People talk a lot about the value of decluttering, but doing so is not just about making sure you aren’t hoarding too much stuff in your house. Many areas of your life may need to unclutter, and you don’t have to wait for a new year or any other special occasion to make real and substantive changes. You can start next week, tomorrow or even right now.
Below are some of the main areas where people tend to want or need a change and some tips for making those changes. One of the keys is that you shouldn’t try to do everything at once. Lasting change usually comes through gradual shifts in your habits. Just choose one aspect of one category, try to do it for a week or two, and then add another element. Little by little, you’ll start to see a difference in your less-cluttered life.
Are you drowning in debt, or do you simply not know how much money you are spending? Do you run out of money a couple of days before every paycheck? On the other hand, are you making a comfortable income, but you don’t know what you should be doing to maximize your savings, investing and financial security? You should track your spending, create a budget and work on paying off your debt. It may be easier to simplify your debt and lower your interest rate with actions such as moving your credit card debt onto a lower-interest card. If you have several student loans, it can be a headache to juggle multiple loans and due dates. Taking out a student loan consolidation with a private lender can give you a single new payment and reduce your monthly expenses.
Like many people, you probably have clothes you haven’t worn in years, a kitchen cabinet full of containers with mismatched lids and closets and drawers you don’t want to open because you know they are crammed full of clutter you need to take care of. However, cleaning out that spice rack once and for all, donating or giving away to friends all those books you’ll never read again—or read in the first place—and having a place to put your keys, your coat and your mail when you walk in the front door can go a long way toward making your life feel less frantic. If you’re overwhelmed by the thought of it all, try uncluttering in 10- or 15-minute intervals.
Have you allowed a lot of resentment to build up between you and a beloved family member, or is there an old friend that you’re still keeping in touch with even though you have nothing in common any longer? People aren’t clutter, but you have a limited amount of time and energy to spend with them, and clearing out the bad feelings between the ones you love and letting the relationships that don’t mean much to you any longer quietly fade away can enhance your life. Social media in particular has a way of keeping us in touch with people forever and making us feel overwhelmed with a too-large social circle. Consider paring down your friends list so that it only contains your actual friends.