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Month 7 of Happiness Project holllaaaa!
If you’re new here, or haven’t been paying attention (I forgive you), May marks a brand new month of my Happiness Project, which means 5 new resolutions. And Month 7 = Environment.
I am a HUGE believer in the whole clean space = clean mind, clean areas increase productivity, yadda yadda. I’m one of those people who can’t get a single ounce of work done if my desk isn’t clean. And “clean” doesn’t mean everything that was on my desk is now on my bed. Clean means everything is in its rightful place.
And clean space doesn’t just apply to your house/room/office. It applies to your life too. Your social circles, your mind… if these are cluttered with nonsense, your health and productivity can take a hit. Psychology Today refers to a study that shows women with cluttered and messy houses are most likely to be depressed and fatigued, and have higher levels of cortisol (the no-good stress hormone.)
With this in mind, I decided to make this month all about tidying up my environment and my life. keeping productivity and peace as my major goals.
When it comes to my house…
when I moved home from my freshman year of college, I moved into my Dad’s basement. He’s currently renting a house from an old buddy of his, but here’s the catch. All of his buddy’s stuff is still here, and he has no intention of moving it out any time soon. And where did all of his stuff end up? You guessed it – the basement.
So I’m living in a small basement that’s filled with someone else’s crap. Plus, my apartment’s-worth of belongings shoved into that same room. #Dope.
I’ve lived here for three years now, and it took me until just a few months ago to realize why I was so anxious and uncomfortable here. It had nothing to do with the space, and everything to do with how I was utilizing it.
Due to a mixture between not wanting to step on any toes and being too lazy to do the work, I spent a good 2.5 years essentially living out of a suitcase. I had no closet space, one small dresser, and a tiny cabinet I used for storage. All of the rest of my stuff was in plastic bins stacked up in the corner.
No wonder I felt anxious – my house wasn’t my home.
So these past few months I’ve been dedicating some weekends to packing up the landlord’s things and storing them in the attic so I can actually move in to the house I’ve been living in. As of now, my shoes actually have a home in a closet rather than lined up along the fireplace.
Now that I’ve only got a few weeks left until my big Cali trip, I want to make sure my space is perfect for when I come home. This summer is all about relaxation and refreshment, and this September it’s back to the grind. I want to come back from this trip and feel like I’m home, to a clean, organized, fresh space.
And my social life/mental health…
As you read about here, I’ve had some toxic people in my life. Every few months I like to do a little audit of who I’m spending my time with, what I’m spending my time doing, and if I’m doing things that will fuel my success. This month, I want to take some time and settle my mind, and refocus on my goals. It has been a crazy hectic few months, and I’m feeling very up-in-the-air. I’ll be taking some time to ground myself, and put off some social gatherings in order to get right with my own mind.
Since our environments directly affect our productivity and happiness, why not set ourselves up for success? Here are my 5 resolutions for the month that you can also adopt to make your space and your life optimized for your happiness.
5 Things to Do to Optimize your Environment:
1: Personal Audit:
How are you? Really? Are you stressed, exhausted, drained? Are you chugging along at your work but feeling like your social life is lackluster? Is your work performance what’s slacking? I’m taking some time this month to get right with myself again, and you should too. Take note of who you’re spending your time with and how they make you feel. Notice if you’re lacking energy, if you’re not sleeping well, or not exercising as often. Summer is often a time for adventure and vacation and plenty of fun, but make sure you’re taking care of yourself, too.
2: Sort Through Clothing:
Now is the perfect time to go through your clothing and make those awesome Donate and Keep piles. Follow Marie Kondo’s lead and only keep the items that “Spark Joy.” Make sure your summer clothes fit you properly and are still your style, and pack away those bulky winter sweaters. I have plenty of clothes to donate this year. When I first started this blog, I was so dead-set on being that polka-dotted girly and preppy blogger, so those were the clothes I bought. But hey newsflash Laney, you’re not polka-dotty. I have heaps of clothing that I don’t feel comfy in and aren’t who I am, so I’m sorting through them and donating.
3. Kick that Clutter
If you’re anything like me, you’ve got a stack of bills shoved in some drawer that need to be paid. You’ve got a bin in your bathroom of sample products you’ll never use, but can’t seem to get rid of. You might even have a few totes of “keepsake” pieces of art you made in first grade. Be real with yourself. Keep what deserves to be kept, keep what will be appreciated. Pay those bills. Throw out those samples. Move on.
4. Clean your Car
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my car is a war-zone. The cab of my truck is like a free-for-all of trash, clothing, paperwork, anything. I took some time this past week to empty out my truck, give it a nice vacuum and wash, and I loved how it felt. Clutter isn’t just quarantined to your house, so see if you have anything lurking in your car that could be put away.
5. Deep Clean your House
The other day I spent my day off cleaning my best friends room/car and it was AWESOME. I’m one of those people who gets too hype about an organized closet and clean shelves, so when I saw an opportunity to get cleaning, I took it. I know we’re kind of deep into the season, but you can still spring clean! I followed Martha Stewart’s spring cleaning checklist this year.
Hopefully this time next month we’ll both be a little more clutter-free and clear-minded!