I’ve spent this weekend getting ready for the New Year. Traditionally this time of year I spend a lot of time creating a big vision for my life (I have a podcast episode about that you can check out on iTunes or Podbean). However, this past weekend I did a massive declutter. This decluttering felt different to me than just cleaning out stuff. It really felt like a ceremony of letting things go and making room for new things to come in. If you’re interested in hearing more about it check out the video I made (this is my first ever YouTube video so please be kind!). If you’re interested in doing this process download the free workbook I made below.
Step One: Clearing Emotional Space
I spent a lot of time journaling about what I want to let go of in the new year. Getting really clear on what I don’t want helps me have a clear vision for what I want the future to look like. Ask yourself what you need to stop doing in order to have the life that you want. Who is holding you back? What are you emotionally holding onto that you could let go of? This part of the process felt really healing for me and I acknowledged some hurt and pain I had been holding onto that I would like to release. This process can bring up painful memories but I found that bringing them up on purpose with the intention of healing and releasing them was very empowering.
- Destroy the pages when you’re done so you don’t have to worry about anyone ever reading it and to have the release of destroying it
- Go all in. Now is the time to clear out all of the stuff you’ve been shoving down deep.
- Burn candles, use special paper or pens and play meditation music. Make this time sacred.
- If you’re not sure what to write just free write three pages. Challenge yourself to write as fast as you can and don’t judge what comes through. Writing a few pages usually helps me get unstuck and gets ideas flowing.
Step Two: Calling In What You Want
I love the idea of claiming what you want in the New Year or just in your life in general. I created a really exciting vision of what I wanted the future and the next year to look like. I created specific goals for the year that will help me move towards my bigger vision and that felt exciting to me. Once I had my plan I was ready to clear out my physical space.
- Make a vision board to have a visual representation of the life you are creating.
- Follow people on social media that are living a lifestyle similar to what you’re calling in.
- Make a Pinterest board with pins that represent the lifestyle you want.
- Script what you want your life to be like a year from now.
- Get excited about the possibilities for your future. Read other peoples success stories.
Step Three: Physical Declutter
Clearing out my physical space is my favorite way to feel like I am starting over or when I want to feel like I have a fresh start. I did a massive declutter of my house and it was more of a ceremony to symbolize letting go of what no longer serves me and creating space for new better things to come into my life. It felt really good to let physical things go and having a physical representation of what I had emotionally cleared and called in felt really powerful.
- Play songs that pump you up and dance around.
- Donate everything you declutter and picture all of your items going to a great new home where they are needed and appreciated.
- Get rid of everything that you don’t wear, use, etc.
- Commit to making your space look and feel good to be in.
- Get excited about all of the space you are clearing for new things to come into your life.
- Do a deep clean and organize all of your drawers, your refrigerator etc.
I hope this decluttering process helps you. When I did it I felt so much clearer and lighter and I really feel like there is physical and energetic room for new opportunities to flow to me. The whole process felt really cleansing and healing and I hope it can do the same for you. Check out the ideas below for more areas of your life you can declutter.
I’ve been working really hard to live my best damn life and a big part of that has been detoxing everything that doesn’t bring me joy. I am stupid messy and when Konmari was all the rage I jumped on the tidying up magic train. The method didn’t stick with me 100% and at any given time there are multiple projects making big messes in various rooms in my hosue. The thing I really love about Konmari though is the idea of letting everything go that doesn’t spark joy. I like to apply the principle to other aspects of my life besides just material things. This is such an epic principle to live by if you really think about it.
Uncomfortable heels? See ya!
Job that smothers your soul and wastes your talents? Tata for now!
Boyfriend that insults your looks and cuts down your dreams? Boy bye!
Going through your house and getting rid of every single damn thing that doesn’t spark job can be really empowering. Once I had gotten rid of all the material things that didn’t light me up anymore I moved onto less tangible things like daily practices, relationships and self talk. Here are some things I have been working on decluttering for my mental health.
I have been trying to declutter the time I spend fucking around each day. I know you know what I’m talking about. Don’t act like you’ve never wasted your sweet precious time playing Angry Birds. We all have ways we waste lots of time everyday. If I didn’t watch Netflix every night I could probably have earned a PhD by now. I love this article on Get Bullish that talks about cutting out all the daily “fucking around” we do and instead focus on spending our time doing things that are either extremely productive or extremely pleasurable.
“Is looking at Modcloth dresses you can’t afford as fun as eating chocolate in the bathtub? Why play Farmville when you could be trying new sexual positions and photographing the results for nostalgic reminiscence when you are elderly?”
Try to identify your biggest time wasters and swap them out for the most pleasurable ways you can find to pass the time. I love baths so I’ve changed my evening routine from watching Netflix on the couch to listening to podcasts in the bathtub while I do a face mask, hair mask and give myself a pedicure. Decluttering your life of all the fucking around you’re doing can give you time to do more of the things you really truly enjoy. On top of finding more time for pleasure you can also find more time to get shit done. Usually I spend my lunch hour each day browsing Facebook and Instagram but since I’ve been decluttering my life of fucking around I’ve been working on finishing my ebook (hopefully it’ll be coming soon!). Use any little bit of time you can find to do something great for your future self and head towards the life you want to be living or spend it doing something really freaking pleasurable.
Until I really started to declutter my diet I had tricked myself into thinking I was actually eating healthy. I spent Sunday meal prepping and making “clean” meals to take to work for the week (just like all those instagram models!). However, it wasn’t until I got serious about my eating habits and totaled up all the calories I was eating that I realized I was eating way too much crap food. Like a candy bar and bag of chips every. single. day. The whole time I felt so smug eating my salmon and vegetables for lunch while my overall diet was still filled with a ton of garbage. I decluttered my eating by going through and replacing all the junk food I was eating with healthy alternatives. This means I have to pack more food for work but it’s really not a big deal. I feel WAY better now that I’m not going through a big sugar crash at the end of the day and that gives me more energy after work to do things that make me feel good like going to the gym or writing on this blog.
I decluttered my exercise routine by getting freaking focused. I am a big advocate of ten minute workouts but I had been letting myself get away with only doing one or two a week. That is not enough exercise to keep my mental health strong. Not even close. I still do my ten minute YouTube workouts and if you’re new to fitness I think you should try them but I am now holding myself accountable to exercise at least 3-4 times per week. This is the frequency that helps me feel my best. The other way I’m decluttering my fitness is to pay more attention when I’m working out and try to actually push myself. There are so many benefits to working out at home instead of going to the gym but one of the cons is no one is around to see if I let myself slack off during my workouts. I’m working on cutting out all the half ass exercise I was doing and replacing it with intentionally strong ass kicking instead.
I have a whole article about how to read the news without getting really freaking depressed. However, I often suck at taking my own good advice. I love to follow politics but that shit can really get me down. It’s hard to find the balance between wanting to be educated and informed and wanting to maintain my own mental health and happiness. I have decluttered my news intake by taking the app off my phone and only reading the news one time per day. When I have the app on my phone I tend to read it all damn day and by the end of the day I am completely burnt out. By decluttering my day of all the “news checks” I usually do throughout the day I’m able to be more focused and present. Reading the news once in the morning allows me to still be informed but prevents me from burning up a ton of energy following current events.
There are a few ways I’ve decluttered my social media. Like the news, I have taken the apps off of my phone and I only look at it once per day. In addition to limiting it, I also take anyone who doesn’t inspire me and make me feel good off of my news feed. Try to fill your social media with Instagramers that inspire you and Facebook friends that spark joy in your heart. Social media can be filled with a lot of negativity if you don’t actively declutter it. Make your goal this week to have the most joy-filled social media platforms as you possibly can. Share positive messages on Facebook and Twitter. Put up some inspirational quotes on Instagram. Comment tons of encouraging and complimentary things on friends pictures and posts. Try to make your social media the happiest place on the damn internet. Anything that is negative or toxic doesn’t deserve your attention. Delete, remove or block as you feel needed.
I am so guilty of leaving everything on my desktop and letting my laptop just be a general clusterfuck. Honestly, one of the best things I have done for myself is starting to store everything in google docs. This way I can access all of my business files, documents and folders from any computer. When I moved into the cloud I spent time creating and organizing all of my documents into folders and now I can actually find the things I need quickly and easily (what a wild idea). It makes life less frustrating and easy when you have everything you need at your fingertips and you don’t have to dig around trying to find it. Spend some time organizing your digital files so they’re easier to find and you don’t have to do that frustrating hunt for the document you created last month.
I accumulate apps on my phone so fast it will make your head spin. When I’m spring cleaning my digital life I go through my phone and delete all of the extra apps I have on there that I’m not using. It feels great to get rid of all the un-needed clutter on my phone. After I clear out all the useless apps I clean out old pictures, videos and downloaded files. Something about cleaning out my phone just helps me feel more aligned and ready to kick ass. Get rid of anything that doesn’t serve you or is weighing you down.
My email is just always out of control. I never take the time to unsubscribe from stuff I don’t read so I accumulate an insane amount of email very quickly. I use Unroll.Me once every few months to quickly and easily remove myself from email lists I don’t want to be on. It only takes a few minutes and it’s amazing how much email it cuts down on. This alone makes my email feel so much less overwhelming. It’s a lot easier to get through my email without all the junk mail cluttering up my email.
OK, so I know this isn’t supposed to be about declutting your house but my closet is still a work in progress. I have tackled the project lately of upgrading my wardrobe and I want all of the outfits that I own to spark joy and make me feel like a bad ass queen. All of the stuff I have that doesn’t do that has been getting the ax. I’ve been using the app Poshmark to help me redo my wardrobe. I love it because it makes it so damn easy to sell and buy used clothes, you just download the app, snap a picture and add your price. Once the item sells, Poshmark will send you a shipping label that you can print out. You can even schedule the postal service to come pickup the package so you don’t even have to take it anywhere. If you’re interested in trying it out you can use my code (UOKAL) to get $5.00 to use towards your first purchase. I’ve been using Poshmark to help me build my bad ass queen wardrobe by purchasing items I want for a fraction of the price. Recently, I fell in love with a pair of shoes at Nordstroms (the Vince Camuto Evel sandals-aren’t they the cutest?) but like most things at Nordstroms, they were a bit too pricey for me. I ended up finding the exact pair of shoes I wanted on Poshmark for just twenty bucks and three days later they were sitting in my closet. Buying shoes might not seem like a great way to declutter but I got rid of every pair that didn’t make me feel like a bad ass and replaced them with one pair of really cute comfortable flats for daily wear and one cute pair of shoes for going out. Decisions stress me out so having too many choices is not ideal for me or my anxiety. Less choices, more bad assness. Those are my closet and fashion goals.
I know how hard it can be to declutter your garbage self talk but the sooner you do it the better. Life is too short to go around beating yourself down. Picture yourself living the best life you can possible dream up. Imagine how that person would feel and how she would talk to herself in her head. In your fantasy dream life are you going around beating yourself up? I really freaking hope not, life is too short to go around making yourself feel like crap. Work on decluttering all the negative thoughts you have about yourself and replacing them with affirmations. Do you want to go through life thinking “gosh, I’m such a spectacular loser and nothing good will ever happen to me” or “I’m going to keep doing my very best and I can’t wait to see what life has waiting for me in the future”. You’re the only one that has to live in your head. You should really work on making it the most kind, motivational and inspirational place that you possible can.
I am the queen of having a total cluster fuck of a goal list. I have a never ending amount of ideas but I am also epically bad at planning. This results in tons of drafted blog posts, half written books and courses that were all started in a moment of inspiration and then abandoned. Decluttering your goals means getting clear on what you really freaking want. When I have big picture goals it helps keep me from getting distracted by the thousands of ideas that pop into my brain all the time. We only get to live ONCE and that scares the absolute heck out of me. Spend some time dreaming about what your absolutely perfect and ideal life would be like. Then write down some steps you can take to start working towards it. It’s OK if you’re goals are really far away and I’m a big believer in dreaming really freaking big. If you don’t have the audacity to believe you could be a girlboss entrepreneur with a cute dog and a jaw dropping handsome and supportive feminist boyfriend (ok so this might be specific to me) you probably won’t ever get those things. You deserve to have every single damn thing your heart wants in this life. Once you believe that the world starts to look like it has a lot more possibilities and it’s a lot easier to declutter your goals and get crystal fucking clear about what your heart really wants.
I am not a licensed therapist or mental health professional. If you are suffering from a major disorder and need treatment please seek the help of a professional. If you need help finding a mental health care provider call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit BetterHelp to talk to a certified therapist online at an affordable price. This post contains affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure policy here.
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