Simple ways to declutter your life
I felt overwhelmed for so much of last year by all the stuff that I just had to get done!!!
And panicked by the fear I might drop the lot.
Talking to my friends I know I am not alone.
There is just so much to do, being a mum.
But if I am truly honest with myself an awful lot of this pressure is self-inflicted.
Declutter your life
We clutter our lives with endless activities, just as much as we clutter our homes with stuff.
We feel like failures if our lives … AND our kids lives! … are not busy, busy.
But are we really happier or better people for being always on the go?
I don’t know about you but I am not.
I become exhausted, grouchy mummy stumbling around with the weight of the world on my shoulders … I am not there in the moment actually enjoying my life and stupidly I get far less that really matters done.
And then there’s the anxiety.
That stomach gnawing fear that in all the busy-ness I have forgotten something critical. And those sweat inducing anxiety dreams … you know the ones, where you are doing your college exams … again!! … and you can’t remember what you’re meant to be studying. Or you get home and realise you left your child all alone in the shops hours ago!
Me and my mummy friends laugh at our “silliness” but it’s a fine line we tread between feeling overwhelmed and the truly life crushing over anxiety that our cluttered lives can push us into.
I feel more and more that we need to be gentler to ourselves AND our kids!
So in 2015 I am trying to live by these simple tips for a less cluttered life.
Will you join me and declutter your life?
1. What Will Really Happen If I Don’t Do This?
When I am cramming things in the diary and on the to do list, or feeling overwhelmed and panicked by “everything” I “must” do, I am learning to stop and ask myself what will really happen if I don’t do it?
Most often, the world will not come to an end if I say no or I am sorry I can’t.
2. Quit Reinventing the Wheel
We are obsessed with the new and the original.
And burden ourselves with constantly coming up with endlessly different food, different activities, different trips.
But kids actually like routine and repitition and sameness.
They find comfort in knowing on Monday it’s always pasta for tea.
So my mantra for 2015 is to repeat and reuse whenever I can.
3. Don’t Do It That Way Because I Always Did
But I am also on the look out for those die hard habits that drain time when they don’t need to.
I’ve been stepping back and looking at the things that take so long to do each week … that’s you I’m talking about laundry!! … and challenging myself to find simpler, quicker ways to do them.
It’s amazing the things we do from habit that we can do quicker another way.
4. Stop Overloading the Kids with Activities
We’re ambitious for our kids of course.
But cramming their lives with clubs and play dates leaves them exhausted.
And the result? Behaviour goes out the window and everyone gets sick.
Kids need down time. Time to entertain themselves. AND actually be bored.
If we constantly shuttle them from one organised activity to another they will never discover the independent spirit they really need to succeed or the inner resources to feel happy in themself.
My aim for this year is to keep at least 2 school nights a week activity free.
5. Clear The Diary One Weekend a Month
How did weekending get so competitive? An empty weekend seems like a social disaster.
But as families we need real rest and real time spent together.
Just mooching around without obligations to anyone else and enjoying ourselves simply.
Christmas was wonderfully exciting for my daughter but her happiest moments were the whole family sitting down to play old style games. The pure joy of a family laughing together is unbeatable medicine for the soul.
I am making sure that at least one weekend a month we just hang out together at home.
6 . Have Down Time Every Day
How often do you sit down during the day and do nothing. Or just read a book. Errr … never!!
On the few occasions I watch TV I’m still “doing” something at the same time.
Even if it’s just wasting my time interfaffing as I call it.
But the always “on” manic mummy mode is a dreadful example for our kids.
I am trying hard to let my daughter see me have 15-30 minutes real down time everyday … not where I crash in an exhausted heap, but good quiet time … phone off, laptop off … just chatting or reading a book.
7. Be Spontaneous
I’m a planner, a list maker, I always will be but this year my measure of my success will not be how much I ticked off the to do list but whether I had the time free to be spontaneous.
Whether, it’s being there for neighbours in need, an impromptu chuck it on the table meal or playing outside.
Or just having the freedom to do the right thing at the right time for myself and my family and my friends.
Are you all set to declutter your life? Great!
I’d love it if you’d share this post if you found it useful. Thank you!