15 Ways to Declutter Your Life This Year

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What better way to start the blogging year off than a decluttering post? When things pile up in my life it leads to so much unnecessary stress. I wouldn’t call myself a hoarder but I do tend to hold onto things for longer than needed (this became very apparent mid-cleaning through my makeup drawers when I found a lipstick from 2007…). But it doesn’t just stop of physical things you have around the house, when I say declutter, I mean in every form – mentally and digitally too. Are there people who make you feel like awful that you still keep around? Are there messages you know you should’ve got rid of about 2 years ago? Are you following only the people who inspire you on social media?

Basically, I’m trying to simplify things around me and only keep the things that serve or inspire me. It can be hard to rid yourself and your home of things at the beginning, but the more I’ve started to give away or donate, the better I feel.

It’s almost kind of meditative?

Here’s a few things you need to declutter from your life.

Physical

1. old makeup & skincare products

If you didn’t know, makeup has an expiry date! I was actually surprised at how long beauty products really last because it was a lot shorter than I had imagined. Usually there are some obvious signs your products have expired such as an off colour, smell or texture, but here’s just a quick guideline.

Replace after three months:

Liquid foundation & mascara

Replace after one year:

Eyeliner, Lip liner & Eyebrow pencil

Replace after two years:

Blush, Eye shadow, Moisturizer, Powder, & Concealer

2. travel sized minis

It is actually crazy the amount of travel-sized or mini products I’ve collected over the past couple years from samples, events, hotels, airplanes etc. And if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that I will NEVER use them. I don’t even know why I keep taking them? Tell me I’m not alone here? For some reason at the time I keep thinking that I’ll end up needing that airplane sample sized body wash at some point in my life. Totally useless. If you’ve not used them in the past couple months, chances are you’re probably never going to and they’ll just end up expiring.

3. clothing and accessories

My general rule is if I wouldn’t buy it now or I haven’t worn it in a year, it’s time to donate or sell it. If you’re really hesitant about giving something away, perhaps put it in a “maybe” box and store it away, then revisit it in 6-12 months to see if you’re ready to let go. Perhaps you still have your old uniform hanging up in your closet? Time to either get rid of it or store it elsewhere!

4. papers, receipts and mail

Are you one to have papers and mail just lying around the house or office? I was rather shocked at the amount of useless notes, papers and books I just had lying around my desk. I would recommend a filing system, going digital or if they no longer are useful, recycle. There’s no point in having papers pile up around you. It makes it incredibly difficult to find ones you actually need.

5. broken items

Are you holding onto items you’re eventually hoping to fix one day? Maybe it’s time to face the fact you’ll never get around to it or it’s just not worth it. Ask yourself is it really worth the space it takes up and the time spent fixing it?

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6. old magazines

Although I do prefer to keep my favourite fashion magazines such such as Vogue, Elle, and Harper’s Bazaar as I create collections, there are plenty of magazines that hang around even though I don’t need them anymore. This goes for entertainment magazines, cooking, and other random ones I’ve picked up in stores. If they’re not useful anymore, it’s time to get rid of them and make space for newer ones or invest in some coffee table books.

7. empty your purse and handbags

I try to empty my handbag every few weeks but still somehow find myself carrying way more lip products than one would need. Empty any bags you regularly use as well as your purse and get rid of items that have doubled up or that you’re never going to use. A few things I found were old gift cards, an alarming number of receipts, loyalty cards to places I don’t shop anymore, and an expired ID.

8. detox your kitchen cabinet & fridge

Alike many other people, I find this time of the year best to get into any healthy routines. The best way to start this is to clean out your kitchen of any unhealthy foods and start stocking it with fresh, clean ingredients! It’s also a good idea to go through and get rid of any expired condiments.

9. books

Are you holding onto any old books from school that no longer serve you? Chances are you’re probably never going to need them again and if you donate them to a charity, they will be much better appreciated. Cookbooks are another thing – if you’ve had them sitting around for years and barely touched a page, it’s probably better to donate or recycle them too. You can find nearly everything online now anyway!

10. clean your desk

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past year, it’s that less is more when it comes to a workspace. I used to work with notes and papers sitting all around me, until I realized it was cluttering my mind. I can’t focus when there’s so much around me, even if it’s not mess, it’s just unnecessary clutter. A clean, spacious surface is the way to go. There’s something so much more relaxing about it.

Digital

11. clear your inbox & cut subscriptions

Anyone who communicates regularly over email for work will understand what a relieving feeling it is to have an empty inbox. Emails can very easily take over your life so it’s always good to keep on top of them by dedicating some time every day or week to answering them, depending on how many you might receive. I used to reply to emails first thing in the morning but recently I’ve found lunch works better for me. Find a time that works for you and make it a routine!

On that note, I spent almost an hour yesterday unsubscribing from so many pointless newsletters that clutter up my inbox that I never got around to unsubscribing from. If your email is publicly available, especially as a blogger or instagrammer, brands and PRs tend to add it to email lists even without your permission. If you have a lot to get through, unroll.me is a great service that lets you unsubscribe from unwanted email lists in bulk.

12. social media following

Are you following everyone on Instagram you want to follow? When was the last time you even looked at who you were following? I did this quite recently and found a lot of the accounts I was following either stopped posting or completely changed their content. This also goes for all the other social medias such as snapchat, facebook and twitter.

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13. facebook friends

Similar to the social media following, when was the last time you looked through your friends list? If there are people you’ve only met once or know you’ll never talk to again, maybe it’s time to unfriend them. You shouldn’t feel guilty about it either – too many friends on Facebook makes it more difficult to keep up with the ones you truly care about. Facebook is meant for friends and family you want to stay connected with.

14. organise your phone

To my surprise, it’s been a lot more difficult trying to let go of digital things over anything physical. A few important areas you might want to declutter are your contacts, camera roll and notes. It’s also a great time to update any apps that have been sitting there for a while and delete ones that no longer serve you.

15. tidy your computer

There’s a likely chance you could be taking up unnecessary space on your computer and not even know it! Make sure to keep your software updated, rename/organise your folders, delete any movies, apps or photos you no longer need, and clean up your desktop. I’ve also recently started using iCloud storage for some photos and files to create extra room on my hard drive!

Also, if you’re looking for some additional help when it comes to decluttering/organising your life, I would highly recommend  this book. It introduces you to the KonMari Method for simplifying, organizing, and storing.

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