THE BIG PURGE: HOW TO DETOX YOUR LIFE, YOUR APARTMENT, AND YOUR MIND
Start Fresh In 2021
If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard all about the detox craze that’s been all the rage. There’s teas to detox our guts, face creams and masks to detox our face, and there’s even foot baths to detox our feet!
There’s no denying that the word “detox” is a little overused right now. But the principle is still solid. Detoxifying, or removing negative and toxic elements, is a great goal that we can all focus on. So if you’re looking to start fresh in 2021 and get rid of some toxic baggage, here are some tips and tricks to purge your entire life.
The Big Purge: Detoxing in 2021
Purge Your Space
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders, many of us have been spending more time than ever in the comfort of our own homes. But when that space becomes too cluttered with things we don’t really want or need, it can become just another stressor in our busy lives. Here are some quick facts that show just how bad having a cluttered, chaotic living space can be:
- People are less stressed and more productive in an organized environment than a disorganized one.
- The stress from being in a cluttered space triggers bad coping mechanisms like overeating and watching too much TV.
- According to one survey, 54% of Americans are overwhelmed by the clutter and disorganization in their home.
- The more clutter in the home, the more stress women in particular feel.
Clearly, it’s not just in your head; clutter makes us stressed out, irritable, and less productive. So if you want to turn your space into a cozy, chill refuge from the stresses of the outside world, here are some tips and tricks for purging your apartment or house.
How To Detox Your Apartment or House
- Only keep the things you actually use. If there’s something you haven’t picked up in the last six months, it’s probably time to trash it, donate it, or sell it. This includes that blazer you bought that doesn’t fit quite right, the new-fangled kitchen appliance that takes up so much counter space, and the scarf your mom gave you that you completely forgot about. Keep the things that make you happy and that you use regularly–everything else can go.
- Clear visible areas first. Cleaning is like a muscle. When you can see the results from your mental and physical efforts, it’s an instant positive reinforcement. After you have built up the detox “muscle,” you’ll be better prepared to tackle the back of your closet.
- Let go of things that are in bad shape. If you’re the type of person who has a pile of broken or damaged belongings that you’ll “get around to fixing someday,” it can be hard to get rid of these things. But if you really needed or loved any of those things, you would have fixed them right away. Take this as a sign that you’re better off without your broken mug or ripped t-shirt.
- Have a “maybe” box. Not sure what to do with one or two things you come across as you declutter? No worries. Just put it in the maybe box. If you don’t reach for it again in a week or month, it’s time to say goodbye.
And just to make things super easy for you, here’s a list of things you should definitely toss, recycle, or donate:
- Old magazines and newspapers
- Expired coupons
- Expired food
- Extra plastic bags
- Stained linens
- Chipped or cracked cups and dishes
- Takeout menus
- Old electronics
Cleanse Your Mind
Do you ever feel like your brain is always racing, filled with a million thoughts that you can’t keep track of? Sometimes, it seems like this is just a natural byproduct of modern life. But cleansing your mind and clearing out some mental space is one of the best things you can do to destress and take back control of your life.
A messy mind is usually caused by overthinking. You’re thinking about the past (“did my friend seem mad at me when I talked to her yesterday”), the present (“I need to do these 3 things from my to-do list on my lunch break”) and the future (“what am I going to make for dinner tonight?”) all at once. No wonder you can’t think straight or slow your racing mind!
Here’s How To Cleanse Your Mind
- Start journaling. Writing everything down that’s going through your brain can help you destress and refocus your brain on more positive things. Plus, it means you’re not on the hook for remembering every little thing you have to do or want to work on, because it’s all down on paper.
- Don’t let the past drag you down. Oftentimes, our mental clutter is made up of things that happened long ago, as far back as our childhood! If you feel like your past is taking up too much of your present, focus on facing those memories and dealing with the fallout. Sometimes you might need to enlist a friend, mentor, or therapist to talk it out with, but we promise you’ll feel much better in the end.
- Meditate. Meditation is all about being in the moment, so it’s great practice for people who tend to overthink and have a cluttered mind. Lots of studies have shown how meditation can help with stress, depression, and sleep problems. Download a meditating app or check out Youtube videos for beginners guided meditations.
- Have a routine. Making decisions is hard, especially when you have to do it a thousand times a day. Clear up some mental space and save your brainpower by having routines for different parts of your day. That way you don’t have to expend your mental energy wondering what cereal you should have for breakfast.
Detox Your Devices
In this day and age, a digital detox can be the most effective way to purge and declutter your life. Smartphones, laptops, tablets, TVs…the list goes on and on! Clutter doesn’t have to be physically in your home to take up mental space and emotional energy, so try out this digital device detox.
How To Do A Digital Detox
- Clear out your storage. Have you been getting annoying alerts from iCloud and gMail saying your storage is full? Well, odds are you don’t actually want or need everything that’s taking up space in the cloud. Set aside a weekend day to go through everything in your storage–documents, photos, videos, and apps.
- Tame your inbox. The inbox of your email can be a very scary place if you don’t keep up with it. Going from 1,000 unread emails to being all caught up is a big task, but it’s one that will lift a major weight off your shoulders. Respond to any emails you’ve left unanswered, and organize important ones into different folders. While you’re at it, make sure to unsubscribe from all those newsletters and email lists you’re on that you never open. It will make keeping your inbox clean much easier.
- Fix your files. Do you have files that you put under the wrong heading by accident when in a rush? Or maybe you’ve noticed pictures that are in your Documents file? Or maybe when you updated your new computer everything went a bit awry? Fix those now!
- Update your devices. Are you the type of person that always clicks, “not now” when an update pops up on your phone or computer? Get rid of the annoying notification and take the time to update all of your computers, phones, tablets, and apps. Often, software updates have new security measures to keep you safe from scammers and hackers.
- Purge your phone: If you’re like most of us, you’re on your phone all the time. So take a few extra minutes to make sure it’s organized and efficient. Delete any old apps you never use, and organize the rest in a way that makes sense to you. Put your most used apps on your home screen, and file the rest away into folders.
Detoxing and purging your home, brain, and devices can seem like a daunting task at first. But it’s not just about the results–the whole process will make you feel better, more organized, and less stressed. We’re all about going into 2021 with mindfulness and intention, so why not start with an all-around detox? You’ll be so glad you did.