While in my doctor's waiting room, perusing Ladies' Home Journal (May 2012), I came across an article about clutter. It presented a different strategy for decluttering. Instead of going through each and every item and deciding on what should stay and what should go, it suggested to try curating your stuff.
The article explained that curating was picking the gems from a collection and letting the rest go. It would almost be like a treasure hunt. How fun!!! The ultimate goal of curating is to keep your possessions to scale so they don't crowd you, oppress you, or burden you. Doesn't this make so much sense????
Saving things that are useful, beautiful, and sentimental makes sense. What doesn't make sense is holding onto items that stir up negative emotions when you see them. When you walk by those dried roses that your ex sent you on your birthday do you remember what a great time you had that evening or do you think about your relationship with that person and the regrets and sadness that went with it? If they make you feel bad or sad, ditch them. I mean it! Throw them in the trash and I can assure you that you will feel better every time you walk past the wall that they were hanging on.
I have a homework task for you. Tour your home and look at all your "decorations." Take down/remove anything that stirs up negative emotion. Your home is your sanctuary and it should make you feel good about your current self, where you have been, and where you plan to go.
When you sign in to your email account do you see hundreds of emails in limbo? Do you often have trouble remembering which emails you have and have not responded to? I have some tips to help clear your email inbox clutter. These tips are catered to those that use gmail but can easily be translated and used with other providers.
Try to keep 20 or less emails in your inbox at any give time. To do this, color code your email messages as follows:
-Unread messages should be kept bold (signifying that you have not read them or done anything about the message's contents)
-After an email has been read, use a red star for messages that require you to take action (whether it be to physically do something or simply respond if you don't have time to do so immediately)
-Use a yellow star for messages that you are waiting on someone else to either do something or to respond
Everything else should be deleted or archived. I know it sounds crazy but trust me, keeping your inbox clean and only allowing unread messages, action items, or "waiting for" items to remain will keep you sane!
If you like receiving emails from stores about current sales but feel overwhelmed by the volume, you can have gmail send them directly to a folder (you might call it "shopping") and have them bypass your inbox. I swear this has saved me hundreds of dollars because I am less likely to jump in my car every time a sale notice passes my nose. (But when I do have something to shop for, I stalk my shopping folder and wait for that perfect sale.)
It feels amazing when your inbox is under control and you aren't wondering "Did I forget to do something?" every time you log out.