to your “what I love” list and start saying no to any activities, emotions and objects that don’t support the life you are trying to create.
Examples of things to say no to:
1. An invite to a fancy-schmancy event with a big group of people you don’t know well when you have “I am happiest in small relaxed groups of close friends” on your “what I love” list. You are not a crowd person, that’s okay, say no.
2. Feel guilty for saying no to such an event. Guilt is a useless energy-sucking emotion. You don’t need it. Say no.
3. Discarding a piece from your wardrobe you have been holding onto because of it’s price tage, but you don’t feel good in. Life is too short to wear anything that doesn’t make me feel a million bucks (or at least a couple of thousand). Say no.
Blue light, short-sightedness, elevated mental stimulus, feelings of inadequacy and subliminal advertising – all outputs from too much digital. While Netflix, social media and handheld tablets have their place, too much time with these things is proven to make us feel tired, burnt out and overdone.
Ways to reduce digital:
Take a memory photo
Leave the phone at home for a walk or social event and use the best computer you have to store your memories, your brain.
TIP: Clean clothes is a must for consignment stores, they will take nothing unwashed
Turn off notifications.
Try browsing social media, emails and anything else you check regularly when you want to, not when your phone wants to you too. Hell, you might even forget to check…wouldn’t that be nice!
How many of the emails you receive daily are actually written for you? And not by a mass marketing campaign wiz…probably not many. Unsubscribe from any marketing emails that don’t add value to your life.
Delete social media from your phone
If forgetting to check social media is laughable (it is for most Millenials), try deleting the apps off your phone and only visit Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter from a computer. One extra step between you and the gram could be what you need.
TIP: If deleting the apps is too much at first, start by deleting accounts you no longer care about. Do you really care what that friend of a friend you met once on holiday is up to?
Mute TV ads and gain 15mins of stillness every hour
Turning off the TV can be hard for many of us. If reality TV is on your “love list”, then snuggle in and enjoy your time in front of the box…but mute the ads. TV ads have very potent messaging, visual stimulus and are often louder than your beloved show. Mute TV adds for 8 extra minutes of calm and quiet every 30mins.
There is no secret formular to simplified living, we just have to do the work.
Declutter your surroundings
Take a walk around the home, does everything you see add value to your life? Are there items you know to be no longer serving you well? Maybe there are duplicate runners at the door, you started using your new ones and forgot about the old? Maybe you have multiple cleaning products? Or clothes in your wardrobe you no longer wear? It’s time to let them go.
Fewer objects in your surrounds will not only quieten your mind but will also save you time looking for things, putting things away, ??clean, wash and repair! ??