De-cluttering Your Life

So, we’re on this journey of de-cluttering and downsizing for financial purposes among other things.  When you think of de-cluttering, you usually think of getting rid of stuff.  Read: Get rid of your junk.  That’s really only the first step.  It is the most difficult to get started, but once you get going, it does become easier.  Although it is not the only step, it will be necessary to start there.

De-clutter your life! Easy ways to downsize at your own pace.
We love this picture, but not as much as others. Thinking about living in a smaller home really puts things into perspective.

Step 1: De-cluttering your belongings.

We found it easiest to tackle this one room at a time, but do whatever is best for your personality. We started listing high dollar items that we knew we could sell on Amazon.  Hubby got rid of his Starbucks mugs – we don’t support Starbucks anymore, so it worked out well – and I got rid of my Willow Tree figurines.  I loved collecting them, but they do not serve a purpose.  I would get rid of a few each week.  Slowly winding down my collection until I had one left.  Have a yard sale, give to family members, or just donate if you don’t want any hassle.

This is very difficult, especially if you are a sentimental person.  I found it helpful to give yourself realistic challenges, like within one week, reduce the game collection from 25 board games to five.  Each day, remove two, and so on.  We found it helpful to go through areas more than once.  We’ve gotten rid of kitchen items and clothing probably once a month.

Step 2: De-cluttering your mind.

You do not NEED the thing that you are about to purchase.  Go home.  Think about it.  Decide if it is a necessity or just something that you want.  Will you still want it in 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years?  There are many things that we feel like we need, when really it is only what we want.  Watching shows like the “Tiny House Nation” and “Tiny House Hunters” helps you get a perspective.

We have tried to downsize over a period of months instead of days like the people on those shows do.  It is not as stressful when you know you’re not fighting a clock.  We will put items in a pile to see if we really need/use them or not, then after a few days/weeks, we will get rid of the items.

Step 3: De-cluttering your technology.

E-mail messages should at least be organized in folders and not cluttering up your inbox.  Sort through your other accounts like Pinterest and see if you really need to hold onto all of those pins that you saved.  I couldn’t believe how many pins I had saved more than once!

Everything has a place in your subconscious mind.  Clutter that has no purpose only clutters up your mind.  No one needs that!

Step 4: De-cluttering your calendar.

Many of us think and do so many unnecessary things!  I just started reading this book called “Simplify” as part of a Bible study.  There are so many great points in it!  There can be too many good things.  Learn to say no when you feel overcommitted.

Get your priorities straight!  I know as a mother, it can be easy to not take care of yourself, but it is necessary.  Take care of yourself so you can take care of others.  Schedule yourself some “me time” doing things that you like to do.  Go for a walk, take a bath, write, get alone with God.  This will help you be your best and ultimately benefit those around you.

These are the main experiences that I have had on our journey to becoming more minimalistic.  Anything that you can do is an improvement!


Google Drive – Digital organization

Why does digital organization matter?

Ahh, digital organization.  I know this doesn’t exactly fit with healthy living.  Or, does it?  Being organized digitally or electronically can become very freeing.  I am a type A personality when it comes to order.  Work better under organized circumstances? Yes!  Hate having files saved everywhere? Yes!  My documents on my laptop, my documents on my desktop, downloads, in e-mails.  Argh.  Then, when you modify one version of the same document, you have to e-mail it to yourself and then save it in the three other places.  How do you keep up with all of the updates?  It’s not fun having three copies of the same file in different places and trying to figure out which one is the most recent.  Let’s stay organized while we work smarter.

I’m not a fan of spending time doing something that I don’t feel like I should have to do.  My school pushed us to use our Google accounts (created by our tech department) and share files using Google Drive.  Now, I have a master’s degree in technology, but I’ll be honest.  I was not a fan of having to do “just one more thing” at school.  After fighting it, I decided to give it a try.

There are many perks to Google Drive:

  1. There is a ton of free space!  I used to use DropBox and would constantly have to go through my files and delete because I ran out of space.  15 GB of storage will last a while.
  2. Going along with the type A personality, you can create folders in Google Drive.  You can even create subfolders in your folders.
  3. Just like other cloud storage options, you can have one account linked to multiple devices.  This means that you can pull up your files anywhere you have Internet, which is basically everywhere today.  I saw Burger King now has free WiFi.  Really?!  If you’re eating “fast food,” do you really have time to use the Internet?  You really shouldn’t be eating that food-like substance, anyway!  See more info in my post here.
  4. You can link it to your computer so it becomes one of the applications that you can open and save to.  Yes!  No more saving to My Documents and then having to e-mail it to my work.

Continue reading Google Drive – Digital organization