I actually wrote the idea of this blog post down before the Marie Kondo series on Netflix appeared, I SWEAR. I meant to write it as I was decluttering our flat over the Christmas break, but I just kept putting it off. Maybe they should come out with a procrastinating special on Netflix, maybe that would help me….
Anyway, just trust that I had this idea before it was “cool.” Ok? I was cool before it was cool to be cool. And that’s what matters.
So here’s the thing: Marie says to get rid of the things that don’t bring you joy. You’re supposed to hold each individual item in your hand and if it doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of it.
It’s a pretty simple approach and once you’re done, your home probably won’t stress you out anymore. You’ll look around and see things that make you happy instead of the things that stress you out. Hopefully.
But I’m going to take this concept a few steps further… What if we can declutter more than just our home? Let’s take some time to declutter our life. Get rid of what does not bring you joy. Give yourself control of your life and your decisions and figure out a way to bring yourself the most joy every day in every aspect.
Below is a list of tips and things you can do to try to approach life in a different way, one that will hopefully stress you out less. In all honesty, I think I’m just writing this blog post for myself because I have been so stressed and full of so much anxiety lately that I really just need to talk myself through it. But I wanted to share because I know that some of you go through this same exact thing.
Marie Kondo the Shit Out of Your Home
This is an easy way to begin as it’s all the rage right now. Clean out your house. Take it in stages (one room a day) or get it all done in one weekend. I don’t care what you do or how you do it, but I think it will be really valuable.
It’s just like I said above. Take every item in your hand. If it doesn’t bring you joy, say bye bye. Marie actually tells the people to thank each individual item before throwing it away. In my personal experience, I’m not going to do that. But if you want to legit use her process, then by all means give your crap the gratitude it may or may not deserve. You do you.
By the time you’re done, I can tell you that you will feel SO GOOD. D and I both went through our clothes recently and donated the ones we did not like, want, or wear anymore and I felt so relieved after it. And that is not because I went to the toilet.
gross joke, whatever. I had to.
I took out all of our food in the pantry and went through each individual item. I threw out a few things that were old and expired, or something we just never used that we bought once. And then I reorganised everything to fit better. And it’s really been amazing. I found a much better way of keeping my kitchen organised. And weirdly, that did bring me intense joy. LOL I am such a housewife guys.
TIP: Do a declutter every few months. Don’t wait until your place gets so bad and you’re so overwhelmed. Keep on top of it to provide peace for longer periods of time. And be conscious of the things you buy and how it can add up so quickly.
Say Buh-Bye to Toxic Relationships
Yes, you can declutter your relationships. This is something that I do automatically. I learned repeatedly when I was young to get rid of the toxic people in your life when they no longer serve you the way you serve them. By this, I mean the girls who didn’t treat me well. And there have been a lot of them unfortunately. (We’ll get to the nitty gritty details of that another day)
At this point in my life, if I am putting in all the effort in a friendship or relationship and it doesn’t seem like the other person shares the same values or morals as me, then it’s just not going to work. I don’t hold on to friendships just because anymore. Because in all my experience, I know that it will end in heartbreak anyway.
To be frank, I don’t suggest just ending friendships out of the blue. You should talk to this person and let them know your frustrations. And if they’re not willing to see your side or work on what is hurting you, then they’re not your true friend. And that’s when I would suggest ending the relationships. It’s incredibly hard to do, I get it. But it’s not fair on you to hang on and put so much effort into a friendship that is only going one way. It will only continue to hurt YOU.
If you have some friendships like this or are maybe even in a relationship like this, where you know deep down that it really isn’t working, let it go. Get rid of the toxic people in your life who are no longer bringing you joy, but only bring you despair, sadness, or whatever else they make you feel.
Own Your Job
Whether this means you finally take the time to clean out your messy desk, or decide not to participate in the office politics, it’s time to get rid of that shit.
I am in a tricky position when it comes to my work life. And I don’t have a whole lot of control over my certain circumstance. However, I decided a few months ago that the things I did have control over, I was going to own.
For instance, the people I work with in the office are toxic. And I feel a range of emotions daily. There were many times I’d get in the car when D picked me up and would just immediately start crying. And sometimes I still have those bad days. And people would tell me just to play the games everyone in the office was playing so that I could get by. But you know what? That felt so fake to me. I wasn’t going to walk into the office every day pretending I was really happy with where I am and that I liked, or cared, about the people around me who consistently treated me like utter shit.
Screw that crap. I don’t owe them anything. I am not that kind of person. So now, I do my own thing. I get the work done that I am asked to do. And I have figured out a way to bring myself the most joy possible throughout my work day. It definitely isn’t easy, but I do my best.
Do the same for yourself. No matter what situation you’re in, figure out a way to get the most out of this job while you can. Do whatever it is that you need to do to get the most joy from it. I make an effort to keep myself busy and fulfilled with things I have passion and love for throughout the day and it’s helped immensely. Declutter your desk or work relationships that are doing more harm than good. It can be quite tricky, but if you don’t want to go to the company BBQ, then don’t go.
Find Balance in Your Social Life
This is hard because everyone’s social life is so different. Mine is very scarce. I’ve been extremely focused the last few months on my health, the blog, and getting my UK driving license that I have put my social life on hold for the time being. And quite honestly, the rest of 2019 will probably be similar. I have shifted my priorities a bit this year for the blog and my health. And that is exactly what I mean by decluttering my social life.
I still have monthly plans to spend time with my girl squad. D and I still make time to see each other. And we have plans to meet up with other couples and have nights out and game nights in with our core group of friends. I have decided that my social engagements will be worth it, and meaningful. I have also decided to be more relaxed about meeting up with friends on weekdays as I usually get so frustrated with the idea of going out on a weeknight. I’m still a work in progress….
But maybe you’re opposite and you go out all the time, and you’re spending too much money, and not taking enough time for your physical or mental health. This is where you can sort that out. Decide to only say yes to the outings that will truly bring you joy versus the ones that you just do because you don’t want to be bored at home. Whatever it is, figure out your balance and stop filling your time with meaningless activities and engagements. Declutter your social life.
Establish a Daily Routine to Keep you Grounded
This is probably the most important one in my opinion. Declutter your daily routine. If you’re like me, you tend to take on way too much throughout the day. And it gets to 8pm, and you’re knackered and all you want to do is rest. However, you have that to-do list on the counter telling you that you’re not done. That is overkill.
And this is something I am currently trying to figure out myself. I have so many things I want to do and accomplish, but I am having a very difficult time getting everything done in one day. And then I go crazy and have an anxiety attack over it.
My advice to both myself and to you (if you’re also experiencing this) is to establish a healthy daily routine that you can always stick to. Something that will keep you grounded.
I realised this morning as we laid in bed longer than we should have, and then I shot up and started scrambling around, stressing out and trying to get ready as soon as possible, that I freakin’ hate starting my day that way. That’s a sure way for me to set myself up for failure already. When I can get up in the morning and have some time to myself to have a coffee, meditate, eat my breakfast, work out, and just sit for awhile, those days I am much more focused, less angry, and I get so much more done.
Figure out a daily routine that works best for you. Take this next week to really think about how you function best. Is it getting up slowly and taking time to yourself in the morning? Or do you prefer to get up and go go go? I used to be the latter, but as I’ve gotten older, I feel more at peace with the former. If something isn’t working for you anymore, analyse it and fix it to a way that does work for you now. There is no right or wrong here.
Declutter that shit.
Now I know a lot of these tips are easier said than done. You have to be a bit selfish and put yourself and your mental health first, but I truly do think it’s important to take that time. It’s so easy to get swept up into all these different activities, especially if you have kids or take care of other people. But it’s important to know who you are and how you function best. There’s no point in continuing on with life doing the bare minimum and just “getting by.” I personally refuse to live my life like that. So if I can’t change the circumstance, I will focus on what I do have control over.
Let me know if you adopt any of these tips into your lifestyle and how it turns out for you. And if you have any tips to share with me that I may not have included on this list, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know!