Stepping onto the plane, that was flying Nathan and I to our honeymoon destination, I felt like a ten pound weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Wedding planning and all that came with it was way more stressful than I ever thought it would be, especially for someone who is such a planner as myself. After the wedding was over I started thinking about all that went into the planning, the gifts piled high waiting to be taken home and an apartment that was already filled to the brim. This all had me feeling like I wanted to de-clutter my life and ASAP. But first, I had a honeymoon calling my name. I'm that typical female where I have five things going on in my head at once and it's my personality to want it all done that day. Thank goodness Nathan settles my mind and helps me refocus and relax. Our honeymoon was one of the best weeks we have ever spent together, completely unplugged and on cloud nine.
As all good things do, our honeymoon came to an end. I found myself arriving home thinking about our bank account, bills, normal life adulthood pains, and all the wedding planning we had accomplished. I immediately knew I needed to pull back and refocus some areas in my life.
Have you ever realized just how much stress daily outside factors have on you? Well, I started to take an inventory of my life and all the things that were filling my day, but not really actually filling my day for the good. I wake up and have 40 emails in my Gmail account, have a million notifications on my apps, have way too many clothes to choose from each and every morning, and have closets filled with things that have sat there for years. I have the type of personality, yes I know as crazy as it sounds, where I cannot have notifications just sitting there. I take my email both at work and on my personal account down to zero every day. I want all notifications gone off my phone. I have folders within folders on my phone, google Drive, in my email, etc. You get the picture. I have issues, I totally claim them and blame my dad some as he's the exact same, but it's who I am.
Due to this I was determined to minimize these things in my life. I took one Saturday and literally unsubscribed from every single email I get. Yes, you read that right. Old Navy, Gap, Target, Victoria Secret, DSW, the library, that tire place that emails you that it's time to rotate your tires again, you name it, I unsubscribed. The joy I felt when I finally had reached the end of this painful process was insane. Some companies I actually had to do it a few days in a row for it to stick, but after about a week I was free.
Why do we need those emails? You can simply go to the website and see the sale that's going on right then and there. You can also google just about anything and find a coupon or sale right at your fingertips. I'm telling you, it felt amazing! Now I wake up to maybe two or three emails tops and they're ones that are important to my day or week.
De-cluttering my inbox was just the first step on this journey of finding the joy in less.
We live in a society that is so busy and filled with so much information. Sometimes when I sit back and think about it, we've created a culture where we equate self worth with how much we have, or how many things we can attain.
This month we're challenging you to take inventory of your life and find a few ways to minimize it. I'm sharing a few ways I did just that and I promise on the other side of de-cluttering lies happiness, clear-mindedness, and freedom.
Unsubscribe From All Emails ||
I know it seems crazy, but you can do it. You'll feel like you're missing out on something for the first day or two, but you really aren't. At the bottom of every email, in small, usually very light colored print, is the word "unsubscribe." Click this and normally there's one more step involved where you have to click it again, but that's it! There are sometimes options to receive a monthly email instead of daily or weekly, so this would be a better option for those not wanting to cut the cord just yet.
Turn Off Phone Notifications ||
Do you have notifications turned on for a gazillion apps on your phone? Turn them off! Go into settings, then notifications and all your apps will be listed. Simply go into the apps you want and turn it off. You don't need them all! I guarantee you could cut the amount of notifications you receive in half and never miss them!
Shred and Organize Papers ||
I don't know about you, but we have piles of papers everywhere. In drawers, in folders, and stacked up under our mail pile. We scored a great deal on this printer recently after our old one finally bit the dust and this sucker does just about anything. The best feature is having the ability to scan any document you want, send it to your laptop and organize it there. A hard copy paper trail is no longer needed. Can't afford a new printer, no worries. Go through each paper and figure out what you really need and what you don't. Then go through the pile one more time. Do you really need them all? It's probably less than you think. Throw away or shred the papers you don't need. The ones you do, find an accordian file folder, or some way to neatly organize them in a drawer, out of eye sight, but easily accessible so when more papers come you can organize them there. Papers be gone!
Organize Your Closet ||
This can be a little overwhelming for some. Cat later this month will be sharing about a book that's changed her life and helped her get rid of things she never thought she would. So, stay tuned for tips from that post. For me, I easily get rid of most things, and have found two simple questions help me do just that.
1. When was the last time I used this, wore it, or paid attention to it?
If your answer to question one is one year or more than it's probably time to start the goodbyes. If you find yourself pulling back and not wanting to rid your life of that item just yet, proceed to question two.
2. What am I saving it for? Why? What are you hoping to get out of this item?
If you still don't know, don't have an event coming, or simply are making excuses, get rid of it. This could be throwing away, donating (which we recommend for everything unless it simply is in terrible condition), or ask a friend if they want it.
Now. Now is the time! Stay tuned this month for an amazing book on minimizing your life that has forever influenced Cat, tips on finding one or two specific staple pieces for your closet over buying ten things from the Old Navy clearance rack, and much more!
This smile is because I truly have been finding my happiness in having less. Less noise, less clutter and less outside factors hitting me every single day that are unnecessary. Do you dare to do the same?