How to Declutter your Life

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Do you ever just feel incredibly overwhelmed, but can’t put your finger on why? Recently I decided to address that feeling and try to eliminate some of the clutter in my life. It turned out that a few very simple steps have helped me to feel fresher, more focused & overall happier in all areas of my life.

So, how do you declutter your life?

Empty your inbox

I was guilty of being that person who has 8,000 unread emails  in the little red dot above the app – something Mr K despaired at every time he saw my phone. The first step I took was to delete everything that was unread, figuring if I hadn’t read it by now, it’s not important. Having inbox 0 felt so nice, and now I set aside 2 minutes every day to read, file or delete emails as needed.
This brings me nicely to the second thing I did…

Unsubscribe from all marketing emails

Once I was subjected to less incoming emails, I decided to reduce the amount that came in altogether – I get around 100 emails a day, but probably 2-3 of them are of interest or use to me. For a week or so, I unsubscribed from every single email I received, unless I had a very good reason for staying on the list. Now I get about 12-15 emails a day, mostly from places I want to hear from.
My logic is that if I suddenly start to miss content from somewhere, I can always go and resubscribe. Easy.

Stop buying duplicate stuff

It might feel great to be super prepared and have 5 bottles of bleach, 3 spare washing up liquids, several toothpastes etc however it takes up lots of space somewhere in your home and ultimately gets messy (unless you’ve got like, bags of space, which I haven’t).
I’ve started to streamline cleaning stuff by buying versatile products & only buying one of each thing (except when there’s a sensible offer on like buy 1 get 1 free and I was going to buy the item anyway).

Stop doing things that don’t add value to your life
(Or start doing things that do)
Some things aren’t always pleasant but have to be done (hello, Dentists & paying council tax), so I’ve started to think about things in terms of how it adds value to our life. If it doesn’t add value, then I’ll stop doing it. For example I used to buy a fair amount of cook books & kitchen stuff, then we’d just have them. They rarely got used, so didn’t add any value to our lives. I donated the books, ditched the kitchen junk & now we have more free space & our lifestyle hasn’t been impacted at all.
I also intend to stop watching junky television shows for “something to do” and invest that time into better ways of relaxing, or find something worthwhile to watch.

Check your Finances

This is something I don’t do often enough, but with the adding value tip in mind, I decided to review my direct debits and subscriptions to see what I’m paying for that I don’t value. I managed to save around £38/month by cancelling memberships that I no longer benefit from. And again, if it’s something I miss, I can always sign up again!

Are there any areas of life you’d like to simplify?

Kitty

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24h in Mykonos & Why That’s Enough

Mykonos

Greece is so beautiful and varied – there’s the lush green of mainland areas, and the sandy, volcanic, almost-tropical beaches of the islands, and everything inbetween. The one thing that links almost everywhere in Greece is its sleepiness. It’s impossible to visit Greece and not relax – but sometimes abundant sleepiness can get a little dull.

Back in May we went on a Greek cruise (a lovely gift from Mother T) and enjoyed some beautiful Aegean islands and a few stops on the Mainland. Perhaps my second most anticipated stop (after Athens) was Mykonos – the teeny tiny island famed for its windmills & picturesque winding streets.

Mykonos is somewhat of a trendy Greek destination at the moment, particularly among bloggers,  and although it’s lovely, it’s not the loveliest place I’ve visited in Greece, or even on this cruise (see Aghios Nikolaos or Thira). It’s not all white walls & blue doors.

We arrived in the port at around 6am and had to get a tender to shore as our ship was too large to dock. Approaching Mykonos by boat, seeing the quaint fishing harbor bob into view, with the windmill dotted hilltops, was really lovely – Surely this is the best way to approach the island?

It was super early, so we decided to start with a spot of exploring. We took a hike around the gorgeous higgledy-piggledy streets, looking at the (closed) shops and tavernas, making plans to return for lunch. I noted that most of the shops were your average tourist junk shops, with the occasional gallery or jeweller. Not our cup of tea, but the island’s gotta make money somewhere!
We happened upon Little Venice purely by accident, whilst making our way to Kato Milli, which are synonymous with Mykonos. Truly beautiful, and highly instagrammable, though neither is a place you can reasonably spend more than 30minutes at.

Mykonos Town Port

The beaches on this side of the island are pebbly and not particularly comfortable, however, a short jaunt by tuk-tuk, bus or even hire car (about 30euro for the day) will take you to several white sandy beaches, including the one which Shirley Valentine was shot at.

In terms of history, the island of Delos is fairly close by boat, and you can hop on scheduled tours in Mykonos Town port for around 20euro each. The tours take around half a day, giving you another half a day to explore the island and enjoy some of the beaches and bars.

Food and drink on Mykonos is extremely expensive in comparison with other Greek islands and the mainland, but I suppose this is to do with importing items from the mainland, which will make them more expensive. We enjoyed some saganaki and fresh fish by the port, and an unhealthy amount of Cafe Frappes.

I really enjoyed my time in Mykonos, but by around 6pm we’d had enough of the island and were running out of things to keep us entertained. That said, I’d absolutely visit the island again, perhaps for 2-3 days as part of a larger Greek island trip.

Have you been to Mykonos? Will you be going?

Kitty

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Minimalist Mondays: 6 Things You Don’t Need (Part 1)

With this trendy, abstract form of minimalism taking the world by storm, and KonMari being basically the new Lord and Saviour of all things material, it’s been hard not to get swept up in the idea of having less stuff.

As a theory, having less & doing more really appeals to me – but in the real world, it can be tough.
Plus, there’s something to be said for having stuff “just in case” (wellies, spare ibuprofen, an extra vase, a car key from 3 cars ago)… but also something very refreshing about not having too much.

Recently I’ve really been thinking about what “too much” is, and I’ve come to the conclusion that there are some things I simply don’t need.
Then I got rid of the things, and it’s been the best thing ever (and actually it’s quite addictive, now I have less, I want even less). 

Here’s some stuff I don’t/won’t need, want or buy any more. I have named this Part 1 as I fully expect to need even less as time goes by, after a few weeks without this stuff, I’m already dreaming of having fewer things.

1. Duplicate makeup/toiletries
Why do I need 3 different mascaras? I don’t. Same for foundation, blusher, bronzer, eyeshadows etc etc – I have only one face, and I wear basically the same makeup look every day, maybe with a bit of eyeliner for a treat. Ditching all the surplus cosmetics in my stash felt so good, and now travel is so simple too because I only have 1 of everything, and it fits nicely in a smallish cosmetics bag!

2. Several Coats
So I was actually amazed at how many coats I had (double figures, guys…)
Streamlining, I ended up with 4 coats/jackets that are cross-functional. When these things wear out, I’ll replace them with better quality & more versatile pieces.

3. Kitchen Stuff
Remember the spiralizer? Me too. Remember the last time you used it? Me neither.
The same goes for the veg steamer, apple corer, mandoline slicer and all those other amazing kitchen gadgets that become a pain to keep clean and a nightmare to store.
I cleared all that nonsense out and guess what? I can still cook a damn good meal.

4. Books
know! As a bibliophile myself, it’s hard to think about not having books around, but they’re so not necessary in this kindle age! I now have a handful of cookbooks that I use fairly often (I’m lookin’ at you, Thug Kitchen) a paperback if that’s what I’m currently reading, and 2 other books that have sentimental value.  Everything else is digital, save the planet yo.
(Note this also means you don’t need a book shelf, which means even less room to stash junk!)

5. Tons of Bedding/Linen/Towels
I emptied my bedding box and counted 5 double duvet sets. There hasn’t been a double bed in my house since I moved in 4 years ago. Why did I still have this stuff?
I packed up everything except for the bedding set currently in use, a change of bedding, and a set of guest linen (plus 2 light blankets for summer sleeping).
We also have 4 bath towels, 2 smaller “hair” towels and 2 hand towels – the remaining old ones went to the charity shop along with the bedding.

6. Notebooks & Stationery
I’m the kind of person who just loves cute stationery – however I haven’t penpalled in years and I usually never write in notebooks I buy because they’re “too cute”.
Notes these days are better stored on mobile devices so they don’t go missing and are easily shared if needs be. I keep one small notepad & pen on hand for urgent scribbles, and the rest went in the bin. Byee!

Re-reading that above list makes the items seem so trivial & unnecessary, and I can say with honesty that not having them in my home actually makes me feel more free.
Now instead of spending spare time browsing beauty or fashion websites, I read more, work out, talk to friends & family – stuff that’s far more valuable to me than a new top or extra lipstick.

If having stuff is your thing, then have stuff and enjoy it – but if not, and you’re looking for a bit of light relief from the world of things, or are seeking realignment in some way, then try to think of 5 things you don’t need, and ditch them.
You won’t regret it.

Kitty

 

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