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The Willow Brook Life

Balancing Time, Money & Life

11 STEPS TO A MORE SIMPLIFIED AND ORGANIZED YEAR

11 Steps to a more organized year

I’ve been doing a lot of goal setting/researching lately on how to make this year the best one yet! Life gets in the way of our happiness a lot, at least in my world. Things seem to go a million miles an hour and at the end of the day it was all just a busy blur…I decided to try to change that this year by “smelling the roses” a little bit more. Making life easier and more simplified in a practical way. Here are 11 awesome ideas that I am trying to incorporate into my life and maybe they will help you out in your struggle for more daily peace:

GET RID OF CLUTTER

Make it a habit and personal rule to keep your house clean all the time. This can be a challenge specially if you have children in the house. But by getting rid of the clutter on the counter tops, bathroom vanities and end tables you will see a dramatic increase in the visual clutter and stress the room has. Make it a point to get rid of anything not regularly used or find a home out of sight for it.  Think outside the box when it comes to finding homes in small spaces. Tops of linin closet shelves, you know the ones that you can’t reach without a stool, are a great use for vases, pans that you only use once a year, bulk dry goods, or toiletries.

Don’t under estimate the power of under bed storage. Thin flat bins are great for sliding under the bed with extra clothes, wrapping paper, even extra towels and wash clothes.

BECOME DEBT FREE

Becoming debt free is a mental decluttering. By eliminating the extra stress of on time payments, or even finding the money for the monthly payment you eliminate the extra paperwork. You also get to keep your hard-earned money allowing you the opportunity for financial growth and freedom.

LEARN TO SAY NO AND CLEAR TIME IN YOUR SCHEDULE FOR YOU

This one is hard for many people. There is always an underlining sense of guilt when it comes to saying “no” to someone. The fine art of using the word “no” could not be a more powerful tool in your vocabulary. By learning what is a healthy amount of time and activities spent out of the house, or entertaining others in your home, you can live a healthier dynamic family life. You and your personal time is extremely important to your health and mental well-being. Make time for yourself. Learn the fine art of the powerful word “no.”

LESSEN YOUR TIME AROUND TOXIC PEOPLE

We all know someone in our circle of acquaintances that is plain toxic.

For some it may be a co-worker or boss. For others a parent or sibling, and for others they be in a romantic relationship with someone who’s personality and selfishness is purely toxic.

Whomever it is that makes you suffer in some way or another it is time to be strong and start putting some distance between you.

Sometimes you absolutely can’t get away from them. If it’s your parent or boss, you may be stuck for a long time with the unhealthy dynamic of toxic person. However, if you have friends that you are starting to see are unhealthy to be around, negative, bad influences, selfish, and soul sucking it is time to cut the cord.

If it is the former, and you are in a relationship with someone either professionally or maternally than you may need to get some help. Standing up for yourself, setting distance and boundaries can be nearly impossible when it comes to narcissistic people, but if you stay strong and above all positive you will see changes I promise.

SIMPLIFY YOUR WARDROBE

This one seems superficial, yet there is a great relief in knowing what you are wearing when you get out of bed. Having so many items that you don’t know what you have let alone what to wear is an overwhelming stress added task in our daily lives. It requires more time in getting ready for the day. It requires for time shopping because we don’t even know what we have. It requires for work in washing things we’ve worn.

By slimming down your clothes, choosing only what you love, and what is functional with other things, you free up space, time, and energy each day. Simplify your morning and over all your daily life.

MAKE A TO DO LIST

Setting goals each day that you need to get done help you to always know what you are doing and where you are going next. It’s like planning out a vacation, you have an itinerary and a location to which you are traveling. Each day is a similar concept. By planning out your day you set up an itinerary for yourself, mapping out your accomplishments one by one.

MINIMIZE YOUR BELONGINGS

This one feels daunting especially after the holidays and into a new year. It can be a real undertaking, but it is one of the most freeing feelings to bring bags and bags of donations to the thrift store! Things you don’t need, haven’t used in forever, or ever, and things you can replace with new things that have multiple functions! Get creative and research for gadgets that can replace several things. Get intentional about your belongings, if you don’t need it, use it and love it, it’s got to go!

SPEND LESS TIME ON SOCIAL MEDIA

We spend so many hours on social media as a society. But many studies have shown that people can get anxiety from too many hours of social media. This is because of the lack of sustaining fulfillment that social media brings.

Why not make a conscience choice to power down every day at some point and be present. Engage with friends and family and take care of yourself physically. Other people’s moment to moment play by play is an unnecessary stress on your life.

GET OUTSIDE

Getting outside each day is extremely beneficial to your health and well-being. There is nothing more simple and relaxing than stepping into nature. The air is clean and fresh, the sounds are natural and calming, the sun is loaded with vitamins and minerals. Simplify your life by touching nature each day.

AUTOMATE YOUR PAYMENTS

A great way to organize you bills and payments is to put them on auto-pay. Most people get stressed out thinking about payments and late fees. By putting your bills on auto pay and getting direct deposit, you can remove all the worry and stress that organizing bills and payments can bring.

PRACTICE THE 2 WEEK RULE AND FRUGALITY

Becoming disciplined is the key rule to simplifying and organization. By practicing self-discipline, you can avoid so many pit-falls. One of the best ways to practice this is to practice the 2-week rule.

If there is something that you want to purchase but it isn’t a necessity, wait 2 weeks. By the end of the 2 weeks you will probably have forgotten all about it or discovered that you didn’t want it in the first place.  Living above our means is one of the biggest stresses of life. Live below your means at all cost, no matter how temping and you will have a simpler and less stressful life.

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