Why Decluttering Your Mind Is Important For Your Mental Health

April is finally among us and I’m so excited to kick off this new month with the things I learned from last month. The overall theme for March was to “be minimal”. I really took that to heart since embracing a more minimal lifestyle is one of my goals for 2017. I learned that being minimal does not necessarily mean upending your whole apartment and getting rid of everything in your life. It goes beyond that through minimizing the clutter in your mental space and putting more intention into your thoughts and actions.

After completing MuchelleB’s Simplify Your Life Challenge and reflecting on this past month, I realized that decluttering your mental space is just as important as decluttering your physical space. Here are some reasons why.

You will know what makes you happy.

To put it simply, figuring out the diversification of your happiness is the first step to sifting through the junk in your mind. This article from YesandYes really opened up my eyes to what diversifying your happiness means and how you can define what that for yourself.

To get an idea of that “diversified happiness”, here are some of the things that make me happy:
  • Walking into an open, spacious cafe, ordering tea or a white mocha latte, and sitting down at a spacious table with plenty of outlets to get work done.
  • Having an intense work out at Flywheel or Core Power and feeling like I destroyed my body but also strengthened it.
  • Editing and completing a video and feeling happy with the final result
  • Engaging in deep conversations with friends at random places like Panda Express

You have a clearer picture of what you should give no f*cks about.

Let’s be real — caring too much about certain things really takes up a lot of mental energy. In reality, it’s better to literally not give a f*ck about what you truly don’t care about. It helps to clear up your mental space and eliminate unnecessary overthinking. The trick to this is to write down everything that comes to mind that you are unsure about, and make the final decision whether to care or not. For me, I have fully decided to not care about what other people think and disregard people that do not add value in my life.

You are grateful for the smallest things.

Gratitude is such an important part of mental decluttering. When you practice gratitude, you see life through a different perspective and learn to understand that although life can get hard, there are still reasons to wake up every day and to still love the life we live. Practicing gratitude helps when you get very specific. It can be simple as, “I am grateful for the smell of candles in the morning” or as specific as, “I am grateful for my mom for cooking Pilipino food when I visit.”

You become smarter with your finances.

Finances is a struggle for everyone, and worrying about money takes up so much mental space. The best thing to do is to tackle it straight on. Engage with your bank statements, figure out what expenses you need to invest in, come up with a robust savings plan and stick to the budget. Keeping to a system will ultimately clear off the weight on your shoulders and free your mind for other important matters.

You eliminate negative attitudes.

It’s so hard to fully take out the negative attitudes and mindsets that infiltrate our brains, but identifying them and targeting them so that they phase out is the first step to eliminating it. Once you identify that negative attitude, figure out the reasons why your brain sticks to it and combat it with evidence that proves the opposite of that negative mindset.

Your goals are clearer and you stay true to your commitments.

I personally have so many goals that sometimes I don’t even know which one to tackle first. There are so many things I love to do and I want to do it all. But the truth is, there is only so much your body can handle without burning out. Respect your goals, commitments and body by prioritizing, figuring out what should take more importance and sacrificing anything that shouldn’t take up time throughout your day or scheduling it for later in the week. Ask yourself what the intention is behind the commitments you have and if it is worth it for you. This will create more long term efficiency and happiness.

You are present minded and mindful.

Sometimes for me, the future is constantly looming ahead of me and the past is always haunting behind me. Honestly, none of it matters because we are living in the now. The future and the past do not affect how you can take action in the present. We sometimes forget that we are in control of the driver’s wheel and that the past and future should only serve as guiding points. Some ways you can practice mindfulness is to check in with your body every once in awhile and try out meditation. (Headspace is a great app if you want to start!)

You take care of yourself and your general wellbeing. 

Mental decluttering teaches you how to take better care of yourself and how to love yourself, which ultimately leads to a well-balanced, beautiful life. Soon you will live the best possible version of yourself after take the time to mentally declutter.

The Simplify Your Life Challenge is officially over for me, but the journey to continue decluttering both my physical and mental spaces is just beginning.

Thank you for reading ❤️ Let me know in the comments if you have any other ways of decluttering your mind and body! I’d love to hear more.

How to Physically Declutter | Simplify Your Life Challenge: Week 2

Hello lovelies! I’m wrapping up week 2 of the Simplify Your Life Challenge from MuchelleB and honestly — it’s been a long week! From balancing a crazy work schedule and keeping up with my personal and social life, it’s so difficult to find time to simplify. However, I can honestly say that despite the craziness of the week, week 2 is over and completed!

For this week, I prioritized categories and areas in my room that needed the most attention, so there were some items on this challenge I didn’t get around to doing. What matters to me about this challenge is that the most important areas are completed, so skipping on some areas that don’t need much attention is completely fine with me. Always modify challenges to help it better your lifestyle!
Without further ado, here is a recap of the decluttering that went down during week 2!

Digital Space

My main digital spaces are my work MacBook and my iPhone. Both of them were used to their capacity so I knew it was time to minimize. Since a lot of my work involves downloading and uploading large mp4 and PSD files, I started off by deleting most of my irrelevant downloads and freed up some space there. The bulk of my iPhone space was mostly due to old music I rarely listened to anymore and TONS OF PHOTOS. I am a complete photo hoarder and memory keeper, but to combat this I just uploaded all of my iPhone pictures onto Amazon Drive and deleted any unnecessary photos, music and apps.

Social Media

This is something I am honestly still working on. It’s hard to kill the social media addiction when it’s part of the job, but this article sheds insight on how to combat it. For me, I turned off notifications for all of my social media platforms, and unfollowed people that posted toxic or unnecessary things that did not bring me joy.

Makeup

For this category, I divided it in to several areas — my two makeup bags and my drawer. The drawer keeps the makeup that I don’t wear daily, while the two makeup bags hold items I use regularly. The black one holds larger items such as my contour kit and face powder, while the smaller one holds smaller items such as mascara, eyelash curler, eyeliner and brow pomade.

Beauty Products/Bathroom Essentials

I organized most of my regularly used beauty products in my bathroom cabinet. It still looks cluttered since it has limited space, but it does the job in keeping my bathroom counter clear and tidy. Regardless, I have found it easier to just grab what I need and replace it after I’m done. For beauty products I don’t use regularly, I place them in another drawer.

For items that I use every single day, I keep it in this handy basket from the Container Store (if you didn’t notice, I went on a huge shopping spree at the Container Store). This is where I keep some beauty essentials, contact solution, mouthwash and toothbrush.

 

Decor

There wasn’t much change for the decor in my room except for rearranging and buying storage items to make everything look more aesthetically pleasing. I have my painting from PaintNite lying against the wall that I have yet to hang, and a basket from the Container Store that holds my new jewelry box (also bought from the Container Store. Container Store is great, y’all). I also bought a cute fake plant and a warm, Cozy Nights candle from Target.

Sentimental items

I placed all of my sentimental items in a black storage bin on my drawer shelf. It’s accessible and easy to pull out when I want to reminisce.

Cleaning Supplies

My cleaning supplies used to be all over the place, but with the help of the trusty Container Store, I was able to place everything in their own sections so that they would be easier to find whenever I go cleaning. Bless the Container Store!
 

Nightstand Items

Not much changed here except for discarding, reorganizing and storing somethings in a mini basket I bought from Target.
 
Overall, I have to give a shout out to Target and the Container Store for providing me with the proper storage items to keep my room looking both tidy and aesthetic. I also got them at affordable prices since most of it was on sale, which is always amazing in my book.

Now that my room is finally at a place where I feel very happy with, I am transitioning on to simplifying mental clutter. My mind has been filled with project and content ideas, travel plans and future plans on top of work, family and social life, so a lot of things  tend to get lost. I hope that with the last few weeks of March, I will be able to hone things down and focus on the things that matter, which hopefully means more blog content!

Until next time <3

How to Physically Declutter | Simplify Your Life Challenge: Week 1

First week of Simply Your Life Challenge is DONE! If anyone has done challenges, then you’ll know the struggle of trying to keep up with it on the daily. For those that don’t know, I am taking part of the Simply Your Life Challenge, a minimalist challenge mostly created by MuchellebB. You can find my blog post about it here. I am currently Day 8 and I am 1 day behind schedule, but so far I am proud of myself for sticking through this challenge thus far and successfully self-pacing.

Day 2: Wardrobe

Process: I followed the KonMari method of putting each item of clothing in my hand and asking myself, “Does this spark joy?” I then divided it into four sections: “Discard”, “Maybe”, “Sell” and “Keep”. After dividing up the “Maybe” pile into one of the other 3 categories, I placed the discarded pile into bags and rearranged my closet. It is not at its optimal, but it is better than where it was before.

Day 3: Books

Process: This one was pretty easy since I don’t have my whole book collection here in my apartment. I discarded books I had no intentions of reading/sparked no joy (only 1 book) and rearranged the rest so that they were organized by size.

Day 4: Physical Paper

Process: This was the most time consuming category so far. My desk and side drawers were piled with papers I hadn’t bothered to touch for the last 6 months. My whole floor was covered in paper bills, old letters and miscellaneous papers by the time I had gone through all of my desk drawers. After discarding about 80% of it and keeping the important files in a folder, my desk looked and felt so much lighter!

Day 5: Stationery

Process: Fortunately I don’t have too many stationery items. It was just a matter of putting them all together and organizing my drawer so that they fit easily.

Day 6: Electronics

Process: This also wasn’t too bad of a category. Most of my electronics were in this drawer anyway so I just gathered all of my electronics in one place and organized as best as I could. It’s definitely not organized in the best way, but as long as everything fits, I’m okay with it.

Decluttering is NOT a joke. It can take hours, even days, before you have officially decluttered a space. At the same time, it feels very cathartic to trash the things that don’t add value in my life and keep the things that do.

I hope this challenge recap was helpful in figuring out how the decluttering process works! Here’s to continuing on this journey to simplifying life and to getting more of my life together.

March: The Month of Minimalism

February 2017 has officially ended! After my monthly reflection time, I realized February was a very good month for me in terms of keeping up with my blog. Moving forward I hope to keep the momentum going and improving this blog/brand I’ve created. So if you are reading…THANK YOU SO MUCH AND I HOPE YOU’VE LEARNED SOMETHING!

While there were definitely a lot of wins, there were also some setbacks. Basically, I’m at a point in my life where I feel so cluttered. My physical and mental spaces are all over the place right now as I try to juggle my personal life, work life and my side hustle. The only way I will be able to set my life in order is to find a way to simplify.

That is why for the month of March, I have decided to focus on minimalism to focus on things that matter to me. One of my 2017 goals is to embrace a more minimalist lifestyle, so this new focus for March will hopefully lead me in that direction! One actionable item that I plan to do to accomplish this is the 30 Day Simplify Your Life Challenge!

What Exactly is Minimalism?

I think the common misconception is that minimalism consists of monochromatic colors, white space, and possessing very little items. While this has been popularized all over the media, there’s more to it than the appearances. At it’s core, minimalism is living simply and intentionally. It is keeping things in your life that spark joy and getting rid of the things that no longer serve a purpose to you. Although this lifestyle is mainly dominant with white folks, minimalism is a universal philosophy that anyone can adopt. Everyone can benefit from discarding things that have no longer have meaning or do not bring joy. If you want more resources, I highly suggest checking out the perspectives of The Minimalists and Lavendaire, who are key influencers that motivated me to pursue minimalism.

This year I have been slowly embracing this idea of minimalism and creating an intentional, meaningful life for myself. I started listening to several episodes of The Minimalist podcast, reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Mari Kondo and following bloggers and vloggers that are experts in the subject. Very recently, I came across a YouTuber named Muchelleb and her 30 Day Simplify Your Life Challenge. Out of all of the minimalism challenges I’ve researched, I thought hers suited my needs the best and was simple enough (haha) to try for 30 days.

What is the 30 Day Simplify Your Life Challenge?

MuchelleB sums it up nicely in her video and blog, but basically Days 1-14 of the challenge will focus on physical decluttering through the Kon-Mari Method (based on The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up) and Days 15-30 will be dedicated to decluttering your mental space.
30 Day Simplify Challenge from muchelleb

If you’re interested in participating in the challenge, it’s not too late to join me! You don’t actually declutter anything on the first day since it is dedicated to setting your intentions, or as Mari Kondo puts it in her book, visualizing the destination. This is crucial before you start simplifying and decluttering your space. That is what I will be sharing through this blog post to keep myself accountable!

Setting Intentions and Visualizing the Destination
  1. Why are you doing this challenge?
    • I am doing this challenge because I see myself benefitting from clearing out the unnecessary junk in my life and practicing my ideal lifestyle, which focuses on creativity, meditation, travel, reading, writing, good food and the people that matter in my life.
  2. What’s your end goal?
    • By the end of this challenge, I want to feel more empowered in my physical and mental spaces, take ownership and control of what I love and help others achieve the same feeling of empowerment. ALSO I have noticed there aren’t very many people of color contributing to the conversation of minimalism, so I hope that I can be someone that motivates my communities to empower themselves through decluttering and simplifying their lives.
  3. What are your blocks?
    • I actually really suck at doing daily challenges since I have a busy schedule, so to combat this, I plan to self pace and use the weekends as catch up since I will have more free time to tidy. I also definitely need motivation, but luckily, there are plenty of resources and vloggers out there such as Lavendaire and muchelleb herself that create videos and constantly motivate others to practice decluttering and intentional living.
  4. What is your ideal space?
    • This is a question I came up with for myself. In my ideal “minimalist” room, I actually want it to be colorful, particularly in pastel blues and greens, with some black and white thrown in the mix. Here are some Pinterest pictures for reference.

Why Should I Keep Reading?
Every week, I will be posting check-in blog posts to show how I have been decluttering and simplifying so that this blog will hopefully serve as a resource to minimalism for anyone that is starting out. Towards the end of this month, I will have a reflection post detailing my honest thoughts about the experience and whether or not you should pursue minimalism if you’re on the fence about it.

Let me know if you will be taking on this challenge with me or if you have something else planned for March (this first day of the month corresponds so well with the beginning of the Lenten season for anyone that practices Catholicism)! Thanks for reading and I hope you will follow along this journey to minimalism <3