It will be Chinese New Year soon and it is time to get the boxes out for a little spring cleaning. You may have dodged every attempt by your mum, your significant other or your own new year’s resolution to sort through your closet, look through your storeroom or even just recycle the stack of magazines you’ve collected over the year, but the time has now arrived to actually get down to it. If you don’t celebrate Chinese New Year, the start of the year is still a great time to get down to business and get over the cleaning you’ve been meaning to do.
Almost everyone succumbs to the temptation to buy things that we probably do not use. This means that we have things around the house that do not help us live our best lives while simultaneously distracting us from pursuing what is really important to us. Have you ever had the feeling of being overwhelmed while working at your overcrowded desk? Or been frustrated at your lack of clothing options although your wardrobe is at bursting point? Well then, a little decluttering can go a long way to maintain your mental and even physical health.
We might spend time and effort to rid our bodies of excess and of toxins but we seldom shift that good behaviour onto our living spaces and lifestyles. Just like detoxifying your body, decluttering your lifestyle and home will have great effects on your productivity and overall health. Read on to find out exactly how minimalism can help you in your day to day life and get you in gear to greet the New Year with confidence.
How many times have you known that you have an item but just did not know where you kept it? If rooting through your storeroom to find your required object among all the extras you have happens more often than you’d like it to, then it might be time to sort through your belongings. One easy way to keep your material possessions to a minimum is to get rid of duplicates. You do not have to get rid of these immediately. Put them in a box and if you don’t miss these items within a few months then consider donating these items. Decluttering your home would also allow you to organise your home better in order to find things with more ease. Thus, there’s no more mad rush when you need these things urgently. This will also prevent you from buying unnecessary things because you are well aware of what you have and don’t have.
Picture this: you are in the middle of working on an important work assignment when you need to retrieve some paperwork from your desk. There are stacks and stacks of paper – paperwork from your job, magazines you promised yourself you will read and grocery lists and bills that you need to keep. Even if you knew exactly where you kept your paperwork, you will be distracted even for moment about the million other tasks that you have got to get to, leading to frustration. There is a peace of mind when you take the time to clear out the unnecessary distractions and just have the work you have to do in front of you. Science agrees: the more objects competing for your attention, the more your brain multitasks and the less focus you have on the work you need to do. So take some time, organise your table-top items into compartments, file your paperwork and bask in your new found productivity.
Most times, things have an impact on you psychologically – a decorative vase from an ex or a book from a friend you’ve parted ways with. Though they take up space physically, they also affect your mental health, perhaps bringing to mind memories you’d rather not remember. By getting rid of such objects, not only is your physical space more free, you create for yourself an emotional safe space where you do not get saddened by the objects in your room. In fact, research shows a connection between clutter and depression. Clutter literally makes you sad. Getting rid of your clutter might not solve all your problems but it may well get you started.
While decluttering may not bring you complete detachment to worldly possessions, it will deeply benefit you in your day to day life. With all the responsibilities and goals in life, any little bit that helps is appreciated.
We have officially reached the month of December! Aka the Christmas month (no seriously it is Christmas every single day in December. Google it, it's the era of awesomeness.) You'll hear jingle bells, 'Santa baby's, 'All I Want for Christmas is You's and of course the iconic Mean Girls video that is bound to be recreated by many groups of people (myself included *winks*) Enjoy lovely strolls down Orchard Road with the beautiful Christmas lights and decorations and eat all the yummy goodies to your hearts' content! It's been a hard year, and we all deserve a nice break. December is also a reminder that 2017 is coming to an end, and 2018 is coming soon! Over the year if you've accumulated a lot of things from your online shopping, then I'm sure you are in dire need to tidy up your house before the new year starts. What better way to welcome a new year with a neat and clean house! A clean house is a happy house and a happy house makes a happy person.
If you feel overwhelmed, anxious, and defeated around the idea of decluttering your homes, don't be! There are so many benefits of a clean tidy house: you have less to clean, less debt, less to organize, less stress, more money and energy for your greatest passions. And of course a neat house is pleasing to the eye and perhaps even the soul. However, looking at the disastrous state of your home may leave you wondering: how in the world should I even begin?! Fret not, your girl has your back!
Take 5-1o minutes to walk around your house and mentally decide what things you definitely need or don't need. Keep in mind that you should declutter room by room for maximum efficiency.
Grab a ton of boxes or bags to place all the unwanted items. (bonus points if you separate your items into recyclables, donations, resell and trash) A lot of us are guilty of impulse buying and sometimes these things are hardly used, so why not give it to someone else who could make great use of it? You are doing a great deed and you can clean your house at the same time, killing two birds with one stone. You could also recycle them or even start a garage sale to sell a few valuable items and earn back some of the money you spent.
Commit to your goal of decluttering, as it might take a few days (Rome wasn't built in a day you know!) So set mental goals for yourself, give deadlines for each room and it'll become a more tangible goal with minimal risk of procrastination.
Before I give you some tips to declutter each room, let me share some of the usual pitfalls in decluttering as well as how to overcome them.
Sunk costs are costs that have already been incurred and cannot be recovered. Many of the things in our houses are sunk costs except for rare instances where the value of an item increases over time (like gold). A lot of people tend to fixate on the money they spent on their belongings and can't bear to get rid of them. Over time your things will accumulate and you'll get closer and closer to being a hoarder. *gasps* So, since you can't get your money back, you should only think about the value that thing can add to your life in the future. If it doesn't add much value, toss it. Understanding this concept of sunk costs can help you make more rational decisions about what to keep and what you should toss as well as a means to control your impulse spending in the future.
We generally only wear 20% of the clothes we own, 80% of the time. (The comfy loose t-shirts, sweatpants and shorts) And this rule applies to other items too, like bags, games, CDs, etc. Your mission is to figure out what the 80% of things that you only use 20% of the time are and toss them appropriately.
There you have it, some great tips and guidelines to help you reel in the new year with a clean, clutter-free house. Everything mentioned is most definitely doable so put your mind to it and get cracking!