If you’re finding yourself stressed, anxious, and less happy overall than you’d like to be, there may be an easy fix closer to home than you think. In fact, the fix may be your home itself – specifically, the clutter that surrounds you every day. In “The Happiness Project,” author Gretchen Rubin writes that decluttering“…brings great happiness because it makes you feel lighter. There are less things to lose, to find room for, to rearrange, to be frustrated by, to dust around, to make decisions about,” and she just very well may be right.
Decluttering your house can help to:
1) Decrease stress
2) Reduce mental clutter
3) Reduce overstimulation of your mind
Next time you have a free weekend, evening, or even just an hour or two, think about taking on one of the following decluttering projects.
Most of us have items of clothing in our closets that we haven’t worn in a long time, or maybe haven’t worn at all! When you’re trying to prepare your mind for the day ahead, the last thing you need is to have an unnecessary amount clothes cluttering your closet, making it harder to complete a simple task like choosing an outfit. Make some time to sort through your clothing, getting rid of anything that doesn’t fit, or that you haven’t worn in over a year. If it’s still in good shape, there are plenty of charities who would love to receive it as a donation, so you can feel good about decluttering and about giving to those in need.
A garage sale can be a fun way to spend a day, while having the added benefits of reducing clutter and making some extra money in the process. The week before, you and your family can go through your belongings, setting aside anything that no longer gets used. Make a fun activity of putting price tags on everything, and set up shop on Saturday morning!
Decluttering an entire house all at once can be overwhelming, and can make you feel more stressed instead of happier (which is what we’re going for here). To make things less overwhelming, pick one room at a time, and focus on it. One suggestion is to start with the room in which you spend the most time – then when you’re feeling stressed, you can retreat to your clutter-free safe haven to decompress.
“Have nothing in your homes that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” – William Morris
The problem with life today is that it’s just too complicated. There’s too much paper work to store. Too many receipts to keep. And far too much junk. I don’t know about any of you, but I still have my PlayStation 2. It’s stacked (along with 40 games) on the top shelf inside my study. I can’t think of any conceivable reason why I’ll ever play it again, given that I own the newer version. Yet, I’m reluctant to throw it away. Why are we so scared of junk removal? Just the mere suggestion of calling a junk removal specialist causes us to dig in our heels and develop a strange sentimental attachment to our garbage. Is it nostalgia? Perhaps. I remember the summer of 2010. My room was always full of friends. We had bags and bags of chips, soda on ice, and a rolling tournament of NBA 2K11 running from morning till night. Those are some of my best memories. Do I see them when I look at my old PlayStation? I suppose I do. Junk removal doesn’t have to be scary though. It’s natural to resist change, and to try and cling on to the old. But, that only does ones self a disservice. There are new memories to be made. New summers to enjoy. While my waist line can’t handle the amount of chips it used to, my stomach still enjoys laughing until it hurts. Hoarding useless crap has to come to an end sometime. For me, included. Even if laziness is what motivates you to hoard, or even a desire not to spend money; change needs to happen. Stop tip toeing around that old sofa that’s had it’s last day. Get rid of it. Enjoy the extra space. My English professor in college used to say, ‘perfection is when there is nothing left to remove. Everything else is clutter.’ Let’s experiment: Take a look around the room you’re in. Do it with me now. How much of what’s in there do you need? I mean, really, really need? I’m guessing… around fifty percent. If so, you sir or madam, are living in clutter. While I don’t want you to get rid of everything, and go Gung Ho with your junk removal expert; I do want to set you a challenge. For one month, try minimalism. Get rid of a lot of your clutter. Experience for yourself what all of that extra space feels like. Experience what it’s like to move on in to the future. By the end, you won’t want to go back.Home Brew to Artisan Bread: Why I stopped making beer and started baking bread
For Father’s Day 2012, my wife and kids bought me a home brewing kit. I thought it was the perfect gift. I loved beer and the technical aspects of making it. I was going to make it my hobby and spend lots of time experimenting with various styles. Sharing it with my friends and family would make me a popular guy.
I researched for hours on the web about the various methods of making styles of beer. I found a Youtube channel created by a Hamilton Ontario gentlemen called Craig Farraway. He was an interesting cat. Stay at home Dad, gourmet cook, avid home brewer and musician. He has quite a following and posted a video on how to make home-brew easy. I started my first batch using this video.
I brought my iPad down to the basement and started the process. I decided to make a Czech styled Pilsner. I was surprised that it was quite easy. I had a 5 gallon pail that I used to ferment the beer. I then waited for about a month to bootle all the delicious beer. I remember tasting it for the first time. It was heaven. I always loved beer but making my own was almost a spiritual experience.
I loved it so much that my beer consumption went up and so did the size of my belly. I never abused the stuff but I was drinking more beer than I usually did. The pounds started packing on and I made a decision: I need to stop home brewing or choose a healthier hobby. I know many of you are going to say that I should just practice restraint, but I couldn’t. It was just darn good.
One day I was surfing the web and came across a website called Breadtopia. I thought it would be cool to make my own healthy, organic, artisan bread. We had a bread maker that we bought some time ago gathering dust in the basement. I pulled it out and started the process. I was going to use yeast for a different purpose this time.
My first recipe was organic spelt bread. It was delicious hardy and healthy. My kids and wife went nuts over it. The house smelled so good. It was healthier then beer. There was no downside! This would be my new hobby.
Running Junk It can be stressful. We have lots of customers, employees and logistics involved with providing junk removal in Toronto. I need a hobby to decompress and reduce my stress. Bread making fits the bill and my wife thinks it’s pretty cool that she has a husband who is a bread baker.
UPDATE: Almost sold out for Victoria Weekend. Order soon.