Take-A-Step Thursday #1 – Clean up your act

TakeAStepThursday 2
My very first Take-A-Step Thursday! Well, technically it’s my second because last week I was inspired to create the Take-A-Step Thursday event.

I’ve become pretty much OBSESSED with organizing. This might come naturally to many but I think I missed the day when God was handing out this important basic skill and for the most part of my life, a messy room, wardrobe and desk space was what I was famously known for.

Of course, I would occasionally spring clean but it usually wasn’t easy for me to let go. I always told myself that the big fat blue folder full of yellowed article clippings from 15 years ago was worth holding on to, that the pants from 5 years ago were still wearable and that I would read those travel brochures one day. Well, that day never came, things kept piling up and I was labelled a ‘hoarder’ and a ‘pack rat’ in my work and family circles.

Thankfully, that part of my life is behind me. I don’t know how or when it happened, but about a year or two ago, my mind just couldn’t take the overwhelming chaos anymore. I went through everything I owned, item by item and threw or recycled the things I didn’t need. Not being able to find anything useful and a serious lack of storage space were big motivators for me to throw out the old and bring in the new.

I can now say this truthfully. Seeing my old junk leave the house is the best feeling I’ve ever had. It makes room for so many good things in life, two of them being a better peace of mind and a sharper level of focus. Creativity does flow freely in a clean home and I am now able to be more inspired to take on different challenges, like for example giving more attention to this blog.

This week, I was inspired to detoxify my email clutter. This was also one of the items that I gleefully checked off on my DayZero Project list (I haven’t posted all my goals on the blog yet).

It’s amazing the amount of storage space we take up both physically and virtually! I went through the arduous task of clearing out my 7 email addresses two days ago. YES, SEVEN. I know, I’m very excessive.

Anyway, I took two straight days this week to delete all spam, Facebook and Twitter comments and messages, unsubscribe to countless subscriptions to newsletters and updates which I never read, uncheck email notification boxes in all my social networks which are checked by default and went through emails from 2005 (!!!) including folders and sent items and deleted everything before 2012. After deleting more than 10,000+ emails combined (!!!!) and moving the important ones to their respective folders, my fingers were sore and my mind numb.

But man, oh man, it was the BEST time investment ever. Reading some of those emails from all of those years ago was not fun but it was interesting to see how much I have changed since then. It feels incredibly good to let go of the past. I now have a squeaky clean inbox and the important stuff is neatly tucked away where it’s supposed to be. Such a relief!

My next big clean-up tasks include cleaning my Facebook messages from several years ago which is a bit of a pain because you have to individually delete each message. Also up is decluttering my laptop because randomly downloaded stuff and personal photographs have gotten a bit out of hand. I also plan to go through my external hard drive to see if I can maximise space.

Clearing out clutter is such a liberating experience. I learned some pretty valuable lessons along the way to my home detox journey, inspired by so many Youtubers and websites:

1. If you feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, start by making your bed. You’ll automatically feel so much better! If it’s already made, then great! You’ve accomplished a big task already. I don’t know where I heard or read this great tip but I’ve been following it pretty consistently for some months. Admiral William McRaven also instills the same disciplinary habit in his Navy SEAL students the moment they enroll :

Make your bed

2. I discovered Terri a couple of days ago and absolutely love her motivational videos. She also has some great videos on clutter clear outs where she suggests starting with the most important room in the house and then spending just 20 minutes each day cleaning the mess that is visible on the outside and then moving on to out-of-sight items gradually.

3. Alejandra, a home organizing guru, is my original inspiration from two years ago and I really aspire to have a completely organized home like hers. She has a place for anything and everything!

4. Of course, Pinterest is just lovely. I could spend years and years on it and still wouldn’t be able to tap its wonderful potential. It’s a great inspiration tool for DIY projects and to make the best of what you already have.

5. Regina Brett, one of my favourite authors who has written this famous book, also wrote a great article about decluttering which I came across recently. Her inspiration is a Japanese organizing consultant Marie Kondo who lives by one rule – Only keep the things that spark joy in you and let go of the rest after thanking them for fulfilling their purpose in your life. Pretty powerful advice.

6. The biggest tip I would give is, do it periodically – maybe once every six months. Take a couple of weekends and go through all your things again. You’ll not only relive good memories but you’ll probably wonder why you still have a bunch of receipts and those worn out pair of shoes lying around. Remember, less is more.

I have by no means reached the level of organization that I want to but I am pretty happy that I have gotten so far. I hope this post inspired you in some way to accomplish a challenge that you’ve been wanting to do since forever.

So what have you been inspired by this week? Share your inspirations on your blog every Thursday with a link back to the original post and the tag TakeAStepThursday. 🙂

You can email me at thistlesandwhistles@hotmail.com
You can also follow me on Facebook , InstagramTwitter, Goodreads and BlogLovin’

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13 thoughts on “Take-A-Step Thursday #1 – Clean up your act

  1. HogriderDookes says:

    I’d love to de-clutter, but I have a fundamental problem…somehow I seem to get emotionally attached to what my wife calls junk! I start clearing out with good intent, then find something that belonged to a long dead relative and bang go the heart strings, all bets are off and the clear out grinds to a halt! Stupidly sentimental or hopelessly romantic? I don’t know, but I’m still surrounded by “precious” clutter!!!! Help!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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