29: Live Simply: 5 Areas to Declutter
Welcome to episode 29 of Permision to be Messy. I'm your host, JoAnn Krall and today in honor of simplify your life week I am going to be talking about living simply and the five areas of your life that you can declutter.
Simplifying is one of my three core principles of getting organized. The other two being letting go of perfectionism and finding systems that work for you.
I always tell people to start by simplifying. And generally when I'm speaking with people, it is about the physical items. But there are also, less tangible areas of your life that will really help you with the overall organization process.
Before I go into the five areas that I'm going to talk about. I just want to remind you that simplifying looks different for everybody because we all have different areas in which our lives are cluttered or over complicated.
So the first one is decluttering your physical stuff. The environment that you live in and you work in affects how you feel and how much you are getting accomplished and how much progress you're making towards your goals.
So an overly cluttered home or office or home office, as many of us have now really results in us, wasting time looking for things that we can't find. It creates overwhelm and sometimes is a source of financial stress.
Whereas a clean and organized space, it creates lightness and that feeling of prosperity and abundance because less is more. And if you're making more progress and you're feeling less anxiety things are going to flow better.
The bottom line is fewer items does lead to less stress. And some of my favorite places to start. Start with your loose papers. if you're somebody that has loose paper all over your home or office you want to start tackling that and potentially reduce the amount of paperwork you have, but at least get it to a point where you're only keeping what you truly need.
Getting rid of what no longer serves you in your bedroom drawers or your closet. So going through your clothes that can instantly make you feel lighter and for some people, this is difficult. And for other people, it's, it turns out to be quite easy for them to let go of what they're not using.
Purge those junk drawers. I'm using my air quotes there. I don't like the word junk drawers. I like to have utility drawers so that those drawers have a purpose, but go through a junk drawer. Pick one
and just spend 10 or 15 minutes going through that drawer, making sure there's no true junk in your utility drawer.
I've said this over and over that I'm a big believer in chipping away. So if you go drawer by drawer, room by room, section of a room by section of a room.
A little bit, each day goes a long way. And when you're done, you will have more energy hopefully to take care of everything that you've chosen to keep. And you'll be able to organize it far more easily.
The second area that I recommend you doing some decluttering is in your mental stuff. And
I'm not talking about, the general advice of changing your mindset, but I'm talking about more. If you think about any negative emotions that you're holding on to maybe any jealousy, resentment, comparison to other people, anger. unforgiveness, shame. Anything that isn't serving us in the mental space.
Letting go of that can really help and I know this isn't something easy to say, oh, just stop worrying about it and, just let it all go. But maybe journal on it and then, share with a trusted friend or family member or even a therapist.
Because these emotions are taking up space in our life in, it may not be physical space, but it can affect our physical space because when we're feeling a lot of these negative emotions, Our environment around us typically suffers.
The third area is your relationships. So decluttering your relationships. And this doesn't have to be totally cutting ties with people, because this is a touchy subject for many, but it's essential to your peace, your wellbeing and your happiness. You need to have people around you that lift you up and don't tear you down.
Because it's really hard to thrive when you have others in your life, fueling negativity into your daily life. It's hard. It's hard to escape that.
Now of course. You could be decluttering relationships fully and cutting ties with people, but that's not always an option, especially with some family members. But if you can put some distance between you and them by setting boundaries and some of these boundaries could be internal. By just saying, I'm not going to let this person bring me down.
I'm not going to let them get to me, I'm not going to feed into their negativity.
It's important to recognize if there are any people in your life that are causing you harm. And try to put some distance between you and them.
Think about people that, just try to pull you into their drama, their crisis, or their chaos.
And honestly the best remedy to avoid toxicity is to surround yourself with more positive people.
The more people that you have in your life, filling up your cup, the less time you'll have for those people who drain you and zap your joy.
The fourth area that you can think about decluttering is your time. Many of us get tripped up in our quest for, and I'm going to use the word productivity and simplified lives. but yet we still continue to fill our days with endless commitments.
between work and home and kids in our community.
So get quiet and honest with yourself. Take a look at everything you're committed to and think about where you can declutter and simplify a bit. What can you release that isn't aligned with your values? Or where you want to be going in your life.
It is okay to let these things go. And really that goes hand in hand with giving up the reigns of perfectionism. Sometimes we feel like we have to be all things to all people. And if we don't, we're failing them and you're not because you have to take care of you. You have to make sure that you're taking care of you first, before you can take care of others. So be sure that you're doing that.
So the fifth area that you can declutter to simplify your life is your finances.
This is an area that I see when people get a handle on their finances. They definitely feel lighter. The first thing you want to do is take an inventory of what you have. The positives. Add up the value of everything you have, whether it's in investments or it's in real estate, or it's just, you've got a steady job coming in.
Gather up all the positives and, inventory that. Then get a grasp on where the money's going. So you want to look at your debt. You want to look at your daily spending. much like I do a time inventory. I do have people do a money inventory so that they are fully aware of where their money is going. And again, this could be
day to day. You could look over a week. You could look over a month.
How you're purchasing things is going to, determine how easy this is going to be for you. But if you're using your debit card or your credit card, you'll have your statements and you can see exactly where the money is going.
And then once you understand. Everything you have and everything that's going out take a real honest look at and see if you've got any frivolous or out of control spending or spending that you've just ignored. In this day of age of memberships and streaming services there can be places where you don't even realize where the money is going. say you have a subscription to
Starz or Showtime and you're not watching it. It may be something you can let go because every little bit adds up.
This can also shed light on your spending habits. So you spending way too much money on Amazon because it's easy the credit cards in there, and it's just one click or are you paying interest on things that could easily be paid off? Just, getting a real grasp on that. And this can be really frightening for some people. Facing all of that head-on. This whole process can be very stressful especially if your finances are out of control, but I can tell you that when you pay attention to your money, your money will serve you better. I always use the example of when you have cash in your wallet. If you keep your money all organized in the same direction neat you're more aware of what you have and you may spend less.
Look for the leaks and gaps and see where you could be living more simply. Where you could be spending less money. Knowing your numbers will help you in making future decisions.
It's really important to be intentional with your purchases. And when, you know, where all the money's been going, it's going to make you think twice. Before you purchase a new article of clothing or before you say all, let's just do takeout again, or, yeah, I want to get that movie so I'm going to get that streaming service and then you never look at it again.
Just having that awareness of where everything's going, it's really going to help you in the future.
So I would love to hear from you, which area you think you might be able to start with first, whether it be your physical items, your mind, your relationships, your time, or your finances, and maybe you'll do a little bit of each.
My contact information is always in the show notes. There's numerous ways to reach out to me and if you have any questions, you can ask me those there as well. And as always, I'm wishing you much progress, peace, purpose, and the permission to be messy. Thanks for listening.