Clutter. Let’s talk about it. Doing photography at home while raising little ones for 7 years, I was often torn between wanting to work more and needing to manage the house better. I never felt like I had both under control (I still don’t, but I’m working on it!). I did most of my editing on a laptop at my kitchen table, trying to avoid the pile of dishes in the sink or stack of mail to be sorted. When I was putting away laundry, I was thinking about the numerous sessions I needed to edit. Not a great balance.
Now, I’m working away from home a few days a week, and I have a toddler with me when we’re home the rest of the time. He’s a little (A LOT) destructive, and clutter (aka toys everywhere) is an expected part of this season in his life. I can deal with his toddler toynadoes because I know they won’t last forever. However – for certain areas of my life, I’m really making an effort to declutter.
Enter: my Decluttering Listicle (list/article for those of you who are less weird and maybe don’t combine words all the time like I do).
- Sort mail 3x/week. I have files labeled “due next,” “save,” and “paid,” but I’m not good at making sure mail gets sorted into them on a regular basis. I basically blink my eyes and suddenly have enormous stacks of mail taking over my kitchen counter.
- Counter sweep every day. I spend most of my time in the kitchen, and having clean, clear countertops actually makes me sigh with relief. Random things like baby shoes and a million cups are always on the counters, and I’d like to get a handle on that nonsense.
- Clear the table. Again with preferring a clean surface – drinking my morning coffee at the table when it’s completely clear of clutter is my favorite way to start the day. The kitchen table is definitely a catch-all for everything, and that needs to change.
- Donate more! This is a really big one, and super important to me. We don’t shop much, but we still manage to accumulate a lot of stuff. I’d like to donate a piece of clothing every time something new comes into the closet.
- Sort. Three kids who are growing need to have their closets sorted a few times a year. I typically do this at the end of spring when summer is approaching, and in the fall when long sleeves and pants become our daily habit again. I tend to leave a big tote in their room, which I dump outgrown clothes into, but don’t carry downstairs to storage for months. It’s an eyesore and we end up putting crap on top of it.
- Organize. By itself, organizing wouldn’t technically be a “decluttering” task, but what it does for me is give a visual – when I see that my husband has 5 red shirts because I’ve hung them side-by-side, it’s easier to pare down on the unnecessary extras.
- Simplify. This is not a tangible “thing” to declutter, but for me it’s equally important to simplify. I spend a lot of time on social media, and I don’t feel good about wasting minutes of my life on content that’s irrelevant to me. I’m slowly but surely making an effort to streamline who I follow and friend. I have many friends whose mentality is “the more, the merrier,” but that doesn’t work for me, and that’s ok.
- Focus. I have a few favorite platforms, and when I upgrade my phone in the next month or so, I intend to start from scratch. Rather than just transferring everything over, I’m going to be intentional about which apps I download and use daily. It’s so easy to get caught up in endless scrolling, and I don’t want to do that as much anymore, so I’m taking steps to limit it. As much as I love to read, I want to consume content with intention. (Side note: I’m still going to enjoy funny animal & kid memes/videos with a fiery passion and you better believe I won’t regret it, because laughter is ESSENTIAL TO LIFE.)
- Shut it down. More than talking on the phone (which is a thing I truly dislike) and texting (my preferred method of communication), I LOVE being in person with my family and friends. To me, nothing beats a face-to-face conversation. I’m not bad at this, but I could definitely use improvement when I’m home relaxing with my family. It’s easy to pick up my phone when everyone is doing their own thing, and although I’m ok with a quick reply to text/glance at a social media notification or email, I’m continuously working on just straight SHUTTING IT DOWN as much as possible when the people I love are in front of my face. To be perfectly honest, I wish this was as much of a priority for others as it is for me.
Questions for you!!
- How about you, friends? What is something you are working on decluttering/simplifying in your life??
- Have you considered “decluttering” your social media platforms?