De-cluttering is something I find really hard! I am not one of those ‘neat-freaks’ with no paperwork in sight, no lists, no mood boards, lovely clean white lines in the office space…….I am the exact opposite. I wouldn’t say I’m particularly messy.. (anymore!) but if I let things get out of hand the clutter on my desk starts to spark that little bit of angst within me……the same goes for kitchen cupboards, the fridge, bathroom shelves…you get the picture. Soon enough, I find the clutter has extended to the kitchen and is affecting the things I am eating, my bedroom looks like a bomb has gone off which is affecting my sleep, my energy levels are low and I haven’t been running in a week. Clutter for me seems to have a disastrous domino effect and manages to take over my life.
It wasn’t until I started to become more conscious about diet and fitness that I realised cleansing and self-love should also extend to everyday chores that I would usually put off. I am still the same person and naturally things will always get a bit chaotic but I have started to implement some ways to help me de-clutter my everyday life. I’ve found it doesn’t only help me be more productive but brings about inner calm and self-respect.
Here are my top ten tips to de-clutter your life and get that all important zen back:
- Create a sanctuary: Firstly have a good stint at getting rid of things you may have accumulated over time. I seem to collect so much paperwork and hold on to things I really don’t need. As soon as I let the things go I instantly feel more relaxed. Once this is done re-organise your home and add in some calming pieces to your space: fresh flowers, candles, artwork and so on. This sanctuary is your home and somewhere you want to escape to at the end of the day.
- De-stress: If I’ve got lots on and I’m feeling overwhelmed I’ve found that doing the opposite and taking a moment to relax works wonders and helps me be more productive. Doing exercise, meditation, cooking, having a long bath are all things I will force myself to do and inevitably I feel revitalised and ready to conquer that checklist of work-related tasks.
- Get moving: Instead of getting stuck in a rut with the same old fitness routine try and shake it up. I find stepping out of my comfort zone with fitness helps me recharge my batteries and makes me feel more positive. It’s also a great way to try something new and you never know it might become your latest healthy obsession.
- Kitchen Overhaul: Usually if I let me diet slip just a little bit it usually falls into chaos rather quickly and I lose all interest in cooking delicious and nutritious healthy food…….I actually lose all interest in cooking (it’s so weird!). When this rarely happens I have a big kitchen clear out and go back to basics. Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh fish, wholegrains, legumes and so on. As soon as these things are back in my kitchen my creativity sparks and I’m back to making new recipes and feeling like myself again!
- Surround yourself with positivity: Cleansing your surroundings is so important. Hang around positive people who support you in your endeavours and shower you with love. You want to feel happy and inspired by these people not drained.
- Build an organised infrastructure: Organisation is KEY for me. At University I knew that if I started the semester off all over the place with no planning it would never recover and I was always right. Everyone is different but I know that I have to be organised to get anything done. If you build a good infrastructure then you feel like you are in control. This could mean, daily planning, weekly planning, filing documents, having stationery to hand, creating e-mail folders and so on.
- Treat yourself: Every once in a while it’s really important to treat yourself. If you are craving a massage then book one, maybe you want some fresh flowers to greet you as you walk through the front door, those sneakers you’ve been eyeing off have your name on them. Don’t feel guilty for these things……..allow yourself to feel spoilt every so often.
- Step outside: I’m a big believer in nature as therapy. Maybe it stems from my childhood in the countryside….I was always outside, horse riding, bike riding, climbing trees, playing cricket with my brothers (complete tom-boy!). So for me the greatest inner peace I ever feel is when I’m outside with nature. I don’t really need to be doing anything…..just going for a walk near the beach, listening to the waves, dipping my feet into the shallow water…whatever it is I know it is my therapy and something I try to do as often as possible. Having Henri (@henriluxe) has helped with this as he is the best outdoor companion.
- Read or learn something new: I would hate to think that I would ever stop learning. I love reading, talking, and learning from other people. Try and find something that is not related to your work so that you feel refreshed. You might want to learn a new language or at least a few new phrases for your next trip, maybe you want to read up on an artist before you go to see their exhibition next month, maybe you want to learn about a certain period in history…it could be anything! I have been using my camera for about two years and I am quite comfortable using it on manual mode but recently I just haven’t been getting the images I’ve wanted. Instead of throwing my camera out of the window in a fit of rage (believe me I’ve had my moments…haha!) I’ve decided to really concentrate on practicing and learning to get the results I want. I don’t just want to use photography for work but for a way to explore my creative desires.
- Unwind: Find something that makes you feel instantly relaxed. I LOVE listening to music and I find it is so powerful in altering my mood. If I’m having a bit of a ‘flat’ day I will usually turn to my music to make me feel uplifted. On the flip side if I need some calm I can find some tunes to make me feel at ease.
Recognise when your life is getting out of control and take some positive steps to get you back into the driving seat. Life is for enjoying and living to its fullest. Do whatever you can to get the most out of every day.
I would love to hear how you find time to de-clutter and relax in your everyday life, let me know in the comments below! x x
Photography: Aristo Risi