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10 Ways Your Clutter is Costing You

10 Ways Your Clutter is Costing You

Piece by piece, bit by bit, clutter can creep into our homes. It does not often happen all at once, but is predominantly a trickle of items not put away, or taken out of the house. Then one day, you find yourself with a closet you can’t close, and items falling on your head when you open the closet door. You decide to solve the problem by getting a storage unit. This is step one of your clutter starting to cost you. A good rule of thumb is buying only what you need, and getting rid of the things you no longer need. Take time daily, weekly, and a deeper clean seasonally to clear out clutter. Or, just don’t let it accumulate in the first place. Focus on what you use, and let go of the “desire to acquire” by being satisfied with what you have, and when you upgrade, toss out the old to make room for the new. Clutter can be more than the topic for another episode of the TV show, “Hoarders”, it can have true financial and emotional costs. Is your clutter really worth the cost? 10 Ways that clutter can cost you:

  1. Money: Renting a monthly storage unit — especially one you may never even go into — is a way to store your clutter that can cost thousands of dollars a year. If you don’t have room for it, don’t pay to store it. Also, if you have so much clutter that you can’t find things, you end up buying something new when you can’t find the item you had already bought. Find and use what you have by having less items, and keeping what you do have organized.
  2. Time: When the house is a mess, a common problem is lost items, such as keys, shoes, etc … Streamline your life and your time by having less. Get out the door quicker by putting things in the same place consistently. NAPO (The National Association for Professional Organizers) says that on average, people spend 1 year out of their life looking for lost items.
  3. Relationships: A common cause of fighting amongst couples is one person having more clutter than another. If you are dating, there literally is no room for someone to move in unless you keep your space clutter-free. Having clutter can also cause embarrassment and a lack of interest to let people into your home to entertain.
  4. Space: People start buying bigger and bigger houses in order to store all their stuff that they accumulate along the way. To make more space in your house, you may not need a room addition, or a second story, you may just simply need to let go of some stuff to make the space you already have seem bigger.
  5. Well-being: Clutter is a breeding ground for dust and bugs. If you can’t see the floor, you can’t clean it properly. If you want to avoid spiders, bedbugs, and your sanity, keep items off the floor. Dusty clutter also leads to allergies, headaches, and stress.
  6. Energy: On a deeper level, clutter can make you feel fatigued. In ancient Feng Shui principles, there needs to be a flow through a house, and clutter is perceived as stuck energy, limiting the healthy flow of energy in your home.
  7. Productivity: Without clutter in your way, you can spend less time looking for things, organizing things, and more time moving forward with your life and your goals. Clutter holds you back by nagging at you to face it, rather than having a clean slate to go forth and create anew.
  8. Vitality: On an energetic level, clutter can be a visual to-do list, perpetually staring you in the face about what you “should do”, or make you feel guilty for acquiring more than you need.
  9. Focus: Clutter is not only visually distracting, but when you see piles of papers, clothes, or boxes in your space, it can keep you from focusing on your family, your work, or your priorities.
  10. Freedom: The more stuff you have, the more difficult it is to move easily, to travel, or to make changes in your life. Your stuff can literally keep you stuck where you are, by being overwhelmed at the sheer magnitude of items that stand between you and living the life of your dreams.

Time to let go of the clutter and avoid the hidden costs. Keep it light. Keep it simple. Save money, time, energy, and relationships, by having less and knowing what you do have in the first place.

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Featured photo credit: Alex via flickr.com

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Bridget Baker

Web Presence Sherpa

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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