Are you one of those people who get up in the morning and start the day already feeling hassled? Maybe you can't decide what to wear, where to start, what to do first. Feeling that way can introduce a frustrating tone to the day, even before you've left the bathroom.
Sometimes we need to take time to de-clutter, to clear our minds and our lives of the stuff that's surplus to requirements, the things that are getting in the way of us leading fulfilling, more productive lives.
- I bet we all know people who have several wardrobes, stuffed full of clothes. Women will often have outfits in several sizes that are waiting for the weight to be lost so that they can fit into them again. Few of us wear our clothes to destruction and many of those hardly worn outfits may well be loved, meaning that we're unwilling to simply pass them onto a charity shop. But, when we lose that weight we'd probably want to celebrate and buy fresh new clothes, not wear something that's been in the cupboard for a year or two!
If we're disinclined to give prized outfits to a charity shop or sell them online why not search out those organisations that give clothes to people who have been out of work for a while, who want to go for interviews but can't afford to replace their stay-at-home wardrobe with smart business clothes. In doing that, we know they're going to a good home and will be put to good use.
Why not save time and stress by introducing a workday regime with your clothes. A recent survey disclosed that women spend eight hours a month deciding what to wear. You could improve efficiency by selecting your outfit the night before or by introducing a uniform colour like black, so that you can get up and dress without too much thought.
- Food can be another area of clutter-stress. How many of us simply shop and buy the same things week in, week out without really checking what we need? I bet I'm not the only person who's arrived home to discover that I've already got two bags of carrots or enough cereal for the next few weeks. Shopping on auto-pilot may seem like a quick way to get an onerous chore out of the way but it's not always constructive and can lead to lots of kitchen clutter.
Be firm about using a shopping list. Even if you shop online it can be helpful to have a wipeboard or system where family members note down when something needs replacing. This list can be the basis for a final check before items are replenished.
- Books are often much-loved and many people are loathe to let them go, unless we're talking about the pot-boiler paperbacks bought on holiday. If your home is cluttered with too many books why not pass them on to somewhere where they'll raise money for charity. Some Leisure Centres and hospitals have libraries where readers choose the books they want, make a donation in the charity box and often return them once they've been read. Everyone benefits!
- It's great to have friends and be popular, with lots of people and arrangements clamouring for your time and attention, but if the pressure of maintaining them is becoming overwhelming it can be useful to step back and check which of these commitments you really want in your life. Just like the old Christmas card list, sometimes it's necessary to delete a few names and let go of the people or plans we automatically commit to, without much enthusiasm.
Be firm about the number of appointments you clutter your diary with that are tedious or outgrown. Or you could plan events for several of your friends to enjoy together, so maximising your time spent socialising whilst also extending your friends' social circles. That way you'll have more time to spend on the things that are important, or even be able to take a little time for yourself to relax.
- If you find you're regularly stressed out, perhaps so much that's it's affecting your mood, sleep and even your health, you may need to focus on mentally de-cluttering. Again lists can introduce discipline. Write down all that's on your mind. It may take some time and perhaps several sheets of paper, but by doing this you can be reassured that you won't forget anything and don't need to keep things in your head.
Each evening prioritise your list of activities for the following day. Yes, new things will crop up throughout the day, but you'll be in a better place mentally to be able to renegotiate your list and find ways to accommodate any important new demands.
De-cluttering your life gives you better control. After all, if you wanted to make a meal or start an important piece of work you'd most likely want a clean, clear place from which to start. A little de-cluttering helps you achieve better results and enjoy each experience.