Living an Unstuffed Life

Living an Unstuffed Life

I love to read books about time management and organizing. I’m always inspired to try things in a new way. Often the things I try really help me to manage my time and my possessions better.

Just last week, Ruth Soukup from Living Well Spending Less released her newest book called Unstuffed: Decluttering Your Home, Mind & Soul. I was so excited to get to read this book. I had been hearing about it for some time, and I knew that it would be different than any of the other organizing books I’ve read.

Yes, she does give some great practical tips on how to declutter not only your home but your life. However, this book is more than just tips.

She delves into the reasons behind our clutter. One of the principles she points out that I believe to be so true is that the point is not buying things that are less expensive, it’s NOT buying them at all.

I think it’s so easy to get caught up in the frugal kind of lifestyle to justify buying something just because it’s on sale or didn’t really cost that much. But think about the cost of storing that item and taking care of it. Especially if you don’t have a real need for that item.

Another area of the book that caught my attention was the chapter on wellness. We don’t often associate wellness with organizing and decluttering, but it does play a major part. Our bodies can be cluttered with harmful things. From what we eat to how we move, we are constantly doing something that will keep us well or drive us to illness.

Ruth talks about three different areas of her life that she focuses on to keep her healthy. I want to share those areas with my own insight of how I want to do better in taking care of myself.

1. Sleep

This is so important but can be such a frustrating thing to achieve. I know in my own life, restorative sleep can be elusive. Sometimes no matter how early I go to bed and how quickly I fall asleep, I still wake up exhausted. This can even occur if I’ve never even consciously woken up all night.

I’ve been to the doctor numerous times and even had a sleep study done. But there have been no clear answers to why I feel this way.

Over the past few months, though, I’ve tried some new things at bedtime that have helped somewhat. I’m still not jumping out of bed full of energy every morning, but most mornings are bearable and I’m able to get up earlier and get a good start to my day.

This is what has been working for me:

  • Diffusing lavender essential oil-the calming scent of lavender usually relaxes me and causes me to fall asleep more quickly.
  • Putting frankincense essential oil on the bottom of my feet-I have read that this oil helps with foot pain. It seems to make my feet feel better and more relaxed.
  • Reading a book-I like to end my day by reading. However, sometimes the lavender oil relaxes me so much I can’t stay awake very long.
  • Try to have the lights off by 10 pm-I strive for this, but it doesn’t always happen. When I do get the lights off by 10 I notice a huge difference in how I feel the next morning.

If you have trouble getting a good night’s rest, then maybe one of the things I mentioned above will help.

2. Movement and Exercise

Ever since I hurt my feet last year training for a 1/2 marathon, moving has been much harder for me. Thankfully I’ve found the right kind of shoes I need, so I’m back to walking for exercise again. I’m working to complete a 5k in a few weeks. However, I’d love to do some more 1/2 marathons.

I have heard it said often that sitting is the new smoking. The fact is, the less we move, the less we want to move, and the harder it will be to move.

I don’t ever want to get to the point where I can’t move if I can help it. So I’m trying my best to move as much as I can during the day even if it’s not a day that I will be exercising.

One way I keep up with my movement is by wearing a Jawbone Up band. It tracks all my steps (and my sleep) and helps to motivate me to move more. If I’m close to the next 1000 steps I’m more likely to move until I hit that number.

If you don’t move much during your day whether it’s because of your job or because you have physical issues, I encourage you to at least try something small. Walk to the end of your driveway and back. Keep moving until it becomes habit.

3. Downtime

We live in a society that is full of rush and hurry. We sign our kids up for every available opportunity because we don’t want them to miss out. However, if we would really pay attention, we would notice that all we’re doing is teaching our kids how to stay busy.

We need downtime to help recharge our body, mind, and soul.

I don’t always have a problem doing this. However, it’s usually to my detriment. I take a lot of downtime because I’m generally avoiding things I don’t want to do. I have been doing better, though. Taking a lot of downtime just to avoid doing something else is not really relaxing.

I usually spend most of that downtime feeling guilty or dreading what I know I’m going to have to eventually do. If I would just go ahead and take care of the task, then my downtime would be more relaxing and refreshing.

If you are one that is always on the go, I encourage you to start carving out downtime where you can relax, refresh, and recharge. You’ll see a huge difference in your motivation and productivity if you give this a try.

Our lives are full and overstuffed to be sure. I highly recommend Ruth’s book if you want to do some serious decluttering in your life.

How do you live an unstuffed life?

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