Do you ever feel like things are getting on top of you?
For many of us, just the day to day grind of house work, children, work (paid or unpaid) not to mention friends and family can make us feel as though the walls are closing in.
A great way to lighten your load is to de-clutter your life. That doesn’t just mean the physical stuff.
Often we need to lighten our emotional load as well, in order to break free from what is holding us back from our goals.
You may have felt the positive vibe when your house has just been scrubbed, or you’ve tackled a big job head-on and finished it.
While we’re not suggesting you need to do everything in one crazy Spring Cleaning weekend, by giving yourself manageable tasks to complete you can get closer to de-cluttering your life and taking back control.
‘There are so many toys in the lounge room I can barely move’
And yet all the kids want to play with is your phone or the remote! It’s easy to feel as though the chidren’s toys/books/clothes/shoes/scooters are taking over the house. And much of the time, the kids wouldn’t even notice if some of it was gone.
Encourage your children to actively donate things that they no longer use. This could be to a charity, a neighbour, or friend who could make use of items you no longer need. You could also make a plan that you won’t buy any new toys for the next 3 months.
‘Out of sight, out of mind’ has never been truer than with kids toys. A large storage tub can do wonders for your feeling of accomplishment. Dump everything into it at the end of the day (encourage the kids to help) and when the lid is on you may feel as though there is room for you in the lounge room after all.
Another great idea is to do a ‘toy swap’ with a similar aged child for a week or two. You might not reduce the total number of toys in the house, but you may find it keeps the kids occupied as they explore the ‘new’ games.
‘My pantry cupboard is an Aladdin’s Cave of out-of-date packets’
A pantry audit is in order! While these may seem quite overwhelming, it can be helpful to tackle it one shelf at a time. Put a bin next to the pantry. Pull everything off the shelf and toss it immediately if it is out of date. Place everything else on the counter. Give the shelf a good wipe down and clean. Wipe any dribbly jars or sticky packets, and put things like flour and rice into air tight containers so that they last longer.
Put everything back neatly in handy sections such as spices, sauces, pasta etc. Put things you use most often within easy reach. Be sure to use up anything that is nearing its expiry date.
If you find for instance that you have 5 tins of lentils, look up some healthy recipes on the Lose Baby Weight website so that you can begin using them up.
‘I own so many kitchen gadgets that I never use’
We’ve all been guilty of buying things we don’t need. But if your kitchen cupboards are overflowing with one trick ponies such as popcorn makers, rice cookers and pasta makers that you never use – it could be time for a clean out.
Chat to friends and family and see if anyone wants to swap an item or take it off your hands. You could also try to sell it online and use the cash to take your family out to a movie.
‘I wish I could say ‘no’ to some of my obligations this week’
If your to-do list is as long as your arm, you might need to make some judgement calls on what’s really important. If you’re always the one driving the kids and their pals to sport, why not suggest to the other children’s parents that you do some car-pooling.
If Mondays are tough for you with work, sport or family commitments, could you enlist your partner to take over the dinner every Monday night, no matter what?
Have you got a neighbour that has always offered to mind the kids but you’ve never taken them up on it? Knock on the door and book in a time so that you can get a few things done on your own.
Sometimes we forget that there are people that can help us, it’s just a matter of asking.
‘My wardrobe is full of clothes, yet I have nothing to wear’
There is nothing worse than standing in your undies in front of a wardrobe heaving with clothes and knowing there isn’t a thing you want to wear in there.
This can be particularly difficult to explain to a male partner, who may helpfully suggest something to wear that you haven’t worn since 1993, yet have held onto for sentimental reasons.
Well sentiment is all well and good, but if you are short on space then there is no good reason to hold onto things you just don’t wear.
Package it up and drop it off to a charity shop, or put some special things aside for a friend who is a similar size.
Getting rid of clutter doesn’t mean that you can’t hold onto special memories. A photo takes up much less room!
‘I can’t open my bathroom cabinet or an avalanche of beauty products will fall out’
Decide on what you really need and really use, and put the rest in a box in a cupboard. After 2 months, if you haven’t had to go to the box to get anything out, you can safely assume that you won’t be using any of it in the future.
Get rid of it and save the space in the bathroom cabinet for things of use, like Shrek band aids and strawberry scented bubble bath.
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