It’s been said time and time again how stress is a silent killer and one of the causes of stress is the feeling of being overwhelmed. That emotion can creep up when our lives are cluttered with literal junk or even when our minds are consumed with internal chaos. When that happens, it’s time to take the steps to de-clutter and free up some space in your life; here’s how:
Reorganize your work space
The papers, files, and anything else you can think of, always seems to find a way to pile up in our work space. It’s time to go through those mounds of ‘things’ and store or discard each item. By store, that doesn’t mean stuff everything into drawers or another hiding place where they’ll go to collect dust. The work area isn’t just your desk either; it’s virtual too. Do you have a million tabs open on your latest internet page? That webpage you swore you were going to go back to has been open for two weeks. Don’t feel bad, just own it and do something about it. Close those tabs, erase those unused apps and files, then empty the trash! Not only will you likely reduce anxiety, your computer will probably run a little faster too. If you feel like there are some files you just can’t part with completely, consider investing in an external hard drive. That way you’re still de-cluttering and keeping potentially important files safe.
Reorganize your home
Spring cleaning should really take place in the Winter, Summer, and Fall as well. Just like our work space, our homes can overflow with stuff, knickknacks, and things on top of what we actually need for our everyday lives. Take the same steps to de-clutter your living space as you would your desk: separate, then store or discard. If you have a tendency to hoard, enlist someone who can help determine what should be kept and what can find its new home elsewhere. To be thorough, hit every room in the house little by little. From the floors, to the closets, to clothing or junk drawers- reclaim your space!
Reorganize your life
Clutter isn’t just tangible. It comes in forms that we can’t see or touch but it can still affect us physically. Your life, your mind, could probably use some cleaning up too. The top three ways to effectively get the cleanup started are:
1. Start saying no
Life can be hectic. As adults, and sometimes before, we have responsibilities that pile up in addition to the unpredictability of the day-to-day. Saying ‘no’ to friends, family, or even work releases you from commitments that you may not have the time to take on. Every event doesn’t need your attendance and you can’t be Wonder woman or Superman all the time. Saying ‘no’ can de-clutter and is good for your mental health too.
2. Make plans
Going with the flow works fine for some, but others need structure in their lives. Keeping a calendar is a great start for keeping your business in order and giving yourself some idea of how you’d like each day to go. Creating tasks and lists will help you actually get things done and keep your mind from constantly wondering what’s next.
3. Evaluate your friendships
Older generations often say that if you have ‘two or three good friends’ that you keep throughout your life, you’ve done well. Relationships need de-cluttering too. Friends should be people who add to your life, not drain you of your energy. Start to evaluate the people you spend your time with and make cuts accordingly.
Ridding yourself of disorder in any area of your life is a freeing feeling, a feeling you have to work to maintain. When the mess starts piling up again, whether physically or mentally, take the steps necessary to de-clutter once again. The work doesn’t stop, but the benefits are more than worth it.