Good morning! I am going to keep this blog short and sweet, just like the four quick and easy de-cluttering tasks I will pose to you today.
De-cluttering and minimalism go hand in hand and can provide a path for less stress and greater freedom. I find de-cluttering so therapeutic – the joy of the space and the mental clarity that comes after a good purge is a high I can get used to!
De-cluttering does not need to take hours and involve big spaces. In fact, it is often the small everyday spaces where clutter creeps in that can make us feel a bit nutty – working in and around clutter reduces productivity, invites mental stress and can invite wasted time when you find yourself rummaging through things you don’t need to find the one thing you do.
This weekend, I pose a challenge that will take only FIVE MINUTES each (or less). Grab a rubbish bag, set the timer and get to work.
- Your car
You know what I’m talking about. Receipts, rubbish, bags, toys, clothes – our cars often become another room of our house. Clutter is not a requisite for getting from point A to point B and your car is not a toy room, closet or rubbish bin. Clutter gets in the way and makes the journey more stressful. Don’t believe me? De-clutter and then go for a drive. Bonus points if you can take an additional five minutes to do a quick vacuum and make your car feel like new.
- Expired or unused products – pick one: bathroom/garage/laundry
We humans have a way of acquiring way more than we need in this department. Think about the products you use in one of these areas regularly or every day – and then make note of everything else you have. Often we buy things thinking they will have utility in the future, and sometimes they will, but a lot of the time they won’t. Products have a way of expiring or going bad and when we have so many to use, this is not unexpected.
Do a quick sweep of your chosen area and get rid of – anything you don’t use (don’t overthink, just get rid of it), anything that has been used up (we always find a way of keeping the empty bottles and NO you won’t use them), and anything that has expired or gone bad.
- Plastic containers
I am convinced that excess plastic containers are a universal problem – and aside from the huge environmental impacts, think of the stress you encounter every day when you need to find a container for leftovers. Plastic containers have utility but EXCESS plastic containers means we waste time searching for lids and bottoms, and the creep means we are often met with an avalanche when we open the kitchen cupboard. Do a quick sort of lids and bottoms – discard any that don’t match. Also get rid of any excessive duplicates and containers you never use. If you don’t use them, you more than likely won’t use them.
- Wallet and/or handbag
Similar to your car, wallets and handbags can take a beating. We store everything in there. How often do you waste time rummaging to find the one thing you do need. Core basics for a handbag usually include a wallet, phone and keys. Beyond this, what do you really need to carry. Tip the contents of your bag onto a bed and get rid of anything you don’t need to carry. Your bag and your mind will be lighter.
Go through your wallet and remove – old receipts you don’t need and cards you don’t use (loyalty cards are notorious for creeping in). Bonus points if you can take a further five minutes to minimise and then digitalise your loyalty and membership accounts on an app such as Stocard.
Once you have de-cluttered, let the calm you feel drive you to keep clutter out of your precious space.
Weekends are for doing what you love, getting out there and living, relaxing at home and living, or doing whatever blows your hair back. No one needs to spend hours de-cluttering – the impact of a focussed five minute de-clutter can bring endless contentment and calm to your life. I’m not making this up – try it for yourself and let me know how you go.
Until next time – simplify, focus, pursue and count your blessings.
Photo Magic: Ember Ivory