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4 Simple Tips on How to Achieve Clutter-Free Living

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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)

    More by this author

    Kara Heissman

    Kara is passionate about sharing her self-improvement insights to help more people.

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    Last Updated on January 27, 2022

    5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

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    5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

    Food plays an integral role in our lives and rightfully so: the food we eat is intricately intertwined with our culture. You can learn a lot about a particular culture by exploring their food. In fact, it may be difficult to fully define a culture without a nod to their cuisine.

    “Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1825).

    Don’t believe me? Here’s why food is the best way to understand a culture:

    Food is a universal necessity.

    It doesn’t matter where in the world you’re from – you have to eat. And your societal culture most likely evolved from that very need, the need to eat. Once they ventured beyond hunting and gathering, many early civilizations organized themselves in ways that facilitated food distribution and production. That also meant that the animals, land and resources you were near dictated not only what you’d consume, but how you’d prepare and cook it. The establishment of the spice trade and the merchant silk road are two example of the great lengths many took to obtain desirable ingredients.

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    Food preservation techniques are unique to climates and lifestyle.

    Ever wonder why the process to preserve meat is so different around the world? It has to do with local resources, needs, and climates. In Morocco, Khlea is a dish composed of dried beef preserved in spices and then packed in animal fat. When preserved correctly, it’s still good for two years when stored at room temperature. That makes a lot of sense in Morocco, where the country historically has had a strong nomadic population, desert landscape, and extremely warm, dry temperatures.

    Staples of a local cuisines illustrate historical eating patterns.

    Some societies have cuisines that are entirely based on meat, and others are almost entirely plant-based. Some have seasonal variety and their cuisines change accordingly during different parts of the year. India’s cuisine is extremely varied from region to region, with meat and wheat heavy dishes in the far north, to spectacular fish delicacies in the east, to rice-based vegetarian diets in the south, and many more variations in between.

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    The western part of India is home to a group of strict vegetarians: they not only avoid flesh and eggs, but even certain strong aromatics like garlic, or root vegetables like carrots and potatoes. Dishes like Papri Chat, featuring vegetable based chutneys mixed with yoghurt, herbs and spices are popular.

    Components of popular dishes can reveal cultural secrets.

    This is probably the most intriguing part of studying a specific cuisine. Certain regions of the world have certain ingredients easily available to them. Most people know that common foods such as corn, tomatoes, chili peppers, and chocolate are native to the Americas, or “New World”. Many of today’s chefs consider themselves to be extremely modern when fusing cuisines, but cultural lines blended long ago when it comes to purity of ingredients.

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    Black pepper originated in Asia but became, and still remains, a critical part of European cuisine. The Belgians are some of the finest chocolatiers, despite it not being native to the old world. And perhaps one of the most interesting result from the blending of two cuisines is Chicken Tikka Masala; it resembles an Indian Mughali dish, but was actually invented by the British!

    Food tourism – it’s a whole new way to travel.

    Some people have taken the intergation of food and culture to a new level. No trip they take is complete with out a well-researched meal plan, that dictates not only the time of year for their visit, but also how they will experience a new culture.

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    So, a food tourist won’t just focus on having a pint at Oktoberfest, but will be interested in learning the German beer making process, and possibly how they can make their own fresh brew. Food tourists visit many of the popular mainstays for traditional tourism, like New York City, San Francisco, London, or Paris, but many locations that they frequent, such as Armenia or Laos, may be off the beaten path for most travelers. And since their interest in food is more than meal deep, they have the chance to learn local preparation techniques that can shed insight into a whole other aspect of a particular region’s culture.

    Featured photo credit: Young Shih via unsplash.com

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