Make Room for the Good Stuff
Let’s face it – most of us would say our lives our FULL. Jam-packed actually, filling our minds, our space, our schedules and our days with clutter. Full to the brim and over-flowing with work and kids and appointments and chores and vacations and errands and on and on…
FULL FULL FULL –but wait… what about the good stuff, the really, really sweet stuff of life? The things that speak to your soul, like happiness, joy, and fun.
What about taking time to savor the sweet smell of just mowed grass, watching your child jump on the trampoline, having a long conversation with a good friend over a tall glass of ice tea? These things don’t just appear in your daily routine, you’ve got to get rid of some of life’s clutter to make room for them.
So let’s look at de-cluttering, getting rid of the un-necessary stuff in our minds, our spaces and our schedules to free up some room and energy for the good stuff.
There’s no doubt that we live in a noisy world. Alerts, alarms, reminders, ringers, dings and whistles. Technology is creeping in on the quiet and peaceful places of our lives and filling our minds with incessant clutter. Here are just a few stats on the ‘averages’ in our world today:
- 84% of cell phone users claim they could not go a single day without their device.
- 67% of cell phone owners check their phone for messages, alerts, or calls — even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating.
- Studies indicate some mobile device owners check their devices every 6.5 minutes.
Just one piece of technology – the cell phone (and that’s not even counting all the other types of technology available to us) – can fill our mind to overflowing!
In order to make room for some new and positive stuff, you’ve got to clear your mind of the inane. There’s one simple word that does the trick here – UNPLUG! I know it’s hard to do and our teenagers can’t even fathom it, but it’s something you’ve got to find a way to do.
A couple of tips for you to try:
Power down for an hour each day. Henry Ward Beecher said, “The first hour is the rudder of the day.” Start with the first hour of your day. Don’t let anyone else’s agenda kidnap your day first thing. Make planning your day your priority!
Remove some apps on your phone. I know, some of you are shuddering. If Facebook is your time waster, take the app off your phone. That at least makes it harder to access. I removed FB from my phone over 6 months ago and now I don’t even miss it!
Next time you have a ‘date’ with a friend or a spouse, whether it’s for lunch or a swanky dinner – leave your phone in the car. And then ask them to do the same. It’ll be a very different date!
Here’s my happy place where I eschew technology. Find yours….
Wherever you are, look around. What do you see? Do you see stacks of papers or piles of clothes or life’s everyday stuff strewn about? Chances are if your mind is cluttered, then so are your physical surroundings. Let’s de-clutter your space and make some room!
Your ‘space’ – whether it’s your desk or office, your kitchen, bedroom or your car – should make you feel peaceful and calm. It should be easy for you to function in and should lift you up, not drag you down.
If you’ve got stacks of papers on your desk, go through them and file the important ones and trash the rest. If you’re like me you’ve got everything from bills to receipts to articles to printouts. Dive into those stacks and get those papers and receipts where they are supposed to be and not piling up on your desk.
Take a look at the objects around you. Are they useful? Do they serve a purpose? Do they bring you joy or make you smile? If not then they probably should go. Consider donating, recycling or re-purposing them.
If you didn’t have them already, make sure you add a few things that just simply make you happy – objects that just makes your heart swell when you see them. Oh my desk is a small cup that is rough around the edges, doesn’t match a thing and probably to anyone else’s eye is downright tacky. It’s a cup by son Rob made in art class when he was 10 years old. To me it’s worth more than gold and makes me smile every time I look at it! Make sure you’ve got a few heart strong things.
Tidy up, sort, file and choose the remaining wisely. Take another look around and get ready for some good stuff!
Ever have one of those days or even weeks that every moment is scheduled? The kind of day where you have to pencil in a walk or few minutes with your husband? If that’s the case then you may have some un-necessary clutter in your schedule.
Take a look at your calendar, day-timer and your commitments. For each appointment or activity, ask yourself if it’s really necessary. Think about what benefits come from it. Does it add value to your life? Of course some things are a ‘must’ for work or school, but there may be some optional things that need to be let go in order to make room for the things that really make you happy.
And don’t forget about your unscheduled time. Think about everything you did yesterday. Was there anything that was a waste of time like hours watching TV or perusing Facebook? Mindless activities like this are CLUTTER! Move that clutter out and replace it with things like taking a walk, reading an inspirational book or doing something else that brings positive thoughts and energy to your day. De-clutter your schedule and make room for some fun!
Here’s a calendar you can play with that lays out a full week of your life. I used it as a tool when I taught productivity workshops eons ago. That’s no longer my focus. (I came to realize most of us are fine on the productivity side of things, it’s creating more downtime for ourselves where we really need help!)
But this is a great tool for looking at a week of your life and figuring out what you can let go of, and where you can capture some time for you. Here’s what I suggest.
First, put in your rest time. The times you’ll be sleeping and letting your body rejuvenate.
Then put in your necessities. If you’re at work from 9 to 5, mark that in. Choir on Tuesday nights or soccer on Thursdays? Put it in.
Then look at what’s left and DON’T CLUTTER that time with keeping yourself busy. Leave some time unscheduled. Make some time for the juicy stuff of life – exercise, a massage, time socializing. Whatever it is that makes your heart soar.
So life may be FULL but make sure it’s NOT full of clutter. Take a look at your world and get busy de-cluttering those areas that are clogged up and holding you back. Make some room for the good stuff!
“The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t.” ~Joshua Becker
“Clear clutter – make space for you.” ~Magdelena Vandenberg
“Rid of clutter and you may find that it was blocking the door your’ve been looking for.” ~Katrina Mayer
“As I un-clutter my life, I free myself to answer the callings of my soul.”~Dr Wayne Dyer
“You must clear out what you don’t want to make room for what you want to arrive.” ~Bryant McGill
“Find the thing that stirs you heart, and make room for it.” ~Joan D Chittister
“Always make room for the unexpected in yourself.” ~Steve Martin
Check out this poignant video about with a powerful message!
Clutter Busting for Busy Women by Virginia Barkley – Break free from the clutter and harness the energy of life — not stuff — to find personal fulfillment.
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