It’s time to hang up your winter coat! To kick off spring, we’re sharing 12 healthy “hacks” from our experts to help jumpstart new spring routines. Today’s post is part two of Jenny Blake‘s 7-Day De-Clutter Cleanse. Here’s part one in case you missed it!
Friday: Fridge Purge
Before your weekend grocery trip, set a timer for 20 minutes and go to town. Expired? Toss! Didn’t like it? Toss! About to go bad? Cook!
Bonus points: grab a sponge and do a quick clean once you’ve cleared up some refrigerator real estate. Super bonus: do the same with a pantry or other food cabinet.
Tool: Check out time-saver services like Blue Apron, which deliver food ingredients and recipe cards each week for easy preparation and added variety.
- Reward: Find a new recipe online and make a new dish. Want to make a recipe from the food that’s about to go bad? Try Super Cook which allows you to search recipes based on ingredients you already have at home.
Saturday: Closet Clean-up
Are you rockin’ a floordrobe? It’s WordSpy’s term for “a pile of discarded clothes on the floor of a person’s room.” If so, it’s time to pack up your winter clothes and retire them to a place in your home where they won’t get in your way. Then set-out three bags or boxes: sell, give away, donate. Do a first pass to clear the way for your spring wardrobe.
Tip: grab an empty box and put it in your closet moving forward. As you try things on that you know you’ll never wear, toss them in there. Take the box to Goodwill when it’s full.
If you’re really feeling frisky, employ my “no new hangers” policy — nothing new comes in without displacing something old that you no longer wear. Even if you’re not pressed for precious centimeters like me (I live in a NYC studio apartment) this can remind you to clear out clothing clutter regularly throughout the year.
- Reward: Giving really is one of the best gifts we can receive. Do a little extra legwork to donate your clothing to a specific charity whose mission resonates strongly with you. For a more spendy reward: set a budget and schedule a shopping day to buy yourself some new Spring threads!
Sunday: Schedule Scan — Remove One Thing Next Week
Who among us hasn’t felt maddened by meeting overload? Ease your mind this morning by looking to the week ahead: cancel one (or more!) low-priority “shoulds” that don’t actually require your attendance or time.
Template: Try this Time Tracker / Schedule Blocker template to track how you are currently spending your time, and set-up what an ideal average day and week might look like. Even if you can’t make these changes overnight, set a target date a few weeks out by which you will start employing new scheduling policies (like no meetings after a certain time).
- Reward: Take a Sunday Funday: keep an ongoing list of activities you would love to try (helps to pretend you’re a tourist in your own town) with friends and/or family. Commit to taking a device-free day to go for a hike, or take a day-long adventure via boat, train or some other mode of transportation that isn’t part of your daily routine. After all, travel has been said to free up some of our best creative thinking.
Whew — what a week! If you make it through this seven-day de-clutter cleanse with flying colors, consider moving on to the elite round:
Cleaning out your carbage (Wordspy’s term for “garbage that accumulates in cars”)
Any bad habits you’ve been wanting to break
And even cut-back on the time you spend around toxic people or “energy vampires”
Even without going cold turkey, set an intention to methodically reduce the time you spend on tasks, people and activities that drain your energy bank account, making room instead for happiness deposits.
Sometimes awareness is the first step: be an observer over the next week; treat yourself with compassion and like a scientist: simply make a mental note of anything clogging up your brain or energy. You may not have an immediate solution, but just ear-marking the issue will open up your problem-solving.
And for those of you who read this list, shuddered, and immediately felt the urge to pretend you never saw it, remember: no one said this is fun (or surely these piles wouldn’t exist in the first place) — but imagine how oh-so-glorious you will feel when it’s done!
Now go forth and conquer — and report back in the comments!