Here’s how this post came about: I was sitting at a coffee shop last week — while my in-laws were in town watching Brady — trying to think of something to write about and figured I would make use of my time by cleaning up my inbox, so I wasn’t sitting there idly. It felt great. I was reminded how good it feels to do some housekeeping in your life. Ah-ha. An idea. Now let’s get to a few of those ways to clean up your life that will leave you feeling pretty darn good …
Five feel-good ways to clean up your life
Use Unroll.me to unsubscribe from marketing emails.
I get a lot of emails every single day to my personal and work email account, and I like to keep those accounts organized. I’m definitely not someone who can have 5,000 unread or junk emails floating around in my inbox. I delete a ton of incoming emails all day long and then just carry on with what I am doing, not thinking another thing about the process. But you know what, there’s this handy unsubscribe tool that I could be using so I don’t get as much junk in the first place. I’ve mentioned Unroll.me on the blog before when I did a big overhaul a couple years ago, and I used it the morning that I came up with the idea for this post too. To use it, all you do is go to Unroll.me, and let them do the work for you. The app or site pulls up all the mailing lists that you are subscribed to (oftentimes a lot of things you probably didn’t even sign up for), and you can go through and unsubscribe from as many as you want with one click. So helpful! (Speaking of emails, are you subscribed to get a notification of new A Lady Goes West posts by email? You can sign up here and get a free gift too.)
Marie Kondo your closet and dresser. Sell that stuff or donate it.
They say the rule is that if you haven’t worn something in a whole year, toss it. But I disagree. There are some things I haven’t worn in longer than that that are worth keeping, and there are things I bought just months ago that need to be tossed. I do, however, love the Marie Kondo method of pulling EVERYTHING out of your closet and drawers and handling each piece in your fingertips while making a decision whether it stays or goes (I wrote more about this process in this post). You only keep things that bring you joy. That’s it. Since reading Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” I’ve used this method for a couple years, and it makes me keep WAY less and buy way less too. I go through my closet and drawers about once a quarter and do a major purge. Then, I either donate to a local church, sell on Poshmark or send in to ThredUp — lots of options for minimizing! Moral of the story: There’s no need to keep everything under the sun. Donate. Sell. Purge. Toss. It’ll make you feel lighter. And then you can consciously and carefully buy something new, with a renewed view on whether you really want to bring that item into your life or not.
Flex your unfollow muscle on social media.
So here’s the deal, if your Facebook and Instagram feeds are filled with people who make you feel bad about yourself, then unfollow. It’s totally cool to get inspiration from people who are doing great things or have exciting lives, but if you find yourself feeling “less than” or suddenly “down” when you see a post from someone, it’s a good sign that you need to break up with them. And you don’t need to explain yourself at all. Just click unfollow and move along with your life. And if you want some fun accounts to follow on Instagram that will most certainly make you feel good, may I recommend Bustle, The Every Mom, Happsters, Dogs Being Basic, Middle Class Fancy, Tiny Buddha, etc. 🙂
Swap out at least one skincare or body product for a safer, non-toxic version.
We ingest so many toxins all day long from the products we use and even our environment too. And while you can’t control a lot of things you come into contact with, you can control what you put in and on your body. Hopefully you already look at the ingredient labels of the foods you eat, but you also need to look at the labels of the makeup, skincare, hair and body products you use — because your skin is your biggest organ, and whatever you put on it gets absorbed into your bloodstream — yikes. Over the last few years, I’ve switched to natural deodorant, natural toothpaste and mouthwash, safer makeup and skincare through my personal favorite brand, Beautycounter, and I’m always trying to make more switches. I recently started using safer leave-in conditioner with no parabens or harsh chemicals, and I also swapped out my regular hair conditioner too. Listen, I’m FAR from perfect with this and still use crap hairspray and mascara (truth be told, mascara is the only makeup item that I don’t use from Beautycounter). But the point with this one is to not let the idea of overhauling your products be too overwhelming. Start small. And let the pending change of season give you a little nudge to consider switching out even just one item. Three posts you make like related to this include: this one on nontoxic body products I use, this one on my favorite Beautycounter products and this one on how to read a label.
Turn off your app notifications on your phone.
You know what makes you want to check your phone a million times a day and waste a lot of time? Notifications from apps that are brightly colored and quite inviting to the brain as they pop up on your screen when you’re trying to focus on something else. But, there’s a way to program your phone so that you don’t get any notifications at all, hopefully helping you to curb your phone use a bit. A few months ago, I decided to turn off all my social media and other notifications on my phone except for text messages, phone calls and our front door camera for our house, and I LOVE it. Here’s how can you do it too: On an iPhone, go to Settings >> Notifications >> then go down the list of apps and turn the “Allow Notifications” tab off. I recommend doing this for almost all your apps if you can. It’s pretty freeing! Give it a try.
A few other honorable mentions …
- Go through your pantry and fridge, and throw out everything that is expired.
- Delete duplicate photos and any apps you don’t use on your phone to clear up space.
- Donate or toss all your plastic tupperware containers and switch to glass. Better for the environment and your health.
And that’ll do it! Hope you enjoyed this one, my friends. Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today. Here’s to a GREAT feel-good week ahead!
Questions of the day
Do you have a recommendation for a fun Instagram account with humor or happiness that you’d like to share?
How was your weekend?
What’s one way you want to do some cleaning up this fall?