Here are some challenges related to reining in the chaos in your physical, virtual and mental spaces.
Go through your clothes and get rid of anything that you no longer like or that does not fit. After you have completed this, your closet will only have inspiring clothes and it will be much easier to pick your outfits. Many people will save clothes that they have outgrown in the hope of losing weight and fitting back into them. I have found that this is usually more discouraging than the intended goal. Instead, I have told myself that if my weight changes again, I can get new clothes instead of going back to the old ones. My style will have probably changed by then anyways. It feels really nice to have your closet full of clothing that you like wearing.
Clean out your email inbox. While you do this, unsubscribe from lists that you no longer want to be on and companies you do not care about anymore. Your opinion and priorities change and that is okay. It will feel amazing to get that inbox number down to zero. Most emails can probably deleted but for everything else you can organize into folders so you can find them easily later.
Clean out your social media accounts. Unfollow accounts that affect you negatively or people with whom you have lost touch. You can stop following old friends that you have not talked to in years. If someone’s posts generally annoy you, unfriend them. They most likely won’t notice or be offended if they do happen to notice.
Organize your junk closet and junk drawers. There are probably some things in those places that you haven’t seen in years. Rule to go by – if you have not used it in a long time and forgot about it, you can get rid of it. Examples include charging cords for electronics you no longer use, art supplies from old projects, or extra pieces from furniture you put together.
Get rid of anything that is broken around the house. You say you will fix it, but if it has been sitting for more than a week (or if I’m being generous, a month), it should leave your space.
Look through your cabinets and get rid of anything you forgot was in there or haven’t used in a while. The sneaky ones are under the sinks in the bathroom and kitchen as well as the pantry and spice cabinets.
Clear off your countertops. Find a better place for everything that is sitting around. The clear space will help build a sense of calm in your home. Also make a dedicated spot for your keys so you don’t set them down randomly and have to search around for them the next time you leave your house.
Look through your books and donate any of them that you do not want to read in the future. If you have already read it, it has served its purpose. If not, it’s okay to acknowledge that you don’t really want to read it. Find some Free Little Libraries in your neighborhood and stock them up.
Delete unused apps on your phone. Free up space for the apps you use and love. Organize the remaining apps in a way that make sense for you.
Delete old numbers on your phone. If you wouldn’t feel comfortable calling someone up or texting them randomly, then you probably do not still need their number. There’s always LinkedIn or Facebook if you need to reconnect in the future.
Clear up piles of paper. Mail and magazines are sneaky little clutter bombs. If you have let them pile up, go through the pile and recycle everything that you no longer need.
Organize your shelves to be aesthetically pleasing. This could be your bookshelf, bar cart, or closet shelves. Put them in whatever order works best for you. Color coordinated bookshelves are trendy and pretty. You could also organize your hanging clothes in color order.
Power Hour. This is one of my favorite concepts that I learned from Gretchen Rubin. It is the idea of doing all the small annoying tasks all at once. You set a timer for an hour (or however long you have) and power through the list. You feel amazingly productive. You also do it much faster because you are not distracted and there is a timer running that you are trying to beat.
Get rid of things that don’t spark joy. If you really want to dive deep you can read Marie Kondo’s book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and do everything she says in the book. A baby step to take would be to go around your space and see if there is anything that stresses you out or no longer serves a purpose.
Clean as you go. This is a lesson that Brian is constantly teaching me as I learn more about cooking. It is much easier and less stressful to have most of the dishes by the time you are eating your meal than to have a full sink. Do your best to keep the dishwasher loaded after it is run so you can easily toss dirty dishes in it as they get dirty.
Quick pickup. Don’t put off quick tasks that are inconvenient. Walk to the closet and hang up your coat when you get home instead of throwing it on a chair. Put recycling in the recycling bin instead of giving it a temporary home on the counter. Put items back into their place after using them.
What other tasks that you do to keep your living space organized and tidy? I’m definitely not perfect at it and it is a constant goal to keep things clean after I organize them in the first place. I do love the feeling of having an organized space with everything in its place.