Daylight savings is such a wonderful time of year when we actually get some sunshine in Chicago and everything starts to feel a little bit brighter. And with more sunlight comes more light shed on my life routine, and sometimes it’s not that pretty. I’ll be spending the next few weeks working my way through my home and my life to clean out those things that aren’t serving me anymore. Here are some nooks and crannies to check out.
1. Your closet
Let’s start with the basics. I absolutely do not regularly wear everything that I own, and I also wear some pieces way too much than what they’re made for. An easy hack to see what you really wear is to face all of your hangers one way, and once you wear an article, flip the hanger around the other way to mark that you’ve worn it. If after a couple of weeks there are some pieces that you haven’t touched, perhaps it’s time to relegate them to storage or to a donations box.
This technique also helps you figure what your real style is — do you tend to wear your brightest sweaters all the time and neglect your neutrals? Are you always pulling on those black jeans and never touch your khakis? There’s no reason to add something to your wardrobe just because you “should.” Remove the unworn and only add pieces to it that are long-lasting, in both material and trend.
2. Your pantry
The amount of times that I clean out my pantry (and my fridge, for that matter) per year is pitiful. Use this spring cleaning-time to go through all of those old cans and sauces and boxes of Kraft mac and cheese — I mean, something way more grown-up than that. If it’s expired, throw it away. Also start to get into the habit of checking your pantry before you run out to the store to make something special. That way you won’t end up with four half-used bottles of soy sauce, like me.
3. Your social media follows/friends/connections
You do not care about your ex-boyfriend, his new girlfriend, your group project partner from high school a decade ago. You do not need these people clogging up your feeds or dashboards or anything. It’s time to let ‘em go. Spend some time cleaning through your friends or connections and weed out the people who aren’t actively supporting you — anyone else is just distraction.
4. Your subscriptions
This is a big money suck that you probably aren’t even noticing. If you signed up for a free trial and forgot to cancel it (read: me, always), you’re definitely losing money for no reason. Check your Amazon, your makeup subscriptions, your apps to make sure that you’re spending money where you really want to be.
5. Your toxic relationships
We all have those people in our lives who aren’t the best for us. It doesn’t matter if you’ve known each other since college and have all the same friends — if you dread spending time with someone, stop investing in that relationship. Now, this isn’t the moment to ditch your friends who are just having a moment, but if your relationship with someone is hallmarked by negativity, selfishness, or competition, it’s best to walk away.
6. Your unhealthy habits
Like the above, if your relationship with yourself is starting to feel negative and competitive, it’s time to check out what life habits might be causing that. Do you hate that you feel sluggish all the time? Maybe check out your eating, sleeping, and fitness habits. When you exercise a little and eat your veggies and get more than five hours of sleep, you’re going to feel better, I can guarantee that. It’s easy for me — especially in the winter — to fall into habits of self-indulgence and laziness. The spring is a great time to remind yourself of how important it is to treat your body well and start making those changes to your schedule.
7. Your paper collection
My office is a disaster at almost all times. I’m a self-proclaimed paper packrat, I want to keep every note someone has sent me, every receipt, every chicken-scratch post-it. Obviously, so much of that is outdated and is just taking up precious desk space. Find those piles of mail or cards or old documents (I have a bunch scattered throughout my house) and toss whatever is old in the recycling. You’ll be amazed at how much better your mind feels without the clutter.
8. Your digital diet
We spend so much time on our devices and so little time thinking about what we’re actually digesting. Are you getting most of your news from Facebook? Maybe it’s time to turn on Apple News and step away from whatever your uncle is posting. Slimming down your digital diet, whether that be less time on social media or fewer Buzzfeed quizzes, will help you feel more focus and less #fomo throughout the day. Also, unsubscribe from all of those random email deals that just remind you of the money and clothes you don’t have/now think you want. They’re only making you think the life you have now isn’t enough — it is, and cutting out unnecessary digital fodder will help stop the comparison game we all play.