Every year when January rolls around I have the urge to simplify – to start the new year fresh and clean and uncluttered. This doesn’t mean getting rid of everything (I’m faaaar from being a minimalist), just getting rid of the things that weigh you down. So, here’s the unofficial guide to simplifying without going full-on Marie Kondo.
What’s the area in your room that stresses you out when you see it? Start there. A few quick tips on how to clean specific areas:
- Take allll your clothes out of your closet, wardrobe, or dresser
- Put the things you know you’re keeping back in right away – your favorite jeans, that black dress you wear all the time, etc
- Once you’re left with just the ‘maybes’, try every item on.
- If you wouldn’t buy it all over again, it should probably go.
- Don’t just toss what you don’t want, though! Donate it to a local thrift store, charity, or church with a community closet.
desk + shelves
- Again, start by completely clearing off your desk and study area.
- Go through your binders and make sure everything is in it’s correct place
- Migrate materials from old classes into files out of the way if they’re important, or toss them if you won’t use them again.
- Make sure everything has a home – pencils should be in a bag or mug, papers in files or trays, and notebooks neatly stacked.
- Make a point to clean your desk regularly!
- If you have supplies you don’t need, donate them! Let’s be real – you have way more pens than you could ever use.
- Books are also a wonderful thing to donate! Your local library or thrift shop would be my top pick.
- If you still have old textbooks laying around, list them on your school’s bulletin board to sell, since most thrift shops won’t accept them.
under your bed
- Let’s be real: most all of this can go. Grab a trash bag and toss anything that’s not important.
- You can get one of those rolling tupperware under-the-bed organizers, or just stick what has to stay under there in a thin cardboard box.
- Be sure not to leave things loose under there, or you may end up with some unwanted pals living under there ~
I don’t know about you, but I feel like I have a lot of digital clutter. It’s so easy to build it up and forget about all that you have stored on your computer!
- Go through your phone and delete photos you don’t need, apps you don’t use, and old messages.
- Do a major computer overhaul! Delete old files and programs so that you have more space.
- Put all your files into folders so that they’re easier to find later on.
- Take a look through your friends and following lists, and delete all those people that post negative things.
This is the big one. Mental clutter comes from all of the above, plus just living your life. Some tips for decluttering your mind:
- Do a nightly brain dump. Before you get into bed each night, open up your journal and write down everything that’s on your mind. Once it’s on paper, you can let it go until the morning.
- Find relaxing habits to practice everyday: yoga, taking a warm bath, going for a run, etc
- Practice mindfulness or meditation
- Keep a planner!
- Practice not letting yourself harbor bad thoughts
- Stay away from negative people if you can. You don’t need negative attitudes to be adding your already stressful life!
simplify your schedule
- Learn to say ‘no’ more – if you don’t want to go to your friend’s-cousin’s-niece’s dance recital, don’t.
- Streamline your daily routine;
- Get ready faster by nixing the makeup you don’t love to put on and finding quick and easy hairstyles
- Make an outfit idea board on Pinterest and fill it with outfits that you can make from pieces you already have in your closet so you spend less time finding an outfit
- Cook meals in advance when possible, or stick an easy meal in the crockpot before you leave for the day
- Tidy every room just a bit before you leave it, so that you don’t have to devote an hour to cleaning it later on
- Make time for you each week
- See if there are any chores that you can outsource (eg, some grocery stores will shop for you for free, all you have to do is order online and go pick it up)
- Don’t feel like you have to participate in something you don’t enjoy. If you don’t love the sport, don’t play it
I hope you all have a very simple and relaxing year, good luck to you all!