Decluttering doesn’t just refer to things, it’s about cleverly organizing your life in a way which allows you to trash all the toxicity out and bring the love in. What does that mean? Keeping the people that make you feel loved, the candles that soothe you, and the clothes that fit you, while trashing the bad influences, broken items, junk mail, and baggage.
Essentially, this article will be a reminder to everyone, at any age, that clearing the trash out in whichever phase of life you’re in, can help you feel a lot lighter. This reminder can be universally important, because let’s face it, we can all use a little less cloudiness in our lives and a bit more sun. So here it goes, a 26 reminder list from a twenty-something that made my life a lot more beautiful than it was a couple years ago.
(1) Ditch the skinny jeans you wore when you were 20 but don’t fit you now (and you continue to hope they will one day).
The way a pair of jeans fit does not just depend on weight. As we mature physically and essentially age, our bodies change. This could be anything from wider hips, child bearing, hormones, and even gravity. Chances are, keeping jeans that do not fit you will most likely leave you feeling depressed rather then motivated to exercise. Buy a new pair when you reach the fitness goals for your CURRENT self, not your 20 year-old or 30-year old self (same concept applies to all clothing in general). You’ll feel better, trust me.
(2) Cut out mean, toxic people.
Not everyone’s heart will match up to yours. Sometimes you’ll be so nice to someone and they’ll still hurt and criticize you. Sometimes, people will be malicious and say things that they know will bring you down and say them anyways. There are nasty people in this world, that doesn’t mean you have to A) be one of them or B) put up with them. Distancing yourself and keeping boundaries is a completely healthy step to take! Give up that guilt if you’re having to cut ties with someone who doesn’t have your best interest at heart. You’ll feel a sense of relief when you cut out the mean, toxic people. You’ll also open up space for more authentic people.
(3) Opt out of 13 hour Netflix marathons.
There is so much more to life than Netflix. There’s also not much you gain as a person from watching that 13 hour marathon. Find your hobbies and ask yourself, if there was no time limit, no family obligations, no chores, what do you actually like to do? Your answers may range from gardening, painting, traveling, cooking or something else. Try to spend a few minutes doing what you love M-F and even one extra hour during weekends. Cut one hour away from Netflix and add in one hour of self-love. You’ll feel so much better.
(4) Trash the extreme dieting.
Anytime I’ve ever tried an extreme diet, I’ve always crashed and felt worse about my body and disappointed in myself for not being able to keep up with the crazy diet in the first place. It’s simple, eat healthy based on what your body needs and physician instructions are. Drink more water and stop obsessing over avoiding carbs.
(5) Leave the job if it’s not right for you.
I’m a firm believer in being in a line of work that boosts your productivity, happiness, and inner light. If you wake up everyday literally dreading your job, try to find a solution. Network with people in the field that you want to be in. Write down small goals on how you can get to the job that you want, work with the people you like, and essentially, be genuinely content with your career choice. Believe it or not, we spend almost 1/3 of our life at work, so why not base it on something we actually enjoy?
(6) Clear out the sweet, sugary stuff from your pantry.
I’m not saying to never eat chocolate cake again, but maybe drink 1 soda per day instead of 3? Eat a fruit instead of a brownie? You’ll feel better and more energetic without crashing on the sugar. Also, keeping less of these products in your home (i’m not saying to not keep any) will decrease the frequency of your midnight cravings.
(7) Dump uncaring significant others.
If you’re in a relationship that makes you feel less worthy, insecure, and threatened emotionally, physically, or psychologically, try to find a way to leave it. Get help and support on the way, whether that be through therapy or family and friends. It’s okay to say no to relationships that don’t serve your higher good.
(8) Declutter the items in your home that don’t serve a purpose.
Items that are broken, make you sad, feel like a burden to hold on to, or you hate for any other reason should be donated to a center, family member, or friend. Clear the physical clutter from your home and you will feel much lighter automatically.
(9) Clean your home regularly.
Don’t aim for perfection, but ultimately, your home is your sanctuary. It’s that one place away from friends, work, obligations, where you can just be. It should energize, uplift, and relax you. If it’s not doing these things, try to understand the reasons. For the most part, dust your tables, vacuum, and keep the mold out. You’ll feel happier and easily prepared to have guests over.
(10) Stop staring at your gizmos and gadgets all day.
From social media, work goals, personal projects, and searching the web, we can spend almost our whole waking day on our screens! Take a break, even if it’s 15 minutes. Find your inner Buddha, connect with nature once in a while, breathe in air that isn’t AC coated. You’ll feel so refreshed, I promise.
(11) Say NO to spending time with overly critical people.
Do you have a person in your life who loves analyzing your imperfections, mistakes, and anything you’re not very good at? Stop spending time with them or at least, limit your interactions with them as much as you can, especially if it’s family. Critical people have a tendency to lower your self-esteem and often, lack the kindness to discuss their issues with you directly. So, always remember: people who genuinely care about you will not criticize your actions and remarks behind your back, they’ll be open to communicating with you and helping you better yourself.
(12) Loosen up strict family ties.
Just because their your family, doesn’t always mean each one of them has your best interest and health in mind. IF you are dealing with a toxic family member who never chooses to see the good in you and you feel like you’re walking on egg shells whenever you’re around them, it’s okay to limit your interactions and loosen up these ties.
(13) Trash old cosmetics.
Yes, cosmetics have expiration dates. So, stop holding onto a lotion bottle you purchased 8 years ago and give your body fresher and healthier nourishment. People seldom remember this, but our skin is actually the largest organ of our body, let’s treat it with clean ingredients! For exact time-frames by product type, read my decluttering vanity article here.
(14) Throw out expired food.
Expired food is expired for a reason. Stop hoarding onto expired food and trash it! Make room for nutritious food instead and your body will thank you!
(15) Soothe the busy mind.
You don’t need to and shouldn’t always be thinking, worrying, and/or planning. Give your mind and brain a break. Try meditation or activities that slow you down. Sometimes, what we need, is to just slow down and rest (No, not watch TV in our pajamas with bowls full of cereal). Zen means quietness and stillness.
(16) Discard and recycle old papers.
Rummage through your filing cabinets and check to see if there is any paperwork you don’t need. Shred the personal stuff, wrap it up in a bag and recycle. Old magazines and newspapers are recyclable too. Recycle your junk mail as well! Help the planet a little and opt in to receiving electronic notices or bills as much as you can! Recycling really is important and can help our planet tremendously, do the research. Also, remember to do a quick cleaning through your e-mails too, that can get overwhelming if you let your inboxes pile up. 🙂
(17) Get rid of harsh, chemically derived cleaners.
Opt in to make your home even 20% greener. Try making vinegar cleaning solutions like the one shown in my DIY Vinegar cleaner here. Print this recipe out, use it, and love it! You’ll be surprised how much happier you’ll feel when you can smell lavender instead of Clorox bleach during your cleaning routines.
(18) Move out of your current state, city, or town if it doesn’t make you happy.
Remember, you’re never stuck somewhere. All of our phases in our lives are temporary, everything from our job titles, houses, to relationships. Every single thing in our live has a phase and when it comes to an end, it’s okay to let go. Stuck in a physical location you hate? Can you make moves to relocate to your dream city? Taking small steps like contacting someone you know who lives there already or looking for flexible work arrangements that allow you to travel, could be game changers.
(19) Cast aside the passive aggressive people.
Passive aggressiveness is never healthy. Someone who says, “Everything is okay between us, we are fine!” despite showing clear signs of anger sentiments, is not a truthful person. Passive aggressiveness causes confusion, tension, and stress. People who are authentic will choose to work conflicts out with you in a direct and healthy manner.
(20) Give up workout routines you hate.
Yoga isn’t the only thing out there, neither is the gym. Find a workout routine you look forward to, it could even be a mixture of things! Dance classes, Tai Chi, walking in nature, swimming… the list can be endless! If you chose an exercise type you like, chances are, you’ll stick to it long-term and feel happier doing it (instead of dreading it).
(21) Scrape out the junk!
Do you have a bucket full of junk or a drawer full of supplies you’ve been “meaning to get through?” Why wait? Go through it now! Even clearing out one cabinet, drawer, or closet can make you feel lighter and free. Keep in mind, if you’ve emptied or decluttered a space, this doesn’t mean you have to refill it again! Open and empty spaces are okay to have in a home, not everything has to be filled.
(22) Spook out the skeletons.
Sometimes, as humans, we forget that each and everyone of us are going through some struggle or battle in our lives. Whether these battles are small or large is all a matter of perspective. If you have skeletons, i.e. emotional or psychological trauma, it’s okay to seek help. Despite the stigma associated around therapy or counseling in certain cultures, it’s okay to talk out your skeletons to someone. It may even help heal you.
(23) Lessen the alcohol.
You don’t have to spend every Friday night at a bar. Ask your circle of friends to try new activities like escape rooms, hiking, amusement parks, or even board games and popcorn at home! You’ll be surprised by just how positive of an impact you can have on your social circle by changing up the routine a bit.
(24) Tackle your fears.
What’s something you’ve always wanted to and love, but can’t, because you’re afraid? If it’s your dream to public speak to an audience on a topic you’re passionate about, but dread being onstage, can you take public speaking classes to lessen the anxiety? Have you always wanted to travel to another country, but fear planes? Can you attend therapy or cognitive coaching programs to help overcome these fears? Sometimes, we limit ourselves to experiencing the beauty that the world has to offer, simply out of fear. Tackle this now and you’ll thank yourself later .
(25) Opt out of being apathetic towards others.
Show love, kindness, and mutual respect to whoever you meet no matter what their treatment is towards you. Kill ’em with kindness and you’ll have a clearer conscious at the end of the day.
(26) Free yourself.
If you suffer from a mental illness like anxiety disorders or depression, get help. No matter what illness you are suffering from, you can free yourself and make your life more healthy and manageable. Find the support you need.
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