The last 6 days I’ve committed completely to Spring cleaning, clearing out the old and refreshing my physical environment and my social environment too.
How and why?
By making a deadline (6th Jan when term starts again) and joining in Cal Newport’s Analog challenge that’s how.
I did this not only to start the new ‘anew’ though to shift things and clear the slate, the clutter I did a video on my No spend 2020 rules below.
I like how Personal Philosophy Project described her no spend ‘a year of decluttering’. There was a time in my life where I was decluttering the ENTIRE TIME, I could also call it my mid-twenties. I lived out of home and as much as I decluttered it made no difference. There was always more stuff, it always looked messy and I got nowhere. Case in point, if you move out, make sure the place is tidy so you don’t take on more stuff. It overworked me physically and drained me mentally too. Though the mention of it in the video motivated me to start the year clearing things out and to look at decluttering in a positive light.
Last year I started reading Cal Newport’s books and blog and his works are changing my life. I’m now reading Deep Work and soon his latest Digital Minimalism. Cal Newport is a huge inspiration for making content over casually scrolling on social media like a one-fingered robot 40 hours a week. I’m not a typical social media lover and I schedule posts for yoga classes, though the last year, being a mum, it became a big distraction and means of activity any spare moments I had. My one hour of scheduling in social media wasn’t a reachable target with a 7-month-old and now she’s older she knows when I’m not present and wants to play with the phone if it’s out. When I stopped using it as much I noticed how much lighter and freer I felt.
I felt good, I believe in doing more of what makes us feel good.
I’m using Cal’s tips and the analog challenge, using my phone for calls, messages, maps, and audio having 20 conversations in audio or in person, and joining a group to name a few. I’m also off social media, this includes Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Youtubing as I can make or read instead. I have scheduled yoga classes up till February and will work on content and bigger tasks till then. Read more about it on his blog.
I could, and will dive into more of the world of less social media and more actual human contact at some point. Here are seven days to start:
I deleted 700 accounts I was following on Instagram and reduced it to 300. Through doing this I used a feature where you can mute and hide people’s stories and posts without them knowing. I deleted accounts that have no value to me anymore like Pregnant and perfect, accounts that rarely post and people I like but don’t know personally and even people I do know in real life if they want to share they can tell me any time they visit (which in this household is very regularly anyway). I had to be ruthless and it’s nothing personal that I evaluated what I want to see in my leisure time, it came down to organisations I gain further knowledge from, events in the area and some general friends updates that make me smile. I’m gradually coming away from life updates and essay writings.
I moved my social media apps to the last page on my phone and in a separate folder, this is to not have them stare back at me at first opportunity when I open my phone. Deleting them would be even better and I am getting better at using them on the iPad instead.
I started filling out my Life Workbook by Leonie Dawson in the holidays and I’ll be continuing throughout January and the Business workbook too.
I tidied up the photos on my photos app, deleting duplicates and put ones to keep on my hard drive. I made new albums for the year ahead and projects I’m doing.
I took a leap from my normal routine of web fixes and trusted a freelancer on Fiverr – It worked and I feel freer for it.
I moved my Art desk upstairs, I had been using it on and off in the cellar in a shared space with a dressmaker and made the switch to the attic where a window and natural light is streaming in. I threw out two black bags of rubbish and reorganised all my draws. I’ve minimised and haven’t shared the process or the result as I used to, looking back it doesn’t mean much. Maximizing my project workflow to completion and sharing will and that’s my aim instead.
I vacuum packed a big bag of baby clothes and put away old maternity clothes, I still have a jumbo vacuum bag use, that’s the value of asking for something I need for Christmas from a reliable family member.
I sorted and made my creative room useable, with art supplies you need to go through everything and put it in a specific place, I think I threw my gesso in a hurry so that will need replacing. I also made it as baby as safe as possible although I want to take advantage of me time there.
I spring cleaned the bedroom so that spaces are useable and don’t get messy every week, the six sets of wooden draws that sits on top of a cabinet from Ikea is perfect for that and that nothing gets left on the floor except a box with lid of cuddly toys and my morning ritual supplies.
I spring cleaned the office room, I put notebooks and files in holders on the desk and took away creative supplies so that it can only be used for computer work. I also sorted through a bag of books and re-reading Marie Kondo’s chapter on getting rid of books. I held a book and asked if it still moved me, I did open a few, it was hard though I was ruthless, I love books and went to the charity shop late morning and gave a bag of books and a bag of random stuff.
I feel I’ve started my year off right, cleaning up before getting stuff done!
Do you do something similar in January? Or another ritual or tradition that positively serves you and changes your outlook, let me know in the comments below!