Empty spaces can help you focus and guide your attention to things that actually matter the most in your life.
There is no actual significance to New Year’s. It’s just another day on the calendar.
Sure, we increment the year by one, but nothing essentially changes. We are the same people. We have the same habits. We have the same people in our lives. And, we have the same circumstances.
Yet, there is “something” about new year’s that feels different. It’s like finishing a chapter of the book of our life. It brings hope. It makes us ambitious.
The human mind is interesting. It makes up these fictional stories. That’s not a bad thing though. It’s this collection of fiction we all believe in, that holds the world, and society in general, together.
That’s why, even though a new year has no impact on the physical world, we think this is a perfect time to declutter and start afresh.
Like everyone else, I do the same.
The past few weeks I decluttered various parts of my apartment in preparation for the new year. In my experience, a couple of decluttering sessions are always followed by a sense of calm and quiet. It helps me clear my mind, become more focused and live a more intentional life.
In this blog post, I will walk you through the process of decluttering and give you a sense of why it might be beneficial for you to do the same.
Nightstand or Bedside Table
One of the most underrated spaces in our living space is our nightstand or bedside table. Most likely, you interact with it at least twice every day — after waking up and right before going to bed.
That means, what you put on your nightstand can dictate two of your most important rituals — morning routine and nighttime routine.
Because of that, it’s very important to be intentional about its design. Over time, I have had a lot of things pile up. After decluttering, this is what I ended up with:
- A reading lamp
- 2 Books
- Wireless charging pad
This simple and minimalist setup happens to be really productive for me. Every item has an intention. It serves a purpose.
The table now encourages me to live a healthy lifestyle. It lets me charge my Apple Watch overnight, encourages me to read either fiction or non-fiction before going to bed and right after I wake up, and gives me quick access to some gum right after waking up.
Ah, the famous desk setup obsession! I am guilty of it. I have gone down the YouTube rabbit hole of looking at countless of these to find the next best optimization.
I used to religiously research desk setups and try to come up with purchases I need to make to cure my procrastination and give me my ultimate productivity.
However, I was wrong.
The trick is to keep your desk setup stupidly simple.
I got rid of everything from my work desk, except the following:
- Laptop Stand
- Headphones Stand
- Wireless Charging Mat
- Key Holder
By doing so, I maximized the empty space. I realized that abundant empty space and lack of clutter help me focus better on things that actually matter.
Closet or Wardrobe
A clean and clutter-free closet really helps me set the tone for the rest of the day every morning.
I used to be someone who never cared about what I put in my closet. It was a pile-up of all my impulsive clothing decisions over a period of time. It was not well-balanced or well-thought-out.
That changed recently. Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t care too much about what I wear. Clothing to me is still function over form. However, I am more intentional about it now.
I have a select few outfits that I rotate over the week. I have some essential timeless pieces that I can mix and match.
I also have it organized for ruthless efficiency. Everything is organized by “time of day”. So, I know exactly where to look whether I am just waking up or about to go to sleep.
I am going to cheat here a little and talk about not only the refrigerator but also the kitchen and pantry overall.
It’s incredibly important to me, what food items I have in my apartment.
You are what you eat. Your health is the result of your instinctive eating habits over the past couple of years.
That’s why it’s important to set yourself up for success.
Personally, I lack discipline when it comes to eating. I know, if you leave some pizza on my counter, most likely I will find an excuse to eat it.
That’s why I go through a decluttering and restocking exercise every now and then to make sure my apartment is filled with healthy food choices.
It’s the most important for me to go through the process before the new year, and that’s what I did last week.
I cleaned my refrigerator, pantry, and kitchen to get rid of everything that I will either not eat or are not healthy choices.
Then, I went on a quick Whole Foods trip to buy healthy snacks and meals that I can casually binge on (in a nonhealthy way).
If you design your pantry, kitchen, and refrigerator carefully, you are more likely to develop healthy eating habits.
If you asked me a few years ago if I would be worried about my bookshelf turning into a mess, I would have told you to take a walk! It’s crazy how a few years can change so much.
I have gone from a person who never touched a book in his life to someone who reads for fun. I love this new habit!
One downside of this habit though — sometimes I can get a little impulsive when it comes to buying new books. I go to bookstores, find something interesting, and just buy it! Then, I read a few pages only to find out I don’t like the book anymore.
This has resulted in a collection of books on my bookshelf that either I will never read, or I read a few pages and then gave up on.
I know these books, no matter how good, are not going to add any more value to my life. That’s why it’s important to find a new home for these.
I scoured through and found a handful of books that fit this category. Then, I either donated them or gave them to friends and families who might love them.
Now, I have more room for books that fit my lifestyle better. The empty spaces also help guide my eyes to books that actually matter and will provide value to me.
I hope you found this a valuable read and have some takeaways that you can go ahead and implement in your wonderful lives.
If you enjoyed the content and want to support me, please consider doing the following:
- Following me on Medium
- Clapping on the story
- Subscribe to my newsletter
- Becoming a Medium member using my referral link
- Grab me a coffee
- Checking out some products I truly believe in using my affiliate links: ClickUp & Shortform