springclean

A Time to Prune

How to simplify your life and celebrate the small stuff…A time to prune.

All over the Cape Winelands right now, two remarkable events are taking place. The first: life is beginning to burst out of very dead-looking vines. Small buds, brand-new shoots, and vivid green leaves are unfurling at breakneck speed.

Yet all of this verdant growth is about to encounter a second event: one that is far less celebrated and yet just as crucial. These vines will soon be pruned.

Cutting away at the excess growth may seem unnecessary, unsightly, even cruel.

But left to their own devices, unpruned vines will bolt in too many directions. Their life-giving sap dispersed toward an almost impossible amount of leaves, branches, and nascent bunches.

The result: inferior fruit and a very wilted vine.

Just like these vines, our own lives are in need of pruning from time to time. So quickly, they can become full, full, full of activities, stuff, stresses, and more stuff.

Cutting away the complexity and excess isn’t easy or pain-free, but on the other side, is a sweeter, simpler life. So without further ado, here are some ideas to help you get pruning 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 countertops 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 honor 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”.
  • RSVP with a “no thank you” to any requests that you’ve been sitting on for a week or longer. If you’re still thinking about it, you probably aren’t excited enough to devote any more time to 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 STUFF

  • 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 curse of entitlement.

Apply whichever of these tips resonate most. Little by little, may we all see more of our lives, energy, and focus flowing toward those things that really count while we cut out all the rest.

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What about you mums?

Any life pruning tips you’ll be putting into action after reading this? Or any extra ones you’d like to share with the rest of us?

Comment below and let us know.

Chat soon MUMs x

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