What begins as retail therapy may end turning you into a shopaholic with too many things, too little money and a whole lot of stress. To de-stress, start with de-cluttering your life, desk, home, and all things big and small.
We live in a world of the haves and the have-nots and in a bid (and very often a need) to be happy, we try our utmost to be the have-it-alls! The end of all this is clutter. And far from making us happier, having too much only increases our work and stress levels and makes us unhappy in the process. The only solution? De-clutter!
Step 1: Say No to Shopping
The thing about retail therapy is that it may work as a one off, especially if you use it to reward yourself with something you really wanted after you’ve achieved a goal of yours. Do this one too many times, however, and it becomes a problem for your bank balance that will only introduce more stress in your life. A big part of having stress is having financial instability – yes, money is not all important but it is important enough that you have a reasonable amount of it, and not have credit card debts looming large on the horizon. Decide to stop shopping – no more trips to the mall or online sale sprees – and just say NO to it all till your finances have been de-cluttered. (Bonus: less stuff coming into your home means you’ll have less clutter there, too!)
Step 2: Be Generous and Give Away
So you have made a few mistakes and now have a wardrobe that is groaning, a shoe rack that you simply cannot find that second pair in, and a house where you keep knocking things over because it is just too full. So what you do is give things away – sometimes to friends and family, sometimes to charity, and sometimes even in a yard or garage sale to earn you a quick buck. Generosity is good. Here’s how to get started:
- Wardrobes: Sort through clothes, shoes, accessories and steel your heart – give away things you haven’t worn in a year to charity. The feel good from it is incredible.
- Storage: Old bed linen, garish curtains, a lamp that’s just not part of your décor – hold a yard sale or simply gift these away to people who may need or appreciate them. Do not hold on to things just because they were gifts or heirlooms. (Take a digital picture of the item if you think you’ll really want to remember it one day.)
- Furniture: De-clutter your room – a home that’s too full and doesn’t leave space for navigation will be stressful. Keep a home warm but airy – a rug or couch too many will end up cluttering your home and head.
Step 3: Stop Procrastinating at Work
Laidback attitudes can sometimes create metaphysical clutter at our workplace – in the form of us not achieving success or promotions (including those much needed monetary benefits) and others getting all that we hoped to. Instead of mooning over lost opportunities, remember that there is no shortcut to success and you can rise up at work only with an eye to detail and a nose stuck to the grind…
- Desk: Your desk should have your phone, a pen or two, and your computer/laptop with enough space to keep a mug and some water. Sort out everything else into drawers or your wastebasket.
- Computer Desktop: Do not clutter your desktop with unnecessary icons for they will slow your computer and distract you. Purge any old unused files or simply transfer them to an external hard disk.
- Work Assignments: Can’t trash work but you can certainly stop procrastinating and get ahead so that last minute deadlines don’t stress you out.
Step 4: Learn to De-clutter the Heart
Life is not always going to be fair – so instead of roaming around with a heavy heart and a chip on your shoulder, try to forgive and forget. So yes, we realize that this has more to do with the brain than the heart, but metaphysically speaking, it’s the emotions and the heartbreak that you simply need to throw away. A simple trick: write down all that is weighing you down, things people did and things you did on a piece of paper. Burn (safely), shred or throw away the paper, telling yourself that today is a brand new day for a brand new you!
- Grudges: While you nurse a grudge, the person is out dancing – or so says the proverb. Lower your expectations and let your complaints go. Either forgive or forget – whatever works for you.
- Baggage: Sometimes, certain friends, colleagues or relatives turn into unwanted baggage, cluttering your emotional life and stressing you out. You may not be able to cut them out from your life, but you can lessen their presence and impact gradually.
Step 5: Get Organized in Your Head, and in Life
We let chores and things accumulate – this creates clutter, and clutter creates stress. Break out of this vicious cycle and get organized – make a list of tasks that need to be done and tackle at least one every day till they are all done! Tackle those heavy drawers and that disorganized shelf. Don’t put off that doctor visit or bank trip anymore. Need to cancel that gym membership or sign on for one? Do it now...
Once all this is done, you have no idea how the lightness of being will make you feel simply incredible! Happy de-cluttering to you!