Decluttering Tips to Start the New Year
TOUCH Mental Wellness
Are you ready to welcome the new year? Many people believe that the best way to welcome a new year is to make resolutions. The new year also marks a new start in leaving the past behind and making room for the new.
Consider starting small in your quest by first cleaning the space around you.
Tips for cleaning your physical space
Tidying up an entire house can be daunting at first, but the process can get easier if you know where to start. Ideally, you spring clean at a reasonable pace that spans across one week or longer. This duration changes depending on how many things need to be removed or stored.
1. Come up with a game plan: Find out which rooms need more attention than others in terms of decluttering. You might want to start cleaning the bedrooms first, as these are the places where most items accumulate. From there, you can move to other locations such as the kitchen and living room.
2. Organise your items into boxes: The next step is deciding which items are worth keeping. Try preparing at least three boxes for sorting your belongings. The first box can be filled with essentials that are needed for day-to-day life, while the second can be used for storing seasonal items such as festive decorations. The third box can be used for things that no longer hold personal value and need to be thrown away.
3. Donate items that are rarely used: The spirit of giving stretches beyond the holiday season. Some of the items that you plan to throw out such as clothes or books may still be in good condition. Consider dropping them off at charity drives as these items might benefit someone else instead.
A tidier living space can prevent unnecessary stress and help you better focus for the year ahead. Besides preparing your home, you can also change your mindset to welcome the year with fresh perspectives.
Tips for decluttering your mental space
You may have undergone stressful experiences that caused an increase in negative thoughts in the past year. Here are several strategies you can use to keep the negativity at bay.
1. Take a break from social media: With so many posts flooding our social media feeds, dissatisfaction with your life or negative thoughts from the fear of missing out may be exacerbated. Consider placing all your devices in a separate room for a short while. Carve time out of each day to pursue a hobby. Getting in touch with your personal interests can also be a healthy distraction from social media.
2. Avoid multitasking: It is easy for us to get carried away by the bustle of everyday life, and this is even more apparent when you take into account the urgency of some tasks. While a bit of multitasking gets work done faster sometimes, it can be mentally draining when it is consistently done in the long run. As a start, create a simple to-do list, in order of priority.
3. Get more sleep: The lack of sleep can interfere with the brain's capacity to process thoughts and feelings. If you have a habit of burning the midnight oil, you might be prone to higher levels of stress and emotional outbursts. Also, putting away devices 30 minutes before bedtime might help you fall asleep faster.
Try adopting any one of the above strategies to get a head start on the challenges that may come your way in 2023. For additional support, help is available. You can find out more here.
TOUCH Mental Wellness (TMW) runs personalised therapy and counselling programmes to empower individuals to rise above their circumstances. An advocate of mental wellness, TMW has been organising mental wellness awareness mass runs, talks and workshops since 2015. It works closely with corporations to conduct mental wellness talks with an aim of equipping employees with handles to cope with stress and help them build resilience. It also specialises in mental wellness awareness and educational programmes for schools.
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4. Nazish, Noma. “How to Declutter Your Mind: 10 Practical Tips You'll Actually Want to Try.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 19 Nov. 2017, https://www.forbes.com/sites/nomanazish/2017/11/19/how-to-declutter-your-mind-10-practical-tips-youll-actually-want-to-try/?sh=3ddb117d24f1.
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