“The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t.” ― Joshua Becker
Do you ever look around your home and feel like crap after witnessing the mess? I know when I see clutter and disorganization it brings me anxiety, frustration, and negative feelings. And, i'm not just saying this because I organize homes for a living. Interestingly, Princeton did a study that found that a messy home environment actually increases stress, and decreases your focus, sense of time management, and your performance.
In my time as a professional organizer I have witnessed the connections between one's internal clutter and their external clutter. Now, what does this all mean? Internal clutter is the clutter in your mind. The stress, the overwhelm, the perfectionism, the self-doubt, fear, and more. External clutter is the physical clutter in your home. And, what do we need to do when there is too much clutter? No, it is not a trick question. Yes, we need to declutter and get organized!
The mind is the manifestations of though, perception, emotion, determination, memory, and imagination that takes place within the brain.
Decluttering can be a difficult process. If you are unsure how to determine what to keep or toss, ask yourself the following questions:
Often, our external clutter is a reflection of our internal clutter.
If you're mind is feeling cluttered, then consider the following mind-decluttering prompts:
Hand writing your thoughts is an incredibly beneficial de-stressor. Journaling is great for personal and business matters. This can look like sorting your thoughts by mind mapping and brainstorming, jotting down how your day went or your worries.
2. Write to-do lists
Writing a to-do list is such an effective way to "remove" everything you need to do from errands to home maintenance to your career. I find it helpful to divide my to-do lists into categories versus one big to-do list.
3. Create a system or routine and be consistent
Create a practical organizational system for your routine and/or business. Once you have a system in place the key to success is consistency. Don't be afraid to break your tasks into small chunks.
4. Seek mental health/guidance resources OR rest
For anyone who feels really stuck and lost in their life - I highly recommend outsourcing counselors, therapists, art therapists, life coach, and so on. Check out www.camh.ca. Chances are you have a lot on your plate and are overdue to rest. Don't feel guilty for taking time for YOU. It's important to rest so you don't quit.
5. Decluttering & organizing your space
As mentioned in this blog, decluttering your space can do wonders for reducing stress and overwhelm. It will enhance your space and make you feel more in control. The global pandemic has reminded us that we do not have control over much of our life. The most control we have is of ourselves and our home.
Ultimately, you will never organize an area of your home and think - that was a waste of time! Starting is the hardest step. Here is your sign to get going! What are you waiting for?! Get started!
What area of your home do you need to declutter?
The year of less stuff
I don't know about you, but I found myself online shopping (or shopping in general!) in 2020 more than I have ever shopped before. It came to the point where it started to feel addictive. I do not use the word addictive lightly. Between the emails, marketing on social media, and ads online it felt next to impossible to resist. So, yes, shopping can be addictive. Dopamine in the brain is produced from the pleasure of shopping. The neurotransmitter surges when you are considering buying something new or anticipating a reward. The whole act of viewing the pretty items, adding to your cart, easily adding your credit card information (especially if it is saved) and selecting confirm order...it is so accessible. When we buy things online there is no physical exchange of payment for your items. I think that absence of effort makes online shopping so incredibly easy. It is easy to ignore your money leaving your account or your credit card amount increasing.
I found myself buying things I should not have. I found myself buying things because I was bored. Because I just wanted it. It went against my typical self and even values.
I did not ask 'Why?' before I bought anything.
On new years, I reflected on my previous year, like many do. I thought about what went well and what I would have done differently. Which brings me to this blog post. I am declaring to all of you what I will not be buying this year. Why? I want to be more mindful of what I am buying and where I am giving my money. I want to save my money better. And, of course, I want to bring less stuff into my home. Ultimately, I have recognized what I truly do not need. By recognizing what I do not need to buy, I also recognize what I am abundant in. I have enough.
Here are 10 things I will not be buying in 2021.
I love reading. I love books. I love learning. But, I have enough books right now. I have many that I have not even gotten around to reading! I want to read what I have first before buying anything else. The books will always be out there. I will not buy any new books in 2021 because I have more than enough. In the meantime, I have created a wish list of books that I plan to buy next year.
#2 ART SUPPLIES
I love creating and being creative. I have acquired quite a lot of art supplies. From paint to paint brushes, to markers and crafting supplies, and more. I have enough! In 2021, I will take a 365 day pause on buying any more art supplies! I will use what I have first.
2020 was the year of clothing, let me tell ya! At times, I felt like shopping for clothing was my part time job. The irony was I was buying all these pretty clothes during a pandemic and NO WHERE TO GO! The article of clothing that I currently have way too much of is sweaters and dresses. I kept telling myself, "when this pandemic is over I will where this and that". I have more than enough.
I like to consider myself a "plant-mom". Although I prefer plants over décor, there is such thing as too many plants! I want to tend to the ones I have and leave it at that.
#5 COFFEE MUGS
I could open a cute boutique with the amount of coffee mugs I have. I love quirky-artsy mugs with fun designs and quotes. It is a great gift (but, very common & possibly overdone) - but as my boyfriend lovingly says, "enough with the mugs!", haha.
#6 HAIR ACCESSORIES
Hair clips, bows, headbands, scrunchies, and more! They may be small, individually. But, it sure adds up! I will not be buying any hair accessories in 2021.
Earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and more. I have enough. I have so many lovely pieces that I want to give the light of day this year. The more I take in, the less chances I will actually use my current accessories. I have a lot of earrings and I intend on wearing them all this year. Wear what you have first. Give it time (maybe 365 days?) before you buy more.
I have accumulated way to many blankets. I love to be cozy and warm, but I have more than enough blankets. I have a lot of comforters and throws to last me a very long time. Anyone thinking of buying me a blanket (thank you, but please don't!). I have enough.
#9 BULKY SOCKS & SLIPPERS
In addition, to loving cozy blankets I love big bulky cozy socks and slippers. From "reading socks" to fuzzy slippers. I wear them all and my inventory has significantly grown. No more in 2021!
#10 CANDLES & ESSENTIAL OILS
I love a good vanilla spice candle or peppermint essential oil being diffused in a room, but I really do not want to buy any more this year! I have enough. Honestly, that is the mantra of 2021: "I have enough".
During the pandemic, there has been a heavy feeling of overwhelm and lack of control. It is an uncomfortable reality, but we do not have control over what other people do, act, and think. We do have control over what we consume, where we direct our energy, and how we conduct ourselves. At the end of 2021 I will let you know how my year of less truly went.
Now it is your turn! What 10 items will you not be buying this year?