- Stressed out over a disorganized and cluttered home?
- Overwhelmed with seemingly endless chores?
- Clueless about what to fix for dinner?
- Deciding once again what outfit you will wear the next day?
- Struggling to pay bills on time or find important paperwork?
- Exhausted from constantly deleting unwanted and unnecessary emails?
Most of us live extremely busy lives and probably, at some point, have experienced all of the above negative emotions about keeping up with all we need to constantly manage. The disorganization and lack of structure may be causing us to lose precious, quality time spent working on education, hobbies, exercising, and having much-needed fun with friends and family. In addition, often without our intentions, we are losing hard-earned money on replacing lost or misplaced items, eating out too often due to no meal plans, buying clothing that we never end up wearing, and paying late fees on past due bills.
Are you searching for ways to change all of this in your life but unsure of where to begin? Are you ready to do more of the things you really want to do but seem to never have time? If so, read on to discover six simple steps for implementing a new and underwhelmed life that you will truly be amazed by.
#1 Find a home for everything and keep it there
Most clutter accumulates from our just setting stuff down on the first available surface we come across when entering a room, often because we either don’t have a designated home for it or we think we will get to it later. Over a period of time, the clutter continues to grow to the point that we become so overwhelmed and can’t seem to focus on cleaning it up. However, what we sometimes don’t realize is that this clutter and disorganization is drastically affecting our stress levels. However, there are three easy things you can do to combat this problem.
- The first best thing you can do to eliminate clutter is to create a home for everything you have that you think is necessary to keep. That home isn’t your dining room table, the kitchen counter, the corner of your bedroom, or your car. That home needs to be places like a nicely organized closet with shelving, a basket for the animals/kids’ toys, a cute wall hanger near the door to hang keys on, a drawer organizer for small items in various rooms, or a tray in your home office to place the incoming mail until it’s time on your checklist…see Tip #2…to handle it.
- Secondly, either recycle, trash, donate or sell the things that you don’t really need. Most of us do not need half of what we have. There are many great online articles and television shows to help you with this task and the first one. A good Netflix show to start with is Tidying up with Marie Kondo (Tidying Up with Marie Kondo).
- Finally, when you are finished with anything, immediately place it back in its home or get rid of it as suggested above. Your main goal here is to prevent the clutter from happening again. Also, you will always know where everything is and can easily move on to the next 5 tips.
#2 Make a checklist of household chores and maintenance
Do you spend every weekend cleaning your house, mowing the yard, and doing laundry? Does it seem that you have no free time to relax, have fun or work on hobbies? This is not a good way to live as we only live once.
As Mother Theresa quoted, “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” (Time Quotes, 2019).
A great way to not spend every weekend doing nothing but chores is to make a checklist of all household chores and maintenance. Determine which tasks should be daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly. Then you can spread them all out over time (also designate to other family members if you do not live alone) so as not to steal your weekends or other weekly days off from work where you can do what you really want to do. If you are unsure of what all should be on a checklist, try out the below resources for chores and home maintenance.
#3 Create a one to two week meal plan with all ingredients in a premade shopping list
If you are tired of spending all of your money on unhealthy and expensive convenience foods, all due to not planning or knowing what to fix for meals, creating a one to two-week meal plan with all ingredients in a premade shopping list can be an efficient method to reduce this issue. Not only does lack of a meal plan cause unwanted wasting of your paycheck, it also can contribute to an unhealthy lifestyle. Eating out all of the time or buying convenient prepackaged foods can be a major roadblock to your physical well-being.
#4 Simplify your wardrobe
Are you one of those individuals who likes to go on shopping trips where you buy random pieces of clothing, just because they are on sale or look cute? But then a year or two later, you realize that shirt, pair of pants or scarf has been hanging there all that time with the tag still on it…all because you didn’t have anything to really go with it. This is definitely not a good plan for your closet or your wallet.
Do not buy clothing, shoes and accessories without planning…
Letting clothing waste away unworn in your closet is just a huge waste of your hard-earned dollars and time spent looking at it, thinking about it or not fitting into it. If you haven’t worn something in two years, it is probably time to either buy something to go with it, sell it or donate it. A good rule of thumb to use during your next shopping trip is to make sure that you go ahead and buy an entire outfit or don’t buy that piece at all, especially if you have nothing else in your closet to go with it.
Organize your closet by outfit and occasion…
Another good way to simplify your wardrobe is to organize your closet by outfit and occasion. While a lot of people don’t organize their closets at all or, if they do organize, do so by arranging according to type of clothing, choosing to organize by outfit and occasion can be a much more efficient way to handle this. Even though you may spend some extra time at the beginning to compile the outfits and organize them in your closet, you will most likely find that you spend much less time always worrying about what you will wear the next day…or occasion.
#5 Organize your home office and paperwork
Paperwork and bills are not what most of us want to be handling on our time off work and it can be so easy to just keep letting the piles increase. From junk mail, magazines, medical and regular bills to tax, mortgage and home maintenance paperwork, a true mess can occur overnight. Organizing your home office and paperwork, in addition to coming up with a plan to maintain it, will be an important process to reduce your home life worries. Here are a few suggestions to try…
- Buy a three to four tray organizer on which you put labels of “Inbox”, “To Be Paid/Dealt With”, “To Be Filed” and “Coupons”. Other organizers for pens, pencils, tape, scissors and miscellaneous office accessories are also a good choice for decluttering your desk. Whichever arrangements you use, always keep in mind that less is more…keep the workspace very clean and empty so that you can focus only on what task is at hand.
- Set up as many bills and other important notifications/paperwork to be sent to you electronically. Then, once completed with them, save them onto your computer with antivirus protection. Note: A lot of items, such as bank statements, bills and tax documents are already saved on their particular websites so it isn’t even necessary to print them off or save them on your computer.
- Set up a small filing cabinet for those items that you truly do need to keep for future reference such as mortgage documents, home maintenance and warranty references, and important things such as birth, marriage and divorce certificates, social security cards, etc.
#6 Declutter your personal email inbox
Do you feel exhausted from the constant unnecessary and unwanted emails coming into your inbox? Trying to stay on top of personal, work and/or school email accounts can be enough to drive anyone into a state of extreme stress and anxiety. Solicitation emails from all the online places you purchase from to the emails alerting you that a bill needs to be paid can add up in your inbox very quickly. A few simple activities can go a long way in preventing this extreme time waster.
- Create folders for all necessary and important emails
- Unsubscribe from unnecessary solicitation emails
- Flag emails that you may need to follow up on in the near future, such as bill payment notifications or online purchases
- Try to only touch inbox emails twice, once to read them and once to either move to a folder or trash them
Now that you have discovered some great simple inspiration for underwhelming your home life, it is time to get started on designing your new and less stressful environment. Since all of the above tips may take a little time upfront on your part and will require some patience on getting them all implemented, it might be best to just start with one, successfully accomplish and maintain it, then move on to the next. Which one will you start on today?
Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. (n.d.). Netflix. Retrieved from Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/80209379
Time Quotes. (2019). Retrieved from goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/time