Declutter and Thrive

The case for buying less — and how to actually do it

November 22, 2022
by Alexandra Frost
on Vox.com

Buying fewer unnecessary items is good for the planet, your wallet, and your brain.

This holiday season could be a scary time for some: Between inflation (prices have risen 8.2 percent in a year) and economic uncertainty pointing to a potential recession, in addition to ongoing pandemic recovery, it might not be the ideal moment to think about buying a bunch of crap.

A 2019 survey by Ladder and OnePoll revealed that Americans spend an average of $18,000 per year on nonessential items, including streaming services and lattes, impulse Amazon finds, and unnecessary clothes. Not only is this enough to buy a semester of in-state tuition for your soon-to-be-college kid, but it translates to lots of clutter you have to deal with as items become unnecessary with time. Household goods and services are responsible for 60 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, one study shows. It seems we are as aware as ever of this fact — since the pandemic, consumers want to reduce their unnecessary shopping behaviors.

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9 Tips to Maximize Your Productivity When You’ve Got ADHD

Adults with ADHD face extra challenges when it comes to task management and organization, whether at work or at home. Overstimulation, feeling stuck, getting overwhelmed—any one or all of these can hinder your productivity and elevate your anxiety. We’ve got 9 tips to help you maximize your productivity so you can anticipate your challenges, stay focused, and finish your tasks. 

1. Use your calendar for reminders and due dates.

Enter your due dates and deadlines. Then count backwards and enter mini due dates and/or reminders for completing phases of your project.

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Step-by-Step Guide to Decluttering Your Fridge

The end of the summer is a perfect time to declutter your fridge. All those impromptu barbecues, ice cream parties, late night fast food runs, TikTok recipe experiments, and leftover vacation foods have probably filled your refrigerator with all kinds of random items. If a funky, unidentifiable odor is emitted each time you open the fridge door, it’s definitely time to do some clearing out. Follow our step-by-step guide and in a few hours, your fridge will feel spacious, clean, and fresh. Just in time for the busy holiday season that is just around the corner!

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7 Must-Do’s for an Organized Home Office

Your home office should be a space where you can get a lot of work done. That “work” may be for your job, for your household, or both. In any case, you’ll want to work in an area that is conducive to productivity and efficiency. However, if your home office is chaotic and disorganized, then read on for these must-do’s to get your work space decluttered, comfortable, and calm.  

1. Organize your paperwork

Set up a paper organization system so your paperwork isn’t in multiple piles that are impossible to find anything in. Get a filing cabinet system, or a desktop paper organizer—and tackle those piles. Color code when you can, use that label maker, and shred/recycle as needed. Not sure what to keep and what to let go? Our Paper Retention Guide will help you out. Imagine how much easier it will be to find what you’re looking for once you’ve got this set up!

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Top 8 Ways Decluttering Saves You Money

You may have heard that decluttering is beneficial to your mental and emotional health. An extra bonus of decluttering is that it can actually save you money, and in some cases, even earn you some. All that extra stuff in your cabinets and closets, counters, shelves, hallways, garage, attic, and storage unit is potentially money in your pocket. Read on and feel inspired to save by paring down your things and getting organized.

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Cool, Fun Father’s Day Gifts for Every Type of Dad

There are so many awesome types of dads out there, and getting him a Father’s Day gift he’ll love can be a challenge. Whether that special dad in your life is into gadgets, golf, travel, fashion, geekdom, camping, or wine, there is something out there that will light up his face and get him to tell a classic dad joke. We’ve got a list of things we think are pretty cool—you might get him one of these, or just be inspired to shop around some more.

 

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7 Signs of Unhealthy Shopping Habits

Everyone shops. We all need the basics in life, right? Food, shelter, clothing, etc. It’s the “etc.” part that presents a wide range when it comes to shopping habits. While there are many amusing adages about shopping—”Shop til you drop,” “Whoever said money can’t buy happiness…,” and “Shopping is my cardio” are a few that come to mind—for some it has become an unhealthy situation, both mentally, physically, and financially. It is called a few different things: “shopaholism”, “Compulsive Buying Disorder (CBD)” or “oniomania”. Not sure if you are just guilty of the occasional splurge, or if you need help to rein in your spending? You’re not alone. Read on for 7 signs of unhealthy shopping habits…and some real talk on how you can change them.

1. You browse or shop online as a source of entertainment or happiness.

Got some time to kill, so you open your Amazon app or spend a couple of hours at the mall. We’re all guilty of the occasional “retail therapy”. However, if this is how you always fill your spare time and the result is a constant influx bags and boxes of stuff you don’t really need, then it is definitely not a healthy habit. Give yourself better options to spend that valuable free time. Schedule regular coffee or walk dates with a friend. Go to the library—browsing and borrowing is free! Sign up for an online class. Basically, fill up that space with options that do not indulge those shopping urges.

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Mental Health Benefits of Decluttering

by Dan Brennan, MD
October 5, 2021
from WebMD.com

If you’re looking for an easy way to reduce stress, decluttering your environment may be a good place to start. Getting rid of excess stuff can benefit your mental health by making you feel calmer, happier, and more in control. A tidier space can make for a more relaxed mind.

Benefits of Decluttering

Untidy environments often increase stress for most people. In one study, women who described their homes with positive language had a lower level of the stress hormone cortisol than women who described their homes as cluttered or unfinished. Still, the case for decluttering isn’t clear-cut. Another study found that, while orderly environments are more linked to healthy choices, disorderly environments promote creativity and fresh ideas. If you value creativity, you may want to allow yourself to be a little messy in certain areas of your life.For most people, decluttering can promote productivity and improvements in mental and physical health. Benefits of decluttering include:

Better focus. Clutter makes it difficult to find what you need. It may also distract you. Getting rid of visual clutter can help you focus better on any task at hand. 

Higher self-esteem. When you have trouble staying organized, you may feel out of control. Improving your living space can restore feelings of competency and pride.

Read the rest at WebMD.

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How to Pare Down Your Books

Books are seriously one of the hardest things to part with! Even if you’ve only ever read it once, having your books within reach keeps you tied to the thoughts and feelings they evoked, to the far-off, magical adventures they took you on, to the breathtaking or heart-wrenching stories they told. We hold onto books that were passed down from a loved one, or purchased at a tiny bookshop in Cairo, or read during a particularly good or bad time of our lives. We also hold onto books that were gifts, or from your college days, or have been on your “to read” list for a long time. The reality is that books also create clutter, take up a lot of space, are hard to move, and collect an amazing amount of dust. Paring down your books doesn’t mean getting rid of all of them—it just means you’ll keep some of them. Our guide will help you get going!

Where are all your books?
  • Are they all on a couple of bookshelves in the family room?
  • Or do you have books in many places—your nightstand, your home office, the guest room?
  • Do you have books in boxes that are stored in the garage, the basement, or a storage unit?
  • Write down all the places where your books are kept, so you can go down the list and check each area off as you declutter it.
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‘The Best Thing You Can Do Is Not Buy More Stuff,’ Says ‘Secondhand’ Expert

by Terry Gross
December 4, 2019
on NPR.org

Author Adam Minter remembers two periods of grief after his mother died in 2015: the intense sadness of her death, followed by the challenge of sorting through what he calls “the material legacy of her life.”

Over the course of a year, Minter and his sister worked through their mother’s possessions until only her beloved china was left. Neither one of them wanted to take the china — but neither could bear to throw it out. Instead, they decided to donate it.

Waiting in the donation line at Goodwill, Minter began wondering what would happen to the dishes: “It occurred to me this is a very interesting subject,” he says. “Nobody really knew what happened beyond the donation door at Goodwill.”

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