Unfollow, Unsubscribe, Unplug: Ways To Declutter Your Life

With the start of the new year and a new job, it sure felt like a brand new chapter. There have been a lot of things I have wanted to improve upon and change because I was simply tired of living and feeling certain ways. So I have been making changes and developing new habits that feel healthier and better. The book, Grace Not Perfection by Emily Ley was also perfect motivation to hone these habits as she touched on a lot of the same things I was trying to change and work on.

So what have I been doing? What changes have I been making? What habits have I been forming? I am excited to geek out and share!

Seasonal Deep Clean

Before Jordan and I started our new jobs around the New Year, we wanted to make sure we had a deep cleaned apartment. Over the last few years, I have been able to tell that I internally feel cluttered and frazzled when my living and work spaces are too. Even before the start of the new year, I was already doing seasonal deep cleans where I make a huge stock pile of a “Things I Can Do List” that entails just about every area of my living space I can deep clean and organize, as well as my car. It also includes any other errands/to do’s that I might have put off or need to do seasonly. In the week before I started my job, we deep cleaned and I even took my Jeep to the car wash and got an oil change. I ordered a new box of checks and address labels. I tried to complete as many tasks, errands, etc., in a certain amount of time to work ahead and have things done before I was going to be even more busy than before.

Before I leave work for the day, I like to have my desk cleared and organized so when I come in the next morning, I don’t immediately feel cluttered and start the day with the feeling of stress. I like to leave it as clean and organized as possible on Friday afternoons so my Monday mornings are great!

I also started a habit a couple years ago where I try to at least have a good amount of laundry done, a tidy living space, and a made bed before I travel. That way when I come back after a trip, I come home to a cozy bed and clean clothes.

Taming Your Email Inbox

I have multiple email accounts, but I really wanted to be on top of my work email and my personal. I have had my personal email that I use for many purposes for a few years now and I had let it get out of hand the last couple years. I still had emails from 2015 in my main inbox tab! I could tell it was starting to bother me having so many emails front and center. So I took any free time I had to delete, delete, delete, and organize, organize, organize that inbox! It took me DAYS, but feels so good to not even have a second page of emails in my main inbox!

This means I made tons of folders and subfolders so just about any email that comes through has a place! And there will be more folders to be created. I just made a new one this morning! An example of how I organized my folders: I have an “Adulting” main folder and the subfolders that go under the “Adulting” folder include bank, student loans, auto insurance, and tax information to name a few. This will also help finding old emails faster when you have a place for them all!

Unsubscribe

While you are clearing out your email inbox, start unsubscribing to newsletters you never read anymore and stores you never go to. With how easy it is for companies to obtain your email address, there are some that will flood your email account when all you wanted was to enter a contest. Before you know it, you have 1,000+ emails in a month! It also takes a lot out of you trying to keep up with SO MUCH information that is being sent to your inbox. If you are working on your financial part of your life, it can also be hard to save money or pay off debt when your favorite stores keep emailing you exclusive deals and sales! Usually every email has a teeny tiny unsubscribe button in it and it typically takes about 10 seconds or less to click a couple buttons.

Unfollow

Social media can be time consuming and mind consuming. Start unfollowing accounts that don’t make you feel good or doesn’t add good value to your life. Don’t voluntarily follow negative vibes.

Unplug

Speaking of social media… If you follow me on social media, you might have seen at the beginning of the year, I went completely social media free for a week. Yep, I didn’t log on to Facebook once, I didn’t scroll through Instagram once, I didn’t tweet once. I moved the apps on my phone to the last page of my home screen that I never go to. I made the effort to reduce temptation and also not trigger my habit. I can’t tell you how mindless I had become while eating lunch and automatically grabbing my phone to scroll through timelines. I barely knew what I was actually doing. It had become so engrained into my daily life.

Shocker alert: During that week I had SO MUCH free time and was SO productive! I got stuff done! I was more aware and present in the moment. Imagine that, right?

When I started work, I knew my phone habits weren’t the best, so I have made it a thing where I keep my phone in my purse away from my desk. That way I am not distracted and mindlessly picking up my phone to scroll through timelines like I would before. I will check my phone periodically real quick through the day when I run to the restroom or eat lunch. But that’s about it. If I get texts that can wait, I will reply in the evening. And let me tell you, I work hard and accomplish a lot throughout the day. I highly encourage trying to keep your phone off your desk!

I also put my phone on Do Not Disturb at night so I can get uninterrupted sleep with no dings from notifications. I will even have it on the Do Not Disturb setting during parts of the day for less distractions.

A place for everything

I try to have a place for just about everything. This keeps my life organized and in order, but it also saves me time in trying to find things because I should know pretty much exactly where it’s at. My keys go in the same pocket in my purse every day and my chapstick in another. My retainer goes in the same compartment in my bathroom drawer and all my The Extra Sprinkles related work in its Dropbox folder. Just about everything has a place. With that, my laptop desktop only has ONE file on it, which is my 2017 budget and financial organization excel doc. Everything else is in a folder while I have a squeaky clean and clear of clutter desktop.

Other organization ideas

  • Organizing the apps on your phone and deleting the ones you don’t really use
  • Going through your closet and making piles of: keep, donate, sell, throw away
  • Organizing your closet by season or genre: winter, summer, business, casual, etc.
  • Using blocks from The Container Store to organize your bathroom drawer (still one of my proudest organization moments!)
  • Declutter your makeup products by throwing away that tube of mascara you have had for over a year that barely has anything left to it.

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There are so many ways you can organize and declutter your life. Do what works for you! And you don’t have to do it all in one day. My email inbox organization took DAYS! You can spread it over a week or a month by doing a little each day or each Sunday. Little by little you can declutter your life and then you will start to feel decluttered inside.

Do you have organization ideas that you have found helpful? Anything I didn’t go over that would be good to try and share? Comment below!

With Extra Sprinkles on top,

Rachel

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