Hey y'all! Sorry this is late, I actually thought it was Saturday - yeah it's been that kind of week.
Since I will be starting on the big de-cluttering jobs over the next few weeks, I wanted to prepare with the right mindset.
Preparing Mentally for De-Cluttering
Earlier this week I showed you the list of questions to ask yourself when you're cleaning up, but now I'm going to tell you how to prepare mentally for a de-clutter challenge.
Think these things over and over again while cleaning things out. If you just "can't part" with something, that's okay, set it aside and try again another time. If this becomes serious, please seek out help and advice for the "root" problem.
1. I have what I need in my life. Some hold on to extra items for fear of poverty, loss and sometimes regrets. They were once without, now they have the means to own things so they start stockpiling. The point you miss is that it doesn't help with the financial gain. You fear going poor again, yet you're spending all this money on things. Just think of things you need for the present, not for "just in case" or "I wanted this when I couldn't before" and so on and on.
2. Think of the present. We've all said "I'll use it someday", but that someday never arrives and we have stashes of stuff for "future projects", and "I'll fix it later" and it just sits collecting dust. Sell them or toss - you could use the money for something you want today.
3. I have the memories. Some people have sentimental and emotional attachment to things, which is fine if you ask me, but as long as those are happy reasons. Anything that stirs up negativity should be tossed - no ifs, ands, or buts.
But really, you have the memories, you don't need to keep a teddy bear from the 1984 State Fair 'cuz that' where you got your first kiss. Remember the kiss - toss the bear.
4. I have room. Sure, you may have room to store stuff, but try this, take a before picture, de-clutter the room, then take an after picture. See the space? Neatness? Feel less stressful?
As the video below shows - less stuff = more happiness.
5. I will follow through. How many times over the years have we collected clothes or old toys to donate and those bags and boxes sit in our garage or car for months before actually going out? Yeah, so schedule donation drop offs, classified listings, and dump visits regularly throughout your de-clutter challenge.
6. I'll reward myself. After cleaning a large room and actually getting rid of the stuff - give yourself a small reward: a meal out, a treat, or a move. Don't go shopping and get more stuff to fill in "the new space".
I hope these pointers help prepare you mentally for the big de-clutter challenge coming ahead!
You might have notice I'm starting small this week, just to get the habit started. The next few weeks I'll be going from room to room.
But for now, let's do a small but important area - our purse, briefcase, wallet, planner - whatever you carry around with you on almost a daily basis.
Clean out and toss
First let's get rid of some things we have:
Ways to organize
Now let's organize to help find things easier:
Once everything has it's own place and designated bag it's so much easier to reach in and grab the specific item. For an extra boost - make the organizers different colors.
Then if you're one that changes purses to match outfits or events, this organization system would make switching out a breeze.
Today let's tackle that old filing cabinet (or whatever filing system you're using.
Is it hard to insert new papers into it due to overcrowding? Is it hard to find what you're looking for?
Time for an overhaul and here's how:
Cleaning your filing system
Let's de-clutter our filing system:
1. Get a Shredder
First things first, get a good shredder that can really cut up your old bills and any confidential information on paper. One that can handle multiple sheets is great!
2. Start shredding old documents
Start throwing out old outdated papers. Here's a list of how you know it's outdated:
3. Organize the files
Start organizing the files into groups and importance. You could buy different color files to represent different areas such as - family related (health, school, insurance, memberships), Housing information - mortgage/rent loan information, insurance, payments, car insurance, taxes, etc.), Utilities, Bills, Tax information, and so on. In my filing cabinet I put the bills and statements that occur the most at the top and front and the less important or least needed go on the bottom.
4. Create a binder of information
If you're a mom, you're quite familiar with the annual school year bundle of paperwork to fill out. Instead get a binder and have a section for each family member and fill out information on each person - contact info, doctor address and phone numbers, emergency contacts and everything else the school, doctor's office and any other official needs. Instead of scrambling to pull out individual files (or looking up numbers online) it's all in one convenient place to flip through.
Include a section of other important information - insurance policy numbers and company contact numbers, employer contacts, and any other important contact numbers.
5. Have a "catch all" file
I mentioned in my productivity post that I have a file holder on my desk for the incoming mail. One of the files is for "to file". Then once in a while take that file and file it away in your filing cabinet properly.
If you don't want to go that route, you can simply keep an empty file folder in the front of your filing cabinet as a catch all and label it "Needs a Home" and when you have a free moment, take that and file everything properly.
Hopefully, you're filing system looks a lot thinner and more manageable which saves you time and energy.
Do you have any other filing ideas to use?
Let's start de-cluttering our house, office and other parts of our life.
I want to start with a list of questions you need to ask whenever you pick up an item - whether it be an item of clothing, a book, a knick knack, collectible - anything and everything.
Questions to Ask Yourself When De-cluttering
If you're unsure if you should get rid of something, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Have I used this in the past year?
2. If I was shopping right now, would I buy this?
3. Am I holding on to this for sentimental value?
4. Does it fit me or my living space?
5. Is this something I use regularly?
6. Do I have a realistic goal for this?
If you answered NO to these questions - it's time to get rid of it.
1. Could I use this space for something else?
2. Am I holding on to this broken item to fix "someday"?
3. Do I own something different that serves the same purpose?
4. Am I keeping this out of obligation or "expectation"?
5. Does it bring me negative emotions or memories?
If the answer is YES to any of these questions - time to let them go.
There it is, it's that plain and simple.
That's what our brain tells us, but we all know our heart is set on the emotional value and sentiments and all the other emotional reasons. But I'll tell you, you'll be more at ease in a clearer clutter-free place and leave the past in the past.
You don't necessarily have to "toss it", here are other options:
Now you have a mental list of questions to begin the clean up process I'll cover over the next few weeks!
In today's modern society, many of us aren't very far from our cell phone, tablet or computer. Whether we need them for work or staying in contact with our family and our social media family, these gadgets tend to get cluttered.
Let's look at a few ways to de-clutter our favorite gadgets:
How to clear your gadgets
I'm hoping you have deleted some time-wasters from your phone and laptop like I suggested in last month's challenge.
That's just the start, now let's look at other ways:
1. Photos - Go through all your photos and start deleting some of them. Photos such as:
2. Games - Delete the games you haven't opened in 3 months or more, even the ones you paid for. On most devices these are already saved in iCloud or Google Drive (except your level and points).
3. Files - Start deleting files and data off all of your electronics. Such as:
4. Clear caches and recycle bins - This simply will help with running speed on all your gadgets. It'll also get rid of cookies and "extras" hanging on.
5. Organize - Organize all your Apps and Files into easier managing formats. Sort them into groups for easier finding as well as a cleaner screen. Let's use my tablet and laptop as an example:
Tablet - Apps are sorted into groups such as "Videos", "Learning", "Earning", "Work" and so on. Now in my "Videos" group I have Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Videos, and such.
Laptop - My work files are organized in their own folders. For example in Documents I have separate folders for "Blog", "Freelance Work", "ASL tutoring" and so on. In my Freelance Work folder I have a separate file for each client.
This makes it easier to pinpoint and find exactly what I need.
I hope these de-clutter hints help you make things easier on your phone and computer.
It's June Already??!!
Like I said back in April when my poll was tied that I'd do two back-to-back Challenges. We did the Productivity Challenge for May. Now that we know how to be more productive we can start de-cluttering our home, our workspace and our life.
I hope you follow along and make your life easier with less stuff.
I will be posting a guest post on de-cluttering next. Also feel free to send me your ideas and tips too!