Five Ways to De-Cluttering to Affect your Stress Levels

The past week has brought some new ideas about this concept of de-cluttering I introduced earlier in the week. I talked about how de-cluttering is different than spring cleaning because it goes a bit deeper and digs deeps. It also focuses on aligning with your values and truth (Okay, maybe I didn’t say it in this exact way), which is not something usually associated with spring cleaning.  De-cluttering is about going one step beyond, really looking at how the things in your life align with your values, desires, and commitments.

I mentioned there are at least seven areas of wellness.  In each area, there are the big things and the little things I do to help with this process. Here are a few suggestions in three of these areas I do, what others have suggested and some you may want to start thinking about.

Finances: This is a huge space for many people and for a long time, it was also for me. Recently I made a couple decisions to terminate some agreements that were taking up my time and money. And while these were investments, I wanted to align my time and money with some other things. Initiating the changes was uncomfortable and yet when the papers were signed, I realized it did exactly what I wanted to do: it freed up some time and money for other projects I was pulled towards. De-cluttering finances may also mean looking at where the money goes and what can be cut down. I know one of the major things I have worked on is cutting down money I spend on nonessentials. While I do indulge in some of these from time-to-time, it is not something I do as often. An example of this was keeping receipts for everything for a year, and calculating where I wanted to cut some expenses down for the following year. An important part of this was making sure I wasn’t feeling deprived, as that feeling can often be sabotaging. Consciously choosing where and how this money was going made the difference. The result of this was more money for vacations, big purchases, and saving.

Social: This area can involve relationships, social media, and groups. Others have shared with me how they have deleted membership to many of the groups they belonged to, which didn’t serve their current values, place, and direction they wanted to go. So they also deleted the amount of email that came in, which helped saved some time. Once they de-cluttered scores of memberships, they were able to focus with more clarity on what they wanted, and not be pulled in so many different directions. Social media can also be a space to de-clutter. This can involve limiting time spent on social media, deleting accounts you no longer use, etc. Energy still flows into things we are still connected to, even though we may not have used it for years. Once the de-cluttering process happens, some people shared how it helped with some other issues they struggled with.

Scheduling: This tends to be one of the most challenging areas to de-clutter,  especially when there are 4 or 5 schedules to coordinate. What I have generally done, is try to space things out, so I’m not overloading a particular day. I give myself plenty of time in-between meetings and “want-to-dos”, to avoid feeling rushed. De-cluttering my schedule in this way has helped with recognizing what meetings and activities I choose to do first and what these mean to me. When there are numerous activities to coordinate (kids, travel, work, etc.), one tip that others have shared to de-clutter is simply combining activities and allowing one free day during the week and one on the weekend.

So there are at least five ways how you can bring de-cluttering into your life to prevent, reduce or manage your stress. I will love to hear how these work for you and other suggestions you want to share with the readers!

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