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4 Simple Tips on How to Achieve Clutter-Free Living

4 Simple Tips on How to Achieve Clutter-Free Living


    Have you been feeling considerably stressed out, fatigued or inefficient lately?  Can’t find the exact reason why you are feeling this way?

    Try and look around you.

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    Do you see a lot of unnecessary things lying around your home, office, or your mind? Not a lot of people are aware of this, but clutter can be a significant source of stress. When we are surrounded by clutter, our minds are constantly bombarded with excessive stimuli — often visual but sometimes also tactile and olfactory. This makes it impossible for our mind to rest.

    Clutter can be a major stress inducer, but it is one of the easiest stress-inducing elements to deal with compared to other common sources of stress (like finances, relationships and career) because it is completely under your control. Although comparatively easy, still a lot of people hate the thought of decluttering, as an overwhelming amount of stuff can seem like an impossible task.  But fear not, it can be done. Let me share with you 4 simple tips on how to achieve clutter-free living:

    1. Learn to sort and classify

    This is the very first step in your decluttering journey. The simplest way to do this would be to group things in two:

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    1. Necessary/Wanted
    2. Unnecessary/Unwanted

    Go through your things and sort which ones are still useful or important to you. Sometimes we are afraid of putting things away because we feel that we might them in the future, but the general rule is if you haven’t used an item in a year then there is a good chance that you will not be using it again in the future.

    You can also go ahead and further classify things to three categories:

    1. Fix it
    2. Reuse/Donate
    3. Put away

    2. Set up a system

    This means that you will have to create rules to keep your life free from clutter. You can create filing systems or implement rules. For instance, in your home, you can designate specific places for specific items. And in your office, you can implement a “Clear Desk, Clear Floor” policy. Success with this step can be supported with the help of some equipment like filing cabinets, labeled boxes, racks, and shelves.

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    3. Tidy up all year round

    In order to sustain a clutter-free life, you need to declutter every day. Some organization experts suggest the use of a “declutter calendar”, which will guide you as to what and where you should be decluttering for a particular day of the year. It would also help if you set a specific time each day for this duty — a time which you are most likely able to fulfill. It can be right after coming home from work, after dinner, or before going to bed. It is not necessary to spend hours tidying up; 10-30 minutes each day can be enough. The more frequently you do it, the less time you will have to spend each time you do it.

    4. Involve others

    You will have a greater chance of succeeding if you involve other people in your plans. In your home you must share the need to declutter your space with the rest of your family, and in your office share the idea to your co-workers. You will need to have their full cooperation as you cannot keep these particular areas clutter-free if other people are constantly bringing in clutter.

    The very basic principle of decluttering is to keep things as simple as possible, free from the shackles of having too much.

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    (Photo credit: Comfortable and Serene Bedside via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on August 20, 2018

    35 Anniversary Ideas to Bring You Closer Together

    35 Anniversary Ideas to Bring You Closer Together

    Every mature relationship has had a less-than-memorable anniversary. Maybe one of you forgot, or both of you got busy with work, kids, family issues, or something else. Whatever happened, the day came and went without fanfare. And neither of you seemed to notice or much care.

    But for the health of any relationship, it’s important to make important days feel special. Anniversaries offer the wonderful opportunity to relive beautiful memories, practice gratefulness for your partner, and to show your love and strengthen your bond. Make this year’s anniversary with your significant other something special  — one that will bring you closer together.

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    The best way to create a memorable anniversary is to do something new and different together as a couple. Stretch yourselves a bit.

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    While boredom can silently kill a relationship, new experiences reinforce the shared bond you already have and create strong new memories. Just think back to the most significant memories you have right now with your spouse and imagine what new ones you can create!

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    While you enjoy your chosen anniversary activity, be sure to keep a positive attitude and make your partner happy too on that day. Leave all arguments and day to day detail behind. Just celebrate your relationship. Whether you’re going to spend the day together at home, getting away, or having a wild and crazy new experience together, you can have your best anniversary yet!

    If You’re Staying In

    1. Spend an evening with no technology, just the two of you and maybe a board game. It’s hard to keep ourselves away from our computers and smartphones long enough to have a meaningful conversation. Make a rule not to use your tech and you’ll rekindle your relationship!
    2. Make wine or beer together. If you enjoy drinking together, this is a fun activity to try together. Just remember to buy the necessary equipment ahead of time.
    3. Learn something new about each other. With an open mind, try asking some of the New York Times’ 36 questions that lead to love. They’ll help spark intimacy and will lead to some really honest moments.
    4. Have a lazy day. Breakfasts in bed, spend all day in bed talking and napping. Follow breakfast with champagne and dessert! If you feel like getting more active, cook together or play some games. Here’re some simple breakfast ideas for you.
      • Learn to dance at home. This is best for those active couples who work out together and also enjoy learning something new together. Just go on Youtube to find any music with dance tutorials and learn together.
      • Visit model homes or open houses and plan your dream home.
      • Have a special dessert – champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. Having an unusual treat makes a day feel extra special. If you want to make the dessert really special, try these tasty dessert recipes.
      • Create a playlist of your favorite songs as a couple. Choose songs that tell your story, and songs that you bonded over throughout your relationships. Here’re some love songs ideas for your inspirations.
        • Write your love story. Write it together or ave each of you write your own and then bring them together in an interesting, both sides of the story format.
        • Get a fondue pot. Fondue is a fun way to enjoy melted cheeses (for savory items) and melted chocolate (for sweeter treats).
        • Decorate! Turn your home into a dressed-up french cottage, a sophisticated restaurant, or simply with flowers. The different ambience will immediately change the feel of your home and make it feel like a staycation.
          • Talk about the future together. It might sound simple and everyday, but imagining how you want to spend your retirement together, or planning future trips can be exciting and romantic.

          If You Want to Get Away

          1. Take a day trip together to your favorite spot. If you live in a city, it can be incredibly refreshing to get away for an afternoon and drink in the outdoors.
          2. Go on a scenic drive and stop at a wine and cheese bar. Or, if you’re lucky enough to have lots of options where you live, try a brewpub. There are tons of small craft breweries with fantastic food options too.
          3. Go camping. Relatively affordable and, if the weather’s right, beautiful and romantic.
            • Take an overnight backpacking trip. For the more adventurous couples, backpacking is an even more intense way to challenge yourself physically while becoming one with nature.
            • Take a wine tasting tour. If you live on the West Coast or in the Northeast, take a drive to the nearest winery. Many offer relatively inexpensive tastings and deals if you purchase a certain amount.
            • Take a scenic train trip. Taking the train means less stress traveling: nobody has to drive, you don’t have to stop for breaks every few hours, and you can sleep if you need to!
            • Save up for a destination vacation. What better time than your anniversary to enjoy the beach at a beautiful resort?
            • Explore a new city. Whether you’re on a budget or have a lot saved up, you can have a great time just exploring an unfamiliar town.
            • Rent a cabin for a weekend away, in the woods or next to a lake or ocean. If you like the outdoors but can only take so much nature, try glamping.
              • Go on a retreat. Yoga retreats, meditation retreats, beautiful natural surroundings … they’re all the rage. Search for centeredness and calm with your partner.
              • Spend a day at a food festival. Many cities have fun and affordable food festivals, occasionally based on a theme. Check out your town’s (or a nearby city) calendar for inspiration!

              New & Exciting Experiences

              1. Go spelunking. Dark, damp, and utterly exciting!
              2. Go on a hot air balloon ride. Because the basket is relatively small, this can be a romantic and deeply personal – and yet thrilling –
                experience.
                • Try sky diving. If you and you S.O. are real thrill-seekers, sky diving can really push you to the edge!
                • Explore the underwater world by snorkeling or scuba diving. This may take you far away from where you normally live and work, which is an added bonus.
                • Experience white water rafting.
                • Drive or hike to the highest spot nearby for a new view of the world. America has tons of beautiful mountains where challenging hikes (or drives) can deliver breathtaking views.
                • Take a craft or cooking class. Up your craft skills or food  making skills, and enjoy something new!
                  • Take a wine and painting class today. These classes are easily found these days and even a beginning painter can create a nice painting. Challenging but relaxing, fun, and you get to go home with some artwork!
                  • Learn to salsa dance. Dancing is a fantastic way to actively get closer and coordinate physically with one another.
                    • Visit a nearby festival you’ve always wanted to go to. Have fun and let go with fellow audience-members!
                    • Spend the day at an amusement park together. Laugh and carry on like teenagers.
                    • Meet new people! At a restaurant, concert, or class, make it a point to meet new friends. Striking up conversation with someone you don’t know – but with whom you have shared interests – can be an adventurous and rewarding experience.

                    Whether your budget is big or small, and whether you have a little or a ton of time together, focus on each other. There are tons of options, in terms of location, level of physical activity, and cost. You can make the day special in a way that’s right for you!

                    Featured photo credit: Photo by Taylor L. Spurgeon on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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