Declutter your way to joy

 

This post is part of our #indulgeU2016 series
​At some point during the past couple months my life started to move from being full (of work that I loved doing, activities that I wanted to do, people that I wanted to spend time with and time that I spent on personal development) to just being plain busy. I define busy as being occupied for a large part of every day on things that seem important at the time but looking back at it it’s hard to really identify why it was important or how the activity moved me forward personally or professionally. In speaking to other women it seems that “I don’t know where my days go” is a common complaint.

July and August tend to be slower times of the year generally speaking so I thought I would take these two months to declutter by making room both physically and in my schedule for the things that bring me joy. In July I decided to start off by decluttering my physical space, working  my way up to what I think will be the more difficult task in August – decluttering my schedule so that I can spend time on what’s truly important, As part of the Underpinnings #indulgeU2016 challenge, I’d like to invite you to declutter with me!

This month we’ll warm up by starting with our physical space. Take a good look at the places in your home that you spend the most time in – your bedroom (and closet!), living room and kitchen are three that easily come to mind. So here’s the deal, taking one physical space at a time dedicate about 3 hours to clear the area, evaluate the items and decide what stays and what goes. If it stays it has to be useful (in that you actually use it, not that you might use it…someday) or it has to be something that you love. The point of this exercise is to keep the things that inspire us and make us feel good but get rid of anything that triggers feelings of guilt or inadequacy.

 Ask yourself:

  1. Do I have room for this? Can the item be put away in an orderly manner so that when you walk into the room the space doesn’t feel crowded and overwhelming?
  2. Is this something I use regularly? If the last time you can remember using it was more than 6 months ago it’s a candidate to be tossed.
  3. Is it something I love? For an item of clothing (like maybe a bra) do you feel good when you put it on? Or is it uncomfortable or maybe just so dowdy that it makes you feel unattractive?
  4. How do I feel when I look at this item? Sometimes we have good intentions. The yoga mat and the dumbbells hanging out in a corner of the living room might inspire you to work out today…or they might lead to feelings of guilt if they’ve been sitting there, unused for some weeks/months. If that’s the case it’s time to find a new home for them, out of the way so that negative emotions of guilt (“I really should work out”) aren’t triggered but they’re available when you’re ready to make the commitment and take the steps to get back into a workout regimen.

Once you’ve cleared the area and decided what stays and what goes it’s important to follow through. Don’t keep the giveaway or toss items around because it’s all too easy for them to creep back in and just become clutter again.  Even better, this month we’ll be collecting donations of gently used, clean clothing which will be distributed at a home for victims of domestic abuse, so you can declutter your closet knowing that the items will be put to good use!

I’d love to read in the comments which room you’ll be starting with, and what feelings you experienced as you decluttered.