Decluttering is like going to the gym. You know you have to go. You really don’t want to go. But once you go and start moving, you instantly feel better (About 95% of the time. To be fair, I have struggled through some gym sessions before and I am pretty sure I left gaining calories rather than burning any. But let’s focus on that 95% today.)
If you visited this blog before, you know I love 30 day challenges. And if you are new, then: “HELLO AND WELCOME! You should know something: I LOVE doing 30 day challenges!”
This January I decided to take on a decluttering challenge and to create a morning routine that can help me start my days the right way this year. It is not easy to create a new routine but 30 days is a perfect amount of time for something that you are not used to, to become a routine. This challenge is a little different than the other ones I have been doing because I am not focusing on just one thing only, instead I am trying to create new and better habits with clearing out my mind and surroundings.
I would love to discuss these with you guys, bounce some ideas off of each other and help declutter our homes and our minds! So please don’t forget to comment below at the end!
Decluttering And New Habits Project For January
SWITCHING UP MY MORNING RITUAL
Old routine: Right after I woke up, I reached for my phone. After about 35 minutes, I got out of bed, walked Echo, made coffee to go and headed to work. I always took a little more time in bed than I should have and ended up having to hurry out the door. Meh!
New Routine: I wake up, I take Echo on a walk, I do yoga (20-25 min), make coffee and read the news and my messages. Currently, I don’t have a 9-5 job but I still wake up on time just like if I had one. With the new routine I have to wake up a little earlier but I came to appreciate it. I feel more productive on days when I get up early.
CONTROLLING PHONE TIME – 30 TECHNOLOGY FREE MINUTES EVERY DAY
Old routine: I always had my nose in my phone, scrolling through social media. I started feeling uncomfortable with myself and overwhelmed with so much going on. I also started feeling like a jerk for not paying attention to the people that I was actually with. So that had to end!
New Routine: When I am around others I make sure I pay full attention to them. I don’t touch my phone during meals and when we go out to eat. When I am going somewhere alone, I carry my book with me so if I have to wait, I can read. When I am a passenger in a car, I talk to the driver or look out the window instead just scrolling through social media. I make sure I have at least 30 minutes every day when I don’t have my phone, the TV is off and I can read or meditate.
NOT LETTING NEGATIVE THOUGHTS TAKE OVER ME
Old Routine: I have way too many negative thoughts running through my head every day.
New Routine: I am focusing on catching myself when I have those negative thoughts. This is the hardest of all to be honest because I am barely able to control those thoughts, they just pop in my head but now I am working hard at not letting them stay in my mind for a long period of time.
I learned a technique from a friend: when you have a negative thought pop in your head, imagine that you are standing in front of a radio and those thoughts are coming out of the radio. Now reach out and lower the volume. Keep lowering, until you can’t “hear” the thought anymore. This is honestly one of the greatest techniques ever!
DECLUTTERING MAIL BOXES – Yikes
Old routine: My worst “record” was 2,167 unread messages. It took me three days to clear that out and then I didn’t take care of it again for a week and had hundreds of messages accumulated. So annoying…but I guess it was my fault…
New Routine: Now I clean all the junk mail out during coffee time and also started working on unsubscribing to emails that I don’t read anyways. This way I only have to go through like 15-20 emails each morning so it is more doable.
EMBRACING SOME QUIET TIME EVERY DAY
Old routine: Not much quiet time. The quiet used to scare me. I always had some background noise on when I was at home. I either turned the TV on, or listened to music.
New Routine: Now we don’t turn the TV on, unless we want to watch something. It actually feels really nice. When we play music, we tune into a radio channel that plays calming and relaxing music.
Old routine: This is my nightmare! Currently, it is a mess! After I take pictures for the blog, I upload them to the computer, edit them, save them to million places with no system…yikes. Totally my fault! I gotta be smarter about this.
New routine: This month I will spend 15 minutes every day to organize those photos and hopefully by the end of this month it will be less chaotic. Now I create folders for each category and separate blog post so I can easily find them.
GETTING RID OF SCRATCH PAPER, OLD RECEIPTS
Old routine: I use scratch papers a lot to take notes on and then place them in a semi-organized pile. Then the next day I take notes on a different paper and start a new semi-organized pile…and so on. I also have receipts in my pockets and backpacks that have to go. So on Friday I will spend an hour going through piles of scratch papers and old receipts that I don’t need.
New routine: Do you want your receipt? No, thank you! (Unless for some reason it is important to have it). And as far as the scratch paper goes: I got a note organizer in Target that has little sections so all my notes and ideas for the blog are in one place, organized and categorized. I write my plans into a weekly planner so they are not on sticky notes or scratch paper all over the place.
CLOTHES AND OTHER STUFF
We just moved at the end of summer and we donated lots of our clothes and other things that we haven’t used in a long time so I don’t have to go through our closet but that would be another thing you could add to your decluttering list.
Questions for you:
- What is your usual declutter process?
- What works for you best to help with organizing?
- Do you catch yourself spending too much time on your phone?