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You ever just sat and wondered how on earth you got so busy? You’re not alone, friend. It’s easy to get into the habit of adding and adding things to your plate without removing anything else.
Then one day you wake up overwhelmed and wondering what in the heck happened. If you’re in that place now, listen up. After reading this, you will be able to look at your own life and figure out what needs to go to make space for a simpler life with the things that really light your fire.
What does declutter your life even mean?
So, you’ve probably heard of Mari Kondo or the Home Edit on Netflix, right? Well decluttering your life is similar, but instead of decluttering your space, you’re decluttering your mind and calendar.
You take a look at your life, mind, and schedule and see what stays and what goes. You simplify your life and schedule so you can free up your schedule to have better quality time with the things that matter the most to you.
Why decluttering your life is so important for a special needs mom.
As a special needs mom, your life is already so full. You are a working mom, take care of your family, you’re a wife to your husband, and have a part-time job keeping up with your child’s medical needs.
You have enough on your plate and don’t need to go around mindlessly adding things to your schedule.
When you take time to really look at your life and schedule and pare down things you don’t need, it leaves you room for the things that really light up your world like spending time with your husband and kids and starting that business.
Remember those dreams you had when you were fresh out of high school? Maybe you wanted to be a chef or the head of a company or be a bank manager. Whatever your dream is you can still do it.
Simplifying and decluttering your life is a way to buy back more of your time so you can free up your schedule to do the things you love.
Side note: It’s okay to say no when someone asks you a question. You don’t have to agree to everything someone asks you to do.
I am really picky about what I add to my schedule. I have trained myself to be slow to say yes and quick to say no when someone asks me to do something.
Benefits of decluttering your life
There are countless benefits to decluttering your life. There is nothing but good things and benefits that come from decluttering your life.
You save your time and energy for what you really value
When you declutter your life and mind, you save your valuable time and energy to spend time doing the things you love.
You know that dream that’s been tugging at your heart that you thought you had to put down on the backburner because your child takes up a lot of your time?
Yeah, that one.
You should go do it.
When you look at your life and prune the weeds, it leaves the space for beautiful things to happen.
Quality over quantity.
It can look like……
- Fewer high-quality friends over a bunch of girlfriends you only see once a year.
- Fewer social invitations to save room for the ones that matter the most.
You get the drift.
You have more freedom
When you declutter your life, you have less things that are competing for space inside your head. You don’t get overwhelmed at the thought of looking at your schedule.
You aren’t filled with dread every Monday morning because you’re thinking of the 1,000 commitments you’ve made for yourself this week. You have the freedom to only add things that “spark joy” as Marie Kondo would say.
You have a clearer mind
When you have a clutter free life on purpose, your mind feels so much lighter because you aren’t about 1,000 things at once. You don’t have all those things floating through your mind.
When you have a busy schedule, you’re always wondering what’s going to happen next or when the ball is going to drop again. But when you have a clearer mind, you’re able to focus on what matters most to you.
Questions to ask yourself when decluttering
Asking yourself these questions will help you get really clear on your decision to keep something or to let it go.
Would I do this again? Or Would I buy this again?
This is the question I use to declutter. You can reword it to fit any other thing you’re decluttering.
- Would I resubscribe to this email?
- Would I take this job offer again? Would I be friends with this person again?
- Would I sign-up for this committee again?
One of the biggest reasons we have clutter is we think making decisions is permanent. You are always free to remake decisions.
You can just decide you want a new job. You can just decide you don’t want your cable bill anymore. You can just decide you want your kids to take swimming lessons. You can just make and remake decisions as you see fit.
Do I really use this?
Again, this is a question I ask when decluttering my things, but you can reword it too. Do you really look at this email? Do you really watch the cable? Do you really like being on this committee? Do I really have the time to be a volunteer?
Tips to Declutter Your Life
Decluttering your social media
Decluttering your social media is so helpful. You can look at everyone you’re following and decide if you still want to follow them. You can even unfollow your friends.
Gasp. I know. You can still be friends in real life without following each other. If someone always makes you feel like your life is lacking, unfollow.
If you are following accounts for a life that you don’t want for yourself, unfollow. You can go looking for people who have achieved the goals you want to achieve for inspiration.
For example, if you want to lose weight, maybe you unfollow the dessert accounts and start following some fitness accounts and a keto account.
Follow inspirational special needs families. Unfollow the people who don’t help you get to where you want to go and then go and follow people who will inspire you to reach your goals.
Decluttering your phone
- Delete all those old contacts you no longer need (except medical ones). You don’t need all of those people you used to talk to 10 years ago in your phone.
- Delete all of the old apps you don’t use.
- Delete the apps that are time sucks (like social media).
Remove the 10 million notifications you have on your phone. You don’t need all of those notifications anyway. Google how to do this for your model of phone.
Most of the time, you go to settings and then notifications. You can then decide to disable ALL notifications or just the notifications associated with a particular app.
Declutter your calendar
Look at your calendar and start decluttering things. If you don’t want to be in that committee, don’t. If you don’t want to go to that Christmas party, don’t.
Look at your calendar and figure out which things you want to cut out and do it. If you are going to Zumba and hate it, stop. Find another exercise class you’ll like.
Declutter your house
Decluttering your house will take time. Take it room by room or even closet by closet if you have to. Slowly work your way through your home and remove the things you no longer need.
When I started decluttering I had more stuff than I would ever use. In my house, we run the dishwasher at least once a day. So there’s no need for my children to have 10 cups apiece.
If we only eat soup once every 6 weeks & only during the cold months, I don’t need to have 2 soup ladles. If I don’t ever make homemade popcorn, I don’t need a popcorn maker.
Throw away the lids without a matching container. You get the drift. It’s not just about getting rid of the stuff you don’t use, it’s also about minimizing the things you use too. If you eat a ton of soup, keep both of the ladles.
If not, get rid of them. You can start by the area that gives you the most headache. Usually, these are the bathroom or kitchen.
Declutter your closet
Decluttering your closet can be challenging. It can be so hard to say goodbye to clothes.
But when you go into your closet and you only see clothes that actually fit that you actually wear and you don’t have to dig through 10 pairs of pants that don’t fit tath make you feel bad about yourself, it’s so freeing. It’s so nice to only have clothes that fit and that you love.
Declutter your office
Decluttering your office or paper piles is amazing. YOu can work in your office without constantly seeing clutter in your peripheral vision.
You can actually work instead of looking around and thinking about what you need to declutter. It’s an amazing feeling to have a minimalist office. You can even decide to minimize your office supplies too. I’m talking to you office supply nerds (like me!). You don’t need 10 brands of pens.
Make a commitment. Choose 1 brand of pen, choose 1 correction tape, choose 1 highlighter. Limiting your choices prevents the clutter from piling up again.
Declutter your paper
Paper clutter used to be the bane of my existence. I worked at a bank in my early twenties where I had to keep every piece of paper for documentation.
I guess I got used to it and felt like I had to do that at home too. Well, when you have a child with special needs and you get endless amounts of paperwork in the mail daily, you can’t keep everything.
You have to learn how to pare it down. I’ve learned to keep a minimal paper house. I have a medical binder, recipe binder, and a budget binder and that’s it.
That’s the only paper I keep (besides momentos and important papers in the safe). If you’re drowning in paper clutter, this post will really help!
Declutter your email
Have you ever gotten sent an important email only to not see it because it’s buried in email clutter that you’ll never read? Yep, it’s happened to me too.
Unsubscribing from emails and having only a few email folders is wonderful for your email clutter. I just keep a few email folders to save important things.
I unsubscribed from the rest of the emails so they could stop cluttering up my email inbox.
If you want to be able to unsubscribe from emails quickly and easily, try Unroll.me. You can sign up through their website and they will let you choose which emails to keep and which ones to unsubscribe you from.
5 Tips for Maintaining a clutter-free life
Maintaining a clutter-free life is so important. If you just go back to a packed house and schedule, your efforts are in vain.
Maintaining is important to keeping a simplistic lifestyle where you can focus on the important things in your life like your family and your goals.
You’re going to get clutter again. Things will pile up again. The thing is to realize it before it gets crazy out of hand and just declutter the one small area when you see that’s starting to get bad.
Ex: If you open the pantry and a bag of potato chips bounces off your forehead, it’s time to declutter the pantry. If you can’t find the lid to a bowl, it’s time to declutter the Tupperware cabinet.
Just realize these things as they’re happening so you can declutter before it get’s out of control.
Think twice about adding in new things
Don’t say yes at the drop of a hat. Realize it’s okay to say no. You don’t have to say yes to someone every time they open their mouth.
You don’t have to get the latest and greatest razor you saw on that Facebook ad.
You don’t need those shoes in another color when you don’t wear the ones you have.
Be content with the things you already have. Realize you have everything you need and don’t really need to add another thing.
Guard your schedule like a hawk
This kinda goes with the previous suggestion, but it bears repeating. You don’t need to automatically say yes to everything and everyone.
You need to strategically add things to your schedule as you see fit. Just because you say no to being on another committee at church doesn’t make you a bad Christian.
Just because you don’t become a room mom at your kids’ school doesn’t make you a bad mom. Just because you say no to the 5 million fundraisers for your child’s local disability group doesn’t mean you’re a bad mom. It’s okay to say no.
Before buying new things ask yourself these questions:
- Will this make my life better in any way?
- If I get this can I get rid of something else?
- Do I really love this or just kind of want it?
- Can I get by without it?
Asking yourself these questions will help you keep the clutter at bay. This isn’t to say you can never get new things. These are to make you think twice about adding in a bunch of new things that are just going to collect dust.
Cause when that happens you’re just wasting your time and money getting the thing. But if you’re really buying something you need and love and will keep a while, it’s worth it.
Always realize you can remake decisions whenever you feel like it
The best part of minimalism and simple living is realizing you can just remake decisions whenever you want. You can just decide to quit hanging out with Negative Nancy.
You can just decide to stop eating meat if you want. You can just decide to get rid of your dining room table that you never use. You get to decide what your life looks like.
You get to cultivate the life and home of your dreams. It’s so exciting. NOt to mention my type A personality gets so excited at the mention of decluttering.
Next, if you want to declutter your schedule, even more, check out the Prioritize Your To-Do List workbook. It will help you walk through your schedule so you can declutter it and leave room for your priorities so you can focus on what matters the most and doing what you love.
You don’t have to have a schedule filled with things you don’t want on there. You can cultivate a life you love.