A few days ago the friendship bracelet that my one of my best friends had brought me back from her trip to Spain fell off. This sounds rather inconsequential, but for the first time since entering high school, my wrists were free from friendship bracelets, concert wristbands, jewelry, or even hair bands. I had clung to these various bells and whistles as ways of expressing myself and reminding myself what was important to me every time I looked at my wrist. Seeing my wrists completely naked, however, didn’t feel like I loosing a source of identity, but gaining a sense of freedom.
After the minor libration-high that I felt, I decided to start reducing unnecessary clutter in other parts of my life too. Inspired by William Morris’s quote, “have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful and believe to be beautiful,” I began cleaning out my room, my kitchen, my pinterest and my life in general. Even though my journey to reduce the unnecessary clutter in my life has just begun, already I am feeling so much more free to focus on the things that bring me true happiness.
Here’s my list of things that I’ve done or am planning to do in order to reinstate some clarity and simplicity in my life. I hope that you try some of these ideas yourself and see your happiness level increase from doing so.
- Clean out your closet and give away any items that you haven’t worn in the past 6 months. You can give your clothes to friends, hold a clothing swap, donate them, use the fabric for sewing projects, or sell them at a consignment store.
- Go through your pantry, freezer, and refrigerator and trash any items that have past their expiration date. Make a game of it by trying to find out what item expired the longest ago.
- Combine all of your produce that is past its prime to make a nutrient-packed vegetable soup
- Throw away all of your make up that has expired and reward yourself with new products. Foundation lasts 6 month-1 year, concealer lasts 6 months, blush and eyeshadow last 1-2 years, lip gloss and lipstick last 1 year, mascara lasts 3-4 months, organic products last 6 months, and your brushes should be cleaned twice monthly. If you don’t remember when you bought it, dump it!
- Reinstate one of your old exercise routines that you gave up when life got too busy. For me this means going on a 3-5 mile run once a week.
- Meditate for just 5 minutes per night. Really take time to get in touch with your thoughts.
- Start journaling. Each day take the time to record something that you are grateful for, something you learned, and any random thought from that day. Reading through these notes will remind you how wonderful life is whenever you start to feel blue.
- Resist the notion that you must have a packed social life, and instead stay in for the night. Relax by drinking a warm cup of tea, curling up with a good book, and taking a luxurious bubble bath.
- Try reducing your added sugar. When a sugar craving arises, meet it with fresh fruit, yogurt with cinnamon, or a bowl of low-sugar hot chocolate.
- Go through your pinterest and delete repeated pins and pins that no longer interest you. Also make a new board for projects that you hope to make in the near future, so that you don’t forget about them.
- Don’t wear make up or use heat products on your hair for the day. You are beautiful without it and giving your skin the time to simply breathe will do wonders for it.
- Treat yourself a=to a facial to refresh your skin, and let the facialist help you craft a plan for how to best care for your skin in the future.
- Remove your peeling nail polish and repaint them a bold new color, or leave them natural for a while. Anything is better than chipping polish.
- Turn off your electronics for an entire day, and get lost in nature instead.
What do you do to restore balance and order to your life?