In this series, we’re focusing on the LIVE WELL 6. These are 6 areas of self care that I believe will help you live your life well and stay focused on what matters most. Today, we’re continuing the LIVE WELL series part 4 – Live Well Environmentally.
I use the term ‘environment’ because I believe that it matters how we treat and take care of the spaces we inhabit – home, workspaces, etc. I include stewardship in this because how we handle our resources matters too!
In this post, we’re talking about taking care of your spaces and stewarding your resources.
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1. Establish a cleaning schedule
This is something that I’m still working on. I’m been married for 5 years but I still haven’t mastered this – it’s pretty embarrassing! The women I admire most have this figured out in their homes and I aspire to running a tighter ship.
One of the reasons why it’s important to establish a schedule for cleaning and tidying your house because we shouldn’t have to waste time worrying about it – it all happens when it’s scheduled (as often as possible, of course!). Just like some minimalists have limited choices in their wardrobes so they don’t have to make multiple decisions when getting dressed, knowing when the floors are getting mopped, the toilets scrubbed and the sills and mantle dusted leaves you time and energy to focus on more important decisions.
2. Follow a budget
When my husband and I got engaged, my dad strongly advised us to put a budget together for how we’d spend our money as a married couple. I’m embarrassed to admit that I was a bit annoyed at the task at first but after it was actually done I was really glad we did! And five years into marriage, I’m so grateful we had a handle on how we both handled money before we tied the knot! Honesty, transparency, and a financial game plan has allowed us navigate our money with minimal stress and aggravation.
The truth is, you can’t steward your resources well if you don’t budget them! Married, single, parent, child-free, student, entrepreneur, employee, no matter what you are, you needs a budget so you know what you have and where it needs to go! This is even more important if you’re paying off debt (and these days, that’s most people, yeah?).
3. Create a system for processing bills and paperwork
I hate paperwork and I hate having to deal with it – it’s definitely one of my least favorite adulting tasks. But if you don’t keep on top of the paper that comes through your house, it ends up in stacks that clutter your home and work places (ask me how I know!). I’m still putting my own process together but right now, I think your process should include the following –
- an inbox space where your mail and paperwork lands and awaits processing (a spot on the kitchen counter, a try on your desk, etc.)
- a paper shredder
- identity protection stamp (I use this one)
- a file box
- scheduled time each day/week to process papers
4. Create a system for storing and organizing digital information
Everything from photos to articles you want to keep for reference needs to be organized in some way so don’t lose important information and so you know where to go when you need to access something. It’s a waste of time and energy to constantly have to shuffle through digital mess to locate something when you need it!
Currently, I’m building databases in Notion to store and organize digital information. I also need to better organize photos and videos I transfer from my phone to my external hard drive. Two huge jobs that are hugely necessary!
5. Embrace simplicity
We live in a consumerist society. We are being sold to and marketed to every. second. of. the. day. We’re told we need more and better and different and bigger and new and shiny. We’re told that if we buy this or that, we’ll be more productive, more satisfied, more organized, less stressed, more healthy, less distracted, more impactful, less wasteful, more desirable, prettier, skinnier, happier, wealthier, cooler, younger, funnier, and way the heck more stylish! On the one hand, I’m turned off by the amount of psychological manipulation that goes into things like marketing but on the other hand, I’m also impressed by creative sales campaigns that not only get the job done but also take advantage of the opportunity to add to conversations in useful and helpful ways! Even so, when all is said and done, I think that living well and staying focused on what matters most includes the ability to take what we truly need and leave what is unnecessary and excessive. These days, I think that a lifestyle that embraces intentional simplicity is an adulting skill set. Beginning this process might look like…
- Decluttering your home, one room at a time
- Purging appliances, tools, supplies, and gadgets that you thought were really cool but have been collecting dust on a shelf on the off chance that you’ll use it someday
- Saying no to impulse spending for a time. This goes back to following a budget. If you struggle with a lot of impulse purchases, challenge yourself to only buy essentials for a period of time and see how much money and energy you save. If you need an accountability partner, get one!
- Learning your triggers. Spending money and acquiring possessions are often emotional things. What causes you to spend impulsively? What do you believe about yourself or others that makes you want to keep up with the Joneses? How do you feel when you buy another gadget or trinket? What does an overly busy schedule mean to you?
- Evaluating your activities and possessions with your energy levels and season of life. If you don’t need it, chuck it. If the inconvenience or stress of an activity outweighs the benefits, drop it. If something can be delegated, hand it over to someone else who can save you the time and/or do it better.
Progress is a good and new things are nice but we don’t have to have it all or do it all to have a good life. Take steps to simplify different areas of your life so you can life well and stay focused!
I’ve only scratched the surface of taking care of spaces and stewarding resources and I’ll be sharing what I’m learning in this area of the Live Well 6!
What are some ways that you are currently living well environmentally? Or what are the ways you need to step up your game?
If you missed the previous posts in this series, you can check them out here: