But over the years, I've either gotten too busy, too lazy, too overwhelmed or some intricate combination of the three.
Over the last few days, I've found myself inadvertently weening myself off of things here and there. I even made a list of things I plan to work through (hopefully this weekend) that will help restore a little order and minimize the chaos that's been getting the best of me for entirely too long.
I'm sure this list will grow far beyond what I've got so far... and if you've got anything you'd like to add, I'm all ears. Besides, I like adding to to-do lists. I'm weird like that.
15 Ways to Restore Order to Your Life
Clean it out.
- Your car.
If you're like me, your trunk could tell your whole life story. It's not good to lug extra weight around (apparently it kills your gas mileage), and let's be honest. It's really annoying when that super heavy box slides around back there.
- Your pantry.
This one's near and dear to my heart. But in reality, I'm sick of the bag of whole wheat flour falling out and hitting my foot every single time I go in for the oatmeal. It's time to clean it out.
- Your fridge.
I'd like to think this is self-explanatory, but for the dudes out there: a fridge door full of condiments that clink around, mysteriously fall out and are otherwise out of date need to go. Ketchup is only good for so long, kids.
- Your closet.
Our closets are tiny where we live right now. I can barely fit the little bit of clothing I have in there. So... the Salvation Army will be getting a couple of bags full of barely worn clothes this weekend. It's a win-win situation.
I'm really bad about subscribing to blogs and then routinely marking them as read. What's the point? If I haven't read it in a month, it's out.
On any given weekday morning, I wake up to 50+ emails in my inbox. I'd guess that 90% of them are sales-related emails. So to declutter my personal (and blog) accounts, I've created a new address that's strictly for sales, coupons and other 'bargain' offers. When we want to go out to eat or need to run to Gap for something, I can check the account and see what we've got to choose from. And if I've never (or rarely) buy things from your store... it's hasta la vista, baby. I've unsubscribed to at least 20 mailing lists today. Seriously.
I am bad about my podcast lists. I subscribe to them with good intention, and I listen to them daily when I work out... but there's not enough time in the day (or year) to get through them all. If the title doesn't sound interesting, it's marked as read. And if I haven't listened to a single one in the last six months? Peace out, dude.
- Super cool thing of the month clubs.
I've recently become victim to the 'super totally awesome delivery of the month' club. Birchbox, Jewelmint.... great ideas. Fun ideas. But we're trying to pay off debt and every time one of them arrives, I can just see Dave Ramsey shaking his head at me. It's time for these unnecessary novelties to go. Sad face.
Weed it out.
- Twitter followers.
I'm an avid Twittterer. I take pride in my Twitter follower list, which is a painstaking task of following, reviewing, reviewing again, etc. But... I'm finding it harder and harder to keep up with my feed. It's time to prune a bit. Keep the value... toss the fluff.
- Facebook friends (and their ridiculous farm games).
It's amazing to see the crap that hits my Facebook newsfeed. Seriously. I'm currently in the process of going through my friends' list and confirming that 1.) we're still friends and 2.) they haven't turned into gaming crazy people who litter my feed with garbage. PS: you can save the time and effort and simply refrain from sending a game request/app request my way. It's a sure fire way of getting blocked.
- Snail mail.
I recently went to the FTC website and opted out of some unsolicited mail lists. Who knows if they'll work... but it's worth a shot. You can opt out of pre-screened credit offers and most commercialized direct mail.
- TV and the neverending DVR'd shows.
I'll be the first to admit that our DVR is completely out of control. We simply can't keep up. And it's a really stupid thing to stress about. It's time to pick our favorites and let the rest go. After all, I don't really need multiple Housewives in my life.
- Smart phone apps.
My iPhone was the first thing I organized when I started this decluttering journey. I had so many apps that I didn't use. And I didn't have my folders nearly as organized as they should've been. But now... now my phone is a glorious masterpiece of awesomeness. Plus, I can find what I need when I need it.
- Email inboxes and contacts.
I cleaned out my inbox, folks. It took a lot of time. But it's done. And I even created folders to place emails I receive from now on. And if I emailed you one time three years ago by accident because you were part of the reply all and yet Google kept you all this time... well... you're gone now. And wouldn't you know, it's a lot easier to find the people I need to find when I need to find them?
- Phone contacts.
While I was organizing my apps, I realized I had some really old numbers in my contact book. I didn't even know a few of them.. yes, really. So, BAM. Deleted the unnecessary information. Combined multiple numbers for the same people. And I even updated married names for some of my friends. Finally.