By having less stuff and fewer obligations, you’ll find that you have more room and more time for the things that really matter. Make everything in your life run more smoothly with these easy strategies.
1. Streamline Your Clothes
Try this wardrobe hanger experiment. Hook all hangers the wrong way (facing you), and each time you wear an item, turn the hanger around and always hang the same item on it. Within just two or three months you’ll know what to get rid of.
2. Film Your House
Coming back from a holiday always makes us see our homes anew. Get the same effect by taking a video tour of your house – it helps you to see the junk more clearly! After you’ve lived with possessions for some time, your naked eye doesn’t see mess and you can overlook clutter, but still feel stressed by it. When you watch the video, you’ll see what needs to go.
3. Cut Your Face Time
Think about how many hours you spend on social media per week. Between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat, it’s quite easy to waste several hours a day. What if you spent that time actually speaking to friends in person, or dedicated those hours to pursuing a new work opportunity?
Aside from wasting valuable hours, spending too much time on social media can invite a lot of negativity, like comparing yourself to others and trying to keep up with (what seems like) someone else’s ‘perfect’ lifestyle. Consider limiting the time you spend on social media or shut down some of your accounts completely. Chances are pretty good that you won’t even miss it.
4. Master The Fitted Sheet
It’s one of those jobs we love to hate, and many of us feel that it’s an accomplishment that deserves a spot on a CV. Luckily, we’ve found a step-by-step guide with pictures that shows you exactly how to conquer this wonderful and dreaded invention once and for all.
5. Watch Less TV
Just like social media, if you were to add up all the time you spent watching TV, it would probably be quite an eye-opener. Think about what you could accomplish if you took back half those hours each week. Reclaim some of that time and spend it with family, being outdoors, exercising or doing something creative.
6. Switch Your Focus
Turn your thinking upside down and focus on ‘keeping’ rather than ‘losing’. This is according to organising guru, Marie Kondo. A lot of us feel that decluttering is about loss and sadness, so turn it around. Take each item in a room and hold it. Does it give you pleasure (uplift), or a sinking, trapped feeling? Ditch the stuff with negative energy and focus on holding on to the good.
7. Take the 12-12-12 Test
Throw out 12 things, donate 12 things and find a permanent home for 12 things. The random number of 12 makes simplifying less overwhelming. Within a couple of hours, you’ve decluttered 36 items.
8. Say ‘No’ More Often
One way to add clutter to your life is by agreeing to more than you can handle. It’s important to step outside of your comfort zone now and then, but there are times when it is better to say, ‘no’, instead. Look at your past experiences and ask yourself: did that bring me joy? Did the benefit of the task outweigh the stress caused? Did it make a meaningful difference to me or someone else? If your answer was mostly, ‘no’, then perhaps you need to decline more often so you can focus on what you really want.
9. Create An Exit Box
Find it hard to part with nostalgic or expensive but useless items? “Put them all in a box marked ‘exit’,” says Kondo. “Seal it and date it to open a year from now, and then stash it in the garage. If you manage for a year without breaking into the box to use the items, donate the box (without opening it) to charity. Chances are you won’t even remember what’s in there.”
10. Get Wardrobe Weary
Nothing to wear? Group your clothes into outfits so you don’t waste time matching items. It also might help to plan your outfit the night before; especially if you know you have an early start the next day.
11. Toss The Things You Think You Should Keep
Got a drawer full of spare buttons? Research suggests that most of us wear clothes with missing buttons or just buy new clothes. Get rid of old electric cords, especially if they’re for phones or devices you no longer have. Old medicines are useless or they can make you ill. Lastly, make-up usually comes with an expiry date, so throw out the stuff that’s old.
12. Say Goodbye To Toxic People
Negative people can take up a lot of time and energy. The friend who finds a problem for every solution or the cousin who calls to complain about load shedding… these situations can impact your life without you even realising it. While it’s unfair to cut people out of your life just because they’re going through hard times, setting healthy boundaries is essential. Sometimes, the kindest thing you can do (for yourself and someone else) is to break ties. Cutting out toxic people frees up space for those who add value to your life.
Compiled by Food and Decor Editor, Claire Badenhorst