4 Small Things You Can Do to Lighten Your Load

I took on an unexpectedly monumental task: cleaning out my purse (or really, two purses and a diaper bag that I had rotated between over the past few months).

I was frustrated with my bag because it was too full. There were too many things crammed in that it made it difficult to find what I wanted inside.

When I emptied the contents of all three bags on the bed, I was horrified. It looked something like this after I got rid of all the garbage.

2014-02-19 08.38.50

What I had amassed:

  • my large daily wallet

  • a small wallet with just the basics that I used for a weekend away

  • sunglasses and case (not coexisting)

  • diaper, wipes, changing pad, and trash bags

  • travel-sized tissue pack

  • a roll of toilet paper (from when my son had the sniffles and the travel tissues weren't enough)

  • napkins from a fast food restaurant

  • 4 toy trucks

  • various receipts and old shopping lists

  • 3 small notebooks and a stack of notecards

  • 6 pens and 1 highlighter

  • camera

  • charger and extra battery for camera

  • phone headset

  • coupon book

  • medicine stash from our weekend away when my husband and I were recuperating after the flu

  • business cards in a case

  • business cards not in a case

  • 4 lip balms and 2 lip glosses

  • hand lotion

  • a pouch of miscellanea: band-aids, Tylenol, kids' disposable placemats, hair ties

  • a Christmas gift to my son from his teacher: plastic-wrapped Christmas drinking cup filled with a candy cane, two pieces of chocolate, and a lollipop ring

Seriously. No wonder I'm overwhelmed.

I'm missing the days of shoving my driver's license and debit card in my pocket and being on my way. In fact, as much as I like purses, I don't much like carrying them, but now as a mom, I find it necessary. And if I'm going to carry a purse, then I want something to write on and my camera so I can capture moments and beauty and fleeting thoughts.

The point, however, is not just my purse. The point is... too much. I have too much, and I'm trying to do too much.

More stuff means more stuff to care for, clean, and look after. On the flip side, less stuff means more space and more time. I don't know about you, but I could certainly use more space and time.

I want to be unencumbered. Right now, that is guiding a lot of my daily decisions.

In light of that, I've rounded up some of my recent undertakings into a list of...

4 Small Things You Can Do to Lighten Your Load

  1. Clean out your purse. Don't just look through it, dump it out. All of it. Every little corner and zip pocket. Now, pick one item at a time and decide if you really need and want it in your purse. If it's not a "hell yes," it's a no (a la Victoria Brouhard's No-Brainer Scenario).

  2. Cancel magazine subscriptions. If you don't have time to read them or they no longer interest you, cancel your subscriptions. Not only will you have less clutter coming into your house, you'll remove an item from your "to do" list (admit it, not getting through that magazine adds to your stress).

  3. Plan meals for the whole week. Instead of forcing yourself into "What should I make tonight? What food do I have on hand?" stress every single night, sit down one day of the week (I'm doing Sundays) and plan your meals for the whole week. Grocery shop once for everything you need, then each day you simply consult your list and get cooking. Bonus: My grocery bill has been lower because I'm getting exactly what I need and not guessing or adding things that "sound good."

  4. Clean your closet. Put your shoes back on your shoe rack. Hang up the things you left scattered about. Being able to see what you have and get to it easily will mean you can get dressed quicker in the morning and get on with your day.

These small things have made a world of difference in my day-to-day contentment. I've removed some stressors and made things easier on myself.

I'm still working on it, so as I find out what else is helping my overall sanity, I'll keep you posted.

Do you have any tips? How do you lighten your load?


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