With our 40 BAGS IN 40 DAYS decluttering challenge this year, I’ve been thinking a lot about decluttering the areas of life that aren’t stuff-ish. The stuff that nags on you like emails or your cleaning schedule that NEED to be organized and worked out.
For me, having a flexible schedule and check off lists helps me stay in check. Once I get away from that, I get overwhelmed and unmotivated. Short-term “baby steps” goals are better than looking at the big picture, and rewards help! I also like making goals and working towards them before I focus on the next thing.
Here are some ideas for areas of your life that you might want to think of decluttering, and some small, simple tips that might help you get that area of your life in check. At least temporarily!
I’ll be adding more as I think of them and as you suggest them!
- search pinterest for cleaning schedules and ideas
- put one into place and try it out, focus on sticking to it for a week
- re-evaluate and see what works for you
- delete items out of your “downloads” folder, or put them away where you need them.
- Clean your desktop icons and sort them.
- Set up new folders and organize, being as specific as possible.
- Organize your photos (see below)
- delete programs you no longer use
- delete toolbars, cookies, your history, or your cache
- keep only the most basic folders or programs that you need on your home screen, organize the rest.
- Unsubscribe as soon as emails you don't want come in.
- Do a search for "unsubscribe"
- archive everything (or just the important stuff) so you can still find it in search. It’s a lot easier to “archive all” than to delete all!
- disable email notifications from your phone to quickly get rid of that big red number (here's a quick tutorial)
- use the search button to find like subjects or senders for deleting
- when your inbox is clean, either delete, archive, or unsubscribe the new items that roll in.
- reply immediately when you get the message. If you don’t have time to reply, delete, or unsubscribe, you don’t have time to check your email!
- have a talk with yourself or your spouse about the state of things
- have monthly chats and talk about finances, goals, what you need to work on
- set goals, work towards them
- look at your bank account and add up what you are spending things on, it makes you realize what you have and how quickly things add up
- try to have a spending freeze and limit yourself for a period of time.
- reward yourself for sticking to goals, but not too much
- limit the trips you make to the store, make lists
- make a list of a few things you want to focus on, think small not big: taking vitamins, drinking __ amount of water, being positive, making good use of time
- make a daily checklist and hang it where it is easily seen and can be checked off
- frame your checklist and use a dry erase marker every day to check off your items
- create a list in your phone(I use the free iPhone Reminders app ), or alerts to help you remember key things. I have one in my phone for am vitamins, noon prayers, pm vitamins.
- make more realistic goals and write them down like instead of “lose weight”, have goals like “drink more water” that will help you to get there
- think in baby steps, what little things can you change in order to get there?
- keep a journal or jot down notes in your phone to track progress, how you feel, what changes made you feel better or were hard to sustain
- reach out to others for support and motivation
- find what works for your family: one load a day? two loads a day?
- stick to it and make sure to fold stuff and put it away right out of the dryer
- Here’s a look at our laundry schedule for a family of five.
- search pinterest for ideas on meal planning, freezer or crockpot meals, or batch meal planning
- if you don’t meal plan, try to have an idea of what you’ll be making early in the morning. Do prep as you can through the day to lighten your burden.
- Take note of what items need to be eaten, used up. Think of different ways to prepare your leftovers or freeze them before they go bad.
- Have a few options on hand for quick, but healthy meals and snacks.
- Have a few go-to meals that you have down and can make quickly in a pinch.
phone applications (apps)
- check your settings to see which apps use the most space and if you don’t use them, consider deleting them.
- organize your apps into folders based on category (games, social media, utilities, music, etc)
- delete old text messages, voicemails, or calls.
- go through your phone book and organize it
- set up a file on your computer and download all of your photos to that folder
- use online storage and download all of the images to that site, but make it private
- have your photos printed out using an app like Walgreens, Postal Pix, etc.
- organize your photos using an external hard drive or labeled SD cards
- upload your photos to a free storage site
- when uploading, keep only the copy you want. Delete multiple blurry or junk copies right away.
- create a folder in your computer and organize there, once you’ve finished the month, upload to your preferred storage method.
- Print photos off as you need them, or monthly.
- organize by season, move current boards to the top and past seasons to the bottom
- set a cover photo with a favorite pin to show pinners what your style is
- delete unused or small boards that you don’t use
- Make a list of what needs to get done, follow through, but don’t overwhelm yourself. Start small.
- Use phone or online calendars, big wall calendar, or pocket calendar. Find what works for you and put everything in there. Try to stick to it, and if it doesn’t stick, find something else.
- Put stuff on your calendar as you think of it.
- Set alerts or alarms or timers.
Anything I missed that you’d like to see covered or added to this list?
Leave it in the comments and I’ll update this post. 🙂
Disclosure: Please keep in mind that this list is a “do as I say, not as I do” type thing and that these are all suggestions. I do not claim to be an expert and I am working on many items on this list! 🙂