Lighten Your Life: Prioritize, Plan Purge and Expand

sky and olive grove in Greece

Lighten Your Life: Prioritize, Plan Purge and Expand

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Our culture that encourages aspiring and acquiring. It’s no surprise that little by little we end up with way too much of everything. We may collect tchotchkes while traveling, start hobbies that never really stick, or are swimming in technology that quickly becomes obsolete that we haven’t yet let go. What we don’t realize is the more we have, the more time it takes to care for it. And that can weigh us down – not just physically, but mentally too. 

It’s no surprise there’s a solid trend toward minimalism and decluttering. Keeping what you need or love and letting go of much of the rest brings a freedom that might surprise you. Opening that physical and mental space naturally creates an opening to what’s next. And that is exciting! 

Here are four steps you can use to reset and refresh your life!

PRIORITIZE: 

Start by looking at the big picture to determine what’s most important: your home, office, car, mobile home, storage unit – whatever it may be. One rule – no judgments of yourself allowed. Instead, approach it with simple curiosity and optimism instead of overwhelm. Peek into the closets or containers that you haven’t opened in awhile. Jot notes on what is where. 

Next, sit down and ask yourself where your energy would be best invested for maximum returns.  For some it may be your desk, because you spend so much time there, or because the clutter keeps you from being more productive. Others may want to clear out the kitchen to eat cleaner, or the clothing that no longer fits or feels right, or start by making the bedroom a more serene space. Now that you have established what is most important, list them in descending order of priority, so you have a map as you get started.

PLAN: 

Now that you know which categories or areas are top of your list, note what can get done more quickly, which are a matter of hours or a weekend, and what would take longer. 

  • If a task is daunting, break it into small pieces you can successfully finish and feel accomplished before moving to the next. That will be its own inspiration. 
  • Attempt anything tedious only when you have the best energy. 
  • Draw on your Support Circles. What can the family or a buddy help with? Can you hire an organizer for things like holiday boxes or office files? Can a junk removal service or a charity pick up take bigger items off your hands more easily? 

PURGE:

Start by having a place to put everything you sort. For physical items, have boxes or bags labeled Donate, Recycle, and Trash. For paperwork, have one container for recycling, another for shredding first. For what you keep, have handy file folders, a pencil for labeling, and Post-It notes to identify things to be filed in existing folders or scanned.  

When letting go, remember what once served you can now serve someone else, or be recycled – both positive outcomes. You’ll find that uplifting repurposing can make it easier. Certain items like photos, cards and letters, diaries, baby mementos, and heirloom pieces usually require more thought and often are what you want to keep. Give them the time they deserve to assess thoughtfully. This can allow you to let the right things go, keep what is truly important, and do it all with good feelings. 

EXPAND:

Not all clutter is in the form of possessions! Certain habits and relationships can be creating discord, though it can be hard to pinpoint what exactly is weighing you down.  See if you recognize a few things from the list below that have gummed up your works. 

As you assess these, it’s good to listen more to what you’re feeling than what you think:

  • Clear Out Commitments: Where can you lighten up, whether it’s a volunteer gig, pro bono work, memberships, subscriptions or classes?
  • Declutter Digitally: Delete blurred videos and pocket pics, merge contact or photo duplicates, unsubscribe from newsletters, emails, saved music, old files. Updating operating systems – including home wifi – can make things run more smoothly.
  • Diet Detox: Are there ways you can simplify how you shop, cook, what you eat and when? Clear out your pantry, freezer, and reconsider junk carb snacks and your sweets stash. List what healthy things you may add going forward. Even physically cleaning your cupboards or fridge, or adding organizing bins can really make a difference in your overall experience in this area.
  • Streamline Practices: Can you eliminate steps, or recreate your practices to be more efficient or require less decisions along the way?
  • Relationship Refresh: Consider spending less time on those in your life who are not a 2-way street, are negative or drain your energy, and more with those who inspire, lift you up and are there for you. 
  • Mindset Cleanse: Take a break from the news, replace negative and fearful input with happy, positive influences and trust in the good in life. 
  • Take Back Time: Create more by texting, scrolling, streaming less. Read how to find more time on my most popular blog

You’ve got this! All the things we collected, and the habits we’re wanting to shake up happened a little each day. And they can get undone a little each day too.  Refresh and reset your life in weekly chunks or even 15 minutes a day, throughout your life – even though you can also do a big weekend or twice a year purge.

However it happens, this process to reset and refresh is about alleviating what’s been draining you, and by doing so, finding renewed energy and more freedom in your daily life. You will use your time better, be able to think more clearly, and enjoy what you do have because it’s no longer lost in clutter. Keep the prize in mind – you are realigning your life with who you are now, what you want and where you want to go! With every step you’ll feel lighter, more open and more intentional about what’s next. 

If you’d like to support or help on any specific step, especially prioritizing, and not getting stuck, please reach out to me and let’s talk! 

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Doris Roach

Doris is a courage specialist™ who uses her creative spirit to coach individuals, facilitate groups, and encourage leaders to achieve their goals.

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