With the Holidays in full swing, it’s hard to get anything done. But what happens right after the Holidays?? Downtime…sometimes really boring downtime. I don’t always know what to do with myself when I have a few days off with nowhere to be and nothing really scheduled to do. And let’s face it, sometimes the less we have to do, the less we want to do. It can result in lying around mindlessly watching Law & Order SVU marathons. But why not take advantage of all that downtime to clear out the old and get ready for the new. My boyfriend and I did just that this past Thanksgiving weekend. And I suspect before the New Year is upon us, we’ll finish what we started.
We started to clear out the clutter in our environment in an effort to clear out the clutter in our minds. I’m always happy to purge things and this is by no means the first time I’ve done it this year alone (as seen HERE). But, when my boyfriend started following suit and embracing my philosophies about “stuff” and a simplified life, things started to get awesome around my house.
He and I discussed at great length how our house is arranged. It’s very well curated with a lot of art and books and decor, but there’s no excess anything. There are small collections of things, but not a plethora of knick knacks. For example, we only have one set of towels for us, (with only one additional set for guests) and one set of sheets for each bed. There is no abundance of anything. We’re trying (together) to get rid of absolutely any excess anything. It clears up a lot of energy. It also gets rid of the old to allow for new things to come into your life – and not necessarily new stuff, but new opportunities.
After a major upheaval in his life, my boyfriend went through a period where he had a real attachment to things. He spent the last couple of years mostly accumulating books because he felt like he needed to own some stuff. Now he’s realized that he can get books at the library or on his Kindle so he pared down his books considerably and we’ve only kept the really nice ones. I think books are wonderful, but I don’t need my house to be a library.
While he was going through his books, I went through a lifetime of photos which I reduced to a small pile which I’m having scanned and digitized. Do you have any idea how many photos you probably have of people you don’t even remember?? I also went through gigantic files of old paperwork from properties I had recently sold and we had a little bonfire and set all the old documents on fire … which was really lovely … until the fire department showed up. NOT the worst thing in the world to have 3 firemen show up at your door.
By the end of the weekend, I had cleaned out a storage closet by about 70% and we had boxed up dozens of books.
With the New Year right around the corner, why not clear your stuff out? Simplify your life a little! You’d be amazed at how much clearing the clutter can clear your mind!
Here are some simple tips:
• If you receive paper bills, shred them immediately after they are paid, but consider transferring all your accounts and paying your bills online.
• Go through your mail immediately and discard anything unwanted immediately. Don’t put it in a pile that will just accumulate more mail that you’ll have to spend an entire afternoon sorting through.
• I use an APP called “Paper Karma” – when a catalog comes in the mail, I immediately scan it to the APP and they unsubscribe me from the mailing list. Let’s face it, isn’t your phone always at arm’s length away?
• Gather up all your important paperwork – deeds, wills, insurance policies etc. and scan them all to a jump drive – that way they are separate from your computer – then put the original documents in a safe deposit box.
• Purge your closet. Let’s face it, don’t you only wear about 14 things in there anyway?
• Purge your kitchen cupboards…how many glasses do you really need?
• Go through those old boxes of pictures and either put them into albums, or digitize them.
• What’s in your garage? It’s already out of sight out of mind … do you really NEED it? Why not get rid of some of that nonsense! If you do you might be surprised that you can actually park a car in there.
• And while you’re on a tear, why not clean out your Inbox – unsubscribing from unwanted emails only takes about 5 seconds more than it does to delete them. Then when you open your daily email, you’ll have considerably less junk to filter through.
• Clean out that old paperwork … but maybe consider shredding it instead of burning it … unless you want some cute firemen to show up at your door.