This past month things have been a bit quiet around the blog. I’ve kind of been in hibernation mode – taking advantage of the last month of winter. I’ve also been feeling a strong urge to make space in my life – at home, in my schedule and in my mind.
This inward retreat and process of clearing out the old and stagnant has been essential because I’ve had even more on my plate than usual. I’ve been working through multiple uni assignments, reading and completing exercises for the awesome blogging eCourse Bright-Eyed & Blog-Hearted, and solo parenting last week while my husband was away for work. Having more commitments and less time has highlighted an immediate need for more space, freedom and focus in my life. The flip side of this is that I’ve had even less time to dedicate to decluttering than I normally would.
This has (gently) forced me to develop some easy and practical ways to incorporate my desire to declutter into my daily routine. There’s no time for hours of sorting, organising and rearranging here!
- Every time I put away a load of washing, I take a few items of clothing out of the wardrobe first, and either put them in storage (to be worn again) or in a pile to donate. This means I have less washing overall, and the clean clothes are easier to put away too.
- I choose one activity to do with Jack each day – we usually decide together – and I don’t commit to anything else (although we almost always end up doing more than one activity). If I promise him we will play Lego, go to the park, build a cubby house, play Play Doh and ride bikes all in one day, more than likely we won’t get everything done. I end up feeling rushed and disorganised, the house gets out-of-control messy, and Jack is disappointed that we didn’t do every single thing on the list. When I keep our schedule fairly empty, we have more fun and I feel far more peaceful.
- I try to complete one task at a time. Being more mindful and living in the present moment is something that I have been focusing on this year, but it’s still something that I struggle with. When it comes to boring tasks like housework, I like to multitask because it feels like I am getting more work done. But in reality, it is taking me longer to finish each task, I often get distracted, and sometimes I completely give up on a task halfway through. I’m sure that I have housework-specific ADD. Completing one task before moving on to the next makes me more productive and I feel less rushed. Rushing, from place to place or from activity to activity, makes me feel stifled and trapped. I want my days to feel spacious and I want to feel present and engaged – even if I’m only folding washing or stacking the dishwasher.
This desire to clear out the old to make space for the new is not going away just yet, and there are still some things that I hope to do over this next week to make space in my life.
- For a household with two beds and a cot, we have the world’s biggest collection of bed linen. I am in the process of sorting, washing and discarding the pieces we no longer need. I am sick of stuffing pillowcases and fitted sheets into the overflowing linen cupboard. Same goes for bath towels. I plan to keep only the bare minimum, and an added bonus will be that I will never again be faced with the literal mountain of washing that is currently exploding out of our laundry. More space in the laundry, more space in my day (because I do hate the perpetual dirty laundry pile!)
- I am determined to get my email inbox to zero by the end of this week! This will also involve unsubscribing from many newsletters that I no longer love. Nothing says space better than an empty inbox!
- My fridge, freezer and pantry are begging for a clean out, so I will do a quick declutter before our next grocery expedition. Expired condiments, anyone?
- I am in the final writing stage of an essay for uni that has been plaguing me for the last month. It is due this Friday, and I have a calming visualisation on repeat in my mind when I sit down to study: the feeling of sheer relief that will come when I finally send it for marking.
- When overwhelm hits, I often fall into the trap of wanting to ‘zone out’ (or more fittingly ‘numb out’) by scrolling mindlessly through Facebook, or staring at the TV. The kind of things that suck time and energy out of me. When I finally wake up from my Facebook coma, a big chunk of time has passed that I could have used productively, or dedicated to important self-care. For the final week of my winter hibernation, I’m aiming to avoid mindless TV and zombie-like social media trawling. I’ll be replacing ‘numbing out’ with hot baths, deep breaths, and baby cuddles.
If you want to clear out some space in your life like I have been, I highly recommend that you check out Cleansed, a 6-week online wellness course, starting September 1st. I completed the first round of Cleansed earlier this year, and it was life-changing for me. I learned more about anxiety and depression, and a holistic approach to reduce their damaging effects. Cleansed helped me to clear out my space (at home and in my mind), it changed my attitude towards exercise (I now think of it as self-care not punishment) and even gave me the push I needed to start Sunny Mondays. I am now a proud affiliate of the program, and I want to share it with everyone I love, especially you – my lovely, loyal readers. If you feel the pull to clear out your body, mind, spirit, space and life, sign up here! But you only have until Wednesday August 27th to enrol, so hop to it! Enjoy my lovelies x
Tell me, do you hibernate in winter and clear out the cobwebs come Springtime? Let me know in the comments below.