Fresh Start Spring: Tips & Tools I've Found to Clear the Clutter & Start Fresh
As I mentioned with last week's post, I've really been focused on clearing the clutter in my life via some "Spring cleaning" with intention. From my home, to my body, to my daily routine, I've been focused on clearing out the unnecessary and making room to intentionally focus on the things that matter. Spring is when I find myself having the most energy to start fresh, so if that's the case for you too, perhaps these things might help...
I don't know about you, but I feel best when I'm intentional and feeling fresh from the inside out. For this reason, it's usually pretty essential for me to feel healthy and rejeuvenated with my diet and clean eating before I can even begin to honestly tackle any other aspects of my life. For this reason, my #freshstartspring began with me working with a nutritionist to clean out the holiday festivities that crept their way into my diet and feel good again in my own skin. Something about a clean diet almost always gets me motivated in all other aspects of my life.
- HAVE A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING: Clutter gives me anxiety, bottom line. Having a place for everything is a GREAT way to start days off organized and fresh. Not only does it help when it comes to finding things, but it helps from adding unnecessary additional items into the home. It may be a large initial task to purchase bins and storage for each thing that needs space in your hom,; but I promise, you will feel like a new person once it's done. Clean out junk drawers, makeup drawers, piles of mail--if it isn't necessary to your daily/weekly/monthly functioning, TOSS IT!
- FILE IMPORTANT PAPERS AS YOU RECEIVE THEM: This is a huge one for me. From junk mail, to taxes, to bills, additional papers can quickly pile up in my home. As a result, I went to target and bought manilla folders to label and create a place for each piece of paper that enters my home. Each type of bill has its own folder and is filed in a larger drawer. When you do this AS THEY COME, it never piles up and literally takes only a minute to walk to the file drawer to put it in. I've been guilty of letting papers pile up in the past, but oh how much easier this system makes life.
- MONTHLY BILL CHECKLIST: As I mentioned about everything having a place, this includes a spot where I can physically check off bills as they're paid. I'm not an auto pay bill type of gal and I cannot tell you how many times in the past I used to question if I paid the bill or not and have to take the additional time to login. I purchased this bill checklist from Etsy a few years ago and have used it ever since. I just saved the file on my computer and print a new one each year. It's simple and allows me to see all bills in one place.
- PASSWORD SHEET: With each year, it seems the amount of online passwords grow. What used to be kept on a scratch sheet of paper in the back of my planner, can no longer fit. I recently downloaded a password tracker from Emily Ley's Free Printable Library, and it's a great way to start fresh with what may seem like an ever-growing list of scribbled passwords and usernames. Update this yearly and you're sure to stay organized in that department!
- CLEAN OUT PHONE PHOTOS: I put this one off FOREVER. It seems as though the amount of photos we store on our phones can grow exponentially by the week. With that being said, rummaging through thousands of photos to delete duplicates, bad ones, and ones that you just don't need seems like a daunting task. Bite the bullet. Put it on your list. JUST DO IT. And while you're at it, print those babies so they don't stay on your phone or get lost forever with a random software crash. I print iPhone photos from time to time onto this wonderful little book from Artifact Uprising. It's a GREAT way to get the photos off of your phone and document your years in print.
- PURGE YOUR CLOSET: This is probably the most common "Spring Cleaning" to-do. If you're a clothes lover like me, it's important to get rid of the old to make room for the new. Create a separate Instagram to sell your nicer, gently used clothes and donate the rest.
- CLEAN OUT YOUR PURSE: Ladies, we all know of the most random things that end up at the bottom of our purses. Clean it out along with the rest of your house. You'll just feel better.
- WEEKLY UPKEEP: Make a designated day or time every week where you perform basic upkeep and cleaning. The key to maintaining organization and a clean household is to keep up with it. While sometimes it may be easier to put a task off, taking the extra few seconds to put something in it's place or clean a dish will make all the difference with how much time and energy (and stress) you have to put into it later. I try to use the downtime when I have it on most Sundays for cleaning and upkeep around my house. Dusting, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, washing sheets, are all manageable tasks when I try to tend to them weekly.
MIND & HEART
- NIGHT TENDING LIST: This is something I learned from doing business training with Lara Casey and Emily Ley a few years ago, and still practice these things nightly. Every night I go through my general to-do list for the following day. I get my gym clothes out and brainstorm the regular outfit I'll wear (if applicable after). I fill water bottles, clean out the kitchen sink of dirty dishes and bathroom of dirty clothes. I go to bed with everything in place for a fresh slate the next day. Y'ALL. This sounds so simple, because IT IS. But I cannot tell you how these little things truly impact how intentionally I start my day. The minutes and brain power I save not having to worry about locating clothes, shoes, and other things is spent more productively on the tending list I can do in the morning to get my day productively moving in the right direction. I urge you to try this routine out just for a week or so and let me know how it adds to your productivity.
- MORNING TENDING LIST: By doing the aforementioned things at night, I'm able to spend the first few moments of my morning (about 30 minutes to an hour) reflecting, catching up on world news, reading, ant mapping out my vision for my day. Having a clear mind in the mornings to not worry about what I have to get done, but instead, to just be has also been very monumental for me.
- UNFOLLOW PEOPLE YOU COMPARE YOURSELF TO & FOLLOW PEOPLE THAT UPLIFT AND INSPIRE YOU: I've blogged more extensively about this topic, here. But TRULY TRULY, just do it. This life is far to short and precious to be down on yourself or in constant comparison with those around you. Feed your mind and soul with things that push you forward and leave the rest behind. It's really that simple.
- PODCASTS: While I'm putting makeup on or driving, I've found podcasts to be a GREAT way to further educate myself, exercise my mind, and seek out positive ways of pursuing life. If you're looking for ways to add more value to the in-between moments of your days, I highly recommend finding some podcasts that inspire you. Here are a few of my current favorites: The Lively Show, Being Boss, Serial.
- SPEND YOUR TIME WISELY: Choose to spend less time around negative people and more time around positive people. Sometimes, the most negative people in our lives are the ones we can’t outright cut out. Even if that's the case, we can take in more positivity so that we are better prepared to handle emotional clutter. Fill your well so that you always end your day feeling more heart-filled. (NOTE: This particular bullet point is copied directly from Lara Casey's #freshstartspring movement. She put it so perfectly that there really was no need to put it any other way)