Sometimes, attaining new things is what makes us happy. However, the total opposite can also make us feel happy. We’re talking about getting rid of things, of course. Clearing out! Doing this has so many benefits. First of all, it’s really therapeutic! Clearing out things that are taking up space or weighing us down feels like we are ridding ourselves of similar feelings. Secondly, it can be a highly practical thing to do. By freeing yourself of certain things, you are making room for newer, more positive things. Thirdly, you can do something good with the things you rid yourself off. Upcycle them, perhaps, pass them to a grateful friend or donate them to a charitable cause.
So, we’ve established that clearing out things in your life is a good thing to do, and why. Let’s look now at what it is you should be clearing out.
First off, we’ll start in your house. Being the places that we live, they are full of things deserving of a clear out. From your kitchen cupboards to your wardrobe, you are sure to find things to get rid of. Next, to your working environment, and the desk or station you sit at every day. Finally, we’ll take a wider look at your life as a whole, and your social circle.
Interested? We thought so! Read on to find out more.
Clear out… Your kitchen cupboards
Let’s start with a simple one. Clearing out your kitchen cupboards is a great place to start because you are sure to find stuff worthy of going. A bottle of mustard from 2012? Get rid! A pot of gravy granules that expired the summer before? Get rid! That’s right; it’s time to check the sell-by and use-by date of everything in your cupboards. You’re sure to find some stuff, especially the items that have got pushed right to the back!
Once you’ve done that, consider clearing out your really unhealthy foods. It’s simple; the healthier you eat, the healthier you will be, and the happier you will be! That being said, don’t throw the unhealthy things you clear out in the trash. Donate them to a food bank instead.
What do you need to do once you clear out? Refill with better substitutes, of course. Instead of finding the same unhealthy stuff in the store, replace with better alternatives. You can find info about Hampton Creek and other brands whose priority it is to make tasty food healthier online.
Clear out… Your wardrobe
Now it’s time to leave your kitchen and move onto your bedroom. Or, more specifically, your wardrobe! When was the last time you had a big wardrobe clear out? Well, it should be at least once a season, so four times a year. More is even better! Why do you need five winter coats taking up room when it’s the middle of summer! Equally, why do you need a section for bikinis when it’s the middle of winter? It makes far more sense to keep your wardrobe filled with only the items you need at that time. If nothing else it makes it far easier to find what you need in the morning! Do your bit and donate anything you no longer wear or don’t wear often, to a worthy charity. There are some that will notify you a few months after your donation to let you know how much your items have raised! Also, see if there is anything in there that a friend or loved one might appreciate. It is a kind gesture, and they may return the favor with something lovely of their own one day!
Clear out… Your bookshelves
Knowledge is power, for sure. However, how much fresh knowledge are you giving yourself access to on a daily or weekly basis? Take a look at your bookshelves, or wherever you keep your books in your home. When was the last time you cleared them out? You may find even the thought of this painful. Bookworms especially have a real attachment to their books! But is there anything on there that you’ve never read, or never actually plan to read? Is there anything on there that you’ve read so many times you don’t even need to read it again. Do with these books the same as you have done with your kitchen items and clothes. Give them to someone or something that needs them more. It’s not just charity shops that appreciate free books. So do hospitals, schools and even prisons. Pining over that empty space? Fill it with new books, and in turn, fill your brain with new knowledge. You could even consider setting up a book swap with friends or colleagues. That way you will have a constant stream of new books coming in and old books going out.
Clear out… Your clutter
Your kitchen cupboards, your wardrobe, and your bookshelves. These will be three places where you are likely to find the most items deserving of a clear out. However, there is a good chance you’ll also find some things hiding in plain site. In your clutter, of course! Do you have a pile of letters and files sat near your post box? Organize them, file them away and/or throw them away. Do you have a cupboard or a drawer that you put all of your bits and pieces in, and then forget about? Yes, we thought so. You’re not alone; lots of us have a shelf or place like these. Having one is fine, just as long as you remember to clear it out every now and again? Do you really need 12 dead batteries anyway!? Clearing out your clutter is a very healthy habit to develop.
Clear out… Your work desk
So, you’ve made a big impact on your home. Now you’ve got the feel for it, and the knack, take these skills into work with you. Arrive half an hour early one day, or plan to stay half an hour late. Then use this allocated time to clear out your work desk. The amount of rubbish we keep on our desks mounts fast, especially because we spend so much time at them! However, clutter can be really distracting. If there are too many things in our peripheral vision while trying to work on a computer, for example, it will distract us! Keep the items on your desk to a minimum. You will need your computer, keyboard, and mouse. You may also want other accessories at hand, like a pen pot, and a cup of coffee. But other than that, keep everything else elsewhere. Get some filing boxes for your paperwork, and a stationery box for everything else.
Clear out… Your social circle
By now you have made impactful clear outs in both your home and your working environments. For the final stage, it is time to look not at objects, but as people. If you have toxic, poisonous people in your life, it is time you got rid of them.
How do you detect if you do? Compile a list of your friends and acquaintances. This can be in writing, or it can be just in your head! Then, begin to make your way through them, deciding whether or not they are a ‘drain’, or ‘a radiator.’. If they are a drain, they likely ‘drain’ the energy out of you when you see them. They put you down- whether overtly or in a more sly way. They make you feel bad about yourself. However, if they are a radiator, they do what radiators do! They give you warmth. They do this through their words, their actions, their intentions and their general demeanor. Find a radiator? Remind yourself to show appreciation for their presence in your life next time you see them. Find a drain? It could well be time that you cleared them out of your life!
Clear out… Your social media ‘friends’ list
Social media is fantastic in many ways. It keeps us informed and provides an outlet for discussion, debate, and sharing. It’s also a great way to keep in touch with our friends. However, our ‘friends’ list can grow at a staggering rate. Every couple of months, take a look at how many ‘friends’ you have on your social media. Clear out that list wherever necessary; and by clear out, we mean delete or block of course!
Bear this in mind also. We can sometimes find we have intentionally surrounded ourselves with people of similar viewpoints to our own. When we do this, we protect ourselves from things we might find offensive or hurtful. However, in doing so, you are blocking yourself off from views that could enrich your own knowledge and understand of an issue or topic. By all means, delete people who post offensive things. But don’t delete people just because they have a different viewpoint to your own, be that political, social or something else.
Congratulations! By clearing out each of the above areas, you’ve made fantastic progress towards making a happier you. Be sure to give yourself a pat on the back, and to maintain these practices going forwards.