We’ve been pruning the vines at Uitsig and as we’ve watched the old, dry shoots being clipped away, making way for more abundant times ahead, we’ve thought about our own lives too. So quickly, they can become full full full of activities, stuff, stresses, and more stuff. Like the unpruned plant that bolts and whose growth is obvious and yet obviously unbeneficial – what if some pruning is required in our lives from time to time?
Cutting away the complexity isn’t easy or pain-free, but on the other side of it, in the next season, a sweeter, simpler harvest awaits.
So in honour of the pruning season we’re currently in at Uitsig, here are our 5 tips to pruning your life too…
SIMPLIFY YOUR STUFF
– Donate any shoes you haven’t worn in a year.
– The same should go for your clothes.
– Remove any glasses, dishes, silverware, serving dishes or cooking utensils from the kitchen that you haven’t used in the last 6 months. Box them up and then put the box out of sight. If you miss something over the next month, go and get it from the box. After a month, donate what’s left in there!
CLEAR THE DECKS
– Physical clutter leads to mental clutter, so try to deal with the areas in your office and home that seem to attract unwanted items.
– Clear as many counter tops as you can.
– Find a place for everything and then put everything in its place. Try to do this daily, instead of once in a blue moon – a daily ritual in honour of outward and inward order!
– Remove all expired, stale, unwanted items from your pantry and refrigerator.
WRITE A “NOT TO DO” LIST
– Many of us tend to perpetually add things to our ‘to do’ lists – without ever taking other things off!
– What are the things that you are currently doing that you could afford to not be doing – by simply not doing them anymore, or delegating them to others?
– What are the activities that generally leave you feeling exhausted, stressed or empty?
PRUNE YOUR ONLINE LIFE
– Open any email that you didn’t sign up for, or signed up for but don’t need/want/like anymore, scroll to the bottom of the email and click “unsubscribe”. Of course, Inner Circle mails do not apply!
– RSVP with a “no thank you” to any requests that you’ve been sitting on for a week or longer. If you are still thinking about it, you probably aren’t excited to do it.
– Turn off your phone and computer at a routine time in the evening – every evening.
– Make a set time to check your social media accounts and emails. Studies have shown that most people who quickly check a tweet or facebook account take 23 minutes to get back to what they were originally doing! If you’re constantly checking your accounts, you’re losing far more time than you probably realise.
CELEBRATE THE SMALL
- Be kinder to yourself. Instead of focusing on everything you’re not getting right, or how far you still have to go, take some time to reflect on what is right.
- If your house is a mess, but your kids are healthy and happy, celebrate that. If you forgot a good friend’s birthday, but you remembered to feed the dogs, you’re not doing too badly. If you had a bad day, but still extended some kindness to a stranger – you made someone else’s day a whole lot better.
- Form a new habit of writing at least one thank you note a week. Gratitude is a wonderful tonic to the all-too-common malady of entitlement.
If the prospect of pruning your life leaves you feeling a little daunted, perhaps consider hiring an expert to get you started… Saskia Wild is a professional home organiser based in Constantiaberg. Her advice?
“Be patient with yourself… your life and home didn’t get cluttered overnight. It happened little by little. So use the same process, just reverse it.” Visit http://www.simplysorted.co.za/ to find out more.