Do you find that when your physical surroundings are cluttered, your mind is cluttered too? Today’s woman has a full schedule filled with work, running kids to activities, and taking care of the home, and over time families accumulate stuff that can take over their living space and cause unnecessary stress. Luckily, lifestyle and wellness expert Estelle Shaw, founder of FitnessFlower.com, found a simple system to stay organized without having to take a lot of time to keep up with the system after the initial time investment to get it started.
As a busy mom herself, Estelle knows that creating a system to keep the hodgepodge under control can greatly benefit you and others in your community. Below are her expert tips for getting rid of the clutter and spring cleaning your life:
- Do you have a hard time finding things in your closets? Are they stuffed so full you can’t even close the door? Try categorizing your clothes on hangers. Separating garments by season or style may work well for you. Once you’ve worn one item, when you replace it, hang it with the hanger facing backwards so you can see that it has been worn. Twice a year, go through your closet, anything that hasn’t been worn can be donated. You may also adopt the philosophy that when you buy something new, something old should be donated.
- Are your storage closets overflowing? Creating labels on shelves so everyone knows where things belong can be helpful for staying organized. Some items may need to be stored in containers with lids to create more space. You can expand your space by stacking items in labeled containers.
- Add shelving and hooks in your garage to store items that are used seasonally will make putting things away a breeze. Getting items off the floor will help you stay organized, save time, and keep things from being misplaced or broken.
- As kids grow up, they outgrow their clothes. Keep a box labeled donations. As they outgrow their gently worn clothes, put them in the box and once the box is full; drop it off at your local charity. Many charities have drop boxes at shopping centers to make giving convenient
- Kids always seem to have an over abundance of toys, including many they have outgrown. As toy boxes start to overflow, consider passing them down to younger family members or donating to a local daycare, church or pediatrician’s office. Gently used toys can benefit other kids in your community long after your child has moved on to other interests. Making your child a part of the process also teaches them the concept of giving.
- Donating your time can be one of the greatest gifts you could give. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, tutor kids in math or reading, take meals to shut-ins, or bake cookies for your neighbors. Teaching kids the gift of service is best learned by modeling, so try to include them in your volunteer activities. The options are endless.
Work Out your Body and Mind
- Keeping physically active helps to clear the clutter from our mind and reduce stress. Get involved in activities that the entire family can participate in. Go on a nature walk or hike together, and if you have young children make sure the trail is stroller or toddler friendly. Play a game of basketball to tone your lower body and work out your heart. You can also play Wii fitness to create competitions among family members and serve healthy refreshments.
- Try yoga, as it stills your mind and puts you in touch with your body. You can also expect to improve your posture, flexibility, strength and balance. Yoga focuses on controlling your breath and improving your balance by teaching you to move your body in new ways. Some forms of yoga focus on meditation to bring you into the present moment of total relaxation
- Meditate. It’s hard for women to slow down and smell the roses. Take time to meditate and reflect. Whether you practice tai chi or prayer, finding time to connect with yourself on a deeper level can help clear your mind and keep life in perspective. Learning to be present in the moment makes you a better spouse, a better parent, and a better version of yourself.
When life starts to feel overwhelming, take a look around and see what is out of balance. Cleaning out a closet or a drawer may be the therapy you need to unclutter your physical surroundings so you can focus on inner stresses that may be troubling you. Getting back to basics and simplifying your lifestyle will do wonders for your mental outlook.
About Fitness Flower:
Estelle Shaw is a fitness and wellness expert, mom of two, and the founder of Fitness Flower, a collection of fitness products designed to help women get into shape without adding to their “to do” list or overloading an already busy schedule. The line, consisting of Bathroom Begonia and Office Orchid, incorporates movements to help build and maintain strength and health into your existing tasks, for example while brushing your teeth or sitting at your desk. “I’m passionate about helping women focus on health and wellness without asking them to devote precious time exclusively to exercise.”—Estelle Shaw. http://www.fitnessflower.com/