Less Stuff, Less Stress
I think we can all agree that, despite popular belief, “less” can be better—like less stress, less clutter, less burnout. Spring is in full bloom and the new season and extra light is providing a dose of hope. In light (pun intended) of fresh starts, this is the perfect time to declutter your life. We’re talking mentally, physically, emotionally; declutter because it’ll help you prioritize what really matters. Research shows that decluttering can do wonders for your wellness, focus and life satisfaction. So what more convincing do you need?
Now that you know “why” to declutter, you need to know “how”. That’s where we come in to help you! Because we are all about helping people start fresh through our life-saving programs. We’ve seen so many transformation stories unfold at UGM. And we want to help you with yours too! So go declutter, because you deserve to be more happy, focused and at peace.
A UGM Expeditions Alumni enjoying a hike
1. Declutter your mental space…
Want to feel more refreshed, focused, and energized? Declutter your mental space. Here are just a few different practices you can try. Whatever method works for you, dedicate more time weekly to improving and decluttering your mental wellbeing.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all you have to do, write it all out in a to-do list and schedule your tasks in your calendar. This will help you feel a better grasp over your tasks and is proven to improve memory as well. You can also try brain dumping, which is when you journal and write down everything that comes to your mind without hesitation or second-guessing.
Another way that works is getting fresh air and a change of scenery, such as going for a walk or a hike. At UGM, many of the men in our Alcohol & Drug Recovery Program credit the outdoors as a big factor that helped them along their recovery. We know how crucial the outdoors can be mentally, which is why we offer a hiking and outdoor program called Expeditions.
2. Declutter your home…
More stuff at home can equal more stress. More and more people are embracing a minimalist lifestyle as it is proven to have many benefits. While you don’t have to go full-on minimalist in your home, there are simple steps you can take to declutter. For instance, you can try doing the Marie Kondo decluttering method and keep only the items that “spark joy”. As another resource, here is a helpful Decluttering Checklist to keep you organized.
One way to declutter your clothes or home items but still make sure they go to good use? Donate the clothes you don’t wear anymore or the items you don’t use! Our UGM Thrift Store accepts various sorts of donations that ultimately help our neighbours in need. Visit our Thrift Store website for information on donation drop-off and pick-up.
3. Declutter your mornings…
Set a daily morning routine so you can start the day off right! Mornings can set the tone for your entire day. A proper morning routine is truly underrated. They are said to have a plethora of benefits, such as improving happiness and productivity and decreasing stress.
Morning routines are good for everyone, but not everyone needs the same morning routine. It’s important to find what works for you, because there’s no one-size-fits-all formula. Create space to give yourself time to breathe. Rather than cramming everything into your morning and wolfing down a quick breakfast, set aside moments that better your mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Some practices can include journaling, reading, stretching, and staying off your phone.
At UGM, we offer daily breakfast to people staying in our emergency shelter, along with hot coffee to help start their day, nourished and prepared. We serve hundreds of hearty meals- breakfast, lunch and dinner—to our neighbours experiencing homelessness and see it makes a massive difference.
Read inspiring stories like Denise’s on our social media channels
4. Declutter your phone…
What you read matters. So make sure to surround yourself with more of the right things. You can control what you see on your phone, so take the time to purge your mobile. Delete any apps you haven’t used in the past 60 days. Throw away any photos you no longer need, such as duplicates or photos that have been safely backed up on the cloud.
Unfollow any social media accounts that leave you feeling discouraged, stressed or down. Instead, focus on following pages that will add value into your day. For content that will fill you with joy instead of taking it away, follow UGM’s social media pages and be inspired by heartwarming transformation stories.
5. Declutter your schedule…
Prioritize the things that matter. You only have so much time on your hands. You don’t want to spend it on the wrong things. Take time to write down all of your commitments and then rank them in priority based on which are most important to you. Focus on your key commitments, and only say yes to other matters when you feel you have the time and space. It’s important to set boundaries and learn to say “no” for the sake of your wellbeing.
If you’d like to make a sustained difference every month in your community, but don’t want to constantly add another item to your to-do list every month: consider being a monthly donor for UGM! This way you don’t have to deal with the repeating task of remembering, and you automatically support your neighbours in need on a consistent basis.
“I don’t ever have to remember to log onto the website, it’s automatic. Helping people re-build and get back on their feet is important to me.” – UGM Monthly Donor
Hearts for the City donors provide consistent and invaluable support that creates lasting solutions to poverty, homelessness and addiction. By choosing to give in this way, you’re reducing administration costs and impact on the environment, while investing even more in feeding hope and changing lives. Learn more on our website!
A UGM Staff
6. Declutter your workspace…
To increase productivity, you need to declutter your workspace. Start by clearing out your desk and throwing away or recycling papers and items you no longer need. Try to minimize the items on your workspace to essentials only, and maybe a few decorations. Use organizational tools like folders to keep important documents. Whenever possible, go paperless—not only does this reduce clutter, but it also
Once your physical workspace is decluttered, clean up your digital workspace too. Delete away files and emails that are no longer needed as well. You can also reduce the amount of notifications you receive so that you’re able to focus better and not be distracted.
If your job is not the right fit, you can declutter and start fresh by searching for a new opportunity. If you’re interested in joining our strong team and making a difference through your career, visit our Careers page.
Less is more! We hope these ideas help you declutter your life and start fresh. Happy spring!
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